I have a confession. You know that moment every speaks of… the one when your baby is born and you immediately fall head over heels in love. Well it didn’t happen like that for me and it made me sad to not feel that way. I couldn’t figure out if it was because I already by then loved him and I had enjoyed such an amazing pregnancy that my heart was full of love and gratitude, or whether it was just that I wasn’t going to ever feel that explosion of love that I had heard about! If you read the story and saw the pictures of Elijah’s birth, you will know that what I DID feel was absolutely wonder and awe that a baby had just come out of me. Our baby! A real baby! Yes, that’s what I thought at the time… “a real baby”. I looked at him in those first few seconds and all I felt was completely and utter amazement that I was finally getting to meet our son, finally becoming a mom, and over the moon that he was here to join our family. When we returned to our hospital room I kept thinking, “I love him, I really love him… but why don’t I feel that head-over-heels-in-love sensation that people describe”.
I struggled with this for a couple of weeks and it got even worse when nights were long and hard. I cried to Justin when I couldn’t understand why Eli didn’t look at me while I fed him. I somehow expected that his newborn eyes would be full of love and admiration for his mommy. I had seen all those pictures of babies looking lovingly at their mothers while they breastfed, and I didn’t understand why he always turned his head and barely looked at me! After a quick google search (Oh wonderful google, how I love you when it’s 4am and I need to know that I’m not alone on something!) I found out that this is completely normal. Many mothers felt the same way that I did. Justin kept telling me that he was too young to look at me that way, but still I thought it odd that he would rather stare at the wall behind me, or my arm, than look at my face.
These two things made me feel slightly disconnected from Elijah for a week or two and I really struggled with that. I honestly thought that my son didn’t love me (as if a 2 week old baby knows how to show love the way that we do — excuse my postpartum madness).
Then I realised that I am one of the those people who DOESN’T fall in love with anything straight away. I almost always have buyers remorse, and things take a while to grow on me! When Justin and I met, he fell in love instantly but it took me a little longer to feel the same. I love drawing but when I look at my final piece of art, I only really like it the following day. I know that I need to sleep on it before I give up on it and toss my artwork away. Usually when the morning comes I love my creation and wonder how I didn’t see how beautiful it was the night before. This is just the way that I am. I have learned this about myself in the last couple of years, but I never thought that it would apply to my OWN CHILD! Of course I have loved him since those first faint double lines on the pregnancy test. In fact, I loved him before that too. I have loved him all my life. I have waited for a child. Prayed for a child. And now I finally have a child and I love him more than I can explain. But I didn’t feel that flood of emotions that everyone talks about when he was born. I just felt a sense of accomplishment, and amazed that I was, from that point on, finally a mother.
This is something I have been working through and figuring out over the last few weeks as I have watched Elijah grow and change on almost a daily basis. I love him and his cuteness makes my heart melt, but there was something missing.
All that changed about two days ago when Elijah turned to look at me… and smiled! It felt like my heart suddenly BURST and I could barely contain my emotions! The love that I felt in that second was unbelievable. It ran through my veins and exploded in my chest. I felt like he suddenly came alive and I immediately fell in love!!!! It was as if he finally knew who I was and he saw me. He loved me! He has made gassy-smiles many times before, but now it is different. (No one likes a smile followed by a loud fart… It really kills the romance!) Since then he has been flashing us a smile here and there, but it’s hard to capture all that sweetness on camera as he does it once or twice then stops. I wish I could show you how amazing it is, but the best I could get were the shots in this post. Look at that happy face… It makes this momma want to cry with joy!!
As you can see in the pictures, he even sticks out his tongue and kind of chuckles… It is freaking adorable! I will never forget the moment that Elijah started smiling at me. It was on my dad’s birthday too, so that makes it even more special for me. Who could have known that a little smile could change everything. I love you my sweet child!
What a cutie!!!
As soon as I have more smiling pictures I will make sure to share them with all of you!