Hours of excruciating pain that seeped down to my bones had had a toll on me. Between pushing the baby out and catching some sleep in between the contractions, I was in a dizzy with the ambivalent thoughts bombing my brain left, right and center. Is the baby okay inside? Will she ever come out? Please, please cut me open, take her out, I can’t bear it any more! What will she look like? I’m so, so hungry. Just a few minutes to go, hopefully…
…and then I heard those three magical words: “The baby’s here!” I had never felt so grateful and accomplished all my life. I had just given birth. A new life had been created, and let’s be honest – a new death too, for there can be no life without death. I had helped bring forth a whole new human being, a person who would, in future have her own successes and failures, thoughts and perceptions, friendships and memories, heartbreaks and disappointments.
While the doctors were busy fixing me up, I was waiting for the sound of my baby. I had not been able to see her yet. She was delivered and taken away for a bath a few metres away from my delivery chair.
And then she cried. The cry I had been waiting for all those nine months as I tracked her growth on my pregnancy app. As she blossomed from the size of a red kidney bean to a raw mango and then gradually to a large pumpkin, I’d been wondering what it would feel like to actually see and hear this sweet little thing. Her first cry was intermittent and melodious, rising and falling as she caught her breath. In the symphony of my baby’s cries, I could listen to the helplessness of a new baby, a fragile, tiny creature who would now be entirely dependent on me for the next few months.
Mother. A word that embodies warmth, love, care and perfection. A word that for me, holds the power of the universe. A word that I could, until now, only feel from one side — a daughter’s side. A word that I could now feel from the other side too. My baby had just crossed the threshold and I had become a Mother.
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