Our first baby - a boy. It's beautiful how the birth of another child brings back memories of the last. I feel like I have this small window of time to record the things that had faded in my mind. Those memories feel so fresh to me now, like it was just yesterday that I held my first child and wondered how on earth I was going to do this.
I had the most amazing pregnancy with Finley. I had small bouts of tiredness in the early months and some leg and pelvic pain in the final but overall I was blissfully happy and ignorant to the suffering many face. I didn't work in the final few months and busied myself with spring cleaning, decorating the nursery and seeing movies at 11am on Thursday mornings by chance with Nelson Bay's senior citizen community. It was lovely. Until my due date arrived ... and passed.
I wrongly assumed that with such a lovely pregnancy, labour and birth would follow suit. This was not to be the case. 13 days past and our little bundle still wasn't budging. Knowing Finley now I can see what was happening in there. He was warm and cosy, sucking his two little fingers and content with things just as they were. I imagine it was a rude awakening when I was induced and the pressure was literally on to get moving into the world. I laboured for 12 hours with no progress and with his heart rate dropping things got very real and I needed an emergency cesarean. At the time I felt sad that my birth plans were crushed but hugely relieved that the pain would end and I would meet my baby. What was a long and difficult experience morphed into a party as the surgical team, fresh on for the day, went about getting our very stuck baby out. It took twice the normal time, with Finley so entrenched in my body that he just wasn't coming. They discovered the cord twice around his neck, so tight and close to the placenta that intervention would have been the only way to get our little boy safely out. To me this is a miracle. A miracle of the time we live in and the knowledge we have to safely deliver babies into the world.
Out he came and into his Daddy's arms. One very precious memory while I was in recovery was watching Levi walk towards me with our boy in his arms. They had spent the last 20 minutes together and I saw that they had bonded instantly. I can remember Levi's face - huge smile, eyes wide and beaming down at this precious gift. The long hours forgotten, nothing else in the world more important than this little life. Levi and Finley have a really incredible bond and I know it started right there in Finley's first moments on earth.
I have always thought of Finley and I as a team. I'm not a naturally maternal person (until I had my own) so didn't have much hands on experience with young children. I was a first timer, but so was he and I felt as though we set off on a new adventure together. He was patience with me, teaching me who he was and what he needed and together we learnt how to be. He had this way of looking at me in those early days and speaking to my heart. I felt like he was telling me, it's okay, I love you, we will get there.