Runny, dripping, rambley, postpartum-y thoughts…
This sweet girl of mine was in no hurry to see the outside world. At 42.5 weeks, this was my longest pregnancy yet and the nearly 24 hours of labor was double or nearly double all but Iain’s birth. I was honestly starting to think that she wasn’t coming at all. At 38 weeks, a new baby felt eminent, assumed, a foregone conclusion, by 42 weeks the thought of actually bringing a new little one into our home was somewhat unfathomable.
Oh, but she has been worth every second of that wait. She has the longest fingers I’ve ever seen on a newborn. And the most perfect little ears. You really forget how tiny they are just at first, and Màiri isn’t exactly small by newborn standards!
I’m kind of obsessive about hats on little, little ones. My babies wear them constantly, except for the occasional picture (and immediately after it gets slipped right back on!). Oh, but her sweet dark hair! I keep sneaking my hand up underneath her cap to feel that darling soft fuzz. Her smell is simply intoxicating. Sometimes she will sit all curled up in my lap, leaning into my belly and I hold her close and think how strange it is for her to be in this space on the outside when it only feels like a moment ago when she was here on the inside. Maybe I was the one that needed the extra time. Perhaps I wasn’t quite ready to release her to the world just yet. All I want to do is lay and watch her and not miss a single moment. Oh, but I am a mother of 4 now. Four! And I don’t want to miss anyone else’s moments either!
So strange to have a daughter after three boys! For the first day and a half or so, I was genuinely concerned that we had made a mistake! I kept thinking, “We didn’t look that closely.” And then thinking how embarrassing it would be to have to go back and explain that to people! “Uh, yeah, no, sorry about that, we just missed a little something on our first check…” I’m fairly assured of her reality now.
A week or two before her birth, a friend of mine told me about a very peaceful and lovely dream that she had where I was giving birth (to a baby girl) and that during the birth I had literally hundreds of friends around me, singing, baking and cooking, running me baths, knitting clothes for the baby. And I really feel like that’s just how it was. We’ve had two dear friends come to bless us (bearing blessings from others near and far). Two more friends, both far away geographically, but very close in my heart, sent the most wonderful care packages, full of woolens and toys, play things and clothes for the boys and the little hand-knits that their own daughters had worn. The greater on-line community that they are a part of, who kept vigil for us during the birth and offered words of support and advice whenever needed. The birthtub, loaned to us by our neighbors and delivered to our front door. My midwife friend who came and brought us a bunch of extra birth supplies, just because, and preformed Cranial Sacral therapy on me before the birth and then came back a few days later for another long session with both Màiri and I. Oh we’ve been blessed. There was my doula friend who offered us free services, that I honestly never thought I’d take her up on, and then in the final half-hour or so decided that I would really like the extra support. I’m not sure that I would have made it through without her. And our dear sweet neighbor who took the boys and tried hard to make Iain’s birthday a special one in our absence. Including giving him a very special book that he had been coveting, that I know must have come from her own collection. Even B the Builder, who was at her house working, when he found it it was Iain’s birthday, went straight to his truck to see if he could find a little treat to give him (it ended up being a cherry Lara bar!). It was such a comfort to know that they were all being cared for and loved, even when I wasn’t able to be with them. And when they came back home, after just a couple of hours away, they brought with them a huge “Welcome Baby” banner that they had painted in their absence. And both our doula friend and our neighbor friend stayed with us for a while and made sure that all was settled and that we had everything we needed. And my own husband who built up the fire and heated water and lovingly washed my hair in a basin because a shower we unavailable to me.
And now, still now, we are being supported and nourished and cared for, by dear friends, bringing us fabulous, incredible meals…lentil soup and squash muffins and stew, salads, fruit, casseroles, so, so much abundance! We were always very isolated with the births of our other children, for various reasons and this has just been such an amazing and heart warming experience for us. There really are no words, but ever so much gratitude.