I was in labor for a really, really long time. I was five days overdue when I went in for an induction. I was admitted on a Monday evening, and Charlotte Grace was born forty-eight hours later. I had two rounds of cervadel and a lot of waiting before they broke my water and started the pitocin at about 1 am on Wednesday morning. The contractions started immediately, and they were intense and right on top of each other. Charlotte was (finally) born at 5:30 pm that Wednesday, after a failed epidural, an episiotomy, and two hours of pushing. I was exhausted and in a lot of pain. I asked for something for the pain that wouldn’t impact breastfeeding, and they gave me morphine. I wish with all of my heart that I could take that back.
My first few hours after Charlotte’s birth are a haze. I remember seeing her for the first time, and I remember nursing right away – just like our breastfeeding class said I should. She seemed hungry, so I nursed a second time while in recovery. I remember asking the nurses if I could feed her again – I still felt like I was borrowing her and needed to ask permission. They took Charlotte to the nursery, and I sat in recovery. For two hours. I was having some bleeding issues and a fever that they wanted to keep an eye on.
I was so groggy from the morphine, that my memories of those first moments are not as crisp and real as I would like them. I remember feeling like I might fall asleep, and being afraid that I would drop the baby. I don’t remember them taking her away, nor do I remember anything from recovery after that. I didn’t start to feel normal until later that evening.
I do remember my first night as a mommy. I remember how small Charlotte was. I remember changing her diaper and marveling at how tiny her toes were. I remember watching my husband hold her and whisper to her, and falling in love with him all over again. I remember how she smelled when I held her close and nursed her; how she fell asleep tucked in tight against me. All I wanted to do was hold her, feed her, and breathe in her soft baby smell.
It’s been almost eleven months, and we are still breastfeeding. Charlotte’s sassy, independent personality has emerged. She crawls and cruises around the house with such purpose; inspecting every inch of our home. She talks, sings, yells, and holds a plastic phone up to her ear when I’m talking on my cell. She rarely has time to snuggle with mom, with all the playing to be done. But for now, we still have nursing. For a few moments a day, our world spins a little slower. Charlotte is my tiny baby again, snuggling tight against me. I know that weaning is around the corner, but for now I’m doing my best to soak up these moments with my daughter.
This post was written for the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is bonding. Come see what others are writing about breastfeeding and bonding!