I delivered my first daughter naturally, and my mother stayed with me after I came home from the hospital. My arms were so tired from pushing that I was happy (thanks to my husband and my mother) that I had no need to hold my baby for a few days except when attempting to breastfeed with those huge, postpartum breasts.
The day came when my mom had to go home. My husband had left for work, so I shut the door behind Mom, turned around, looked at my baby, and sobbed. I thought it was just because I was going to miss my mom and all her help. But they were probably tears of fear. You would think that I had been apprenticing in a well-staffed zoo, and now the head zookeeper and staff had left, and I was staring into the maw of a ferocious tiger I needed to feed. Thankfully, motherly instinct pushed me to pick up that "tiger." But I held her away from me so I could look straight in her face and I said, "It's just you and me, Kid." And I sobbed, but I pulled her close and hugged and rocked and kissed that little face probably a thousand times . . . and over the next few days, I fell in love.
This was not an instance of "instant mother bond" or "love at first sight," but of doing the loving thing simply because you know it's right, and thereby creating love. That welcoming of my first baby happened over 22 years ago, a long time from the period when I didn't know what in the world to make of her. Since then, I’ve been a committed stay-at-home mom, who now smiles when I think back of the days when I was a scared newbie.
I Was A Scared New Mom
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast