Part 1: Our Little Buddy is Born!
14 November 2016
Our baby girl has arrived. Charlotte Rae.
In the middle of the night, when I hover over her and tell her how precious she is, I am Golem.
Here's all the facts. She was born at 6:17pm on November 5. She weighed 8 lb. and 9 oz. Her body was 21.5 inches long, and her head was 13.5 inches in diameter. She is a healthy baby. And that is not code for fat. She truly is strong and sturdy and developed in a lot of ways. Ryan and I feel so blessed. When things feel right in order, I feel such incredible peace.
My labor began at 12:30 am on Saturday morning. Mike and Christy came over to watch a movie on Friday night, which was all a huge joke, because just over 6 months ago, Christy went into labor the night that Ryan and I went over to their house to watch a movie. Pizza and a movie. That did her in. So they came over to our place as a joke to get Charlotte out. And lo and behold, they leave and my labor begins. I'll never forget how when I woke Ryan up around 1:30, he leaped out of bed with excitement and finished putting the final items in our "hospital bag." Aka: our laundry basket. However, I labored for 11 hours at home, so Ryan and I slept in between each contraction, and it wasn't until 11:30 am that we finished our peach toast and took our laundry basket out the door. I then labored for 7 hours at the birthing center. And then, Charlotte.
She's cooing in her sleep right now.
Today she is nine days old, and it feels like I've lived a full life in that time. Talk about torrential downpour of emotion and transition, like I'm on a ride at the fair that is misprogrammed to an unsupervised speed. And yet, time moves so soft and sweetly and sloooowly that the world doesn't seem to be rotating anymore. I remember the three or so days after birth, the title of one of my favorite songs kept looping in my mind: "The World Spins Madly On." Like a part of me had to be reminded that a world continued to exist outside the walls of our home.
the election was a good reminder of real life.
I'm at a loss to fully express how this experience has been. Starting right at delivery - the birthing experience is indescribable. And it is TRUE, true true true what they say that mothers forget over time. I already cannot recall a lot. Even though, right after delivery, I swore that I would never ever be able to forget.
Right after delivery, I felt like an entire tsunami had stormed through my body. Like every last part of me had been dislodged and thrashed. And once Charlotte became the newest angel to enter Earth, I laid there on the bed, getting stitched up by my midwife, and I looked at Ryan with tears in my eyes and felt horrified. I felt erupted - body and mind. And I found such irony that he was wearing the triathlon T-shirt from our race over two years ago. Because at the end of that race is the only other time I remember feeling this way. Entirely deluged and overthrown in both body and mind because of the intensity of the experience. Except the way I felt overwhelmed at the end of that race was not near to the degree at which I felt so on Saturday evening 9 days ago.
So, I cannot place myself back into the pain of that experience. Except "The Ring of Fire" right at the end when I was puuuuuuushing her head out - oh my gosh that was the most insane sensation I have ever experienced. The Ring of Fire is the burning sensation women get as the baby's head is coming out. I can remember that. And not in a bad way. When I recall it, I feel a reverberation back into my animal side. That's what my midwife told me after the labor experience - women have their human side, the logical mind trying to think through the process, and they have their animal side. And woman must turn into animals in order to meet the work of natural labor. It is true. Ryan said that in transition, and absolutely through The Ring of Fire, I was a beast. After several pushing contractions, my midwives and apprentices said lots of wow's and then remarked that I am clearly a woman meant to have babies. Ha! Ryan said he has never seen someone in his life exert so much strength and force from the entirety of their body. I was sitting on him in the birthing pool, and he said at every contraction and time to push, he could feel every last muscle in my body turn to iron, and I became a beast. I actually feel really delighted by that. I find it so... savage. In a Queen of the Jungle kind of way. And that's probably why I keep thinking about those mere moments in The Ring of Fire. Because for those moments, I was the most superior and powerful animal on earth.
And the next few days, my muscles were so sore. I kept asking Ryan, "Why would this muscle be sore? When did I use my triceps in labor? My traps too?" And he would keep telling me about the time I turned into a beast, pulling with all my force on his arms as I pushed, and I would relish in that quick feeling. I. Was. Animal. Queen.
I remember other moments too. Like one of my apprentice doulas squatting in front of me on the floor, while I surged through contraction after contraction. And after the intensity was releasing, she would say, "Let that one go. You will never have to worry about that contraction again. It's completely over and done. That one is gone and you did it." And I would let it go. And I would let the next one go. And the next one. And it was monumental for me. Not just in labor. But in MY LIFE. (I mean, just look at the post I published right before this one). I won't embark on a self-actualization journey about this right now, but those were really valuable words for me to internalize. Who knew that I could still find a gem on my journey of self-progression while in labor.
Anyway, this post only covered a sliver of my life the last week and a half. And none of it has even touched on Charlotte yet! Or Ryan! Although, you will be proud to know - I am already current on scrapbooking Charlotte's life so far. How 'bout that.
I end for now. Our Little Princess will be awake soon.
Upward and onward,