...giving birth naturally, that is. My girl is a week old. At this time a week ago, I was completely intoxicated with post-delivery adrenaline and love for my tiny beauty. I am even more intoxicated and in awe a week later. I still can't believe what I did. I replay it over and over in my head and the memory plays out like a movie because it was almost too perfect (almost...you know, cuz of the 'rhoid ;-) I feel like it happened forever ago even though only a few days have passed. I can't remember life before her. She's only been here a week but it feels like she's always been around.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my husband, who went with it even if he thought I was crazy. On our drive home tonight he told me that every time I talked about how I wanted it to go down (the tub, the birthing ball, the no pain meds) he thought I was getting in over my head. But then delivery day came and he was amazed because we were doing it, just like I'd envisioned it. He said even though he knew I could do it, he couldn't believe we actually did it. He may not have been in pain, but he busted his butt with me that night. We did it. I've never been more in love with that man than I am now. My heart has beat faster and belly has fluttered with a million butterflies every time I've looked at him this past week. We did it, baby. And can I just say that for someone who initially requested to stay at the head of the bed, he did pretty damn well watching his daughter be born. I'm jealous and assisting a birth is definitely on my bucket list. I would love to watch a baby be born. Maybe my sister will let me be a part of her birth team when she has babies.
I knew I could have my vbac, I knew my body could do it. But I can't believe I actually did it unmedicated. I can't believe I had the strength to go through with it. I fantasized about it the whole pregnancy. I imagined what it would be like and it was so much better than I could ever have imagined.
I fail miserably in describing the pain. For me, it wasn't so much "painful" as it was very intense aching that radiated through my entire lower back. It was nothing like period cramps for me. It was more like the worst, throbbing back ache of my life. But with every contraction I got a huge adrenaline rush, a surge of excitement that pumped through my veins. Don't get me wrong, it hurt. But it was a good hurt. Like getting a tattoo. You're too excited to feel the pain. Yes, it stings and burns and hurts. But it feels good because you're so excited about it. It doesn't hurt for nothing, like a period cramp. The pain is productive. And with each pass of the needle, you inhale the burn and exhale the excitement. That's how labor was for me. For as much as I ached and hurt I was that much more excited for the end result.
I am so unbelievably in love with this beautiful little creature. I've spent countless hours memorizing every detail of her perfect little self. I've really embraced having a girl. I'm loving all of the pink and ribbons and bows. At five days old she got her first pedicure and can I just say her tiny little toes look so stinking' cute painted pink? I can't believe at one point, I only wanted boys. She looks so much like her brother, especially when she sleeps. I sometimes do a double take because I can't believe it's a different baby. The mommy guilt is still there and it's been a battle this whole week. I feel guilty for my son because he's not my "only" and he has to share me. I try my hardest to meet his needs immediately but there have been moments he's had to wait so I could finish feeding Marija. I usually have him sit next to me and we'll look at a book together or watch movies together or play with his "guys" (action figures). Last night I let him crawl into our bed when he woke up in the middle of the night. I pulled him close and wrapped my arms around his warm little body and snuggled him until morning. I loved every minute of it.
I feel guilty for loving her so much. Almost like I'm "cheating" him by daring to love another person like I love him. It's true that you love all of your kids the same. I worried that I wouldn't love her as much as I love him, but I do...just as much. My heart swells for this incredible little person. I can't stop staring at her or breathing in her beautiful newborn scent or letting her sleep on my chest, a miniature version of myself, slumped over into the nook of my neck, my head gently resting on hers. I feel guilty for loving her like I love him. Tonight I held onto him for a long time. He was grumpy from being awoken by our barking, whining dogs. I took full advantage of scooping him up, hugging him close and remembering when it was just us. I think he took advantage too cuz he wouldn't let me let him go. I've been doing my best to make things as normal as possible and I don't force him to interact with his sister. I let him do things at his own speed, which is why there are no pictures of him holding her or even sitting near her yet. Aside from bringing her toys and her paci, he won't go near her. Tonight I watched him stand in front of her swing, just looking at her. He's cautious but I've noticed he acknowledges her more and more every day.
Ry goes back to work tomorrow and I've fought back tears all day just thinking about it. He's been incredible this whole week. But that's not why I'm sad. I know I can handle both of my kids alone and am looking forward to getting into a routine with them. I'm sad because I'm gonna miss him. We've spent the last nine days buzzing with love for our new family. I've enjoyed having him home and I'm gonna miss him all day when he's at work. It's gonna suck.
I'm curious to see how it will be to care for a toddler and a newborn at the same time. I'm anticipating at least one point during the day when they'll both need to be fed or have their butts cleaned or be crying. I'll let you know how that goes, haha!
Well, I'm off to bed now. Catch up with you again soon :)