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25Jul/150

And then she came

Did you read that last post, the one about letting go? I said I was going to visit the in-laws in Belgium. I was convinced our baby girl would take weeks more to arrive. Famous last words. We were all packed and ready to go. I went to sleep with a big belly, and woke up in the middle of night thinking I had wet the bed. Had I completely lost control of my bladder? No, it turned out my water had broken. No pain yet, so I let the OB know and went back to sleep.

The next day we went to the hospital, as it seemed the baby had pooped in the amniotic fluid. 37 hours after my water broke, of which 21 hours spent in the most nightmarish, horrible, excruciating pain unimaginable, our daughter first touched the air. The relief when she finally slithered out was enormous. At some point I believed it was never going to happen.

There really are no words to describe how labor feels, how much contractions hurt. Excruciating really doesn't quite cover it. Soulcrushing perhaps come close. It is a thing not often talked about. Everyone wants children. But really, if you knew how much it was going to hurt, you'd think twice about it. Or three times. And then you'd probably still go ahead and do it.

But then, every woman's pregnancy, and every woman's birth is different. There are so many things that surprised me about the whole pregnancy thing. Like how I saw no pink clouds. I felt no nesting urge, cleaning urge, or a clothes-buying itch. I was practical, but not ecstatically expecting. When she was out, I was glad it was done. Mission accomplished. I did not all at once feel a rush of overwhelming love.

We have a connection though. I get her. I can often guess what she feels or what she needs, and I do believe there is such a thing as maternal instinct. I try to tell her I love her every day. And I love her more every day. And the next. And the next. She works so hard at everything, she is such a happy baby, brave and independent and communicative. I admire her already, eventhough she is not yet 1. It's amazing, being a mom.

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