There is so much happening in those first days. What struck you most?
I remember the face of my little one and how mesmerized is was of it. I couldn't stop watching. And how nature did it's job and everything fits in like clockwork. Amazing that your breasts start making milk and your little one knows what do. The umbilical cord, meconium, the tears and emotions just to mention a few. If you really think about it (now) because at that time I just did it, too tired to think. Maybe that's nature too.

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Gea:

As a Practitioner, I see that mothers are surprised/elated that they came through such a phenomenal journey!!! I believe a sense of personal power is sparked or bust into flames because she made this great thing happen.


Nicole
Holistic Healthcare Practitioner
www.WholeCreations.com
It was all so surreal. Within a few minutes of delivering my first daughter, I was completely overwhelmed. I hadn't yet held her, was still lying there waiting for my placenta to vacate and then she started crying. I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into? How would I care for her? What was I thinking with this whole motherhood thing? But then she was finally placed in my arms. And something inexplicable took over. So to shorten this long, rambling story, I was most taken by how much I could love this teeny tiny bundle. It's been seven years and I still well up thinking about that very moment when I first felt a love like no other.
I was in shock and awe when I saw my daughter for the first time. I just couldn't believe she was real! My midwife set her on top of my stomach and I distinctly remember the sound of my fiance's voice, so full of emotion, half crying/half laughing, saying, "oh my god, oh my god." He was sitting behind me on the mattress in our "birth room." (I gave birth at home)
Ella Rose cried so loud and hard, I instantly wanted to soothe her just as I feel every time she cries now, three months later. She was so pink and small...I held her close to my chest and we began initiating breastfeeding, which she got the hang of about 15 minutes later.
Eric cooked me breakfast, (two dippy eggs and a bagel) and my midwife began stamping Ella's feet on our "I Was Born At Home" certificate. I felt like such a proud Mama already.
My grandmother and Mom were present for my labor and delivery. Watching them meet Ella for the first time was an amazing thing. I thought about how neat it was that there were four generations of women there to welcome Ella into our family...into the world.
Such an amazing experience. All pain forgotten; in the past.
I sometimes wonder if my love for her will ever "cap out." Haha...it just keeps growing every day!
I left our bedroom where our daughter had just been born about an hour earlier, with her all in a bundle in my arms, walking through the house, it all looked different. I mentioned to our midwife as she packed up her supplies that it was as though my perspective had changed. It was so amazing to know that my life was never going to be the same. I couldn't believe that after 37 weeks of anticipation that seemed like an eternity, I got to meet my baby. I was still in shock that she was a girl after everyone's predictions of a boy. I was in awe at how hard, yet rewarding giving birth at home was. And how did this little person just know what to do when she got her mouth to my breast? Our Creator is amazing. Many times a day I look at my now 3 month old daughter and thank God that she is a drug-free, organic baby.
The 'What struck you most ' question is posted on the homepage for a while and these are the responses that where posted there. I didn't want to lose them for the Group so I copy them here. Thank you all for adding your valuable experiences. It will help other women.
Gea

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Reply by Jenn George on June 15, 2009 at 8:32am
First what struck me most was how he looked like a mini of my husband, except he had my eyes and hair. I have always thought about my future kids and what they'd look like, and my son is more gorgeous than I had ever though. Also how he watched me. I remember a few days after his birth I was laying in bed and he was next to me. I was drifting off and when I woke up, I looked at him and he was wide eyed staring at me. He must of watched me sleep.

by Gea Meijering on June 15, 2009 at 3:42pm
Isn't it amazing. I do too remember gazing at my son. Remarkable. Thanks for your reply Jenn. Please join the group First Days on this website for more answers to this question.
Gea Meijering

Reply by kcb1266 on June 17, 2009 at 5:49am
she was so beautiful! i was awestruck. but i never knew babies could start screaming and not stop for months. i'd heard of "colic" but noone said it could begin within hours of birth. it was so overwhelming! after a 36 hour natural labor/delivery i was so exhausted and had send hubby home to rest and she just began to scream. i tried swaddling, nursing, shushing, everything i had learned. after about 8 hours of no success in calming her, i resorted to giving her to the nurses. something i never thought i'd do , but i was just so exhausted having not slept for 3 days. i was so looking forward to the babymoon period of bonding and relaxing and healing, but it was not as i had imagined/fantasized. it was so hard and i don't think anyone could be prepared for that intensity after such a long grueling process. now she's 2 and she is an extremely smart, healthy, happy and intense child. but, man, did that period of time traumatize us. i hope noone has to go thru this like we did, but it does end and eventually you block out most of those first few months ;) hopefully someday soon hubby will get past the trauma so we can work on a #2 and i just pray we can have that babymoon period we missed out on.

Reply by Anastasia Cunningham on June 18, 2009 at 7:12am
What struck me the most with my daughter's birth was how simple it was compared to my son's. Though I didn't plan it this way, I "walked in pushing," after laboring mostly in the car on the way to the hospital. I had planned a natural birth with a midwife, but being in an NYC hospital, I was nervous. I felt like a million bucks afterwards. I couldn't believe how calm and alert my daughter was. And I couldn't believe how easily breast feeding came to both of us.

Reply by Marla Ginter on June 26, 2009 at 8:49am
What struck me most in my first days after childbirth was how amazing it was that this little boy was INSIDE of me just days earlier. What also struck me was how weak I felt. I guess I thought the hard part was over after I gave birth. I hopped off the bed, took a hot shower, I felt great. The next morning it felt like a train hit me, thank goodness for ice packs!!!

Reply by Holly C 1 day ago
I think the feeling I remember the most is how utterly clueless I felt. You spend 40 weeks being so hyperfocused about the pregnancy and the 'big day' of the birth. Then hours or even days in labor and it seems like it will never end. Then all of a sudden it's over, the baby is there and I remember that definite "Oh my god, what now?" feeling. Especially since we were in the hospital for five days postpartum with no TV, phone or anything, making it hard to feel any sense of normalcy or to 'get on with life'.
I've had two very different new-mom experiences. My first home birth, though short, was super-intense. I labored six hours, but almost two of that was pushing, due to a cord issue. My beautiful boy was born healthy and strong, with the cord wrapped twice around his neck and once around the length of his body and between his legs. I had to deliver in a squat to get him out, and that meant sacrificing my perineum. There was a big tear, stitches, and exhaustion to contend with. Then we began breastfeeding, which was difficult and painful. But perhaps the most difficult thing as a new mom was realizing that my body was not my own...I was sharing it with my baby. I remember feeling less like a person and more like a science experiment, even though I was benefiting from the best, most nurturing and professional midwife care. Something essential and central to the Self is opened up when you give birth, and I think that it's not always easy, especially if you're self-centered, like me. You're not autonomous any more. Some independence is lost, and there is this tiny, beautiful person counting on you and depending on you for everything. There is a loss of control.

I think this can be really hard, even if the mother receives excellent support, because something inside her has to change. A new mother needs to be encouraged not to "fix" the situation, or to "get control" of it...but to surrender to it. To become a mother. To be overwhelmed by all the hormones and the love and the loss of self and the awesome burden of responsibility that are going to make her a more beautiful person with more depth of spirit than she could have ever imagined. She needs to be taught that sitting in a chair nursing her baby, learning his face, letting him hear her voice, is more valuable than anything else...laundry, the kitchen floor, missed social obligations, thank-you notes. Thank-you notes are a curse on new mothers...they should be abolished.

My second birth experience was so redemptive for me. It was much easier and gentler...another short labor, but without the intensity. My friend who was there called it a commonplace miracle because it just seemed like...not a big deal. And afterward, I was very intentional about reminding myself to savor each moment as if each moment was a world...a universe...a history unto itself. Even though it was still difficult, with childcare issues and double mastitis to contend with, I managed to find a place inside myself of surrender and peace.

I encourage new mothers to let go and seek surrender.
I just had my baby on July 15th, and what struck me the most in the first days was an intense feeling of love so strong that I was terrified beyond my wildest imagination of anything happening to my baby. I bought a co-sleeper so I could sleep close to my baby, but even that left him too far away, and I had to sleep with him right up against me at night so that I could feel him breathing and know he was okay. The hormones were so much more intense than I was prepared for too--lots of tears! Lastly, family can be such a burden! I was very overwhelmed and stressed by having family around--inlaws and my parents. There was so much unwelcome advice that was very disturbing to deal with. I am not sure how to get around that the next time around, but it is funny looking back now and realizing that really the only stress I had (other than a little trouble breastfeeding which is now resolved) in the first week was due to family, not adjusting to baby.

Oh, one last thing, I wish so much that I would have had a lactation specialist with me the day after my baby was born. We had a really hard time breastfeeding during the first week, which was tough. I think every first time mom should have a visit by a lactation specialist the next day after birth--I am going to tell every pregnant mom I meet, because I sure wish I would have done this! We got everything under control after the first week, but you really need piece of mind in that first week and with breastfeeding under control, it could have been so much easier.
I ended up having to have a c section which was NOT what I wanted at all. I was surprised how calm I was. I'd been an emotional wreck all day. Saw my OB at 2:30, had my section at 6:30 that same day so for those 4 hours pretty much all I did was cry. By the time they came to get me to take me to the OR, I was completely calm and anxious to meet my daughter. I was also surprised by the overwhelming feeling of love I felt for this tiny little person. I know everyone talks about it but until you experience it for yourself you really have no idea what it's like. I was also a little surprised at how excited my husband was. The anesthesiologist even told me that she wished more dads would react the way he was. He was giggling like a little girl the whole time and snapping pictures like the papparazzi! LOL I was and still am surprised how much and how often this little booger wants to eat! We've finally got the nursing thing down but those first few days were rough. One thing that really surprised me is that once you become a mom, you also become an incredible sap and everything makes you cry. I was looking back at the pictures my hubby took of her birth and I was weeping buckets. I was pretty much out of the loop during the whole process because I was drugged and they were sewing me up while she was getting cleaned up so seeing the pictures helped me feel like I was more a part of it. I am just amazed at how much I love this little baby who has so drastically changed my life (for the better) and how much I LOVE being her mommy!

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