...is finally here. Born two weeks early according to the calendar but not a day earlier if you ask me. All that begging to my belly and imploring to meet her seems to have worked. And no, despite it looking staged, the pose was her own doing.
I don't have words to describe what I am feeling. Fatigued to the bone could be apt but somehow that's not it. It's almost 7am here, I've been up since 5am, fed her, cleaned second round of yellow potty (I now know five different shades) in the night, put her back to bed and then couldn't sleep.
Despite all advice that says "sleep when the baby sleeps", it ain't that easy. For one, when everyone else is sleeping -- Mia included -- is about the only time I get to cuddle-cuddle her, as against cuddle-to-calm or cuddle-to-feed. Everyone else seems to get heaps of time just doing nothing with her. On the other hand, I seem to only feed, clean, repeat the same and then put her to bed because "You NEED to sleep JB". I even get scolded for not sleeping enough.
But what to do? It's just SO much fun just watching her, even when she' doing nothing but sleeping. The result being I look like something that should hide under a rock, I am even hairy to fit the part. My eyes look like an Amazonian toad's and I haven't really looked at the rest of me. Thankfully babies neither see very clearly at this age -- 5 days old as I type -- nor remember what they see (hopefully). Because if they do then I am afraid that every time Mia sees someone with a moustache, she's going to think it's her mom. Hrmph.
Her birth was (almost) by the book, much to my surprise. I had been nervous that I wouldn't be up to the job and had been mentally prepared for a caesarian. In fact ever since reaching week 36, I'd been trying to coax my doctor (absolutely love her and very grateful as well) to discuss the merits of elective caesarian. Of course, my doctor heard me out patiently, pretended to agree and then came up with devious ways to keep me going week after week. Thankfully though, Mia decided she wanted to come out early.
I was sitting at the computer having put up a FB message bemoaning the baby not coming and now (ie then) playing Mushroom Farm Revolution on addictinggames.com when I realised I had pee-d in my pants without meaning to pee in my pants. As in, I didn't want to go, but was going.
Now I was confused because a week earlier I had actually pee-d in bed. Well not intentionally but it's kinda hard to get out of bed easily when you're hugely pregnant and I think I was dreaming about going to the loo and then woke up cold to realise I had wet my bed. I was horrified. I had called the hospital thinking I'd broken my bag of waters only to be told that it was just incontinence and as a 31-year-old I'd just done soo-soo in bed. I was sooooo upset.
So then when the not-going-but-going happened, I called the hospital, confused and horrified that now I was pant-wetting when awake! This time though the midwife said, "Sounds like your waters breaking. You need to come to the hospital, is your partner around?" Partner was at an official function. My first reaction was, "Baap re, it's happening." As I called him, there was this HUGE gush and the first thing I said as Partner answered the phone was, "Oh my god I am leaking. Come home!"
Despite having packed my hospital suitcase two days earlier -- just-in-case planning -- I'd proceeded to then wear things out of it so in the end, leaking all the while, I just stood there not knowing what to do and without a clue about where things were. My uterus was leaking while my brain was frozen. Partner arrived, we threw stuff into the case and dashed off. That night I was kept under observation.
Next day at 11am the doctor confirmed that almost all of the amniotic fluid was gone and that she was going to hormonally induce me. Twelve hours, four hours of active pain, much moaning, some crying and one epidural later, I felt the urge to have the biggest shit in my life. Except I was informed that it was the baby coming.
I had had visions of me giving birth rather dignified. You know, lying on a bed wearing a white gown or something, hair neatly combed, gentle beads of sweat on my forehead, feet apart, holding on to the railing or to Partner's hand, cursing some... And then a baby is born and I cry etc etc. In the end, my dress was up my boobs, my legs were up in the air, held by the midwife and Partner on either side, my hair was all over, I was grunting and while I obeyed commands to "Take a deep breath, hold it, pull legs closer to chest and now PUSHHHHH"... All I could think of was "I REALLY want to poo" and "I don't want to poo in the doctor's hands."
It was surreal, having three people looking up your (my) fanny. One in concentration ("There's a bulge, no head yet), another in expectation ("Yes, the cervix is fully dilated") and the third in awe ("I do see her head, push baby, push!"). Eventually much to the surprise of the midwife -- "Most women do it here you know" -- I did not shit on the birthing table. Instead Mia was mostly-pushed and partly-sucked out. She was placed on my chest, all wet and mucusy and I had my arm around her and I didn't cry but Partner did and I was thinking, "She has elf-ears" followed by a loud "Can I go and poo now? I really need to*."
Whatever it was that I had thought giving birth would be like, I was proven wrong on most counts. And I am SO bloody happy about it. I can't write about what (or how) I am feeling about Mia because frankly, I am speechless/wordless. She just makes me feel too many things all at the same time and the only feeling that I can describe is that when I hold her close to my chest, her head under my chin, arms spread out, her eyes closed and me smelling her... it makes breathing easy for me and clears my head of every other thought.
*PS: It never happened.