I was in complete awe of him, I was amazed that I had created and grown such an amazing creature, but I didn’t fall in love with him. Not that first moment our eyes met.
Maybe it was because I had a C-section and I was vomiting my guts out due to the anesthesia and a stomach full of steak risotto. Maybe it’s because the birth was so sudden and surreal. Or maybe? Maybe that’s not just how it happens for some.
Maybe, like our milk, it takes a little while to come in. The first few days, weeks, months after a child is born are full of so many changes that maybe it just takes a while for your heart, body and brain to all catch up to one another.
I always was told, and always imagined, that the love for your child came immediately and so those first few days, I was worried something was wrong. I wasn’t feeling depressed, I was so very happy. But I wasn’t in love.
Not when we met, not when we brought him home, not the first time I successfully nursed him. I remember thinking, “Is this what it’s like? Because this is the same feeling I have for my dog. And wouldn’t that be weird? If I loved my dog the same way I loved my own flesh and blood? Is this it?” It was like I was promised a Maserati and instead got a Mustang. It was still good, but not as magical and extravagant as I was told it would be.
Thankfully, I did fall in love, so very desperately in love.
It hit me with such a sudden ferocity that I was left gasping for air. Like a wave that lands you flat on your back with no recollection of how you got there, this is how I fell in love with my baby.
We brought Will home on the first of the year, 2015. That first night, well, it wasn’t as easy as the nurses made it seem in the hospital. That next day, my husband and I were tired. Honestly, we felt a bit like we were in the “Twilight Zone.”
My parents came up to visit for the day and after dinner, they were about to head home until I asked them, no, BEGGED them to stay the night. I wasn’t ready for another night like the one before. Just like my son needed my husband and I, I needed my mom and dad. Just knowing they were in the same house as me gave me so much peace and confidence in my abilities as a new mom.
Will was sleeping in his Rock n’ Play and once he woke, I picked him up and moved to the couch to comfort him. And there, that moment, that is when it hit me.
The tears came out of nowhere. These sobbing, snot producing tears just came bursting out of my eyes and I completely lost control. I had no idea what was happening but I knew one thing — my life had just changed forever.
As I held my son next to my chest, feeling his little lungs move in such perfect rhythm, hearing his little baby grunts and groans, and smelling his sweet baby head, my heart exploded.
The love I suddenly felt was so intense, so overwhelming, that I could have fought off an entire army with its strength. It was like nothing I had ever experienced and that’s when I knew it was true. There is nothing like the love a mother has for her child. I knew in that moment, I would move mountains for him, I would never put myself first in the same way again. He was it. He was my everything.
The love I suddenly felt was so intense, so overwhelming, that I could have fought off an entire army with its strength.
Through my sobs I asked my dad to take a picture of me because I knew that the moment that just passed was not a moment I’d ever want to forget. That was the moment I fell in love with my son.
Adele’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love” was playing on Pandora. It couldn’t have been more perfect even if Steven Spielberg created the moment himself. Whenever I hear that song, I well up. I remember. I remember the day, the feeling, the moment. I remember the time I fell in love so intensely, nothing was ever the same. I remember that time. That time I fell in love with my son.