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Welcome, Nux Gallica!

Welcome to the world, Nux Gallica. Here she is with her grandmother the day after her birth.

I shimmied up a storm before the night of the full moon, dancing to "Winter Sun" by Esperanza Spalding. Then Mr. G marched me around the mall to get those contractions going, and that afternoon I was in labor. When we got to the hospital I was not dilated and they were going to send me home, so I did some dancing motions in the hallway, and an hour later I was at 4.8 cm.

After that, things slowed down. I labored for 15 hours before taking the drugs they offered. Then I finally broke down and asked for an epidural, which I had hoped to avoid. 24 hours after my labor began, after three hours of pushing, finding out at the last minute that the opening of my pelvis is narrow, my baby was born healthy and whole.

I held her to my body the moment she was out, and she screamed so loud. When they took her away to clean and weigh her and give her a shot, she cried until she heard her father's voice say her name, and then she stopped and went still and looked at him.

My Nux Gallica has a sweet, calm temperament and immense strength for a 7-pound newborn. She has her father's hairline and the slanted line that looks like a part to the right side of her head, and she has her father's birthmark on the back of her neck. She is dark, with eyes like her father's father and her great-grandmother from the eastern Russian Arctic. She has my mouth and ears. She is more beautiful than I ever imagined she would be.

My labor was awful and did not turn out the way I had hoped. But I am in awe of my baby. For better or worse, nothing is quite like I had expected. I do not feel certain about anything anymore. I can't predict what will happen in the next hour or what the rest of my life will be like. I haven't slept for more than an hour at a time since Thursday. When I drift off, I dream that I hear my baby cry, and I wake up and run to her side even if she is sleeping quietly. Her father and I are so in love that we can't stop looking at her, even to sleep. It is exhausting and overwhelming. But it is so good. I feel whole. That is the only way I can describe it.

Sometimes perfection comes in a form you never could have dreamed until you are holding it.


  1. So excited for you, Genie! And I'm a guy that normally rolls his eyes when people talk about a baby being beautiful (c'mon, Jo was right: they all look like Winston Churchill) -- but your little one is definitely beautiful.

    Best luck on recovering your energy so you can continue to enjoy her company!

  2. Congratulations again. All of this stuff is normal, and labor NEVER goes the way you "imagine". Never. But you have a healthy baby and that is the prize.
    Good luck, sleep when you can, and savor these moments. They go by quicker than you could ever imagine. ( I have two daughters, a ten year old and a four year old).
    BTW, your baby is PRECIOUS.

  3. Wonderful news! I was watching for it :) Labor is a hard job, and you got through it beautifully; more importantly, so did she! What a love.

    You will sleep again. You will feel normal again... but these first few disorienting, sleep deprived, and dizzy-with-love days when you become a mother go fast. Revel in them :)

  4. Congratulations, good lady! She's beautiful.

    Also, awesome name!

  5. How absolutely sweet! Congratulations on the birth of your healthy baby!

  6. Thank you all! I am so in love. :D Her dad might even possibly be MORE in love. It's good to hear that everything we are going through is normal. I have never really known a new mother, so everything is new and surprising.

    Nux Gallica is not her real name ;) but I think it's cool. It sounds sci-fi, but it just means "walnut" in Latin. I ate a lot of walnuts during pregnancy.

  7. Congratulations; she's beautiful! And agreed: the uncertainty is completely normal. <3

  8. Congratulations! Oh, a baby. Now I am all squishy with baby-ness. Beautiful.

  9. Awww, she's beautiful! Congratulations!

  10. very cute. Congratulations. :)

  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! A lovely baby!!!

  12. Yay! Congratulations! She's a beauty!

  13. Congratulations! She's absolutely beautiful!

  14. I'm so happy you are both healthy. I had to read that again and let it sink in: 24 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing. Whoa, what a long ride.
    Congratulations on getting her here. She's a lucky girl to have such fabulous parents!

  15. Congratulations! She's gorgeous-- and look at those great lips! She's pouting for Hollywood already.

  16. Thank you all for the congratulations! She is the best thing I've ever made. ;)

    Molly, every birth is different, and chances are, yours won't be as bad! I sure hope you have an easier time.

  17. Awww, I'm so sad the labor was awful. I had a pretty good experience, but also went for the epidural after trying naturally. It was a hard decision, but dang, when you feel like you're being sawed in half - not good. I'll take the drugs, thanks. :o)

    She's BEAUTIFUL! And congrats! :D

  18. Thank you, Michelle! I'm glad I kept an open mind about the drugs. I wanted everything to be natural too, but there was no way. I probably would have passed out and needed an emergency c-section. The epidural was awesome.

  19. Congrats! She is quite possibly the cutest baby I've ever seen!

  20. And now your life begins. Many congratulations. One tip - video as much as possible for future joy.

  21. Proud auntie, here! I've shown her picture to EVERYONE even the cleaning ladies! International AWWWWWWWWW's abound! I cannot wait to hold her and give her lots of kisses! And you too, of course!

  22. Yay!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!! I was with my sister when my niece was born and it was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I didn't even know I was crying until my sister asked what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. One minute, no one else was there. The next, a beautiful baby girl was crying. It's incredible. Congratulations again!!!!!


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