Parenthood is a life-long calling. Once you become a parent, you will be one forever. You will have many ups and downs with this calling, but it all starts when you hold your baby for the first time. In those first minutes your life changes. There are many thoughts that go through your mind in that minute, but here are a few.
Does she have all her fingers and toes?
Usually the first thought a mom has her first minute of parenthood is if her baby is healthy. It is almost as if we hold our breath until we hear that blood curtailing scream that indicates they are breathing. Then, even if the doctor gave them a clean bill of health, we have to look for ourselves. We check each finger, each toe, and make sure they are breathing and healthy.
Who does she look like?
When babies are born they are usually pretty swollen and bloated (they did just go through a lot) but that doesn't stop us from guessing who they look like. We take in their hair, eyes, lip shape, nose, everything.
When we are expecting a baby to come to our home it can be hard to imagine just what they will look like. A lot of babies look the same, but when you see your baby for the first time, there is no other cuter more unique baby in the whole world.
How can I be expected to know what's best for her?
With the joy and excitement of welcoming a new baby also comes fear. How are you supposed to be responsible for this little one? It hits you that you are the one in charge of all of her needs and development; it may be scary when you first realize that. Feeling overwhelmed and having fear is normal for new moms, especially in those first few minutes (and days and months) after becoming a mom.
Is she really mine?
Having a child can kind of feel like an out of body experience. Everyone's birth story is different and unique and usually not what you expected it to be. Sometimes it can take a while for everything to calm down, and you have a minute with your new baby. When they hand her to you, you may wonder if she is really yours. Not in the sense that she is the wrong baby, but in the sense that you really do get to keep her and take her home. You get to watch her grow and experience her life. It is a surreal feeling to think about, and one that is both scary and exciting all at the same time.
This is what pure love feels like
Many of us experience love on varying degrees throughout our lives. We have the love of our parents and friends, and the love of our significant others, but nothing compares to the love you feel for your child from the moment they are placed in your arms. It is an instant connection. An instant love that is natural and never ending. No matter how many children you have, adding another does not take away love from anyone, your love expands to include the new addition.
This may seem like a lot of thoughts in the brief moments after your child is born, but those minutes are some of the most important ones you will experience in this life. Of course you will be concerned about your baby, you will have several different emotions running through your body at once: fear, joy, relief, excitement, and most of all, love. Holding your baby for the first time is a moment you will want to remember forever. Try to take it in and enjoy it.