Around 5pm, I started contracting. Around six my water broke and by eight I was ready to push. The midwives came shortly after and guided me through a beautiful, gentle birth. The three of them surrounded me, but kept so quiet that sometimes I didn’t feel their presence at all.
The lights were low and the atmosphere intimate. I remember wishing to relieve the pressure I was feeling. I was so focused on the task that I hardly gave thought to the baby’s arrival. In fact whenever the midwives tried to bring my attention to the baby, I focused back on the pressure. The midwives were giving me verbal cues that reminded me of my body’s capabilities. They reassured me that what I was going through was natural and expected.
After 3.5 hours of pushing hard and strong, out came a whole human—a jiggly baby that super-manned into my arms. How magical and surreal! I saw it was a little baby girl, which was a surprise. My husband had such deep conviction that it was going to be a boy that he had persuaded me.
The feeling of her passing through my belly and coming into my arms was the most satisfying, fulfilling physical sensation of my life. I wasn’t instantly in love as I have heard some women describe their reaction to seeing the baby for the first time. I was in awe. My love grew with time.
In the first 3 days I couldn’t get enough of her. I kept her jiggly little body in my arms and on my breasts and tummy as long as I possibly could. I didn’t want to miss a thing. I lamented each passing minute because I was in bliss and I wanted it to last. At 6 days, I already missed those first few moments. I just wanted to stay suspended in time.
I’m grateful to my mom who gave me the opportunity to enjoy my baby girl without any household responsibilities. She allowed Eric and me to bond with our new baby. I also feel grateful to the midwives and Eric who did a wonderful job supporting me through the birth and first few days of Maritza’s life.