Thursday, 10 July 2008

Things I've learned this week . . .

. . . or shit that blows my mind.

I've had a pretty intense week, really. Birthed my first baby, trying to adjust to being a mom, trying to adjust to being a family. And there are some things that really blow my mind!

* From the second she was conceived, that little baby knew - she knew which organs to form, where to put them, and what they do. She knew that she was going to be a girl, and which features she was taking from which parent. She knew when she would be born.
* From the second she was born, she knew other things - How does she know how to breastfeed so well? Instinct, I know, but still! She amazes me.
* From the second our daughter was conceived, MY body knew. It knew how to sustain the pregnancy, what to crave to give the baby what she needed, and how to give birth.
*Labour and delivery: Sweet Christ on a Cracker! (Mr. Wonderful-ism, you like?) How does the body do it? How can you fit a whole person through that? And the memory of the pain - it fades so fast. I already almost don't remember. I said Almost.
*Labour and contractions are not so much painful, as painful and intense. Those contractions had me in a grip . . . it was like nothing I've ever felt before. When my water broke, I was scared - when the contractions started, I didn't have the wherewithal to be scared anymore.
*I can't believe how strong I am. I mean, I am really truly impressed with how well I did in the delivery room. I know it sounds a little conceited, and maybe self-centred to be so impressed with oneself, but I did not see that coming. I thought for sure epidural, whining, yelling at Mr. W. Nope to all. I'm much stronger than I ever thought.
*I'm told I make it look easy, that I'm a natural born mother. For the record, I need to hear this often. Along with 'you're doing everything right'. During labour, the nurses didn't believe that she was our first, because we dealt with the contractions so well. Mr. W was a pillar, and I hate to lose control. *shrug*. Breastfeeding thus far has been fairly easy - Sprout is a sleepy baby, but I look at her, and I can't get frustrated. She's my baby, and she needs me. I got lucky. So what blows my mind on this point: I have such a good baby, such a great husband, and so far (touch wood) mothering the babe hasn't been difficult. A little overwhelming at times, but not too hard. I feel so blessed, and I don't even believe in that crap!
*My body is the shit! I mean, sure, some stuff is arsed up, but here I am less than a week post-partum, and I look HOT! I mean . . . smokin' hot! I already have my pre-pregnancy shape mostly back, although I am terrified to step on a scale and learn it's all in my head. In any case, maternity pants are falling off me, in spite of all the elastic, and that makes me smile. Sure, it's probably delusion, and I'm probably looking kind of . . . well, sloppy, to outsiders - but I'm thrilled to have a rib cage and waist line back. Now if the hormone thing would just get itself together, I'd like to stop crying and feeling anxious one minute, and then on the top of the world the next.
*It also blows my mind a little that she's here. I'm finally using those little outfits, and learning that I need more receiving blankets, and that bathing a newborn is so hard it can make you cry. And it did. I've been waiting almost 10 years to have a baby with Mr. W - I didn't want to push him, and he wasn't ready . . and in retrospect neither was I. Everything happens when it should. And it was time.
*My daughter is so beautiful. I know, every parent thinks their child is amazing, beautiful, smart -- and they should! I spend a lot of time just staring at her little face while she feeds. I think I need to take a picture, so I can remember this tender time when she's a toddler, or . . . oh Lordy, a teenager! I can't believe that something so beautiful is the combination of Mr. W and I. I mean, we're both pretty cute on our own, but together, we are (apparently) gorgeous!