After what felt like hours but was probably only 20 minutes, they handed over my baby, a striped hat on her head. I laid her on my chest, her warm skin against mine. I looked her over, saw her swollen little face and her long arms and legs. She looked huge to me--a fully formed little human that had been folded up inside of me. I couldn't believe I'd been sharing my body with such a large visitor.
Amy helped me with nursing my baby for the first time, and then all the nurses left and it was just me and Jay and our baby. We were exhausted (Jay was sick with a cold and feeling quite ill) and sat there in shock that our family was now three and that they left us unsupervised. We held her fragile form with awkward tenderness and looked at each other in amazement.
Other than my fever, the birth went better than I could have hoped: I went into labor on my own and was able to progress without the aid of pitocin until the end. I always knew I wanted an epidural, but I also wanted to experience some of the pain, and I was able to do that. I got an effective epidural that allowed me to rest but still allowed me to be an active participant in what my body was doing. I had a supportive midwife and a fantastic partner in Jay. The pushing was minimal and the birth was peaceful and complication-free. I am so grateful.
The next few days were a high--a "babymoon" of sorts. I was ridiculously proud of myself. I know it sounds silly, but I don't know how else to describe that feeling--it was a warm, all-encompassing sense of accomplishment that dulled the pains of my healing body.
On February 24th, 2012, in a beautiful and bloody sequence of events, Kathryn Fae made me a mother.