Forcing The Narcissus
There are some things in life for which one must wait. Miss Vee's entrance into this world, just before midnight on the 25th of February, at 41w2d, was one of these. Waiting is impossible when you are ready for something to end, and even more impossible when waiting for something better to begin.
The potted hyacinths in our bedroom were purchased and replaced four times over. The irony of watching forced bulbs grow, bloom with the promise of Spring, and then wither while waiting for her birth was not lost on me. There is only so much you can do to force the narcissus -- in the end, you must still wait for the bud to open.
I would like to say I could write up a detailed birth story for her, but the truth is I can't.
After weeks of prodromal stop and start labour, going more than a week past dates, and a couple false alarm (or much needed reassurance) calls to my midwives, I wasn't entirely sure I was really in labour.
Twitter was the depository of weeks of #BabyTheLast frustrations for me, and that evening was no different.
I desperately wanted to avoid her being born on my brother's birthday, the 26th.
If I remember correctly, my midwives arrived at our home between 9:00-9:30pm. A check verified that Miss Vee still wasn't in position, but we couldn't really tell how she was presenting other than her head was down and her bum was up. Things picked up pretty quickly after that -- I was more relaxed knowing they were already here, as an accidental unassisted birth was a real fear of mine after weeks of wondering if I was going into labour.
I hoped for a relatively calm birth, similar to Boy#3, but it wasn't to be.
Miss Vee was stubbornly posterior and unable to descend properly until her position changed. Weeks of limited mobility coupled with the lymphedema in my legs had already made havoc with my lower back, so everything felt wrong and extremely painful.
I remember very little of the next couple hours other than wanting my husband with me (a new one, as usually I don't want to be touched in labour), swearing a lot, and wailing "This is a BAAAAAAD idea!!" everytime someone had me try a new position to coax her to move.
Eventually she and my body decided to work together and things went smoothly after that. She was born in our bedroom, on the bed where her brother was born. I helped catch her. I pulled her up onto my belly. I cut her cord.
I fell in love with #BabyTheLast.
"Oh [Vee], I have waited for you for so long."
What I do remember vividly is pulling her up next to me when she was born, looking at her, and saying, "Oh [Vee], I have waited for you for so long." I remember how wide open her eyes were, looking at me. I remember how she had her tiny fist pulled up next to her face. I remember her sucking on her hand.
She was born wanting to nurse at a healthy 8lb-3oz. She has the longest fingers I have ever seen. She has more hair than any of my boys. She was at her birth weight 3.5 days later.
Miss Vee is the happiest, most content newborn we have had -- worth waiting for.
And now our not-so-little family is six, and day-by-day we start inching beyond the baby stage and into a new chapter of family life, both bittersweet and exciting.