It's Munch's 19-month birthday! Hard to believe that 19 months ago my up-and-down-the-stairs toddler was just a little lump in a pink-and-blue hospital administered cap. After hearing the wretched birth story of a close family friend's new nephew, I thought in honor of this sort-of birthday, I'd do a 5 Things post about what happened immediately after Munch's delivery--things only me, my husband, OB, and a few other hospital staffers witnessed.
1) "What do we have?" Though I labored for over 24 hours, from the start of the induction process, I only had to push three times. In fact, I was shaking with the effort of "holding it in," clutching my husband's hands, as we waited for my OB to travel the 20 minutes to the hospital. Again, even in birth, Munch did things when he was good and ready and then, full tilt.
So after the third push, out the baby came. Hubs and I hadn't found out what the gender was, so we were waiting for the "movie" "It's a WHATEVER!" moment. Dr. J didn't say anything as she held the mewling babe. Through my sweaty haze, I asked, "What do we have?" and she said, "It's a boy."
2) Skin-to-skin. Then, Dr. J placed just-born Munch on my chest. They'd told me we probably wouldn't get to do this little ritual because of evidence of meconium in my water after it broke and they'd need to whisk him away to clear his lungs (or something?). But there he was. This tiny, red, wrinkled being. His eyes were wide open and he was looking right at me. His forehead was crinkled with the effort. And he had this look on his face like, "What the heck did I just go through?"
But we've also felt like Munch is an "old soul." He settled right into our family and the world from the start, like he was taking a place pre-appointed for him. And so, yes, in those first seconds, his eyes did look familiar and it was like he was seeing me for the first time but with a settled, you're-what-I've-been-waiting-for air. I found myself saying, "Oh my God," over and over. It's the first and only time I've ever held a miracle.
3) Thirst. Again, after about 32 hours in the labor process, and after an entire day of only having ice chips, I was parched. After I was stitched up (lovely) and Munch was screaming through his first bath and weigh-in and Hubs was following him around with a huge smile on his face, the nurse sat me up and gave me an ice-cold drink of half ginger ale and half cranberry juice. It was the most refreshing beverage I've ever had.
4) The naming. Hubs and I had a short list of three boys' names (though honestly, I can't remember one of them). Right after Munch was born, Hubs said not to say what name I was thinking yet. I knew which one I wanted. Luckily, we both thought the same thing when we met Munch.
5) The feeding. I was so nervous for the first breastfeeding. How would my body know anything needed to happen? How would this newborn baby know that he needed to do something? But he knew. With the nurse's help, Munch nursed. I'm trying to remember if he was laying across my lap or in what would become our preferred method (the football hold)--and I feel like he was laying across me that first time. His little lips, eyes still open. He was a natural, and, with his help, I became one too.