People (women) have often described an overwhelming feeling of everlasting love experienced at birth (not their birth, their child’s birth). There is not a doubt in my mind that this is possible for some of the women that have described it to me, there is however massive doubt about some of the other women who have claimed it to be true (I think they are lying. Maybe out of shame, guilt, or ego. I don’t know). The fact of the matter is, from the moment I was told to expect an overwhelming flood of love, an all-encompassing bond between me and the stranger exiting my body, I knew I wouldn’t. I’d hoped, sure, but to me it didn’t seem all that realistic and those that know me might say, I’m not overly emotionally ‘wah wah’, or whatever.
I didn’t experience postpartum depression (and I am extremely thankful) but what I did experience, as far as I’m concerned, is a totally natural, logical and realistic bunch of feelings when both my children (Yep, neither made the love cut the first time around) were born. I saw them. I held them. I had…feelings…for them, but it has been my experiences with them as they grow that have moved me closer and closer to that ‘holy shit I’d jump in front of a very slow moving vehicle for you’ type love.
When they are under the weather, little cold or ear infection, and they physically don’t have the energy to not cuddle you – big love. I don’t wish illness upon any child (I’d even consider stepping in front of a faster but non threatening moving vehicle to prevent it) however when I first experienced a time when it was absolutely clear, without a shadow of a doubt that I was the only one in the universe (other than a medical physician) that could make my child feel ‘ok’, that’s when I felt it; that’s when the rush of ‘wah wah’ coursed through me like a junkie on the “love boat “(I made that metaphor up; I have no idea what it means).
Holding my baby Hazel as she holds her little vaccinated arm limp, the other arm clutching me as she lays her head in the crook of my neck, I feel (is empathy the word?) empathy, but more so I feel a pocket of myself, perhaps a pocket of vulnerability opening up and filling with ‘the rush’.
When I was told my son ‘wasn’t the right fit’ for a family daycare, I was so angry right before I realized I was actually so horrified that there was a chance my son might have been experiencing a less than fantastic time at his new daycare and that they had blamed him. I looked at him in the rear view mirror and I cried. I apologized. I knew right then, at that moment on the side of the road blubbering in the car (crying is generally a clear sign to me that something emotionally funky is about), that I was experiencing the overwhelming feeling of unending love.
So mums, don’t feel like you have to feel it all in one sitting.
Baby comes out, rainbows pop skittles, you zing…or, you smile at your new stranger and vow to step into slow-moving traffic for them until they start sleeping through the night and making their own breakfast, at which point you will consider risking your life on their behalf in more strenuous conditions.
That’s the real deal.