Disclaimer: This post is being written with baby strapped to my chest and next to no sleep, so apologies in advance for all typos, misspellings, and non-sensical ramblings!
Our beautiful daughter joined our family 6 weeks ago on September 28th. We named her Clare Raine after County Clare, Ireland (where we got married) and my Aunt Lorraine.
Like any new parent will tell you, having a baby truly changes everything. The past month and a half have been some of the sweetest and hardest days that I’ve ever had. Pregnancy already seems like a distant memory, and the details of her birth are starting to get foggy as well, so I figured I better write down the details of her birthday before they vanish like smoke.
The days leading up to the C-section were filled with nerves, nesting, and lots of napping. It’s a strange feeling knowing the exact date and time in which your entire world is going to change. The day before delivery, we dropped Kona off at Camp Bow Wow for an extended stay, and I cried in the car knowing that he would no longer be the center of attention. Brendan and I went to dinner at Papa J’s for one final date night, which is where we went to celebrate the night we found out I was pregnant. It was surreal knowing that come morning, our twosome would forever be a party of three. I ate one last heart-burn filled meal as we took bets on whether it would be girl or boy, and who he/she would look like. Neither of us slept that night, and as we drove the hospital at 5 AM, I was nervous and excited and every other emotion that a person can feel. Once we got settled in triage, I kept looking at the clock thinking, “holy sh*t in approximately 43 minutes he/she will be here!”
I anxiously shuffled through the birth playlist that I had created months before, trying to find something that would calm my nerves before settling on “Here Comes the Sun”, which I listened to it several times in a row. I kept getting emotional as I thought about how long we had waited for this moment; not just the 9 months of pregnancy, but the difficult year(s) of trying to get pregnant. We were finally here, closing one chapter of our lives and starting an even bigger one. I felt so ready, and yet so NOT prepared to be a mother, but ready or not, it was happening.
Holly showed up around 6:30 and talked us through the procedure; having my sister/personal L&D nurse at my side is something that I am eternally grateful for. Around 7 AM it was go time. We walked back to the OR and the anesthesiologist asked us what we thought the baby was. “I’m thinking boy” said Brendan, “Girl, definitely” said me.
Once we were in the OR, everything happened at lightening speed. Brendan wasn’t allowed back at first, but Holly was there to hold my hands when they put in the spinal, and to hold a basin to my face when the nausea hit. Once the spinal was done and I was strapped down, they invited Brendan back into the room. We looked at each other and said something like “Well, no turning back now. We’re really doing this!” I felt some weird pressure and moments later they told us that the baby was coming out.
Brendan watched as they held her up and at 7:10 AM, and proudly proclaimed, “It’s a girl!”. He kissed my head and I cried tears of joy and said, “We have a daughter!”. I heard her loud wailing, and they brought her behind the curtain for a quick peak before whisking her off to do vitals.
Everything after that is a bit of a blur. As soon as they pulled her out, my blood pressure went through the roof and I literally felt like my head was going to explode — the pain was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. My eyes started rolling back in my head and my ears were ringing, and I told the anesthesiologist that I thought I was having a stroke. I asked him if I was going to die, and assured me that I was not and that I’d feel better once they brought my blood pressure back down. It was one of the most terrifying moments of my life, I honestly thought that I was about to die on the table without ever getting to hold her.
A few minutes later (what seemed like a short eternity), Brendan brought her over so that I could see her. Just as a suspected, she looked exactly like him! As I watched him hold her and fall instantly in love, I cried at the sweetness of it all. He was smitten. Watching him become a dad made me love him even more.
I was expecting to have the same instantaneous head-over-heels reaction, but at that point I still felt like I had an gunshot wound to the head, and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I silently worried that I had missed my moment and I wouldn’t connect with her in the same way.
Finally, we got back to the room and they put her on my chest. I got to feel her heart beating against mine, breathe in her new baby smell, and the overwhelming love washed over me. I stared in amazement and marveled over the fact that a mere 20 minutes prior, all of that was inside of me!
Its strange to me how fast and slow time goes these days. The nights seem endless, but the weeks are flying by. We’ve had our days of nonstop, inconsolable crying which have tested my patience and sanity in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Breastfeeding is a challenge, and I’ve gone back and forth a dozen times or more as to whether I want to continue. Like most new mothers, I question myself constantly and have moments where I feel like I am not cut out for this.
When I start getting overwhelmed, and the crying seems to never stop, I realize that time is going so much faster than I can comprehend. Our formerly petite newborn has grown so fast in a month and a half. She was 7 lbs, 12 oz at birth, and at her one month appointment she was 10 lbs 7oz! I started packing away her newborn clothes last week and sobbed, how can she be so big already?
Everyone keeps asking how Kona is adjusting – he’s doing great! The first couple of days were rough; he was pretty salty about not being the sole recipient of all of my snuggling, but he’s since gotten over it. Whenever he hears her fuss, he stops whatever he’s doing to go over and lick her, a habit that I find both adorable and gross. At night when I feed her, he will sit outside of her doorway and keep watch. I keep telling him that one day she will be a lot more fun and want to play with him- that day will be here in the blink of an eye.