My baby truth

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ok, I feel like I need to clear something up about having a baby - or at least my experience. Leading up to the birth, everything you hear is about this instant love. How your heart feels like it's going to burst into a billion pieces the moment you lay eyes on your babe. After 48 hours of labor and 1.5 hours of pushing, "love" isn't exactly the word I would use to describe those first feelings. I like using the word "surreal". That's what it felt like to me. I could not believe this beautiful baby had just come out of me. I could not believe that after 9 long months of waiting, she was here. I could not believe I was finally meeting my daughter and seeing her for the first time. I remember staring at her and just thinking "WOW, hi!" Stunned is another word I would use to describe it. It's just so foreign. There is nothing you can do to prep yourself for the moment you meet your child, and sometimes when I looked back I felt like a failure for not feeling that instant love right away. Then I started reading blogs about women who felt the same way. I think this is probably a totally common way to feel, but society today makes us feel like we MUST feel this love IMMEDIATELY or we're just the worst humans, ever. I read something recently that I loved..."The life you see here on social media isn't reality, it's everyone's highlight reel." Now that is some TRUTH, people.

The announcement I put on social media even said something about "we're so in love" - because that's just what everyone says after they have a baby. (Let me look up exactly what I said.... "We are so in love and totally in awe of God's miracles.") I'm pretty sure I crafted the caption before she was even born (oh my gosh, I'm so embarrassing). We immediately were (and still are) totally in awe of God for creating this perfect little human, but "so in love" was stretching it when we were only a few hours in. I'm going to rewrite it now....

"We are in a foggy state of surrealness that we created this baby, waited 9 months for her, and pushed her into this world (after going through quite a lengthy and painful labor). We need a couple days to catch our breath and soak her in. We'll be back with a verdict soon. In the meantime, here's a picture. Also, God is so real. That's apparent by looking at our daughter who is here and breathing and crying and perfect. WHAT'S GOING ON??"

Now, in the hours/days/weeks/months since her birth I have experienced that overwhelming love. It truly is overwhelming and indescribable, and I don't understand how my love for her grows exponentially every single day. There are no words to describe the love a parent feels for their child. I tell Adam all the time that I'm nervous about (God willing) having more kids. HOW in the world is there room in my heart for anyone else?? But I hear this too is a totally normal thought, and apparently it happens because there are lots of second, third, fourth children in this world. You guysssss, I really don't know how hearts handle this!

People ask me all the time "What's the most surprising thing about being a mom?" I love this question (and I think it's a great one!). I always have the same answer... I always heard about how tired I'll be and how I won't get any sleep for the rest of my life. I didn't hear about how when I'm up in the middle of the night feeding/snuggling my sweet baby, I just stare down at her and feel so much love and pride that it hurts. All she wants is to be close to me (or her daddy). She is 100% dependent on us, and we gladly answer that call. Don't get me wrong, there are nights when I am thisclose to losing it and I hand her off to Adam or have to put her in her crib and sit on my bed to collect my sanity. But for the most part, it's just love. (Disclaimer: I really don't know how single moms do it. I know they somehow do, and they are my new heroes. Being a parent is HARD with an amazing support system - I can't imagine doing this without one.)

Anyway, that's my story about how that real love grew (very, very fast!), but certainly wasn't immediate. I know I'm not alone in this.

Here's a picture of the source of that love. I could seriously EAT her. (Apparently that's a totally normal thought to have, too.)

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