Giving birth is really a WOW and surreal event. It's only been about a week and a half, but it seems like much longer since I was big and round and rolly polly and getting annoyed by people who were constantly bringing attention to my girth. But then again, it's been such a quick 9 days since Abby was born late Monday (Memorial Day) night. Now, I'm enjoying sleeping on my back and getting out of bed with ease (which is a useful ability now that I am enjoying a series of short naps of a night).
I was fully prepared and accepting that my baby would be like many (if not most) other newborns, the ones who are "eh..." and bloom to adorable cuteness after a few months of ripening. I'm not someone who generally thinks that brand new babies are all that cute. Probably I'm prejudiced, but I seriously think my little girl was cute when she first came out, in all of her bloody goo. The miracle of childbirth...the first thing that I remember thinking is "Whoa, she's so pretty, not ugly!" I'm alright if others don't agree with me. I'm confident in my motherly pride of her cute little nose and facial expressions. I'm sure that all babies have such cute expressions, but since I'm not much of a baby person in general, I haven't been around little ones that much and this is all new and therefore exciting for us. Another dissapointment of this whole pregnancy thing though--I didn't cry when she was born. I thought that I would. I also thought that I'd have cravings, though.
Labor was...easy. Really. It was easy after the epidural, but I was speeding along quite well without it. But the giddiness and utter sense of fuzzy warmness is intensely satisfying when the whole process can be quite scary. I was only in the hospital for 6 hours before she was born. In fact, we came straight from my in-laws house where we were hanging out with the fam and eating ice cream (a common Cox occurence). We almost came back home rather than the hospital, but as labor moved along quickly once I got there, thankfully, we came straight to the hospital instead of driving 20 minutes to our house and then back another 20 minutes. We were prepared to do this since I started feeling the crampy contractions when I got up Monday morning. But, since this was my first experience with contractions, we really weren't *sure* until about noon. For all of those women who told me "Oh, you'll know when you're having a contraction"...psssshhhhhh. Obviously not. I thought I was, but they didn't really match the description(s) that I'd had from medical peeps like my doctor.
The epidural was faaaaantastic and made me somewhat giddy. It was almost fun lying there, chatting and joking with Ben (who totally rocked throughout the whole labor thing), watching the season premiere of "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" and then the Cubs-Pirates game (yes, I literally was watching the Cubs lose, a nice little punctuation note for the wonderful event, as she was born...a nice diversion), and watching my contractions come and go and come and come and come on the monitor by my head. The epidural was the best 4 1/2 hours of my medical history after the worst 30 minutes of pain that I've ever experienced. That pain level can really rachet up quite quickly apparantly! At one point as the anasthesiologist was working, I had a blood pressure cuff squeezing my arm, a big old contraction and a catheter being inserted in my back all more or less at the same time. But five minutes later...warm, warm fuzzy numbness.
The day was just full of bizarre, surreal moments for me/us. I.e. leaving the house in the morning knowing that we probably wouldn't come back for a couple of days and that we'd probably have a baby with us when we did return; walking into the hospital knowing that I was going to have the most painful experience of my life; changing into a hospital gown knowing that I wouldn't be wearing "normal" clothes for a while; having no qualms about losing all of my personal space; watching my body go through contractions without feeling it.
So it was wonderful, and tiring (mostly mentally), and the room service for the next 2 days rocked. Too many visitors. Sitting and waiting an hour to be discharged after we thought that we were already discharged. But in the end, we got to take the little bundle of Abigail home with us (wow...this one is mine, like, permanently!), and because of the delay in Abby's discharge, I took the nurse's advice and ordered one more piece of cheesecake for dinner on Wednesday. A little creamcheesey shooter to cap the hormonal smorgasboard that is labor, delivery, and recuperation.