You Know It's Love When She Poops on You and You Don't Even Notice

I've officially done the one thing in my life that I couldn't have lived without. I can still hardly believe my daughter is here; every action I made my whole life had been leading up to her. When we found out I was pregnant, I had butterflies for two solid weeks and hoped that wasn’t harmful. I vividly remember the thrill of that moment as our eyes met in the bathroom that morning, followed by terror and worry! I didn’t know how I’d make it through nine months of fervently hoping she was okay. My own mom had passed away, and I couldn’t ask her questions about her pregnancy or call her for advice. I literally had nausea 24-7 for the first few months and hormones out the wazoo. I was so exhausted during my entire pregnancy that just walking to my car would leave me winded. To boot, I was in my last trimester in the summer…in Georgia! But I loved being pregnant even when I felt awful just because she was in there. Okay, in the last couple weeks, I did not love my swollen, over-full-water-balloon feet.

 

How I stumbled into the way I wanted to give birth was sort of by “luck.” I used to be terrified. I assumed it would be like TV and the movies (it’s not) and that I’d be a victim lying on the bed. So, like I do when I’m afraid of anything, I watched YouTube videos. That led me to water birth videos, and it resonated with me. I Googled (this is what you do when you get pregnant, and trust me, it gets worse after your baby is born) and realized I wanted a midwife instead of a doctor. I found a practice that delivers at a natural-friendly hospital. And, suddenly, everything made sense. I already knew I wanted to do HypnoBirthing - self-hypnosis (essentially very deep relaxation) that centers around delivering calmly with as few interventions as possible. The premise is that birth doesn't have to hurt when we release our fear and, therefore, tension. Then I stumbled upon “The Business of Being Born,” which reaffirmed what I was learning: birth isn’t to be feared. Releasing this fear through my HypnoBirthing class and its daily relaxation exercises gave me the confidence I needed.

 

I knew we’d have a calm, relaxed labor and birth...and I realize "calm" and "relaxed" aren’t words you typically hear to describe birth! But I can honestly say that's exactly how it was, even if it didn’t go completely according to my plan. I wouldn't say labor is the most comfortable thing I've ever done, but it wasn’t painful, and I did it for 39 hours with no concept at all of how much time had passed. I don’t say this to brag but to show it’s possible. Carrying a baby for 40 weeks, give or take, and then giving birth in any form is nothing short of an amazing feat, though. Sometimes your plan might have to change a bit along the way, and it doesn’t mean you failed.

 

Just when I thought I had expended all my energy, my husband said, "Your dream is about to come true!" That gave me the last burst I needed. And, suddenly, there she was! They put her on my chest, and I can't even describe the feeling of looking into her face for the first time. It felt like, “Oh, it’s you!” like we already knew each other. Well…we had been living together for 38-1/2 weeks. Oh, and then she pooped all over me. I didn’t notice or care.

My daughter has changed me in so many ways. My body has changed, and I love and honor it for that. My heart has changed and holds more love than I ever knew possible. My soul has changed because she’s forever part of it. My whole life has changed, and as challenging as it is, it’s like nothing else in the world when we gaze into each other’s eyes. I learn as I go, like all new moms. And I have a suspicion that I’m going to learn as much from her as she does from me.

 

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