The first time I was asked what labor was like I answered that it was like dying, without dying.
I’ve never died, but I thought I was going to. I’m pretty sure it has been the only time in my life that I’ve prayed out loud. The worst part about having a high-peak contraction was knowing that there was going to be another one following it and the thought that I needed to start pushing a baby out of my body after dealing with such pain for a few hours at some point began to feel absolutely terrifying.
My body thought differently. There comes a point when you need to push. I was all, body we are NOT PUSHING, and my body was like dude we are doing this! Everyone insisted I could do it (and boy, did they made a cheering squad! Tangent: labor nurses must drink something special in the morning, because I can not imagine how they maintain themselves that cheerful and positive and vibrant through a whole shift. End of tangent.) so by mere peer pressure and after manfriend looked me in the eye and assured me that I was going to be ok, I somehow was convinced to start pushing.
In what other people say were about fifteen to twenty minutes, but for me felt like eight hours, I managed to almost push the baby out by myself. Almost because I couldn’t get past a point (I blame Demerol. It was my fault, I begged for it. Yes, I begged for the drugs, SUE ME. All I was given was some 50 mgs or something of Demerol, had I known that it was going to help NOTHING I wouldn’t have taken it. I also asked for food. I was eating a liquid diet between contractions, very much in my character; I did not forget about food.) and my doctor helped me with a suction pump for that bit and then I pushed the rest. At exactly 12:12pm on the first of June I became a mother.
Then came the first time we saw our baby and I remember there was a lot of noise, laughter and cheering and commands for people but all I could hear clearly was my baby crying and I kept yelling on top of everything else asking “is the baby ok?!” until the doctor answered, very calmly, that yes, the baby was perfectly fine.
A couple of seconds later they plopped that little bundle of life on top of me and I kissed the wet skin. And I know it’s cliché and it’s been said too many times before to even write it again but nothing has ever been so true: I fell in love right then. I held that purple, wet mass of a tiny body and I loved so instantly and blindly that it almost knocked my heart out. Yes, it was someone new and strange, but my baby’s eyes were wide open looking right at me and we knew each other from beyond. We knew each other from within.
I asked when I could try breastfeeding and the doctor said “right now”. As if my baby knew, as soon as I offered there was latching and suckling. I have never been so relieved that someone liked my tits. Ever. It’s been my baby and my tits since that moment. We make a good team, and by team I mean that baby owns me. Baby wants tits, baby has tits. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.