Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Postpartum Haze: Impressions from Day One

The feeling of his head in my hand as I waited for the last contraction to help push him out.  Angel-soft hair.  Little wiggles - he is moving! - as he works to get his shoulder free and join the world.  A strong wave of pressure, a breathless second, a loud cry, my baby is born into my own hands.

Joy!  The air comes back into my lungs, back into the room.  Labor is over, life is beginning.

Catching my breath.  Lucy is coming up the stairs, walking towards us.  Kevin at my side, kissing my head, welcoming his son.  Slippery little man in my arm, crying his little head off!

Out of the pool, onto the couch on shaky legs, surrounded by loving arms, beautiful women, ecstatic family.  Is this umbilical cord a little short?

I feel triumphant, breathless, strong, a warrior, a goddess!  To say "I did it!" seems trite and silly, but I did it!  I made this!  I birthed my baby, in my own house, on my own terms, letting my body do what it needed to do.  Birth is in voluntary, you just have to allow it to happen.  And I did.

Oh the perfection.  Sweet-smelling, gooey little baby snuggling against my chest.  The warm, safe presence of my husband beside me.

Hungry baby, latching on with no trouble, eat eat eat!

And then Lucy is with us.  What happened to my sweet baby girl?  Who took my little girl and turned her into this GIANT?  She's HUGE!  And what big TEETH she has!  Lucy, "Want MAMA MILK! MINE!"  Meltdown in the works.  Oh dear, here we go.  I am not sure I want to nurse this enormous wolf-child who somehow has replaced my daughter.  But the wolf-child insists and I am blissed out on birth and baby, so have at it kid.

Tandem nursing for the first time.  I am already stark butt naked in front of a roomful of people, why not sling a few boobs around for good measure?

The room clears out, we are alone, me, Malcolm and Kevin.  Admiring our handiwork.  My God, he is perfect.  Are those pointed ears?  Does he really have pointed ears??  My God, he is perfect.  Sweet smelling.  Soft.  Squishy.  Still covered in mayonnaise and goop, but wonderful to see, smell, kiss, cuddle.  Bliss.  Absolute bliss.

Mairi (midwife) makes eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs with cheddar cheese in them.  I devour a heaping bowl.  Then more.  Then toast and pineapple coconut water then chocolate.

I take a delightfully hot shower.  OH GOD I AM SO HAPPY TO NOT BE PREGNANT ANYMORE!  Oh God, what a smooshy, misshapen belly is left over from bring pregnant.  It looks like someone took a purple marker to a lump of sloppy bread dough.  Racing stripes.  Don't look.  There will be time for assessing the damage later.  I am scrubbed and cleaned and in my cozy red bathrobe and snuggled back on the couch to watch Kevin watching his son.  More bliss.

There is a minor amount of poking and prodding and checking and measuring done on me and my girlie parts.  It feels like there must have been an atomic bomb that went off down there.  I am glad I don't have to look at it.  No tears, just a split, just swelling, little bleeding.  Kat (midwife student) says "Seriously, Jenny, I was wondering if you lost any blood at all!  But it's in the placenta."  Oh.  Okay.   

Newborn exam.  Malcolm does not like it.  He's a big boy!  8 lbs, 14 oz!  Lucy watches.  Kat explains to Lucy what she is doing.  Lucy cares very little.  "Want to see Baby Muffin," she says, not fully understanding that Baby Malcolm IS Baby Muffin.  I am now almost certain she thought that my belly button was the baby I was growing in my belly.

Bed, blissful, beautiful, cozy, clean.  My bed.  Ah.  I cuddle up with Malcolm on my chest, skin to skin, and Kevin at my side.  We can hardly sleep for being exhausted.  We can hardly sleep from being so in love.

But sleep overtakes us and afternoon slips into evening.  He sleeps on me all evening, all night long.  I can't think of a sweeter day.  


  1. Beautiful Jenny. Sister, goddess, Mama. I love you. I can't wait to meet Little Malcolm.

  2. What a beautiful and poetic post. Thank you for sharing!