Saturday, May 11, 2013

My First Mother's Day

Harley was born in St. Mary's in Paddington, London, a scruffy public hospital where you brought in your own diapers and the beds on the ward were divided off with shower curtains.

Me at our flat in Pembridge Square, London, 1997

Harley, three months old, my sister's house, Auckland, NZ

Me and Harley last summer,  Isla Vista, Santa Barbara

Looking back I realise that even at the end of my labour I never fully believed that a baby was going to come out of me. Even when I was screaming with the pain, focusing solely on the picture on the wall in front of me, a faded print of three rabbits wearing bonnets.

But after that searing pain had taken me to the depths of what I could bear, and then, so, so far beyond, Harley was forced out - bloody and slippery. His skin was taut and plump and his curly defined lips seemed to be almost smiling.

“Yes, he came out perfectly formed” my mother would say later “other babies come out so mushed up and scrabbled. But Harley was perfect.” I realised later that every mother around the world thought exactly the same thing about her baby.

That was a moment where everything else in the world falls away. To see the creature that was inside you now outside of you. To smell the sweet stonefuit of their skin. And to put your palm under those tiny soles that have yet to touch the earth...

What is your strongest memory of that day?  Happy Mother's Day to you and your mother.

33 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, two of my three deliveries were fairly fraught for one reason and another, but yes - that disbelief that the bump is now an actual person is something I remember fondly. And then of course, the baby smell...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hope you have a good mothers day at your zoo
    And by saying creature inside you
    I went to ghoulie or gremlin land
    Here at my litterbox sand lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. It must be quite a surreal thing when your little babies look down on you... something a few years off for me (although as I'm short, probably not as long as I'd like!). Love your first mother's day story, grotty NHS hospital and all. I always look back and think what a strange experience having a baby is. In my case I had a caesarian after 27 hours of labour, and I remember seeing him after being in recovery for an hour and the disbelief that he was mine, although so familiar it was like he had always been there. Happy mother's Day x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, you don't ever get used to it, and he's actually even bigger now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh wow - you see I've not fully realised that my 9 year old is going to tower over me in a few years...isn't it amazing how they grow up so fast? What a handsome boy and I bet he loves that you put up that picture of him in his diaper at 3 months! So cute.
    Of course, we had Mother's Day here back in March but I'm all for another excuse to get breakfast in bed and chocolate. Must remind the kids of the US/AUS/NZ version in the morning!
    My strongest memory of both births was the amazement that a baby had actually been inside me all that time. A tiny little person. Awesome...took a few hours to sink in! Blessed to be a mama and love them to bits. Tho am ridiculously excited to be going away on a kid-free mini break with husband on Tuesday!
    Happy Mother's Day - hope you are spoiled all day xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bed in breakfast and choccy for you tomorrow plus have a fabulous day away Avril

      Delete
  6. So real and raw and beautiful. There are tears in my eyes, Jody!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My last baby was coming so fast the hospital staff was still trying to get me into a room when I felt the urge to push. They kept telling me to puff out my cheeks to stall the process. I finally screamed, "The baby is coming no matter how much air I can store in my mouth!" Afterwards the nurses told me they were trying not to laugh. It's funny now but I was in quite a panic at the time - she was born 4 minutes later!

    Happy Mother's Day to you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It struck me how much Harley looks like he'd be your little brother in that picture, all wonderful pics and a beautiful story you've shared.

    Happy mother's day, Jody!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lovely story - your Harley is such a handsome fellow! Isn't it a wonderful thing that the universe gives each of us the most perfect baby? Happy Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jody- With Evie it was a blessed but brutal two hour labor (I'm thinking you didn't get the epidural either, right?) and a then a little life in my hands. Loved my time in the hospital and then two days later pushed out into the bright world with my babe.

    Happy Mother's Day, Jody!

    Loretta

    ReplyDelete
  11. 'Tiny soles that have yet to touch the earth'....poetry...beautiful.
    Happy Mothers Day Jody....that pic is a beautiful portrait of you and your boy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. holding my baby girls for the first time ... what an amazing thing. enjoy your day

    ReplyDelete
  13. Our son was born the day before fathers day so the Shah got his first father's dy card very early. You don't want me to relate the birth experience here. Really. BTW, you are blogging so often, I can't keep up! I don't intend to miss any so forgive me if I do!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hope you had a wonderfully blessed Mothers Day. This is such a sweet post and what a handsome son you have.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've never had a child, but I was present at the birth of our two. Does that count? No, I didn't suppose so.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

    ReplyDelete
  16. HARLey, is gorgeous as his MAMA!You nailed it with the pain part!Why didn't anyone tell us!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ohh... this is such a beautiful ode to motherhood.

    Hmm--- what I remember most (and lets be honest, it was just 6 months ago!), was my own feeling of determination and then the way she stared up at me. She had these giant trusting eyes and suddenly I felt a whole new world in front of me....

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very beautiful!! I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day :) Gorgeous boy :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Harley is a handsome young bloke! And you... did not age at all. Oooh... don't remind me of labor. Bloody epidural didn't work!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful words, Jody, and a very handsome son.
    The birth of my son, 17 years ago, is still very vivid in my memory. Husband had delivered several babies in the same hospital during his training so he still knew a lot of the staff. I think he found it odd being the relative and tried not to interfere too much!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I remember both times not believing they were mine, because who said I could be a mother :)
    It was their smell that I loved the most. I wanted to capture it forever. But in the end, laundered the blankets they were first swaddled in!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your beautiful words have moved me so, Jody. You have such a handsome son. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day and that you were spoiled by you children. :)
    Ada

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love the photo of you and Harley!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a sweet post. You write so beautifully.

    Love the photo of you two. Hope it was a beautiful day and you were spoiled!

    xxKIm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also love the photo of you pregnant! Beautiful.

      Delete
  25. I'm not a mom so I can't say, but I know my mom tells the story of my birth every year on my birthday. And when my husband and I had a Preception (a pre-wedding celebration dinner/reception) a bunch of people introduced themselves to my husband as "Oh, I was at D's birth!" - I was born in the back of the car on the side of the high way, so I suppose it was fairly memorable :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. That was beautiful...I'll never be a mother, but thanks for sharing that special moment.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your son is so handsome. I hope you had a great Mother's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gorgeous baby and no adult too!

    I was so scared because I had a planned c-section and I cried when the anaesthetist read me my rights in case anything went wrong..I thought there would be about 4 people in the room but there were about 12. They placed him on my chest and he blinked at me and I felt such relief and pride and love. He will be my only baby and is very precious. 30 minutes later Mr FF had to leave for court to start a 10 day trial so it was just me and my son. He was born absolutely gorgeous too. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It;s the blinking that always gets you doesn't it? Like a tiny woodland creature

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...