On July 12th we went in for our weekly appointment. I told the midwife that I was hoping that the baby would make his arrival in the next few days. She gave us some insight into the "natural" ways of inducing labor and assured us that she thought he would be coming within the next few days based on the fact that I was 3cm dilated (though I had been for over a week). As she was leaving the exam room, she patted my belly and said that the real trick to starting the labor process was the "touch of a midwife". Little did I know, that just might have been the trick :)
I remember having a conversation with a friend who discussed being in the moment and enjoying the process of her child's birth. I was conscious of this desire to take in every part of labor and I recall saying several times throughout labor, "I can't believe that this is happening." Once he arrived, it seemed like time stopped for a while. The room was a buzz, but I just remember soaking in every sound and surveying every ounce of this new life. I loved announcing his name as Charles held him and feeling this great sense that it fit him from the very start. We loved him during the pregnancy, but seeing him solidified this overwhelming love that I have only encountered when Julia arrived.
Charlie's birth was so different from Julia's. Since the moment that he was born, there is a greater sense of certainty that everything is okay in the world. Things may be uncomfortable, but everything feels a bit more natural. He is so content and when he is awake he looks around with these curious, deep eyes. He makes it easy to relax in his presence. I would have to say that this is a great quality in a baby!
And as much as labor can feel like a blur, I realize already that the first few days are an even bigger blur of activity and visitors and adjustments. We documented on video the moment that Julia met him. She confidently walked in the room with her hands in her pockets and stopped next to the bed. She was initially a bit overwhelmed, but about 10 minutes later was teaching him songs and wanted to tickle him. She has adopted her baby brother into every part of her day and talks about him non-stop. She wants to see him as soon as she walks in the room and is anxious to hold him with some help. We opted to come home on Thursday the 14th, which was about 30 hours after Charlie's arrival (as soon as we possibly could!). Julia had come in that morning, but was home having lunch when we pulled up to the house. She came running down the walkway and proudly yelled, "Happy Mother's Day!" Yes, it does feel like mother's day, what a great way to capture the joy of bringing home a new baby.
Here are a few pictures of these moments throughout our first few days with Charlie. We are excited for our family and friends from near and far to meet this little one!
July 12, 2011 - our last appointment
8 hours later - the one and only labor picture�