You all know about the 3rd day bluesy/post partum/milk-coming-in day? If you’ve had a baby, you probably know what I’m talking about. I know it well. With all three kids, this day was real. Real as. I was warned about how the tears might flow, for unexplained reasons and how it’s hard to get a handle on it, but how it is also beautiful and emotional and hard and possibly a little out of control. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a feeler. I FEEL things. And so for me these days were full on. But I anticipated it.
What I had forgotten about, was the 1 week post baby endorphin high/low. Wow. Hormones man, they are HARD CORE. And so this past Friday it all came rushing back. I have to believe that for me the unknown of ‘going into labour’ has a lot to do with it – that hour by hour, reliving what went down exactly a week before, the ‘is this labour’ questioning, the call to the midwife/birth team, the drive to the hospital and the walking into (contraction-ing into) the delivery room… And then marking (and celebrating) the exact time of birth… Even the ‘settling into the quiet, safe, sacred space of your hospital room’… It all came flooding back.
And so after some tears trying to process this all with hubby, and some more tears upon messaging my midwife (and her always-beautiful replies), and some more tears in the shower (those are great hey?), hubby offered to take me back to where it all happened.
So last Friday at 6:30pm, we piled our new family of 5 into the car and went on our first official family adventure – back to the hospital where it all happened. Hubby pulled up at sunset, I hopped out the car with our 1 week old and paid the maternity ward a visit. And honestly… it was a bit random. Maybe I was expecting some ‘Hi Debbie, how are you, so lovely to see you again, would you like a coffee?!’ with the nurses I had befriended on my lone ranger (hubby-less) stay in the hospital. But it was random. I know, a little disappointing right?
Because it was on the way home, while listening to the CD we played when we brought all the kids home from the hospital, that it dawned on me. While place is significant, and always will be, PEOPLE are where it’s at.
It was my midwife (a hero of a woman, who, after being in her care makes me want to sign up for midwifery school immediately), who loved me, empowered me, lead me, and in return allowed me to lead in birth. It was my husband, who held my hand through it all, listened to my needs, encouraged encouraged encouraged, watched, witnessed, and believed I could birth our daughter into the world with grace and dignity. It was our doula, who was thinking about what I couldn’t think about at that time, whose mind was always on what I needed next, and who carried the journey of labour with me. And our friend and photographer, who I’m SOOO glad was there, to celebrate with us, to capture, to document the real life miracle that is birth (for which I am eternally grateful and will treasure the pictures forever!)
They gave me courage, they believed, they knew, they guided, they inspired and they empowered me (in ones most vulnerable state), to do this crazy, beautiful, natural, wonderful, hard, tiring, unforgettable and mysterious thing called birth.
For you, Susan, Theran, Thato and Rebecca. Thank you. May we all do for each other in day to day life, what you did for me in Delivery Room 3, 16 September 2016.
All pics: Love Made Visible