Two weeks ago she was inside of my womb, a part of me that was its own but inextricably connected to me. Together we brought her into this earth; mother and father working on the outside, baby laboring on the inside. In two weeks, my breasts have swelled with precious milk and I survived sore, blistered nipples and stitches below from tearing. I’m healing and my body evolved from a safe haven for Fei Fei to a fully equipped machine to care for my newborn. I’m astonished that I carried her for 40 weeks and one day and now will mother her for the rest of my life.After the night feedings, I settle myself by thinking about whom and what I’m thankful for starting with Fei Fei and Eric, our families and our confinement nurse Helen. Having help from my husband and a professional baby whisperer allowed me to grow strong and make the much needed milk for my daughter. Both of them approach baby care with calm and patience, which in turn makes Fei Fei calm. Helen prepares home cooked meals that promote lactation and shows me how to interpret Fei Fei’s cries and movements to anticipate her needs. Eric and Helen have tagged teamed burpings, bath times, diaper changes and putting her to bed while I’ve healed from the work of childbirth.
Slowly I’m taking on more duties but for two weeks, Eric and Helen took great care of both Fei Fei and me. They shouldered the baby care so I would not get overwhelmed or stressed out by the enormity of motherhood. I’ll be Fei Fei’s main care giver when Eric is back at work and Helen moves on to her next family. In the meantime, I’m taking advantage of the abundance of blessings I have in my life. I enjoyed 7 days of at-home Javanese massages where my midsection was wrapped with herbs to help my womb shrink and realign my hips and ribcage after birth. I’m taking my placenta pills, which are said to combat postpartum depression, help speed recovery, offer nutrients for my skin and hair and promote milk production. (FYI, January Jones ate her placenta too.) In my down time, I do a guided meditation from Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s latest 21-Day Medication series focused on flow.If we did not move to Singapore, I would not have met The Bumps or our confinement nurse Helen. I probably wouldn’t have taken hypnobirthing classes or so easily found a reputable service for placenta encapsulation. I wouldn’t have known about the Javanese massages or had a weekly housekeeper to clean our home. For the birth, we had access to excellent healthcare, hydrotherapy and the option for water birth. I’m grateful we birthed Fei Fei in Singapore allowing us to use Eastern traditions and Western medicine.
Today during Fei Fei’s play time, “Your Song” sung by Ewan McGregor from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack played on my iPhone. As I looked at my daughter, the song took on new meaning. I was overcome with maternal love as I listened to McGregor croon, “I hope you don’t mind. I hope you don’t mind. That I put down in words… How wonderful life is now you’re in the world.” My eyes watered and the song played on, “Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen.” My tears spilled over and my heart expanded as I looked into Fei Fei’s eyes and realized how she’s redefined love for me. Fei Fei brought Eric and I closer than we’ve ever been. With her arrival two weeks and two days ago, we went from a couple to a family. I will be eternally grateful she chose us to be her parents.
Fei Fei, life is wonderful now you’re in the world.