The day I gave birth to my son, Harper, I made a birthday cake. I cleaned, I organized, I made pumpkin mousse pies for Thanksgiving visitors. I nested.
Fast forward 15 hours and I was home again with a newborn and a sore bottom. The birthing classes, the conversations with my midwife, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, journaling exercises from Birthing From Within—nothing prepared me for the experience of birthing. It was terrifying, exhilarating and hands-down the most powerful experience of my life. Naked and kneeling, I moaned and grunted through labor. And, birthed my own way into motherhood as I pushed my baby into the world. My life would forever be different in ways unimagined by me before that moment.
Our first days at home filled with family visitors, breastfeeding dilemmas and the constant slinging and rocking of baby Harper. All that I had heard about newborns sleeping for the first few weeks went out the window as my child demanded to be held constantly for those first four days. Listening to this little person, I adapted and followed his lead by nursing on demand, wearing him in my sling, and sharing a family bed.
This child of mine continues to surprise me. And overwhelm me with feelings so huge I sometimes don’t know how to contain them all. What began in those first few days as demanding cries are now the adament questions of a preschooler. This boy is a bundle of exuberance, tenacity, and sensitivity. He is both assertive and loving. And he is still my babe.
Harper, we love you so. And we will be celebrating your birthday all week long!
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!