This was originally published on this blog, formerly named Pondering Jane, in November of 2010.
by: Jennifer Andersen
It was one year ago today that I made my first trip to the birthing unit while pregnant with my daughter. I’m not going to use this space to share my birth story, but I will tell you that it was exactly one week later, and one week early, that Sydney Grace was born.
Given that it was a New England November, it was a naturally cozy time of year. I had spent the weeks before Sydney’s birth stocking up on comfortable pajamas and the most cuddly of baby blankets.
I made extreme preparations for my oldest child, including an “Owner’s manual” consisting of Owen’s likes and dislikes, habits and preferences. The neonatologist of the birthing unit had ruled that because of the H1N1 virus, only healthy parents and grandparents of newborns could visit the unit. I was devastated and extremely concerned, as I’d only been away from Owen for two nights of his life.
Labor happened naturally for me this time, in the middle of the night. Sydney was born the morning after I was checked into the unit. Even with a surgical birth, I fondly recall the days in the hospital that followed.
It was five days before Thanksgiving, which made me keenly aware of being grateful, and in a birthing unit that was already exceptional, this seemed to permeate the entire ward. The nurses were so kind, and took such good care of both me and my baby.
My parents and in-laws visited, but it was mostly Sydney and me. I am so easily transported back to those days of just the two of us, and the nurses just a quick call button away.
I was still nursing my son, so I didn’t have the challenge of learning how to breastfeed. This left me to just bask in the birth and closeness of my daughter. For five straight days we laid in bed; my pain managed perfectly, Sydney blissfully sleeping on my chest. I dosed on and off, or watched TV. If I was hungry, I picked up the phone and ordered food that was delivered by friendly people- who were rightfully awed by new daughter.
The nurses helped me to bathe and put on my own fresh pajamas daily. The sheets were changed, dinner dishes promptly removed and my water pitcher was always full. Beautiful flowers filled my room, gossip magazines were neatly laid on my tray table, and I looked out my window to see the majestic colors of the few leaves which remained on the trees.
I missed my son immensely and we video chatted frequently. I had my favorite picture of him framed and in view at all times. Finally, the day of discharge came. I brought my daughter home on Thanksgiving Day. It was so special, and I could not have felt more grateful.
Come back next week for part 2 of “The Most Bountiful Thanksgiving”.
Share a memory from the day your child was born!
Jennifer Andersen is the creator of Our Muddy Boots and lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children. For media and advertising inquiries, click here.
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