Birth Blog

To The First Time Mama

by Julia West on June 13, 2013

I love talking to a mother when she is expecting her first child. She is in such a unique phase of life- just beginning to understand the joys and sacrifices of motherhood, but on the cusp of really being immersed in the changes that follow the birth of her baby.

No doubt she has heard plenty of advice, if she has announced her pregnancy. Some helpful, some negative and some completely opposite perspectives. She may have heard about “irreversible changes” her body will go through during pregnancy and birth and how disappointing it is to ‘lose” the pre-baby version of her body. She has probably heard horror birth stories. She may have heard about sleepless nights and crying fits and been advised to enjoy rest and date nights before she is unable to do either. People mean well and I think all of the above is said casually in an attempt to relate to the new mama. But there is something else important that she may not hear, at least not as often:

It’s all sooo worth it.

I admit there were a few moments after my son’s birth that I was not quite focused on him as much as on the birth experience. It was hard. So much harder than I expected. I needed some time to process it and get some sleep. I shed some tears and kept thinking, “Wow, that was so intense. I cannot believe I just did that…” I was so happy to see him and know he was safe and to watch my husband hold him, but it was not until a few hours later that I drank in the sight of him and my love for him overwhelmed me. This new tiny creature, who had not yet made any conscious effort to win my affection, had completely gripped my heart. Probably right around this moment:

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I remember laying in my bed at home with just Canaan and my husband a few hours after he was born, while my house was quiet and before any company had arrived. I just stared and studied my baby’s features and expressions and felt his soft skin and smelled his new baby smell… And I knew I would do anything for him. I was so surprised by it! Every other relationship I had known was so two sided- my husband had shown me great and selfless love, but we developed our bond over time and I tried daily to reciprocate. This was new. This little person I had just seen for the first time could not possibly understand or repay my love for him, and that did not change my feelings in the least. And because of him, my heart grew to hold this huge love for him, but also the new and growing love for my husband as I watched him become a father.

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What an incredibly humbling experience. My comfort and convenience were now my last thoughts. I now had an important job-maybe the most important job in the world. But you know what they say about having a job that you love- you’ll never “work” a day in your life. And I LOVE my job!! I’ve been soaking up my moments with him since that first day.

So while new mamas may hear warnings to prepare for struggles or disappointment, I’ll say this: Prepare to be utterly overwhelmed by your love for your baby and a new depth of love for his daddy. While there may be some truths to the other warnings, this one makes it all worth it.

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