Monday, April 02, 2007

Welcome to the World, Baby Girl

It's quiet, here on the otherside.

I'm watching my five day old daughter sleep in her bassinet, the sounds of gurgling intestines and blood flow and odd but fantastic choice of background music. It's supposed to mimic the sounds of my womb which, according to the cd, is a world of fuzzy tv reception, constantly running vacuums and a demonic septic pump. But it gets the job done.


I have a daughter. I am a mother.

And it's okay. It's more than okay. I had been so prepared to be terrified, overwhelmed, scared and depressed that I was wholly unprepared for the utter happiness and joy I feel at being Harlow Mae Sweazy's mother. How about that name, by the way? It took us 2 days of making lists and throwing them out and starting over from scratch, but we finally landed on a name beautiful enough to honor our gorgeous little girl.

Let's back up. I tossed and turned all night before the induction. It was just too surreal. Set alarm. Shower. Check in to the hospital at 7:15 to meet the baby. But that's what we did. They led me back to the delivery room by myself which was a little jarring. I know I threw C a pathetic smile as they took me away, and basically they needed me to sign a bunch of paperwork and vouch that my home was a safe place to take the baby and then C was allowed into the birthing suite. Sweet nurse Donna hooked me up to an IV, Diane came in and broke my water, the pitocin kicked in, and within a few short hours I was dilating steadily. I got to feel a few contractions but I made sure to have my epidural doc stop in asap, so nothing was worse than a really bad menstrual cramp. The way it should be. I kept hearing this terrible sound coming from the hallway, and I asked who the crazy lady was. She would be the one in labor without the epidural. I could feel my contractions as my uterus balled up and released, but with no pain. The fascinating thing is that I would suddenly feel exhausted after an intense contraction and then feel the endorphins rushing through me, all without the pain. Brilliant.

I was more than a little stunned when Donna announced that it was time to start pushing. I had just been happily chatting with John and Pat, clueless that I was 10 centimeters dilated. Diane came in, and the pushing began. Caleb held one leg, Donna held the other, and little pleaser me tried to push as hard as I could with a numb pelvis. Fortunately the epidural started to wear off just a smidge toward the end and i could feel better what I was trying to do. And after 40 minutes of pushing and a 2 degree cut, at precisely 2:20 PM, my daughter came screaming into the world. I couldn't have been more surprised if a giant pink unicorn had come galloping out of my vagina. A girl. I was so convinced it was going to be a boy. But now, truly, I wouldn't have it any other way. Gorgeous, mellow, already a heartbreaker, my little girl has already made doormats out of me and her father. They keys to the car? No problem. A pony? It's yours. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I now just wish sometimes she was still inside my belly, because in there, aside from the dangers of too hot baths and feta, she was safe. Now she's out in the open, and she' sjust going to have to get used to me sticking to her like glue so the big bad world will keep its filthy mitts off of her.

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