Thursday, 7 April 2011


The first days have been unreal. And for the first time in a long time, I have been forced to be mindful, every second of every day. It's odd how time slips away so painlessly when you're too busy to notice, you'd think that would be when its passage would be felt more keenly, because time is presumably precious when the hours in the day to get everything done that you're meant to.

Yet during those first nights, spent in the hospital with GM sleeping and trying to recover by my side (he has, true to form, admitted in retrospect that he was maybe just a little bit terrified that something would go wrong with me or the baby, although my mother has mentioned several times how calm he sounded when they were on the phone), and even when we got home to our flat where the bedroom wall paint has barely had a chance to dry, I have never felt the passage of time so intimately, painfully almost.

Looking at this beautiful creature flailing its arms in my lap, how little she is, how perfectly formed, acting on instinct only and seeking comfort, feeding, sleep with admirable singularity, and knowing that when this second, minute, hour, night, has passed, it is gone forever. She will grow a little, become more sentient, that moment will never return, it will be lost. I try to savour these moments, etch them into my brain somehow, daring barely to blink in case I miss something.

Of course, remembering that level of detail is impossible, especially when one is getting by on 1.5 hrs of sleep at a time. But that feeling will stay with me. When they say parenthood changes you forever, I think to me, knowledge of that feeling is what is implied. Once it's tasted, it lingers and though it wanes, it hangs like a shadow in the back of my mind always, even in the daytime. Is it love? I'm not sure. But it's something bigger than myself, something outside the scope of just me, this baby, my lovely, amazing man. And it amplifies the sound of sand passing through the hour glass of my life, it echoes in my head drowning out everything else.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I've been so busy since Christmas I've not even had time to blog. And now she's here, our little miracle.

Birth was tough, tougher than I'd hoped, I don't think I'd have survived without the heroic, nay, epic, support of GM. But now the whole ordeal with vacuums, arms stuffed inside me to dislodge stuck body parts and multiple midwives battering my belly seems so distant, as if it happened to someone else. And the emergency cesarian didn't happen. All's well that ends well.

Was it painful? I don't really know how to answer that. At first, the pain was there, but manageable. And towards the end, it was washing over me in waves, rendering me a crying, helpless child in the arms of my lover. I don't think the pain was unbearable though, not in itself. But on top of utter exhaustion, it was too much. Epidurals really are the gift of God to birthing women.

There are only two things I remember very clearly from the birth. The first are the hands of my man, holding me, soothing me, his chest against my cheek, his arms pressed around me, holding me tight, his voice whispering words that now escape me. The smell of his T-shirt, how good it felt to have him to hold on to, even when my body was being torn into pieces by contractions or medical staff of various valor. The knowledge, deep inside, that this man will stand by me always, he will never leave me. And I will never want to leave him either.

The second is the feeling as the baby slipped from my body, how hot she felt, and I was thinking how she could be so much hotter than me, coming from inside me. She was put on my chest for a brief second before being whisked away because she wasn't breathing, but as she touched my skin on the outside for the first time, she seized to be an abstraction, a series of hiccups in my abdomen at 0430 in the morning, a heel poking out below my right hand side ribs, a heavy feeling on the opening of my pelvis, and started to be a person in her own right, and I knew she was the same one, it was odd, knowing her movements and the weight of her body so well, yet knowing nothing at all of her as an individual. GM went with her to see her being weighed and massaged, and I lay there crying, the absence for a minute of them both seemed to go on for ever, or maybe I just cried with relief, or from sheer exhaustion.

She slept for hours after being born, not even awake to feed or make contact, I guess we were both exhausted after being pushed this way and that by contractions for 36 hours. When I was going for a shower after being stitched up and having a rest, I couldn't stand, I had to be wheeled in a wheelchair to the room where GM, baby and I were to spend our first nights together. I've never known anything like that level of exhaustion, there was simply nothing left of me. Yet pulling the baby to me in her sleep, watching her tiny hands reflexively clutching my index finger at night, it didn't matter that I was too tired to move. She has arrived. And it is true what they say, life will never be the same.