Three weeks ago, in the early hours of the morning, one of the most magical things happened to me.
I had a baby! A beautiful, chubby, instantly-adored girl. She is definitely my best work to date, with the smoothest skin of any newborn I’ve had the good fortune to meet and the most kissable cheeks to boot.
We named her Molly Aurora, after two powerful and inspiring women; the first my grandmother, the second a goddess.
Molly’s birth was was a timely reminder that there is only so much control we have over events… usually far less than we think. The experience ended up being about as far from my ‘ideal’ as you can imagine. But it was still incredible and, looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I laboured for two days (and nights) before finally meeting our baby by way of an emergency cesarean. As I said, about as far from what we’d imagined as you can get! Jon joked that we got the RPA sample pack… starting in the antenatal ward (to kickstart labour), moving to the birth centre, being transferred to the labour ward the next day, and finally ending up in an operating theatre during the wee hours of the following morning.
In the end, I loved it. The whole thing. Because it’s the story of how we met our daughter.
I’m sure my positive feelings about the experience have a lot to do with the incredible midwives and doctors we dealt with, who gave us space and autonomy throughout. I also stayed in a good headspace the whole time, feeling empowered and in sync with Jon and our baby.
Having had such an excellent pregnancy, I’d trusted the birth would follow suit, expecting to push my baby out naturally and be home the next day. Not quite, as it happened.
Although I had been prepping my body, and doing everything possible to help bring on labour naturally (exercise, acupuncture, herbal medicine, spicy foods, sex, visualisation, etc…) I got to almost two weeks past due date and no dice. This kid would not drop down and contractions were not forthcoming. A theme that continued even after labour commenced (and continued… and continued) until we agreed to further intervention and finally, the C section.
I cannot adequately describe the moment Molly was born, other than saying it was magic.
She wailed and sneezed blood over us. We laughed and cried. She was put on Jon’s chest, then she was put on *my* chest. So surreal. So natural. Like I said, magic.
Recovering from surgery was something I hadn’t anticipated (ouch, by the way) and slowed me down considerably; but every day I feel more myself physically, mentally and emotionally. Rest, good food, zinc, probiotics and bioflavonoids are all helping. I’m also watching Molly closely, seeing as she missed out on bacterial inoculation courtesy of her surgical delivery. Happily, she breastfeeds like a chubby champ, so although I can’t replace what she’s missed, I can ensure everything from here continues to set her up for good health now and into the future.
So far, we’re loving parenthood and the expansion to a family of three feels like the most natural thing in the world.
We’re also not taking things too seriously… because, really.
A huge shout out and heartfelt thanks to my beloved husband Jon, our lovely doula Cassie and the incredible staff at RPAH who all played important roles in bringing the beautiful Molly Aurora into the world.