On June 19th at 5:40 pm, we welcomed our baby boy into the world. What an amazing experience. He weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces. I’ll never forget the moment when they put him on my chest right after he was born and I finally got to see the baby I had felt grow, kick, squirm and hiccup in my belly over the past nine months.
Since then, I’ve been enjoying life with a newborn and getting used to the new normal. Overall it’s been fun. Obviously a bit more sleep would be nice, but it’s been better than I was prepared for. He is a good baby with a sweet disposition. D is a great dad who really does a lot so it is nice to have a team approach to this new life. I’ve even left the house alone a few times alone for the odd brunch or pedicure while D holds down the fort… and that goes a long way to feeling like myself. We’ve also taken a few out-of-town trips as a family of three, which has been fun.
I’ve been asked a lot how the labour and delivery went. After spending so many months being nervous about how it would go, I’m thankful to report that it went about as well as I could have hoped. It’s a strange and painful experience, but it is also pretty miraculous and I feel strong and amazing for having done it. What blows my mind is how many women have been through that. Show your mom some respect, people!
I had a natural, drug free birth, which was what I had hoped for, and luckily I recovered really fast. I first knew that something was happening four days past my due date, on a Thursday night, in the evening. I had actually tried acupuncture earlier that day with the hope that it would induce labour – who knows if it actually played a role in it, but I like to think it did (D likes to point out that I was a ticking time bomb at that point and baby would have come regardless of the acupuncture). I went to bed at 11pm and woke up at 2am with mild contractions. We got some rest until the morning, and that’s when we got ready for the hospital (I showered, got dressed and put some makeup on (!) and D showered and took the garbage out). We made our way out of the house and to Women’s Hospital at about 9:30 am. The nurses in the admitting area didn’t think I was far enough along and we could overhear one of them on the phone with the doctor telling her to take her time in coming to check me out because I was still really early. However, when the doctor did finally get there, it turns out I was ready to be admitted and up to our fancy Cedar Wing room (they are really big and nice private rooms that are nicknamed the “ballrooms”) we went. The pain intensified as the afternoon went on – up until that point it had been a piece of cake. I was such a gross sweaty mess by the end, and my makeup went from looking perfect to my mascara melting away. Rookie mistake, I guess. Next time: waterproof mascara.
Before we knew it, our little peanut was here in this world, safe and sound. It was all so surreal. This little baby – our baby – was seconds old and was looking up at me, completely dazed about what had just happened to him. I was a bit stunned for a few seconds, trying to compute that there was a baby in the room that had been in my body. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen.
We spent two nights in the hospital because it wasn’t busy and we were first time parents so they didn’t see a need to rush us out. I enjoyed having the nurses’ help and we had lots of visitors bring us goodies and come to meet the baby. We brought him home on Fathers Day which was pretty special. We have been lucky – the pregnancy, delivery, and recovery went well, and I think that goes a long way in terms of how we have been doing in the first few weeks. Our little guy also latched on right away and we got off to a good start with feeding. I can definitely see how it could be a very different start if any one of those things didn’t go so smoothly.
In a way, this post doesn’t seem to adequately sum up this experience. It’s hard to find the words to describe this time without resorting to clichés. I’m also going on eight weeks with minimal sleep, so that makes it a bit harder. But the point is: our baby is here, we love him, and we are changed by this incredible experience.