I can hardly believe my son Max was born more than 3 weeks ago. He is my third child and he is the perfect little person to complete our family. Each of my children arrived in their own unique way in different parts of the world. My first son arrived after an induction in Germany and my daughter was born after a quick but medicated labor in Florida. Max? He was born March 1 after a rather long and frustrating labor, but I accomplished my goal of a natural, un-medicated delivery in a small hospital in Alabama. (You can read the whole birth story here.)
My family, doctor and the hospital staff were incredibly supportive of my desire to have a natural birth and I was even more impressed by a hospital policy to encourage immediate mom and baby bonding. When I was admitted to the hospital, a nurse gave my husband, mom and I a flyer that said after the delivery of a healthy baby, the baby would be immediately placed on my chest for at least an hour. The flyer made it clear that time was meant strictly for mother-baby bonding and that just as the hospital staff recognizes its importance so should family. This is probably the most progressive thing I’ve encountered in our time in Alabama and I absolutely loved every moment I had with Max before he was measured, cleaned and examined.
That first hour with Max was lovely albeit slightly frustrating. Max didn’t scream immediately upon his birth like my other babies. It took him a few moments to come to the realization that he was no longer in the comfort of my womb. But once he did? Oh my goodness, he cried and cried. He was inconsolable, really. All I wanted to do was admire his features, get to know his every inch and let him get to know me. It made me rather sad that I couldn’t comfort him immediately.
After what felt like forever, but was actually about 20 minutes, Max calmed and I tried nursing him for the first time. Though it had been more than 3 years since I nursed a newborn it’s truly like riding a bike… It just came back to me. The experience felt completely familiar even though I’d only met little Max minutes earlier. I was comfortable and knew what I was doing, but it took Max a little more time. He didn’t exactly latch on in that first hour we had together, but he nuzzled and made an attempt.
The next time we tried to nurse, a couple hours later, Max latched on. And he’s been latching on and eating every couple hours since.