In Her Words
The Door between Woman and Mother
Everything changes but the kiss
By: Rebecca Murman
When I gave birth to my son, Noah, I passed through the door between woman and mother. I had come from the land of being in control – since I was never around babies, I had no idea what was waiting for me in this unknown new world.
Noah was born via C-section due to arrested descent – he had a huge head, and he was in posterior position (sunny side up). I labored for hours, the drugs made me throw up more than I ever thought I could, until it became apparent that I’d have to have a C-section. (I still have nightmares that I am still in labor, years after the fact.) During the C-section, I could only move my head. I passed out while on the operating table while they worked (trust me, it had been a very long day), but for some reason, I woke up right as Noah was lifted up into the bright lights, into our world for the first time, this miracle that my body somehow knew how to grow. To say it was life-changing is such an understatement – no words describe the birth of one’s child.
But it’s with total clarity that I remember one detail about the birth. It was after he was born, and the nurses had done all the stuff they needed to do – weigh him, give him eye drops, bundle him up and hand him to his dad. My husband brought Noah over to meet me. I felt like a disembodied head as the rest of my body remained numb from the anesthesia. He brought Noah down, down, down, close to my face, and I kissed my son’s cheek. My first touch was not holding him, or touching him – it was a kiss. I was struck by the immense warmth of his fat baby cheek. He was so warm. It really hit me then — this was real. He was real.
Now, four and a half years later, I still quietly creep into his room every night to check on him as he sleeps. And I kiss him so softly on his cheek. He still has that sweet baby face, and his cheek feels just the same. I remain there, taking in his innocence, his purity, his angelic face and the smell of his sweet skin. And it never fails to send me back to that night, when I kissed my child for the very first time.
Tell us: What are your memories of your birth experience?