Three weeks ago this little man fell out of me like a slippery bag of sausages. Yea, that's what it felt like. And well, he didn't really fall out, I more pushed him out with all my physical and mental power. Standing up, using all my legs strength to push out and downwards. Gravity being my best friend in that semi stressful moment. Tired after 24 hours of labour, I decided to push with all my life, just to get the baby out and be done with the pain already. Risking ruining both holes at once. I pushed through a thick mental barrier of fear that momentarily had inhabited my mind (afraid of destroying all future opportunities to ever be able to have sex normally again), but quickly and non-destructively he tumbled out in between my legs. Falling towards the floor: head, shoulders, body, legs, all at once. Our doula just had time to throw her hands out to pick him up a few cm's above the floor. The relief! - when we could determine that, yes he is alive, seems healthy and happy and super hungry! And yes, my va-jay-jay and rectum are still in perfectly usable condition. That moment of relief....
Thank you universe... Thank you from the bottom of my bottom, I mean my heart.....
Three weeks. Everything is different. Never have I been peed, shat and puked on like this before. Never have I felt more like someone's private 24/7 cleaning, laundry and food servant. Waking up at all odd hours in the night to get back into my milk machine duty.
Rowan's father on the other hand is the one to most often dance/sway/sing baby Ro to calm when he is crying for no particular reason as I may be too tired to get up and move on my feet. A milk cow and a dance monkey, that's who we are now.
On the other hand, normal every day life pre-baby never offered this many spontaneous laughs and magical moments. Constantly amused and amazed by all the weird, funny and cute things a tiny newborn creature occupies himself with daily. The faces he makes. The way he sometimes attacks my boobs with hands and mouth as if he were a predator. The way he sometimes acts so weirdly grown up. The way he always want to stay near us. Calms down and stares at us with his beautiful big eyes when we sing for him. There's great healing power for hardened adult souls in the sense of feeling so utterly needed. In seeing yourself in someone this magical and perfect.
We share bed all of us, Rowan close next to me. Every night as we go to sleep, I feel immense gratitude for having this beautiful milk monster lying next to me, pushing his tiny little feet against my stomach. The exact same way he did while he was still in my belly, but from the other side this time. I have mostly gotten used to the 2-4 nightly occasions when he wakes up to feed. Managing to fall back asleep relatively easily after feeding him. I've always prioritised 7-8 hours sleep for myself, and I still do. Just that it now takes me around 10-12 hours to get in as many hours. We normally go to sleep at around 11pm, and by 9-10 am, I have hopefully gotten the total desired hours. If I lack hours, I make sure to nap while he is sleeping during the daytime. Often times, all three of us fall asleep together in the middle of the day.
To get enough sleep is so important in order to function well. Lack of sleep makes you more prone for letting frustration get to you. Tiredness drains you and you automatically become less focused and less intelligent as your body and mind fight to stay awake. It's easier to get into a silly unnecessary argument with your partner if you haven't gotten enough sleep. Reversely, it is much easier to stay clear-headed and calm in stressful moments if you feel rested. Knowing this, it's super important for both of us to make sure that the other gets the hours we need. We both need to feel as strong and awake as we can during this testing period. The most challenging parts are the brief moments when baby cries out for no apparent reason, like newborn babies sometimes do. You know they do it, it's part of the extraordinary huge mental and physical development they are undergoing in this early stage, yet you feel helpless in the moment, and the emotional investment makes you additionally tired. You would take all the pain in the world for him not having to go through it. Have to keep reminding yourself that this too will pass... it's a developmental phase and there's nothing wrong with neither him nor us. In fact, we're all extremely lucky to have each other.
Breast feeding works so well. He literally latched on a few minutes after he fell out of me three weeks ago and has been hooked to my nipples ever since. Loving the connection it creates. And being able to grow and nurture my son through the means of my body, it is quite amazing. He is growing so well. We have got a pump and bottles but I rather be his personal milk cow all hours of the day now at least the first few months. I'm sure time will tell when we're ready to move in to a new phase.
So grateful that both my partner and I are able to stay home to share the work this newborn baby era requires. I often think of all single mothers who raise their kids alone. It's not an easy job, this baby thing. I totally understand my previous self who didn't want to head into this life of less sleep and less time for yourself. I get it even more now than ever, that having babies, may not be for everyone. It requires huge emotional, mental and physical investment.
For me, the time was right only now, it wouldn't have been earlier. It may be that I get forgetful and a bit dazed from not getting as regular sleep as normal. And it may hurt my heart and soul when he cries out for what seems like no specific reason every once in a while. Yet these are all the exact things my life is meant for right now. I have always loved my life, always been grateful for what I have. And it's amazing to see that after all the years, I have yet arrived to this next level, getting a chance to experience what proved to be the greatest meaning of life. The greatest challenge, of course. But to build and devote my life to my own family - that is exactly what I want from this chapter in life.
The adventures we are going to have together... it feels like life just has started.