I love this child.

Giving birth is an incredible thing. So many mothers call it a surreal experience. That moment that comes after pain, a release comparable to nothing else you could imagine. It’s when this living screaming floppy warm thing flops out of there and placed on your deflated sensitive belly. Ew. But, entirely amazing. If you haven’t been there, just trust me on this. Or, if not me, well there must be someone else who has been in this vulnerable place of uncertainty that you know.

For me, after that moment I’ve heard someone’s voice say, “Honey open your eyes. Your baby is here. S/he is beautiful!” It’s a nurse, or the midwife, someone who thinks that baby who she has never met is sweet and well worth looking at, touching and holding. It’s this space in time that I’ve been anticipating; this loud first cry, the movement of life that’s been inside my uterus for nine months, now outside healthy and whole. I know that not all moms are blessed with this healthy end to pregnancy with prospects of a lifetime full of joy.

But, I haven’t been there for any of my four full term babies. If a good mother equals one with her eyes open the instant after delivery to caress her baby…that’s just not me. I melt in tears, allowing myself to give in to all that I was brave through, now that it’s done. I’ve always filled that pause with myself, letting the pros weigh measure and wrap what I made.

During the delivery I try to keep my eyes open, my jaw loose, hoping that will help me focus on the usefulness of the contraction rather than fight against the pain. (this makes sense only to women who have delivered?) With Abbie, as soon as my feet were put up into those stirrups and everyone quieted for me to pass thru that ring of fire, as so appropriately named as the physical sensation of this passage is comparable only to what I might imagine the buring of flesh might be. Just before the baby comes I entirely felt like nothing other than the need for a deep sleep. That voice I eluded to earlier said something she hasn’t before, “Just curl around your baby, push, push, she’s nearly here.” Curling sounded relaxing, and peaceful. Surreal, maybe.

My eyeslids felt heavy and everything relaxed through my whole body. That voice that tells me to open my eyes encouraged me to push, “Come on sweetie, it’s time to push that baby out. It’s time now.” My husband was there too, and my mom, and the doctor. Such high expectations. I knew that no matter what happened next, everyone would tell me that I’d done a good job. Or at least they always have before. Finally I felt it. And there she was–floppy, warm, and loud.

I love this child.

Of course I love her.

She’s mine. My Abegayle. Abbie.

“Open your eyes, Sweetie. She’s here. Open your eyes, Hon”

Instead I cried, I always cry. My so intentionally open eyes just couldn’t, I’d like to open them. Isn’t that what everyone does?

For me, the I Love This Child Magic happens when the people have gone. When the moon is up and my baby’s breath is the only thing that matters, right there against my cheek as her small body lays next to me tightly swaddled. She’s here, her hair is soft and her cheeks are warm. She’s mine and I am hers. We’re one, as we always have been. Wanting to see her I turn on the television that’s mounted on the wall across from the hospital bed. By it’s blue glow I look at the baby. Touch her hands, look at her tightly closed eyes and kiss her forhead. She’s here, I’ve waited a lifetime, and look forward to a lifetime of watching this child grow and one day have children too to love.

My first child, Diederick. My second, Little One. My third, Carly. My fourth, Koen, and now my little Abegayle Joy. Each child amazing. Fearfully and wonderfully made.

We’re home and doing very well. Still getting to know each other, after one week at Grandpa and Grandmas and now trying to keep flu-ish germs at bay.

2 Responses to “I love this child.”

  1. tammy says:

    Congrats Laura! Thanks for the new posts! I didnt know you were blogging again. heh. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your new daughter, she is so wee and precious. God bless you as you recover and settle in!
    tammy recently posted..lesson twoMy Profile

  2. laura says:

    I never really forgot about my Blog, it just looks that way what with my not being a regular on here for a good four years or so :(

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