At the time of writing this my Emilia Claire is 8 weeks old. I am blown away by how fast time is passing by and how quickly she is changing. Everyday she is smiling more, cooing more, and becoming more alert. As I stare at her sleeping, I can’t help to reminisce on the days that she was in my belly and I miss her. I miss her hiccuping in me. I miss how on bad days I was quickly reminded that my job didn’t define me because I am her mom. Confused by emotions is an understatement. How could I miss my baby after I had given birth to her?
It is so easy to get wrapped up in wanting pregnancy to be over. After all, you are so very tired and uncomfortable. Maternity clothes are no longer cute. You hate your elephant feet and miss the days of wearing stylish heels. I will never forget running into Jeff Fisher, former NFL coach to the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams, in the elevator at the hospital. I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment and was two days past my due date. He took one look at me and asked if I would be having a baby that day. Of course the look on my face gave away my frustration in his question. Pregnancy is hard. Pregnancy is not always cute little bump updates on Facebook. When I was pregnant, I couldn’t even stand to show myself I public because I was swollen so bad. My normally small, petite frame was massively large. I would compare myself to other very pregnant women and immediately feel bad about by myself. Every other pregnant woman that I saw had perfect belly bumps, normal size legs and feet, and were glowing. I caught myself repeatedly saying, “I can’t wait for pregnancy to be over.”
On Wednesday, May 24th, 2017, I came home from work early that morning to tell my husband that I was having contractions. Twenty-five and a half hours later, I was holding my perfect angel in my arms. She was perfect and I was more in love than I could ever imagine. Later that night, I held her in my arms and watched her peacefully sleep on my chest. It finally occurred to me that she was no longer just mine. I, unfortunately had to share her with the world. I, now, have to sit back and watch as her father, grandparents, cousins, and more gush over her. Yes, I was so happy to hold her, feel her and touch her, but gone were the days of only me having interaction and connection to my baby. Gone were the days of only me protecting her. Gone were the days of me being the only possible person she could love. All of these thoughts were confusing to me however I am pretty sure most of them were due to my surging hormones. However I will never forget quietly crying in my hospital bed for missing something so badly that was right in front of me. I never dreamed of missing my baby after birth.
Ways to deal
I don’t have all of the answers to everything regarding pregnancy or becoming a mother, but I do have my own experiences and advice to share with you. For any woman that is about to give birth, all I can say is to soak up every moment you have with your baby in your belly. Rub on your tummy just one extra time before you go to bed at night. Talk to your belly. Play music for that sweet baby growing inside you. The weeks leading up to the arrival of your baby are some of the hardest and you too will be ready for pregnancy to be over, but remind yourself that the misery you are experiencing, the embarrassment you feel of your changing body, and anxiety of what’s about to happen is really nothing compared how unbelievably special it is to have the only sole connection to the miracle you helped create.
So what should a mom do? Well my advice is to go sit in your baby’s glider, shut out all outside noises and thoughts and focus solely on your child. Think about your hopes, wishes, and dreams for your baby. Think about how much you love your baby already and how that love is the greatest love you will ever feel. When I was 38 weeks pregnant, my sister gave me a beautiful book for me to write to Emilia called “Letters to My Baby“. The whole premise of the book is for you as the parent to write to your child letters concerning hopes, dreams, fears, etc… You will then post date the letter for your child to open up at a later date. Before Emilia was born, I wrote letters to her in the book and I am so glad I did. Your feelings for your child are completely different from when your child is in your belly versus when you finally deliver your baby. Both feelings are amazing and strong, but it’s important to remember both. I am so glad Emilia will know what I felt before she was born and in my belly and of course now that I have her. I encourage you as a mother to write to your baby. Capture every single sentimental, emotional feeling that you feel for your baby. Being pregnant is a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t wish it away.
“No one else will know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.”