I’ve had those nights, the ones that I never want to end. I wish that the excitement, and whimsy and wonder could go on forever.
This post will be a two parter, the first today, and the second tomorrow or Tuesday.
In February 2008, I was very pregnant. My due date Feb 12 came and went with no sign of impending labour. By this point I was seeing my midwife every other day, and I think we were both rather sick of the inactivity of the little one, and my body’s reluctance to give up housing this little being.
It’s almost like my body knew this child would be the only one to grow within it; it had to hold on to her, to continue to nourish her, and to let her be comforted within me. I loved being pregnant. I loved it from the minute I found out I was expecting. I loved the idea that this being couldn’t survive without me, that I was responsible for its health and safety.
Finally on February 20th, my midwife decided it was time to get the show on the road. We were finally going to meet our baby. The bags had been packed long before, the lists and bags of quarters were at the ready…but was I? Now faced with the reality of having this babe, I was suddenly scared out of my head. I wasn’t scared of labour or delivery, I had my name signed on that epidural line months ago. I was scared to be a parent to this child, I had done everything right so far, was I going to be able to do everything right once she got here?
I went to the hospital, and the first thing my midwife did was tell me to go to the cafeteria and EAT, eat lots. Once I was induced, I wouldn’t be able to eat, it would be ice chips and water from then on. So to the cafeteria I went, I had soup (Broccoli and Cheddar, I totally remember because it was so good!) I had fruit salad, and I had a sandwich. I couldn’t shove any more into myself.
Back to my room, and then she broke my water…it was time to get things moving. Well, things started to move, but very slowly. I walked, walked, walked…eventually things progressed a bit, but for some reason I couldn’t get past 5cm…I bounced on the yoga ball, I rocked, I walked…still nothing. After 8 hours they decided to take things to the next level, PITOCIN…I dreaded this, all I had heard and read was that when women were given meds to augment their labour, the incidences of a C-section were greater, and that the labour often took a turn for the worst as your body was forced to work. It was then that I asked for my epidural. Before the drugs, give me the ones that would numb the train wreck that was about to happen in my uterus.
By hour 14 I was ready to get this child out. I pushed a bit, and BINGO, I was holding this creature to my chest. She was so tiny, with wide eyes, and not a peep. She just stared at me, and I with tears streaming down my face held my daughter. My Paisley.
At 2:32 on February 21, 2008, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz, and 21 inches, Paisley became my life.
I remember that night so vividly, I remember every detail about her, she had these incredibly long fingers, and nails, her hair was scarce, but what she did have was strawberry blond. She had these chicken legs, and the fairest eyebrows, they were almost non-existent. I remember staring at her praying I could do this; wondering if I was cut out to be a Mummy. I remember unwrapping her swaddle to look at her, count and kiss each toe and finger. I remember tracing her profile with my finger while she slept. I remember hearing her cry for the first time because she needed me. She NEEDED me, her mummy. I remember crying when she cried, not because I was sad, but because I was so happy.
I remember not wanting that night to ever end. I remember wanting to hold it forever. I always want to remember her sounds, her smell, her warm head tucked in beside my heart. I didn’t want my perfect night to end. That was the last night that it was just the two of us, it will always be the night that I hold closest to my heart.