Friday, March 26, 2010
Late on the evening of November 12, 2009, I went to sit on the toilet in my hospital room and laughed as the fluid poured out of me, splashing all over my legs, the floor, soaking my socks. I was soaking through towels faster than they could replace them, and I was slightly giddy as the baby's heartrate was strong and it looked like we were going to make it.
As I sat down, belly heavy and sticky on my thighs, I breathed in and I smelled it, the smell of amniotic fluid, damp and sweet. My water hadn't broken with Liam or Aoife, so this was it, the moment of olfactory memory, that suddenly tied the births together. I hadn't smelled it for six and a half years, but it was there, clear as day, the smell of birth that had first met me in the wee hours of the morning on that cool May night.
I can smell it now, in my head. Can you do that, try to picture a smell? It flashes through your mind so quickly you can hardly grab it, it's difficult to do. But I can still grasp this one, slightly, and it makes me feel very close to birth, and very lucky to have this tie between my first and last girl.
I smell the fluid, and the other smell which I can still remember so clearly, but will soon forget is that amazing, creamy smell of the newborn baby. Newborn, with the vernix still soaking in, that fresh, amazing smell of absolutely new life. It's akin to the smell of the fluid (not to state the obvious, given where the child has come from) but slightly its own as well. This was, of course, the smell of Charlotte, as she was only ever newly born. I visit her a little in my mind every time I give birth.
I remember these smells now, but wonder for how long I will be able to grasp them before they are lost. If I remember them every single day, can I forget them? I wish it could be bottled.
How will I ever stop having babies?
(but I will, now or someday, whichever comes first)