"No – I didn’t love her…

…immediately.”

The question I get asked most often about Iz’s birth is, “When you saw her, did you immediately fall in love?!?”

I look at the person who asked the question and wonder if they will understand my honesty when I say, “No – I didn’t.”

When I met Iz for the first time – I knew instantly that I had to protect her. I felt an overwhelming need to keep her safe, a huge responsibility to provide for her what she needed, and my Mama Bear mode went into overdrive.

But, love…no…I didn’t feel it. I was shocked and ashamed when I looked at my daughter. I loved her – of course. But, the love that penetrates your soul – the kind I had for Craig, my family, my friends – that kind of love – I didn’t feel it. This was hard to digest. How could I be a mother to this little creature if I wasn’t in love with her?

Fast forward from her birth to about 36 hours later…

The nurse brings Izzy into our room around 3am for her feeding. Craig is sound asleep and I’m irritated because I’m exhausted. I’m annoyed because I was just on my way to a serious REM cycle when I get interrupted by the sound of the my daughter’s cry for hunger. Ugh – what a terrible thing to admit. But, it’s the truth.

The nurse walks out of the room, I adjust my pillows in order to nurse her, I lean over to pick up this screaming little jelly bean, and take a deep breath. “Here we go again….” I think to myself. I hear my voice in my head – and it’s mean and agitated.

I pick her up. Switch on the reading light behind the hospital bed and look down. Iz has stopped crying and all I hear are her sighs from exhaustion. Then it happens.

We lock eyes. Her eyes are open wide and crocodile tears are streaming down her face. But, there’s a calm about her now that she’s in my arms. I go to wipe the tears from her chubby cheeks and five little fingers grasp mine.

My heart started to beat a little faster. I remember gasping a bit and realizing. “This is it. THE moment.”

The moment when you think you know what love was but get proven wrong. Because THIS is love. I looked over at Craig asleep and down at Iz and realized that this was my family – she was our legacy. Her story is the sequel to mine and Craig’s life.

So, do I love her? To say I’m in love with her now is such an understatement.

Comments

  1. Kourtney says:

    I love it!!!! I love your honesty and it's so well written. So how is life now mommy?

  2. there's a book written by a dad that has the same sentiment- about not being instantly in love with his child but growing into it. i think your openess is awesome and appreciated!