Enjoying My Second Birth

***Anecdotes and advice from a Supermom of 12 children

When the big day came I had done everything possible to prepare. Both my mother and my sister were with my daughter when I left for the hospital with my husband. I left the future big sister sitting in her highchair, nibbling on crackers as she watched my mother stir a huge pot of borscht. As I kissed my little girl's cheek, I thought how different this was from the last time around. I knew, more or less, what to expect during labor and delivery and I knew what it was to be a mother.

She was small and purple

As with my first birth, my uterus remained stubborn and lazy, refusing to yield the final prize for many more hours than was usual. Much like the first time around, it became necessary for the doctor to induce my labor.  After the first delivery, I grabbed for my baby's feet as the nurses attempted to put her into a warming bassinet. She was small and purple and I said, "Oh! She's so ugly."

My husband said, "Yeah. She looks just like you!"

I rolled my eyes at his clumsy excitement and amending my earlier opinion I cooed, "She's so cute!"

I then pleaded with the medical personnel,  "Oh, please let me have her!"

My love for her felt so big it might burst through my skin

At last they let me have her and I felt overwhelmed with love as I nursed her for the first time. I had suffered through a difficult pregnancy and an agonizing labor. I wondered at women who were able to perform this amazing feat more than once. It didn't seem possible that I would do this again, though my love for her felt so big it might burst through my skin.

All too soon, the nurses took my infant from me so they could weigh and bathe her. My birth had been like every birth and no one else's birth. I had earned my rest.