Where your life changes forever
The first few minutes after birth
We love Hollywood movies, right? Your body always looks perfect during pregnancy, your make up stays on during labour, birth only takes about 3 pushes and babies sleep through the night right away.
So sorry to disappoint you, nearly nothing is true …
BUT this does not mean maternity isn’t beautiful! Just way harder than shown in the movie “What to expect when you’re expecting”.
Especially the first few hours and days after birth are not shown on TV. Because they are though, beautiful, overwhelming and raw. Right after the baby is born and it is able to breathe on its own, the midwife/OB-GYN puts the screaming, warm, soaking wet baby onto the mother’s belly. Not only after spontaneous births but also after caesarean section.
Seconds after you are being told to push for the hundredth time, been telling everybody for the thousandth time that you are done and want to go home and right at the moment where you are barely able to open your eyes because of how tired and exhausted you are, it is suddenly done. The baby is here.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” – Rajneesh
Some women start to cry right away, some start to smile and cuddle and hug everyone immediately, but MOST of all need a minute. Like the baby needs a minute to take the first breath, to fill the lungs with air and to realize, it has to live on its own now.
Mothers need time to take a breath, realize that pushing is over, coming back to their senses and accepting the fact that pregnancy is gone.
And taking a minute or two to realize and catch on to this life-changing event is completely legitimate. You and also your partner don’t have to react like a Hollywood actor. Take your time.
As your baby slowly starts to adjust to life outside of the womb, so do you. So after your very last push, your baby will land on your belly or between your breasts, it will feel wet and warm, and the midwife will cover it with some warm towels. Nothing about this moment is gross. Quite the contrary! The baby is wet because the amniotic fluid has been protecting it from the outside world, and this fluid is sterile. There might be some traces of blood and sweat, but as soon as your feeling of being overwhelmed fades and you start to recognize the little bundle of life in front of you, no blood or sweat or even baby poo can hold back the feeling of pure joy.
And as soon as you start to speak to the newborn, it will recognize your and your partner’s voice and calm down, it will even start to look for the nipple to drink already!
This time right here right now is time to cuddle, to get to know each other, to fall in love in order to mobilize all the hormones for lactation and to adapt to the change. No aunts or doctors or phone calls necessary, just the newborn and the parents. Trust me, it is early enough to tell everyone waiting after 30minutes that your baby was born. You will never EVER have this moment again, these first breaths of life and the offspring of a new family.
Don’t be angry with yourself if you don’t feel the connection right away, it is also the first breath for you as a mother/father.
A moment you couldn’t imagine while being pregnant.
A moment of overwhelming joy and exhaustion
A moment of love and meeting your new family member for the very first time.
Lean into this moment and just let it happen, without any expectations of how it will be.
And even if your hair is messy, your partner is crying, the make-up is gone and nothing turned out like you thought it would- it will be perfectly fine. Because nothing matters any more.
stay safe, stay healthy and remember
it's not pain, but power!
your midwife Sarah