The day Emily was born was without a doubt the best day of my life, and the day I would chose to relive, if given a chance.
After an uncomfortable pregnancy, birthing her was the most invigorating experience, and the closest I have ever felt to euphoria. I had gone into the hospital to be induced, but Emily surprised us all by deciding to make her grand entrance before the induction even started!
She arrived in a gush of fluid, after 45 minutes of excruciating labor, and three pushes.
I’ll never forget the moment she was placed in my arms. It was such a surprise she was out of me, and I was looking at her loveliness. She was so placid, peeking around with huge, round eyes. She had a face as luminous as the moon, but she was pink as a little piggy.
That was my first impression of my daughter, as I nuzzled her warm body against my chest-she was a delightful, pink piglet.
Because her birth was so fast, there had been no time for any pain medication, let alone an epidural. The rush of endorphins, adrenaline, and oxytocin left me feeling like I summited Mount Everest and made it safely back to base camp.
This hormonal high was also a surprise to me. My induction with my son had been protracted and so painful and I’d sworn I would never be induced again. However the epidural I had while birthing him allowed for a peaceful and lovely birth. I’d fully expected that an epidural was in my birth plan with Emily due to the fact I was being induced again (something I would never wish on my worst enemy, but opted for in this case for a variety of reasons).
It was an amazing gift that she came so fast, and with no need for pain meds. Don’t get me wrong; had I labored for longer, I am sure I would have begged for medication. Contractions are no joke, especially during transition when they are so fast and hard. I tip my cap to women who labor for hours and hours al naturale. The fact that my body allowed me to have this experience is one of the greatest of my life. My head was completely clear after Emily’s birth. I was able to get right up and walk around, bathe, and tend to Emily. I also believe that not having pain meds or epidural helped me initiate breastfeeding more successfully, and kept the postpartum depression at bay. So, while it is true there is no official “award” for having a natural birth, there was definitely a huge reward in it for me, and one I never expected.
Another surprise was Emily’s healthy weight of nine and a half pounds. I had thought the ease of her birth meant she was a tiny peanut, so I was shocked when she weighed in as such a little pork chop. I always tell women who are afraid of birthing, or afraid they have been “cursed with a big baby,” that giving birth to a larger than “average” baby in no sweat. Birth is what our bodies are meant for, and Emily’s birth gave me a whole new admiration for and confidence in my own body.
Emily is turning three. At 5:58 in the morning, she will have completed yet another cosmic revolution around the sun.
We have spent over a thousand days and nights together now, yet she continues to surprise me as much as she did on that day she was born. I look at her, awed by her fierce determination, vivid spirit, and wild humor. I watch the light get tangled up in her amber curls and words fail me.
Words for how much I love my children have not yet been invented. I could say it over and over again, and it still would not accurately capture what it really is. So, for now, just happy birthday to my little girl. My daughter.
How’s that for a sentence?
Life gave me a daughter. And she is turning three.