In case you missed it, you can find part one here.
With everything going on, I made two requests of my baby-to-be: arrive in October – anytime, so long as it’s October – and be under eight pounds.
I thought those were reasonable enough, and she apparently agreed.
At work, I managed to pass along the bare minimum of training so our new hire could run the office by the end of September. When October arrived, I could finally breathe. Training continued and October 6th became my last day to work. With the baby due on October 15, I hoped that would give me time to get the house in some semblance of order.
Early, early the morning of October 3rd, she decided she’d waited long enough. After a two hour labor (I’d never heard the term “precipitous delivery” before, but now am intimately familiar with it), our perfect baby girl arrived.
The thing about such a fast labor? My body never had time to catch up. In more ways than one. See, I never felt that flood of endorphin- and hormone-laden emotion everyone guaranteed would hit me like a freight train. The nurses put her on my stomach, and I felt nothing to differentiate her from any other baby I’d ever held.
I wondered what was wrong with me – what had broken and how I could possibly be a decent mother like this. I worried that I’d made a terrible, awful mistake.
Then that night when a scare landed her in the NICU an hour away from me, I wondered if I was about to lose her and this was my body’s way of protecting me.
She’s fine, by the way. Amazing, in fact.
In all that lonely soul-searching (I didn’t breathe a word of this even to my husband, who followed her to the NICU that night), I remembered that all relationships take work. I’d never considered that choice and that effort extended to parent-child relationships, but it makes sense. You have to work at it. You have to make a choice to work at it.
Or I did.
That choice for me was a no-brainer.
Everything since has felt so incredibly perfect and right. I’m loving motherhood. And you know what? I’m pretty awesome at it. My husband calls me superwoman.