Last Friday, I went through the most raw and primal experience of my life. It was also the most excruciating yet satisfying one.
I gave birth.
Oh, before I go further, a word of caution. This post contains explicit descriptions from a hormone-pumped, one-week-new mum, which might make you queasy. Consider yourself warned!
All throughout my labour, I had a front-row ticket to everything. There were times when I wished the clock would tick faster and not crawl over the 15 hours it took from start to finish. But there were also fun times- taking two warm tub baths, listening to my birth playlist (embedded for the curious ones) and chuckling at some appropriately inappropriate songs- like It’s now or never or the German oldie Atemlos (Breathless).
The midwife that assisted my delivery was simply wonderful. Thanks to her, my tremendously supportive husband and the Lion King hits (mainly Hakuna Matata) I went through the whole ordeal without any pain-killers.
That doesn’t mean I was brave throughout. Far from it. At the height of my pain, I was willing to take anything against it. Even a horse tranquilizer. I tried laughing gas, but no ha-ha’s there. It proved utterly useless.
Just when I thought I couldn’t go on any longer, the midwife excitedly announced that she could see the head of the baby. She asked me, “Are you ready to bring out your son?”
“Hell yes!” I nearly screamed through gritted teeth., sitting on the semi-circular chair that I chose as my birthing position. I then turned on all my animal instincts, seized all my worth into one big muscle and let out the most primal cry.
Make that cries. I screeched myself hoarse and my boy out. At that dizzying point, nothing in the world mattered more than sending him flying out. I didn’t care if I broke, and I did; but I simply didn’t care.
With the last mighty heave, out came my son- a red mass with a mop of black hair, lying at my feet and squealing his little lungs out. I expected to feel a rush of motherly love and emotion as soon as I saw him.
But all that registered was shock! How did something so big (relative proportions here) reside for 9 long months inside me and then come out of what I thought to be, a tiny exit. The idiotic saying playing in my head was- pushing a watermelon out a hole the size of a lemon. And I did!
As I had my son on my chest and he did the I’m-looking-for-milk-crawl; my veins coursed with oxytocin and I drowned in happy emotions. My heart felt like it would burst with joy, pride and a sheer sense of I DID IT!!!
Now thanks to having a pain-killer free birth, my son and I were very active and ready to run. While all the other mums and bubs in the area slept peacefully in their beds and cribs; my bub and I were super active. I, the awkward new mum, clueless how to do almost everything; and my son roaring like a lion on LSD; regularly brought the floor nurses to check that no one was getting mortally injured!
One week into being entitled my new status, I have several factors to thank for staying sane:
- I gave up the notion of being the perfect mum. I started by putting on diapers the wrong way, panicking when I wondered if I was producing enough milk to feed another human being! I resigned to letting myself learn from those around me and most importantly, from my 51 cm tall boss.
- I accepted being an All-You-Can-Eat 24/7 Buffet for my son. Then the sleep deprivation and sore nipples suddenly turned utterly do-able.
- My awesome support system and baby daddy. I sometimes think he inhaled some of my motherly hormones. He does that fantastic a job! In fact, he’s talking about giving up his job and trading places with me. Thankfully, until men can breastfeed, that won’t happen.
- And finally I wholeheartedly gave in to all the crazy/wonderful/exciting changes my body is going through. Like crying out of my eyes and my boobs when my son sobs.
All 3 kilos of this bundle have my heart in their baby-fisted love grip and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a wonderful life!
Happy one week on earth son!