Every expecting parent has heard stories from other parents about how they fell in love with their newborn as soon as the baby was placed (plopped?) on the mother’s chest or the first time they held their baby.
This is not what happened to me.
Although it is what happened to HandyMan. He took one look at our slimy, oddly colored baby and fell hard, crashed even.
I took one look at Blue and thought, “What have I gotten myself into?!?!” I thought he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen (he still is), but the crashing realization I had while looking at my baby for the first time was that I was, suddenly, completely in charge of this little person’s whole life. I was responsible for meeting all of his needs – feeding him, changing his diaper, loving him, bathing him, keeping him warm, caring for him when he was sick, etc. I knew I would have help from HandyMan and our families, but as a stay at home mom, the majority of this responsibility was going to fall on me, at least in the beginning.
When we came home from the hospital, I dreaded HandyMan going back to work. I was completely terrified of being at home, by myself, with a newborn. And not just any newborn, but MY newborn. There were several times that I looked at him as he was nursing and thought that, maybe, I had made a big mistake having a baby. It was too much and I couldn’t handle it.
Then, one day a couple of weeks later, while Blue was sleeping, I decided to take a shower. I left Blue in the living room, sleeping in his vibrating chair and quickly got in the shower. I don’t know how long I was in there, but I’m sure it wasn’t very long. When I got out of the shower, I could immediately hear Blue screaming. I quickly wrapped myself in a towel and went to get him. As soon as I picked him up, he stopped crying. He nestled his head into my chest, took a deep breath and just stopped crying. That was when I fell in love with my baby.
And each day I just love him more, even when he’s eating the dirt from my house plants.
But still, I wonder what will happen when baby #2 arrives. That’s right, HandyMan and I are going to have another baby. We’re due August 1st, and while I’m excited about this baby, I’m nervous about the newborn days. Will I fall in love with this baby from the beginning or will it take some time? If it doesn’t happen right away, how will I handle it? If I felt overwhelmed with Blue, how will I handle 2 small children?
I don’t know the answers to those questions, but here’s what I do know. It’s OK if that sudden rush of love doesn’t happen right away, because it will happen. And when it happens it will be amazing and each day after that I will just fall more in love with my baby.