I wondered what it was like entering the world to the screaming cries of your mother. I don't remember my own birth, obviously, but I wondered how much was immediately recallable to my baby in the hours after her own arrival. My pained, panicky voice and burning body ushered in her head, but a rush overcame me and as I delivered her body suffering changed to joy. I tried to replace that possible first shrieking memory with all the tender affection I was bursting with. My little girl was here in her crying, purple-gray glory. And I had her immediately with me as they disconnected our bodies for the first time in 9 months.
The moments after were quiet and serene. Mike was with the baby as she was weighed and measured and before I knew it, it was just the three of us together in the hospital room. So much was so different from my delivery with Ada. Aside from the minutes prior to Olive's birth, the whole experience was much more intimate, personal and quiet than Ada's birth. Maybe that's why she chose the middle of the night to make her appearance—we all welcomed the added serenity of night.
My parents met us in the hallway with Ada as we wheeled from the delivery room to my new home for the next few days. Ada saw us down the hall and ran toward us. She knew immediately who the little person in my arms was, and she was just as immediately smitten. So was I. With all of us. A family of four.
To my girls:
Ada, you're already a tender and sweet big sister. Olive, you're already so lucky.