On February 11th, at 10:46am, my sweet baby Madeline Grace gave a whole new meaning to everyday joy.
I was in labor for about 8 hours, well at least that is what my husband and the time of delivery tells me, but I remember it about as well as I recall a binge night out in college; I vividly remember the parts I wish I could forget and how I felt afterwards, but can’t quite remember how I got to that point. Now, if I truly wanted all the details, I could just ask my husband because I’m fairly sure he has PTSD from it.
Once labor progressed into delivery, it lasted about 25 minutes and Miss Madeline Grace made her arrival au natural. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super thankful it was only 25 minutes, but in the moment, I felt like I was trapped in some timeless pain vortex. I don’t think it’s surprising that as the Doctor and nurse cheered me on and said “you’re so close, you’re doing great, just a few more pushes,” that I casually called them liars and told them they were like aerobic instructors who say things like “you can do anything for a minute!,” to get you through, only to set you right back up for your next torturous burpee. (I did apologize, for the record).
Luckily, what they say about the moment you see your baby for the first time is so true. It was so surreal, she came out (after convincing myself that I was being lied to about her being close) and all I wanted to do was hold her. The moment I’ll keep locked away in that special place in our hearts where only the best gets filed is when they put her on my chest. She was crying and I said “Madeline, mommy’s right here,” and she stopped crying immediately. I had read to her everyday starting in the 2nd trimester and she totally recognized my voice, it was one of the most magical things I’ve ever felt.
She is almost a month old now and I can’t seem to get enough of her, which is good, because that means when I am just creepily staring at her, I rarely miss a baby dream smile or a new grunt. Now, I’m definitely tired, I’ve cried while being self expressed by a lactation consultant (not my favorite moment thus far), and I just was projectile pooped on (literally, like in the middle of writing this), but this new normal has truly taken our families’ everyday joy to a level I wasn’t sure existed. Maybe its the intoxicating baby smells or maybe your heart grows like the Grinches when you see that little sweet face; no matter what it is, I am so happy it happened to us.