I specifically remember the moment I realized how much I loved him. It was 4a.m. and he was a little over 12 hours old. He and I were the only ones awake. Daddy was snoring on the couch, all the visitors had left, and the nurses weren’t around. It was just he and I. There I was, a brand new mother with the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen. He was laying in one of those rolly carts the hospitals have. I feel like they’re just a piece of over-sized tupperware on a cart. But I guess that’s really beside the point, huh?
So there I was. Sitting up in the bed and looking over at my baby boy, watching him stir. He was on the brink of exercising those lungs so I thought I better pick him up before he gets too upset.
I think up until that point, I hadn’t picked him up myself. Everyone had been handing him to me and getting us positioned just right. It was the first time I was going to attempt sitting up in bed, scooping him up on my own with 1 arm and trying to get us adjusted to breast feed, all while being sore as hell and really not wanting to move at all.
For a couple seconds, it seemed like an impossible task. I still had every gadget hooked up to me, wires taped on, blood pressure crap going off, you know the drill. You feel like you can’t move an inch without something beeping and nurses charging in. I tried waking up my husband, but at the same time, I didn’t want him to wake up because I wanted to do this on my own.
I reached over, put my palm under his head and somehow got him out of the over-sized tupperware on wheels, without waking anyone, without beeping, without ripping out my IV and most importantly, without dropping him. Seems minor until you realize he’s on your right side and your left hand is actually the one you have. (minor detail about me, I’m a right arm amputee)
I held that sweet little miracle and he looked up at me and I knew that he knew. I knew he knew who I was. I knew he knew my voice. I knew he knew I was safe to be with. I knew he knew he could trust me. After I realized he already knew all those things, I knew I would love him forever. I knew he would always be my little boy.
We bonded right then and there. We made a connection that I could literally feel. I felt my heart expand and at 4a.m., I made a promise to love him always.
In my head though, I always thought that ‘feeling’ and that ‘endless love’ that everyone tells you about, comes the second your child is born. I think what others forget to tell new moms is, the second you give birth, you aren’t exactly clear headed. There are emotions and hormones flying through every crack of the room. There are husbands who are either passed out or trying to hide their teddy bear tears. There are pushy mother-in-laws who want to know when she can expect the next grandchild and there’re usually some great-grandparents in the mix questioning you on the spelling and pronunciation on the name you’ve chosen.
Minutes, even hours after birth, isn’t always when you’re going to fall in love with your baby. Sure, you’ll know you love him but you might not always feel that connection you were anticipating, and that’s okay.
My idea of how this entire, birthing a child event was supposed to go, was way off. The thing I learned most is that, no matter how many birth stories you hear, yours will always be unique and special to you and your baby. I’m certainly over-joyed that Kaleb and I fell in love at 4a.m. with no one around, it makes our story that much more beautiful!