Was It Love At First Sight?

I realized love is a process and there is no defined time or reason to fall in love. Our love didn't happen at first sight.

And I screamed it’s positive!!

Immediately I pictured a happy kid running around the house while my husband and I looked on with a smile, sipping our evening cup of coffee. Well! it’s just going to be a wait of 9 months before I get to hold my little bundle of joy and feel the love at the magnitude of anything I have never felt before. I was lucky enough to have a smooth pregnancy with some negligible issues, morning sickness and mood swings being a few. The latter half of my first trimester was more or less spent running to the restroom at the smell of hand wash, all my favourite food, soap, particular spices or sometimes even juice.
My frequent visits to the restroom gave away the secret even before I could announce and people at work started congratulating me.  I blushed in between the pukes and at times retracted from handshakes only to cover my mouth and ran to the restroom again. My favourite dinner was raw banana and potato curry which I had never ever dreamt of tasting until I was pregnant. Those sudden urges to have something particular during pregnancy is not a myth. In my case, it was  “gobhi ka paratha” in the month of July or “rabri” from one particular shop at midnight and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

I was a happy to-be mom with a  supportive husband, friends and extended family. I was suddenly the centre of attention and I enjoyed every bit of it. Hardly did I fathom all this would be gone in a jiffy once the baby would arrive. It’s a different story and let’s save this for later.

By now Google was my best friend as it told me everything in detail about what was going on inside my body week by week.  Watching parenting videos and flipping through the beautiful baby images in the glossy magazines helped me condition my mind for what the future held. All the seasoned mothers I knew prepared me for the profound moment when I would hold my child in my arms and how my world would shift. How this would be the best moment of my life and how it would be the most life changing experience ever.

The D day arrived and yes I had willingly opted for a C section. The epidural procedure went well and I felt lucky I didn’t have to go through one of the few horrid experiences which I had looked up earlier on the internet. The doctor arrived and a few minutes later in the room, I heard the first cry and my doctor announced: “It’s a beautiful baby girl”. Her first cry was indeed the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard and for no reason, tears rolled down my cheek. They cleaned her and brought her to me and I froze for a moment not knowing what to do while the doctor was still stitching me up.  We had that brief eye to eye moment and finally had a quick cheek nuzzle with her.

I was taken out of the operation theatre and in between the wishes of my family members, my mom brushing my cheek and my husband kissing my forehead while holding my hand, I fell into deep slumber. I woke up to an annoying shriek only realizing the nurse was standing by my bedside with my little bundle of joy who was hungry and needed her first dose of colostrum. She handed her over to me and I was suddenly conscious of how I was supposed to hold her without hurting. Carefully I took her in my arms and a thousand thoughts crossed my mind on how I was supposed to feel the instant connection and how I was experiencing the best ever moment of my life.

I looked at her face wondering if she resembled me or her father, checked carefully if she had inherited her father’s hazel eyes ( was a little disappointed that she didn’t), was a little concerned about her flaky skin felt happy to see her lush hair, measured her feet which were exactly the size of my thumb finger…I kept staring at her for some time before the nurse reminded me that I had to feed her and thus began the struggle with latching. Well, that’s a different struggle and I’ll save it for later.

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But, I was yet to feel the instant tide of love overwhelming me with emotions. I thought it would be love at first sight but all I felt at the moment was a little lighter and relieved that she was finally out. For the next few days, the nurse kept shuffling her between the nursery and my bed and each time I held her I would still look at her like I had no clue what I was supposed to feel. I had spent countless nights tossing on my bed being constantly kicked by her waiting to have her beside me. And now I was missing the baby movement in my womb which my body had got accustomed to in all these months.

We took her home and thus began the sleepless nights, her colic pain, nappy changing exercise and struggle with my body while it was preparing to lactate. My eyes didn’t glisten each time I looked at her, I was still to feel the deep, surreal affection and I was starting to feel perhaps my emotional response was inadequate not mentioning the feeling of loneliness I had started experiencing. It is really strange to know nobody prepares a new mother for these more important struggles. In between all the inner turmoil, I started getting used to the sweet new baby scent and occasional soft blissful cuddles.

One day while I took her out for an evening stroll and the breeze brushed her cheek and she smiled. It was her first smile and tears rolled down my cheek for no reason. I picked her up and embraced her and suddenly felt all the emotions streaming out. There was absolute joy beyond measure. I realized love is a process and there is no defined time or reason to fall in love. Our love didn’t happen at first sight.

We had that brief eye to eye moment again and she smiled back at me as if saying “ Welcome to motherhood”!

Image via Pixabay


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