I've never been more excited for a birthday than I am this year. And not for my own, but for Severen's. He turns one today. Here is my "he's here!' post from last year (just look at that little face!)
I vividly remember what I was doing when my water broke. I was standing in the kitchen, walking toward the garbage can to throw away some eggshells. And then it happened. I froze and looked at Soren. It wasn't until that moment that I really, truly understood that a baby was coming. And soon! That was my last moment of clarity for several hours. My next moment came when I realized that the wet, wiggling body on my chest was something that had just come out of my body. Inside, outside. Invisible, visible. An idea of a baby, a real baby. I wish I could have been hooked up to a CAT SCAN at that moment (OK not really) because what happened next in my brain must surely have lit up the screen: I became a mom.
It didn't happen when I looked at him, and that surprised me. I expected to see his face and immediately feel, "Oh this is my precious son!" Instead, I looked and looked and looked at him as he screamed and squinted up at me. I just felt confused. What was this? How could his voice be so powerful? Um, have we met? It was a scary moment, honestly, to expect a wave of tender emotion and feel not much at all.
But that didn't last long - maybe 10 or 20 seconds. Then I decided not to worry about my eyes. Or my brain. I stopped trying to study him. Instead, I just felt him. I pulled him close and nibbled his fingers. I put my face right up to his and cooed. I felt a crazy urge to lick him, like a mama bear. And that's when motherhood hit me. It turns out the the optic nerve is a poor conductor of motherly love. And the front lobes of the brain are ca-pooey after labor. But being close to him, skin on skin, flipped the parenthood switch from "off" to "on." And there is no turning if off again. Ever.
When you go into labor you have one life. When you leave the hospital (birth center, etc.) you have two lives.
I am so grateful for Severen's life and for the chance to be a mom. Happy Birthday, Severen!
P.S. That photo of Soren holding Severen for the first time gets me every time . . .
P.P.S. I will share some birthday celebration photos here next week!