It was nothing like I expected. For one thing, it was a lot messier, and I can't believe I had to actually deliver the placenta just like I delivered the baby. Okay, it didn't hurt like labor, but I still had to push again, dammit.
The most unexpected part was when the amazing little squirmer was put on my rapidly deflating bump. That feeling! That feeling was totally different than I expected. No one could have explained it fully to me. Women don't talk about that feeling as much as they talk about the process, and the pain - of course the pain is always discussed. The length and severity of labor is worn like a badge by moms just like trucks are worn by dads.
That feeling was totally overwhelming. It pushed aside all else - all my fears. My fear of becoming my mother, my fear that I married my father. It all went away.
The climax of this exhausting act, the birth of my child, gave me that same soul consuming feeling as the climax of the act that created her. Knowing that feeling is shared by generations and generations of moms gives me peace. I know I will make mistakes, and I also know I will do everything I can to help my daughter grow to a loving, nurturing, strong woman who will someday experience that feeling if she so chooses.
Any journey that starts like that is bound to be incredible, because it is fueled by love. Real love that is willing to sacrafice for the good of the other. And, it starts with sacrificing sleep. I can't wait to get out of this hospital!
I can't believe I am a mom!