Our first child, Helen, was born in 2016.
Photographs made by myself, however, all text below has been written by my wife.
I'll never forget those first two hours when Helen was laying on my chest. We were both naked. Her tiny body and warm, humid skin. I can't recall how she looked like very well, however, I vividly remember smell of her skin. Wonderful, sweet smell (I have a very good olfactory memory). Helen smelled like this for few more days.
"Labour" - word recalled so often during pregnancy. Fear of pain wasn't huge. In fact, I was barely scared at all. I couldn't wait for that day to finally happen. I've been preparing my mind and body for nine months. Ninth month was hard. The wait has been unbearable at times, especially that I've spent last two weeks at the hospital.
During labour woman experiences very intense emotions. And pain, obviously. There was one moment when my husband told me firmly, looking straight into my eyes: "in case of emergency, we'll prioritize your health". Now we can't imagine living without our baby.
Five days before.
Five days before.
You focus all your energy and attention. During contraction it's important to listen to yourself, feel the rhythm or your body. I particlarly needed silence, breath and my husband's laps to lean on whenever pain wore off. No tenderness, just collaboration.
My husband's presence was priceless, however I remember I needed solitude for much of the time. He was there, but I needed to focus on myself. We didn't talk most of the labour. I didn't even want to scream, it would've been a waste of energy.
Force of the push is coming from the inside. It's not particularly magical, woman's body just does it itself...
An hour in.
The only thing about Helen's looks that I remember are her eyes. Wide open from the very beginning.
Labour is devoting one's of intimacy. You need to let your makeup, haircut and all other masks go. You're naked, just like God has created you. And he created you beautiful. I've never felt more womanly than on that day, even though I looked horrible. This photograph is my favourite portrait of womanhood.
After few hours it turned out our baby has breathing issues. I haven't slept that night, which I spent next to her bed. My husband arrived in the morning and took over. He proved to be a greatest support to me then.