Clearly from the title of this post, you will be aware this will contain a few of my post birth memories. Whilst this has been prompted by the arrival of the new royal prince, third in line to throne, there will henceforth be no further references to the recent news which has seemingly caused a news black out on any other subject in the world, ever.
Anyway, the last couple of days blanket news coverage have reminded me of those oh so precious first few days. I vividly remember with fondness that first hold, still unable to feel my lower body due to the epidural (for the emergency c-section), the overwhelming love. I remember the fear when the husband left recovery room for home at 3am and I was taken to my own room (thank goodness my work had private health insurance as a benefit). I remember losing track of time and buzzing the midwife to ask if I needed to feed Harry (because I couldn't get to him myself). That first night I didn't get any more than one hour's broken sleep. Harry slept fine, he slept perfectly (and I was secretly smug after the warnings), it was me that couldn't sleep, that couldn't absorb that this precious, tiny baby had just been removed from my body and was mine. The husband and I were solely responsible for another human being. For the rest of his or our own lives.
A pretty terrifying thought.
Come midday, a mere 12 hours after Harry's entrance into the world, my family descended on us, vying to meet the new arrival. I was pretty sure that even the nurses and midwives were glad I had my own room when they saw just how many people came to visit! For the next two hours, Harry was alert, peaceful as he had been. My Auntie commented that she was no longer convinced I had given birth a mere 12 hours ago since he was so alert, so happy to be passed around.
The thing is, having had a major abdominal operation, I couldn't yet go home. Had my body let me birth naturally, I still wouldn't have been permitted home that evening since late in my pregnancy we had discovered I was carrying GBS and obviously we needed to be sure that Harry wasn't susceptible. So Harry and I were destined to spend another night in hospital sans the husband.
Except this night (technically the first one as he was born shortly after midnight), he cried. And he didn't stop crying. He didn't want to feed. He didn't seem to settle with me at all. I got so overwhelmed, so lost, so exhausted through days of lack of sleep and such a failure that I cried. I buzzed for the midwife who promptly came in and took Harry to the nursery, with my permission to give formula if needed.
He refused that. He didn't settle for the midwives but I got a 30 minute nap before I woke with a jolt wondering where my child was. After that short time apart, a good feed and some safe co-sleeping, he settled quickly and we both felt so rested.
As Harry and I recovered so well, we were discharged a day early after six hours of waiting for paperwork to be signed off; I bet the Duchess and new Prince didn't have to wait around!
There really isn't a better feeling than the euphoria of having a child. Equally, I don't think the husband and I have ever been so fearful as when we walked through our front door after leaving hospital and we were hit with the realisation that from now on, it was just the three of us and we would be winging it as first time parents.