I want to caveat this post by saying I love my sons more than life itself. The intensity of that love is unlike anything I could ever describe, it physically hurts sometimes with how much I love them. To say I would give my life for them in a heartbeat is not just a saying it is a reality. But with all that said it was not love at first sight.
When my son Christian was born, I felt happiness and a deep love, but when they laid him on my chest those first minutes after giving birth I didn't hear angels singing, I didn't see rainbows and butterflies and I didn't feel that instant connection that I had seen in movies or read about in books. I remember laying there in the hospital that first night after everyone had left and my husband and son were asleep thinking "what is wrong with me?" I picked up my phone and starting googling - is this what the beginning of PPD is? Am I a terrible mother already? Is there something wrong with me? Am I broken? I was so embarrassed and ashamed to not be feeling that euphoria I had heard about that I suffered in silence, too scared to say my feelings out loud.
Days and weeks went by and then one morning it just hit me. I was looking at my son sleeping so peacefully in my arms and it happened. I heard the angels sing, I saw the rainbows and butterflies and I felt this wave of emotion come over me that was so strong and so powerful I literally started crying. I think my heart literally exploded with love in that moment. The love I felt for that little boy in my arms was so intense my heart physically hurt (for a split second I thought I was having a heart attack). This was what I was waiting for - this was the love of a mother.
After a couple months I finally got brave enough to say this story out loud to some of my closest friends who are also moms. The response was overwhelming. So many of them went through what I went through and those who didn’t could very easily see how I could have felt that way. It was so reassuring to know I wasn’t alone.
I think sometimes you need a couple weeks to get to know your child before that connection hits you like a freight train and there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing to feel bad, guilty or ashamed about.
When I had my son, Thomas, the same thing occurred only this time I was at peace with it. Rather than laying there in complete panic that first night in the hospital, I laid there hopeful and excited. I couldn't wait to spend those first few weeks getting to know him and waiting for that moment to hit - that moment when I would truly become his mother. The second time around it came a lot faster and I think part of that is because I wasn't constantly freaking out and wondering if I was broken. When it hit, it hit just as powerful and just as beautifully as it did with Christian.
So to my soon to be moms or brand new moms just know the undying, unwavering love for your child is there the minute you find out you are pregnant. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time to get to know your child before you feel the full power and intensity of it and that is OK! Give it time, I promise you it will come and when it does get ready because it is the most intense, wonderful, beautifully painful, indescribable love you will ever feel.