Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It Wasn't Love at First Sight

The first time I laid eyes on S

My daughter's birth story was not dreamily perfect, it was not all that I'd imagined. The hours of agony ending in perfect joy as a healthy bundle is handed to you. Oohing and aahing as you observe that she has Mommy's eyes, and Daddy's nose. Smiling for pretty pictures and enjoying nuzzling close. Staring into the sweet face you've imagined for the last nine months...

No, it wasn't love at first sight. It was bleary-eyed, drug-induced confusion. It was a numbing shock, a surreal experience of fear and sorrow. Something about this picture wasn't right.

I was put under for her birth by emergency c-section and didn't even see her until she was 3 hours old. Her tiny, 1 lb. 15 oz. body was buried beneath tubes and wires and a diaper far too big for her, it was covered in angry-red skin. Was this really my baby? How did I know? How was this possible?


 Thanks to Percocet I can hardly recall those first few days. Initially I didn't even mind leaving my daughter alone in the hospital- it had been so long since I'd been home and in my own bed. My body was sore and my mind a fog. I didn't feel like a mom and I was still reeling from this strange providence.

Love didn't come at first sight- no, it was a slow, creeping thing that crept like moss over my soul. It began at five days old when they first placed her on my bare chest and she cried when they took her off. It exploded out in giant tears the day her i.v had to be replaced- a helpless little baby screaming as the doctor stuck her, insensible to the why of her pain. We cried together, my hand on her head, and her cry left an indelible print on my heart.

Love grew stronger each night that I went home empty-armed, until I could hardly bear the pain of missing her. And finally, joy abounded the day, two months later, that I took my baby home.


In a fallen world life is not always ideal or what we'd expected. Things aren't always as easy or instant as we hoped. Love isn't perfect, but it did come and it is enough. I've found peace in embracing my difficult start as a mother, and I want you to know that it's okay to grieve the sweet moments you missed out on. Someday you will feel like a mommy. Allow the Lord to free you from guilt and disappointment, and embrace the gift He's given you, imperfections and all.


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9 comments:

  1. What an incredible post. Thank you for sharing this. What a precious gift you have.

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  2. How lovely -- and how courageous. I admire you.

    Well written.

    Pearl

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  3. Wow...this is an wonderfully written post. Like other, I admire you, and I am so glad you have your little girl. You will be a wonderful mom as can be seen by the last picture.
    God Bless!

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  4. Touching story. GOD BLESS!!!

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  5. Thank you for all of the encouragement. We thank God every day for the miracle of our daughter!

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  6. What an amazing and encouraging story. I loved how you shared that love grew slowly. I'm sure there are many that can relate. Blessings to you and your sweet child!

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  7. I had my son at 27 weeks (just 27 weeks that day) and he weighed 1 lb 13 oz. He is now three but I look back at those days and wonder how I survived. God bless you both.

    p/s Staying home is crucial but can make you a little buggy. Best of luck!

    ArdenLynn
    mama to 8

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  8. Kristen- Thank you! My hope is that the mother's who can relate realize that they are not alone and they should not feel guilty!

    ArdenLynn- I love hearing about other preemies who are thriving now :). Thank you for sharing!So far doing ok with being stuck at home, thankful for a capable supportive hubby who encourages me to get out! Without the grace of God, where would we be?!?!

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  9. While my littlest one was well over 4lbs and nowhere near as early as your daughter, I can only imagine what it was like for you in the beginning, because I just know how difficult it was to see our daughter covered in all those wires and breathing apparatuses.

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