Monday, March 3, 2008

Birth

"She looks so much like you. She has your mouth." This was one of the first pieces of information my husband shared about my daughter that made its way through the morphine and lodged itself in my brain. Over the past eleven weeks I have heard that time and time again. And it's true. Her little nose and the lines around her mouth are shockingly familiar. There are moments when I could swear I was looking at a photograph of myself. However, a frown and a cabbage patch doll nose are not all we have in common. The more she develops, the more I see personality traits similar to my own. She's already showing a determination that borders on stubbornness and a tendency to over react. While I expected to share some things in common with my daughter, I didn't expect this to show itself before birth.
Some women are thrilled when they find out they are pregnant. They eagerly wait for their husband to come home so they can share the news in some super- cute manor like presenting him with a pair of baby booties. I, however, was not one of these women. After taking four home pregnancy tests I called my husband on the verge of tears. After he came home we went and bought even more tests. After six additional positive tests, I spent about a month in denial. I had no desire to be a mother.
It's not that I never wanted to have children. I always figured it would happen eventually - somewhere down the road. I figured we would both be established at good jobs and have our own house before we got pregnant. I still was considering graduate school and wanted some time to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I didn't want my only career accomplishment to be sticking with the same restaurant chain for five years. I was not ready to be a mother.
Nine months later when my water broke I was excited, but still a little skeptical of the whole situation. Apparently so was Mouse. She was just as afraid of change as I was. For months she had been safe and warm. She was familiar with our routine. She was content with her life. When my water broke and my body began to usher her into a new phase of life, she refused. After 25 hours of labor I was cut open and together we were forcibly born into a new life. She as a baby; me as a mother. It was a violent and unexpected birth for both of us. And neither of us has any regrets.
It took Mouse about one day to adjust to life outside the womb and she has decided that she loves it. She is a happy ,content baby. Despite her stubbornness and over dramatic reactions to hunger and messy diapers ,she is one of the most laid back, easy babies I have ever known. She sleeps through the night and is content tolie on her back and watch anything you put in front of her face. She recognizes the voices of a few people and is thrilled to hear them. She smiled for the first time a day after she was born and has hardly stopped since.
As for myself? I couldn't be more content with my new life. I am learning to enjoy all those domestic activities I once found dull and boring. I find enjoyment in trying out new recipes and received a sewing machine for Christmas. My favorite part of the day is when Mouse wakes up from a nap and breaks into a smile at the sight of my face. If given the choice, four months ago neither of us would have chosen this idea of “birth”. Ironically, it was the best thing to happen to either of us.