Excerpts from a new mom's journal
BIRTH ... Before I knew
it, she slipped out of my womb, all wet and slippery, and was delivered to my
warm belly by the midwife. Kay had an elf-like look with her wide grimace and
petite features. A ruddy red complexion. We love you baby! I spontaneously
cried out over and over again. I did not care nor was that curious about the babys
sex. It was my midwife who encouraged me to look between her legs rather than
tell me her sex. She was sucking on my nipple within 10 minutes of birth and remained
on my belly, skin-to-skin, for her first hour of life.
My husband seems
to be bonding rapidly with Kay - for some reason this surprises me. Hed
nuzzle his face up to hers, touch her all over and smell her sweet newborn sent
from the top of her head. I seem to be taking longer to bond distracted,
perhaps by the pain in my perineum from the unnecessary episiotomy and 15 stitches.
... I feel too emotionally overloaded to call anyone about my new daughter,
especially after my husband just spoke to most of his kin. It takes too much energy
to socialize, break the news and recount my labor and delivery story to my extended
DAY 2 ...
Home from the hospital. I couldnt sleep during the night with Kay in between
us in bed. All I hear is my husband's snoring and babys stirrings. Sleep
deprivation has already set in despite a postpartum high.
In the wee hours
of the night, I went into the guest bedroom to sleep a few hours leaving them
peacefully sleeping beside on one another. My husband later told me that when
he awoke and noticed I was gone, he thought hed had a nightmare that
I had been abducted and he was now a single father.
Kay briefly opened
her eyes for the first time. Slate blue. We have been on a blissful newborn high
all day today, reveling in her angelic blank-slate perfection. Appreciating her
velvety soft skin and sweet baby smell. Laughing when she kicks her legs when
being diapered. Lips smacking, grimacing, smiling; eyebrows raising, and an occasional
high pitched squawk ... My belly button is now an innie!
4 ... Its a wintry 15°F outside yet warm sun pours in through
our bedroom window onto our bed. Kay lies naked and completely relaxed in the
sun, wearing only red sox over her hands to prevent face scratching with her long
nails. Those nails are difficult and nerve wracking to trim. We took an entire
role of film of her just basking in the sun (later we learned the camera had no
My husband wants to connect more with his family and mine, now that
we have a child. Talking with his brother on the phone today was sobering. (H
recently married a woman who already raised her kids and has no desire for more).
He sounded sad, like hed just realized hed never know what it was
like to be a father.
... Finally a relatively good nights sleep, up breast feeding only 3 times
last night. I wore ear plugs and eye shades in between feedings so I wouldnt
hear every gurgle. My perineum feels better although it still hurts down there
when I cough, sneeze, or blow my nose. How does the rest of my body now feel after
childbirth? More feminine with large swollen breasts, a belly pooch and now more
We saved Kays first finger nail clippings. I placed them in
an Indonesian locket my husband gave me for my birthday. I am wondering if the
dreaded postpartum blues will set in. I must stay rested, connected to my family
and friends, and eat well.
... I am tired. I need rest, a massage, a hot bath, someone to wait on me so I
can just nurse and love Kay.
... I am totally overwhelmed and stressed out with my husband being out of town
for 9 days. Its just me and Kay, 24 hours a day. How do single mothers do
it? I am educated, healthy, and capable, and family just a phone call away. I
now have compassion for those irritable mothers Ive seen in Safeway, snapping
at their kids, seemingly at their wits end. It does take a village to raise
a child and keep ones sanity.
MONTHS ... At the 3 month mark, where I hear of many women going
back to work, Im grateful I can afford not to work and be with my baby.
I dont miss my career right now with all its obligations. It would feel
like a major, unpleasant distraction to go back to my work right now. All those
milestones of Kays I dont want to miss. Would I feel different about
my career if I were 27 years old rather than a new mom at age 38? All I know is
that I love the 24 hour immersion of caring for my daughter, by choice.
would now have a 12 year old child had I not had the abortion while in graduate
school. I know I would not have been so available as a parent back then as I am
now. If I had married back then, it would have been shotgun style. I doubt I could
have been as happy for I was not in love with the man who was father.
need to be mothered so I can feel nourished enough to mother Kay. We traveled
to my parents to introduce Kay to the whole clan. Mom has transformed. Shes
gone from being a self-centered, career-oriented professional to a loving, compassionate
and generous mother and grandmother. I am blown away by this transformation. Its
as if shes finally given herself permission to mother me as an adult. Three
generations of females mom, me and Kay all nourishing one another
in our own way. Im glad Ive got a daughter.Emily
more stories -- share your story
find an abortion provider, call the National Abortion Federation
toll free at 1-800-772-9100.
Having worked for 7 years in family medicine and women's health care, Emily
has shifted her career at age 38 years old to full-time Mom.