I read an article the other day where the woman had been talking about her birthing experience and how amazing the sudden rush of love was when she held her baby for the first time. It got me thinking back to when I had Dylan. Nearly six months ago now, it feels like a lifetime ago on one hand but on the other I remember it like yesterday.
We had a great birthing experience which I think was thanks to the fact I had followed the Gentle Birth programme. To give a brief summary, I went the full 2 weeks overdue and was planned for an induction at 8.30am when I would have been 14 days past my due date. At 5.30am the morning of the induction I woke up to my waters breaking on their own. I was delighted and headed straight to the maternity hospital. I had tested positive for Group B Strep and because of this I was on certain time limits to deliver the baby once my waters broke otherwise a C-Section would be on the cards. So I wasn’t surprised that when my contractions didn’t progress quick enough I was told I’d need to be induced using the drip at 11.30am. That’s when things started to ramp up. Contractions came on quick and fast and time just flew past me. I managed a few hours before asking for the epidural and even though I originally wanted to manage without it, I’m so glad I got it as the rest of my labour was relatively relaxed! Before we knew it, it was time to push and 14 hours after my waters had broke we welcomed our little man into the world.
The moment they put him on my chest was the most surreal moment of my life. Everyone talks about this rush of love you feel but to be honest I just felt total shock and bewilderment! Obviously I knew I would have be having a baby at the end of it all, but it was just the most surreal experience of my life, I can’t even put into words. I felt a bit like a deer in the headlights to be honest. I remember my body shaking furiously and telling Keith I couldn’t stop it. He kept trying to cover me with a blanket and I was trying to explain I wasn’t cold I just couldn’t stop shaking, even my teeth were chattering. We have a little video of just after Dylan was born and in it you can hear me talking to the midwife. Everytime I watch it all I can think is that I sound like I’m in complete shock. I just couldn’t believe he was finally here, and that this tiny human was all ours!
It’s different for everyone. Some people feel it as soon as they hold their baby, others a while later. For some people it’s a gradual process that takes time as they get to know their baby. I loved him from the moment I saw him, but it wasn’t until later on that night that it really “hit” me. Keith had gone back home, it was the middle of the night and the ward was nearly silent (or certainly as quiet as it could be with 6 other mums and newborn babies in it). Dylan was just lying there in my arms sound asleep as we did skin-to-skin. His little hand was tightly gripped around my finger and it was the most peaceful moment I’ve ever experienced. Right then I felt it; that rush people talk about. It was the most powerful and profound feeling, like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. It was about 3am and I knew I needed to get some sleep but I couldn’t stop staring at him, this little ball of perfection cuddled up beside me.
Motherhood is filled with so many amazing moments, all special and exciting in their own way; but I’m pretty sure that nothing can top the day you meet your baby for the first time.