He’s here. My Miracle is in my arms. On Wednesday, I took my doubts into hospital and, on discussion with a very nice doctor, took their advice. They broke my waters at 3.25pm. At 8pm, I’d achieved a whopping 2cms. I sat harvesting colostrum, dragging on gas and air and watching the Masterchef final. Multitasking, even in labour. By the next examination, I was fully dilated and pushing with about three pages to go on the book I was reading. I really wanted to finish that book, but it had to wait.
It was a quick and easy labour, with just a little ventouse assistance at the very end, because the Miracle thought he was Superman and had his hand above his head. His heart rate started to dip a little, so he needed to hurry up. A second degree tear meant two-and-a-half hours of stitching, two midwives proficient in needlework and two attempts to put me back together, and I don’t mind admitting, it’s all a bit ouchy. The midwives have instructed me to rest and keep my feet up for a while.
Friends, he is beautiful. With Big’s pout, Medium’s chin and one of Little’s dimples in the middle of one perfect cheek, he’s simply delicious. There is so much you forget about the newborn days as your pixies grow. That amazing, intoxicating smell, the little mews and unique noises, the old man stretches with eyebrows pushed above their brows… I wish I could bottle it all. He’s perfect. I am so in love, it is overwhelming.
With every child, you fall in love with the ones you already have all over again. You arrive home from hospital in amazement that they seem to have trebled in size since you last saw them. The smiles on their faces when they see you are home and their baby brother has finally arrived are priceless. Big, a reserved and quiet little thing, likes to watch and observe for a while. As I closed my eyes for a desperately needed nap, I noticed her standing over the Miracle’s crib just looking. I watched her through my eyelashes, not saying a word, knowing this was something she needed to do. She went to get a book and read him a story. The first, I suspect, of many.
Medium wanted to hold him – just briefly. She did her ‘pleased’ face – a half smile with closed eyes, but it’s Little that has surprised us. She’s always been possessive of me, insisting on sitting between me and whichever sister was on my lap. In the later stages of my pregnancy with the Miracle, she’d happily sit on the top of my bump if it meant she was closest. If I held another child at a toddler group, she’d be over like a shot in floods of tears. I had visions of her sobbing as I breastfed the Miracle. Instead, she kissed him and has been loving and interested.
I strongly feel their need for my presence, though. I am following midwives’ orders and resting. In fact, I’m being uncharacteristically obedient. That might only be because moving really does hurt and triggers sets of explosive afterpains. But they visit, a little shyly at times. Medium climbed into bed with me this afternoon and just wanted to be there. We talked, gently, and I read her a story. Big wanted to read to me and to look at her brother. Little has appeared in a nappy and her wellies numerous times, inexplicably clutching a carrot. Despite exhaustion and the typical desire to guard my bruised and swollen body, I welcome them, cuddle them, kiss them and love them.
And like Jack’s ever-growing beanstalk, the love that the Miracle brings grows yet more. I should have remembered how the depth of my feelings for Lovely Husband grows deeper with each child. I’d forgotten. He was a rock during labour. So strong and so supportive, physically and emotionally. And then there he was, cradling the Miracle – so tiny in those huge hands – while I was put back together. And here is now, juggling the pixies, who are demanding and testing him, as they try to understand their place and the changes in their family; trying to manage the house; trying to make sure I can rest and recover, build a milk supply and ensure our son starts life with the love and security he felt inside me; trying to overcome his own tiredness and need to process the birth and the responsibility of another child; trying to cope. I watch him and I see him, this amazing man of mine, and I love him too.
Like I said, there is just so much love. Welcome to the world, Miracle. And thank you for all the love that you bring.