oh baby

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Here I am again, and I have something to write about that won't surprise anyone.

I don't want every post to be about motherhood now, and I definitely didn't want to write my birth story, because if I wanted everyone to know everything I would have gone on One Born Every Minute or something. I had the idea pre-baby that this blog would be a place to come and talk about Other Such Things. But there aren't really other things, at least, not at the moment. Everything about my life involves Baby B in some way, especially my relationship with God, which I guess is the way it should be.

So ... I guess I'll write about it a little bit. Snapshots. Because the last five weeks have been an incredible haze of emotion and change that I'm not sure where the time went, and I am definitely sure that they don't tell you a lot of this stuff when you're pregnant and anticipating the future.

I remember labour was incredible. The hardest thing I ever had to do, and yet the easiest, because my body knew everything it had to do and took over without me. I remember blood and sweat and tears and muscle and pain like fire. I remember the warmth of her when they put her on my chest and how she looked at me and Chris, totally cross-eyed and stunned, and there was blood rushing in my ears and adrenaline making me shake, and I remember gathering her up in a blanket and whispering 'Shh, Mummy's here, it's okay.' And saying that million times since then.

I remember the tiredness I felt when the shock wore off. The bone-numbing tiredness, I could feel it right to my core, and every muscle in my body hurt, even my toes, and my eyes couldn't stay open and when I tried to feed her it felt like glass splintering, it hurt so much, and I sobbed so much through the night feeds that I felt empty, and I remember the gut-wrenching guilt I felt when I couldn't do it anymore, and the twin feeling of relief and sorrow when she happily took her first bottle and didn't need me so much anymore.

I remember how much we wanted to show her off and how much I wanted to keep her to myself at the same time. How hard it was to hand her over and how happy I felt when she was handed back. I remember the niggling thought 'I'm overdoing it' being replaced later by 'why on earth did I do all that today.' I remember thinking all I wanted to do was get into bed with Baby B and feed her and cuddle her and sleep but feeling that it might be rude not to see people. I regret that a little bit now.

And if all this is sounding a bit depressing, I remember the joy. Oh my goodness, how much love can you feel for one person? It's like a force. I hold her in my arms and I feel like I might burst with it. I remember after the horrible second night in the hospital, when my milk came in and hormones came with it, and I cried so much it was ridiculous, I picked her up in the morning and held her to my chest and she snuggled up so her cheek was pressed up against mine and I felt so peaceful and wonderful. I remember the moment she first grabbed my necklace and held onto it for dear life when I dared to try and put her down, giving me this look out of one eye that clearly said 'Don't you even think about it.' I remember the first time she did her 'ooh' face, the first time she smiled when she caught sight of Chris, the first time I held her at church and worshipped God and thanked Him for her. I will remember how excited she gets when she sees me peeping over her moses basket in the morning, and how I say 'good morning sunshine!' and how she kicks her arms and legs in delight.

It's harder than I thought and better than I thought. My prayers are now like arrows shot into heaven. Sometimes I can't even think them, I just feel them instead. Starting from the midst of labour, when I couldn't lift myself out of the haze of pain even to form words in my head, just feeling 'help!'. And praying that since then, when she screams and I don't know why, when I start to doubt and criticise myself, when I feel like I can't physically get out of bed to feed her again. And despite the lack of eloquent prayers and beautifully written journal entries and time even to flip open my Bible, I feel His presence more than ever, solid and dependable and real.

The other morning, I couldn't get up again. I just couldn't, partly from exhaustion and partly from pain from labour. I'd only settled her an hour before, and here she was, six in the morning, desperately hungry again, starting to whimper. I lay there listening to her, hoping that she'd go back to sleep by herself, even though I know her hungry cry and I could hear it in her voice. I waited a bit longer. She started to cry. I wanted to cry. Wondering how I'd find the energy to get up, I prayed one of those prayers that aren't really coherent but more feelings - help, tired, can't.

A small and coherent voice reminded me.

'One of the joys of being a mother is that you get to be the one that goes to her when she cries.'

Me. I'm the one that gets the honour of being her mother. That is a blessing, always. It's a blessing when she plays happily, or when she's peacefully sleeping, or when she smiles. It's a blessing when she's screaming in pain and I can't relieve it, or when she's projectile sick all over me and I have to get up and change the bed sheets and change her clothes and change mine, it's a blessing when she shouts for food and my body is screaming for sleep.

Always a blessing. Always an honour. Always beautiful. No matter what.

I guess that's it for now. I'm going to go and stare at her and feel that strange mix of wanting to freeze this moment forever, and not being able to wait to see how she grows and changes next.

I don't know when I'll next blog - hopefully soon, but my laptop is currently playing an interesting game of Russian Roulette when I turn it on, and it only decides to go through with booting up once every five times or so, so we'll see.

God bless xx

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