I would have 100 babies just so I could have the first 24 hours back again 100 times. But then I'd have 100 kids and I'd have to give birth 100 times. #nothanks
The entire pregnancy you're anxiously waiting to meet this little baby. Toward the end of pregnancy (or maybe throughout the entire pregnancy) you're growing uncomfortable and the physical symptoms are starting to take over. You're excited, but you may be experiencing pain, sleeplessness, heartburn, morning sickness, pelvic pain and pressure, etc. Then you have to move through an entire labor and birth experience, which may be short or long, difficult or not, possibly involve a major surgery, and is guaranteed to be a very intense mental, physical, and emotional experience.
And then it happens. The baby is here. YOUR baby is here.
And somehow, all that stuff melts away. Time stands still. The world stops turning just for you. I've often thought that there could quite literally be a tornado directly out my window at the moment of birth and I wouldn't have cared less. The largest rush of oxytocin IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE is directly after your baby's birth. Oxytocin is a love hormone that is designed to facilitate bonding, love, and also stimulate uterine contractions to expel your placenta and stimulate the uterus's postpartum work. This rush of oxytocin is why we can feel on top of the world after birth. And that, combined with all of the other hormonal work, gives us the feeling of immediate relief, love, joy, ecstasy, shock, and everything else that instantly comes with giving birth.
Not too long afterward, we begin to notice the aches and pains, but this time we have a baby in our arms. You're hungry and thirsty, and you don't care how food and water gets to you but simply that it does. There's no sweating the small stuff the day of birth.
Because remember? The world stopped. There's nothing to worry about.
It's such a strange and weird feeling. To have a soft, squishy belly. To feel for your baby and realize she's not there anymore, but instead laying beside you. Everything is new again. You go to the bathroom and quickly realize that everything is new there, too. You are about to take a nap, and then remember you have another little human to consider. You look in the mirror and aren't quite sure what you see. Your friends and family may be around, but you are almost on another planet. Not in a bad "checked out" kind of way. But more like you're only thinking of you, baby, and that birth. Everyone else is just kind of "there".
Your organs feel like they're dangling in free space in your belly. They used to be all squished up in there and now they're making their way back to their original spot and it's a strange feeling. This alternate reality? It feels suspiciously good. Is it possible to feel so out-of-this-world without drugs or alcohol? The birth high is real.
You don't really jump back into any type of reality that's worth thinking about until the next day. There's so much to celebrate! I could do the first 24 hours 100 times over. They're so special, sacred, rare, and dare I say it? So, so strange. And I like to savor it. And I hope you do, too.
^^^ Within the first hour of birth with my first daughter, Clara, who will be turning 4 this week. I'm feeling super nostalgic about her birth, which prompted this blog post today. XO-Maria