Everything you hear about being a new parent is true: labour is the worst pain you can imagine, the nights are long and sleepless and the postpartum emotional rollercoaster puts you into places you aren’t sure you can handle. But nothing can prepare you for the actual experience.
Only 8 weeks into the job, I am finally seeing the fruits of my labour- literally. The past 60 days have been emotional, exhausting and enlightening. Since my gorgeous boy has come into my life, I have experienced a love unlike I’ve ever felt before. Despite functioning on zero sleep, deciphering wails and soothing sore breasts, I have never been happier.
Through this ‘new mother’ series, I am going to talk about four of the major elements I’m exploring as a mom for the first time: Labour, Sleep, Feeding, Diapering.
It’s true: Labour is THE most painful experience ever but it is also the most empowering, exhilarating and rewarding. I was very lucky with my labour – Not only did I have my spectacular husband at my side from beginning to end, I had a supportive midwife and smooth, complicated free delivery. Although it lasted for 17 hours from start to finish, active (or painful) labour only lasted about 5 hours and I pushed for only 51 minutes.
Most of the day, I laboured in the comfort of my living room while watching a Blue Jays play off game, managing the pain with deep, controlled breaths. By the time we went to the hospital 3 hours before the baby arrived, it was almost time to push.
There were times during active labour when my ‘mind over matter’ practice failed me and I didn’t think I could actually push out a baby. I cried, sobbed in fact, and squeezed my husband with a strength neither of us knew I possessed.
The final hours of labour were truly disgusting: blood, urine, bile and amniotic fluid all over the floor. My body was in an involuntarily primal mode and I moaned as the immense pain moved lower in my body. I felt as though my insides were pushing themselves out of my bottom all at once.
‘I can’t do it! Just pull him out!’
My midwife looked at me, brows furrowed and said, ‘Natalie- This has all been you. You can do this. You will push this baby out.’
With every bit of strength I had left, I screamed and my whole body shook with one final, all consuming push.
Next thing I knew, there was a little baby lying on my chest looking up at me, a tiny creature gazing into my face. Finally, after 9 long months together, we were able to meet and we stared at each other open mouthed… in awe.
It was the greatest high of my life and just the start of the greatest adventure of all.
Natalie Preddie is a Ddrops guest blogger. She is also a freelance writer who lives with her husband and dog in Toronto. They just had their first baby and couldn’t be happier! Natalie has been published in the Toronto Star, Star Touch Magazine, PAX Magazine, Vv Magazine,The Baby Post and her popular travel blog, The Adventures of Natty P. Natalie believes that travel is the best education possible and encourages family and friends to explore, discover and learn in order to grow. Natalie also believes in finding deeper solutions in mind/body instead of just treating symptoms. In 2014, Natalie won the Canadian Public Relations Society: Young PR Pro of the Year Award. This year, Natalie won Travel Writer of the Year 2015 for her series on Ontario’s Norfolk County.