Ahhhhh, RELIEF. As my baby was handed to me, I could not even fathom what was happening. My fiancé, Albe, was trying to hand her over to me and I held her for a couple seconds and went to give her back. “I need to sit down first,” I said in exhaustion. (I had my baby in a standing position and my legs were about to collapse!) So we readjusted, I laid back on my fiancé and comfortably got to hold my baby. Staring at her in disbelief, I thought, “Wow she is actually cute!”. I am one of those “babies are weird looking” people…or at least was one of those people. A couple of other first words I spoke were, “Who is still here?”, “Where are those doughnuts?”, “My vagina is on fire!” and “How dilated was I when my midwife checked me 10 hours ago!?” (7cm!). After a good 15 minutes alone, delivering the placenta and then Albe cutting the cord (talk about delayed cord clamping!) we told the midwives to send in our moms…and to my surprise my best friend was still there too!!
As everyone came in to see the baby, my mom already had a doughnut (from my favorite bakery..my mother-in-law stopped on her way upon request 14 hours ago but I refused to eat during labor) waiting for me. As we all cawed over the new bundle and ranted about how crazy my labor just was, my mom fed me my doughnut, my baby girl began to nurse and my midwife, Yuliya, did a placenta mapping for us all! This was beyond cool. We got to see my placenta inside out and learn all the parts of this wonderful piece of me that kept my baby alive for 9 months.
After all of this, it was time to get cleaned up. I walked over to the shower, which was close by as my “birthing suite” was attached to the laundry room/full bathroom, and started the warm water. I leaned against the tiled wall while my midwife, Heather, washed my body for me. She was so gentle and so kind, she even offered to wash my hair which is so long its down to my butt! I told her lets just rinse it and put it up in a bun, that would be easier for both of us right now, plus I wanted to go see my baby ASAP! As Heather was washing me up, Albe was in the living room with our baby, our moms and Yuliya. They weighed her, gave her the Vitamin K shot, measured her head and her length and did the newborn exam! They put on her first diaper, clothed her and bundled her. All of this while I was in the shower!! Luckily, I had Lauren, my birth photographer, capture all of these moments for me and I am beyond thankful to her for sticking around for that.
After my shower I felt like a million bucks! A sore, exhausted, hungry, can barely walk, deflated million bucks, but a million bucks none the less! The couch was already pulled out into a bed (I actually did some laboring there) and I got to lay down in my own living room with my baby and my fiancé. My photographer left after this and my midwives shortly after – but they stayed until I was totally comfortable physically and mentally. My mom stayed that night on the other couch. As tired as I was, I don’t think I went to sleep until 8AM or so and of course only slept a few hours. Actually, later on that day, we had a tornado warning and a horrible storm! With a not-even-24-hour-old baby in your arms, that is pretty scary!
Being at home really kept me comfortable and flexible. I could send someone right upstairs to get me anything I wanted, use my own bathroom (although I still have flashbacks using that toilet after laboring in that bathroom!), eat my own homemade food (OK, my MOM’s homemade food), watch my own TV, watch my baby sleep her first nights in her bassinet and just overall feel, well, at home.
Thanks for reading my entire birth story and my postpartum blogs! Check back for more fun topics I plan to start blogging about! Feel free to comment about your first hours postpartum!
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