Reflections on birth: Things I never want to forget

1 July 2009 at 10:39 am 1 comment

We all have memories of our birth journeys–pregnancy, birth, and the newborn period. Like most women, I have pictures from when I was pregnant, from early labor, and from the actual birth, and I even have a video of the birth that my husband absent-mindedly shot while sitting next to me on our own bed. But recently I’ve realized that there are some things that by their very nature aren’t captured in photos or on video, and as a result fade in my memory. My baby is ten months old, so this is a list of things I never want to forget about his birth.

  • the earliest flutterings of movement in pregnancy, so gentle and otherworldly I wasn’t sure what I was feeling
  • the strong, galloping movements of my baby in later pregnancy, when it seemed like he kicked and flopped from one side of my belly to the other
  • the very real, tactile pleasure of oiling my rounded pregnant belly, with its taut skin and flattened belly button (I don’t know if the oil prevented stretchmarks or not, but it was lovely to apply)
  • the moist, furry head I felt, the first part of my baby I felt outside my body, first reaching two fingers up inside myself and then feeling it between my legs
  • the rush and release of pressure when my baby’s body was born
  • the unexpected nibbling sensation, waking me from sleep, the first time my baby found my nipple at night in bed and attached himself to my breast
  • the milky, mild, sweet, Rice-Krispies (I swear!) smell of my baby’s skin the first days and weeks after birth
  • the swelling, filling, tingling feeling and the intense sudden thirst that accompanied it during let-down the first 7-8 months I nursed (gone now, sadly–my breasts fill and empty but don’t call to me the way they used to)
  • the gulping/grunting swallowing sound as my baby nurses hungrily
  • the warm, rich, indescribable feeling and smell of my baby’s breath after nursing

What are some other things you never want to forget about your births?

–Christina

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. nursingbirth  |  1 July 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Wow, that was really beautiful! I haven’t had a baby yet but I hope to one day feel all those things too! As an L&D nurse many patients have commented to me something like “Oh well you should have had kids BEFORE you became an L&D nurse. Now you’re probably too terrified to give birth with all you have seen!” I usually answer something like “No, I actually am inspired and empowered by many of the women I see here having their babies!” In reality, If I am scared of anything related to being an L&D nurse its actually the high risk stuff…magnesium, PPROM, NICU, or bad labor management/practices, epidurals, pain medication, etc etc etc. The more and more I work as an l&D nurse the more and more I desire a home birth! And I am more than excited to touch my baby’s head as I push him out of my body myself!! Wow! Very cool!

    Thanks for the post!

    Melissa
    http://www.nursingbirth.com

    Reply

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