Like everything else in life, the long road of pregnancy comes to an end at some point… And labor takes over.
The thought of going giving birth can vary from one woman to the next, depending on how anxious, ready, excited, emotional, petrified, controlling (etc.) she could be.
Looking back, my perception of labor was that it was just a phase, like an in-between status that transitions from pregnancy to motherhood, and I prepared myself for it to ensure the process went as smoothly as possible.
I even had a secret birth plan that I managed to implement almost on cue (partly because I was lucky, and partly because my daughter is so fabulous she made sure mom was happy). Some of the points that are worth sharing include the fact that I was hoping to deliver during the daytime, to avoid adding more stress on a sleep-deprived-anxious-future-mom, on top of everything else that I had to go through. I was also hoping that the process would start with contractions rather than with my water breaking, as the simple thought of it freaks me out (don’t ask me why, it just does).
So in my implemented-as-secretly-hoped-for birth plan, I was glad to notice how the entire process went perfectly well. But then, over the course of that day, several thoughts crossed my mind that I did not expect initially, some of which were absolutely ridiculous.
- 5 things I used to do with my newborn that have changed with my toddler
- The second pregnancy: fairytale or reality?
- 20 super awesome reasons to appreciate the second baby
- My wake up call to motherhood
So, here they are….
The first contractions were not very painful, and they came in phases which give you about five minutes to relax. So each time they hit, I took deep breaths to ensure that I survived them without freaking out. And then when they were done, I felt proud. Not secretly proud, but the look-at-me-I’m-so-great and I-just-survived-one-more-contraction type of proud. The way I handled these contractions boosted my self-confidence.
The nurse touched my baby
When I was just about to deliver, the midwife measured the dilation to ensure that I was ready. At that moment, she touched my baby’s head.
I repeat: That woman touched my baby’s head three times!
When she told me, my first thoughts were: She’s so lucky, I want to touch that head too!
Crying (or the lack of it)
Now let me warn you, I’m the type of person who always reaches for the tissue box when I watch movies because I can cry my heart out, especially during highly emotional scenes like giving birth, and other stuff like that. So, when it came time for me to give birth, I was sure that I was going to flood the delivery room with tears. But surprisingly, that did not happen, as instead I was too focused on what was happening (check out point #4), so much so that I remember thinking: I failed the traditional giving birth-and -crying-scene!
As part of my stay-calm-and-feel-proud movement, I was surprised to notice how focused I was the whole time. I guess my maternal instincts started to kick-in, as I wanted to observe every single movement of the medical staff so that, should any complications happen, I could recall what went wrong and fight against it (they say that the short-term memory could fail you sometimes, and I didn’t want that to happen to me). Needless to say, this laser-like focus and sharp attention contributed in boosting my pride like never been before. Well done, I told myself.
I gave birth on Thanksgiving Eve and, in between my contractions, the full medical team was discussing their plans for the following evening. My husband and I joined in the discussion too (well, except for laughing and the occasional nod, I didn’t add much to the conversation). I remember thinking who knew one could discuss dinner plans in the delivery room?” (I know, cool but also weird at the same time).
I don’t mean the baby’s kicks, but mine. In my visions of giving birth, I somehow imagined that someone in that delivery room would get kicked in the face. As a matter of fact, I was so convinced of this, that when it didn’t actually happen I remember thinking how great I was. Again, another reason to be proud and job well done!
Cutting the umbilical cord
The next part after the baby’s birth is when dad gets to join in the fun and contributes in welcoming the new baby to the world by cutting the cord. The gesture reminded me of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
A truly phenomenal event.
If only the press was there (sigh).
My baby looked so much cuter than how I imagined. Her face was pinkish, her lips were cherry red, her black almond eyes were wide open and her skin was perfectly smooth. She was not wrinkled. Well done baby! I told her.
And so, after holding my newborn baby in my arms, and for the 325,003,135th time on that day, I felt ridiculously proud.