I’m sitting here, finally with the energy and time to write this post, with my daughter sleeping next to me.
Sometimes I look at her and cry (happy tears). I’m sure it’s part hormones, but I still can’t believe she’s here, and she’s mine, and she’s so incredible.
I’ve always heard parents say how hard it is to describe the love you have for a child and now I get it. I really get it. Actually, I read somewhere recently – probably in one of the scarymommy articles, the following quote:
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
It’s the best description I’ve read so far.
I watch this little girl sleep, as she squeaks and grunts (who knew newborn sleep could be so active at times) and the love I have for her is so strong it physically aches.
I keep thinking I’ll have the time to write out her detailed birth story and the weeks after but time is flying. And so… I figured I would just write it all out. Fragmented sentences. Likely misspelled and grammatically incorrect since I’m running on four hours of sleep.
She came 3 weeks and 2 days early. Because of those 2 days they considered her pre-term.
I felt sick all day January 29th. My stomach hurt constantly. They told me they thought it was indigestion. I just knew it wasn’t.
That night I woke up and had lost my mucus plug. Bleeding and the start of cramping and I knew.
Friday morning we went to the hospital. The midwife thought that at only 1cm dilated, and it being so early, my body could easily stop and wait another week or so before going to labor. Yet minutes before we left the hospital she said she thought she may see us again that weekend.
The Husband, not quite thinking I was actually in labor left for work.
Hours later he came home and I was hunched over on the living room carpet. Unable to catch my breath. Waves of pain seizing my whole body over and over again.
Back to the hospital at 10pm. I was still only 3cm dilated but was told I had “irritable contractions” which meant rather than the 5 minute or so break in-between, they were happening every minute to minute and a half – giving me no reprieve.
Hours, long, slow hours, waiting to be admitted, laying in a bed with the Husband sleeping in a recliner next to me and realizing this was it. I was going to have a baby.
Confirmation my water broke.
6am being wheeled into my labor room. A massive, beautiful room with an angel of a nurse who stood by my side for hours.
An epidural. In other words – HEAVEN. The epidural is HEAVEN. A warm sensation over my body and relief for the first time in a full day.
Waiting. Feeling the pressure of the contractions but no pain.
My angel nurse having to leave – and a not so nice nurse taking her place.
My midwife stopping in briefly at time, apologizing because it ended up being the busiest day in labor and delivery in 18 years. I still blame the massive snow storms.
The strange shift from feeling good, to feeling not right. Shakes and shivers that caused my body to convulse, my teeth to chatter incessantly, my face to feel on fire, and my mouth so dry like I could never drink enough.
The midwife coming in and taking one look at me and telling the nurse to take my temperature immediately.
102.9 I can still hear her saying it and the look between the two of them. The midwife then doing a quick check and saying it was time. But first, she needed to talk with me.
Because of my fever, the special care team would have to come in for the labor. They would need to take her right away to check her, because of my fever it was likely she could have an infection as a result and she would need antibiotics.
Feeling confused, and terrified. Terrified I was hurting my baby. That my body was hurting her. That I couldn’t control any of it.
Sort of going in and out of being in my body if that makes sense. It became a blur. Seeing a team of at least 4 people waiting in the back – watching – in full medical gear, prepping stations.
Being told to push, push, push.
40 minutes later feeling her fully come out. Feeling my heart in my throat as I waited to hear a noise, any noise.
After a quick check, and a cry, having her placed on my chest. The beautiful, amazing, perfect little girl.
Feeling the strongest connection to someone I could have ever imagined. Like my whole heart was right in front of me.
Looking at the Husband and thinking, holy crap, we made her. We made this miracle.
Having the nurse take her away to get her first round of antibiotics.
Being wheeled down to the postpartum floor to my new room. En route, seeing another mother being wheeled down too, only she was holding her baby.
Crying because I too wanted to hold my baby. And I still felt terrified, absolutely terrified something would be wrong.
2 full days of nurses in and out. My body recovering. Confirmation she was healthy, though would still be treated as pre-term. Feeling completely overwhelmed, and yet the happiest I have ever been.
Multiple sessions with a lactation consultant. Multiple nurses, midwives, and pediatricians stopping by – explaining what to do, how she was doing, and when we could go home.
Watching the Patriots win the Superbowl, daughter in arms, with my Husband cheering loudly. Roars from other Husbands in the hall.
Driving home, in a horrible snow storm, clutching her car seat next to me – praying with everything in me we would make it home safely. Watching four cars crash and skid off-road in front of us. Praying our power would stay on – seeing as we had heard from my Mother we lost power for a few hours earlier.
That first night. Hardly sleeping, instead just watching her sleep, making sure she was breathing.
A week later when my mother left and the Husband went to work. Feeling terrified to be alone.
The baby blues. Oh the baby blues. No one really mentions how much hormones are a mother f*cker. Feeling so happy and wonderful one minute, only to be followed up by a moment of feeling like nothing would ever be the same again.
Slowly feeling like myself again. Only, a new me. A mom.
Watching her – smile, cry, eat, sleep, grow. All of it, magical.
Feeling so inadequate at times. Nothing I do seems good enough or right. The pressure coming from only myself of course.
The strangest joys. Like seeing her wet and dirty enough diapers – making me know she is thriving.
The breastfeeding struggle. Days of trying then deciding to pump instead. Pure stress, pumping around the clock while trying to hold her too. Being told she had lost a good amount of weight, and to make sure to feed her every 2 hours around the clock. Multiple breakdowns, and tears – so, so, so many tears. A broken pump. 2 more lactation consultant appointments. 3 days of nursing around the clock – the feeling of a razor being taken to my nipples. Toe curling, teeth grinding pain. Then the day it stopped hurting – well, the pain only lasting a few initial seconds. And finally, the moment where I realized – I like nursing her. I like the quiet moments of looking down at her. Knowing I am feeding her.
The excitement for the future. For watching her grow, for reading her books, for family nights.
One month. How has it been over a month?