Today was my first day on maternity ward. I showed up in the afternoon, upon which I was told that there was a lady in labour that moment. When the midwife asked her if I could observe, she said no. Bummer. Then I spent the next few hours brooding and waiting for people's cervixes to dilate. During this period, I also spent some time with a lovely couple who agreed to have me be present during the delivery. Somewhere in between then and their child's birth, I saw my first vaginal delivery by another couple. It was all pretty quick. I guess I've learnt all the theoretical mechanics of birth (ie. head being the limiting factor). But seeing those fontanelles in real life, that truly is something else. What I learnt today was that once the head's out (which can take a while), you have 10-15 seconds where the rest of the baby slips out like an eel.
So I'm going to put it out there. I have never cried watching a movie or reading a book, but today when the first baby came out, I may have felt a tear or two (tear as in liquid from the eye tear, not as in vaginal pelvic floor muscles tear ripping). It's hard to explain. I just felt so happy for them. Even though they were speaking a foreign language, happiness and joy is something that transcends all languages.
Then there was my actual delivery. This time I was gloved up and was helping the midwife with the lovely couple I got to know through the afternoon. And by the end of the shift, I had delivered my first baby. It was beautiful. And they were a beautiful couple (with a few other beautiful Norwegian children). When I first met them in the afternoon, we were strangers. By the time I left the hospital, I was officially in some Norwegian household's family photo album. It really felt like Christmas - you know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you open the presents and all your family is home. Somewhere during the process of evacuating a baby from her womb, something happened. We all bonded. And I mean let's face it - try topping childbirth as a bonding exercise... By the end of the labour, they made me promise not to leave the hospital without taking photos with them!
I don't know. After a couple of births, it'll become the same and I might (like one of my friends...lol) fall asleep during the actual evacuation of baby. But for now, this was my first, and I'm going to savour it for as long as I can because medicine is supposed to give me these highs. No matter how many deliveries I chart in future, this will always be my first. And it was as best a first delivery as I could possibly wish for.
Lykke til, baby!
(Good luck, baby!)