This past Saturday, we went to the beach and met up with some new friends. One of the girls had brought her 11-month old son, Taylor. He was so easy going and sweet; barely fussing at all. I offered to hold him so his mama could relax and enjoy the sun. I snuggled him up in my arms and watched him suckle his bottle; eyes closed and completely content. And it hit me. I don’t know my baby. I can’t picture what she’ll look like, act like, sound like, feel like in my arms. I have no expectations as far as she is concerned. And as hard as I try, there’s nothing there. I have all sorts of thoughts and opinions regarding how I want to parent and help her grow but they never cross the line into what she will want because I don’t know who “she” is. So maybe that’s why the reality of this hasn’t set in. I know I need to prepare the house and get things ready but I don’t have the motivation.
People talk about that moment when you first see your baby and you fall completely in love with them. I believe that and actually know it to be true. At 11 years old, I got to help catch my youngest girl cousin as she came into the world. I remember hearing my aunt groan a little bit and then a head started to show. Everything moved in slow motion after that. The nurse reached around me and helped guide the head out followed by the rest of the body which sort of just squirted out like a squid. Everything went black for a split second and then it felt like I was floating and watching everything unfold from above. All the noise in the room was replaced by a loud buzzing and it was like electricity was zapping all around me. My mom called out, “What is it??” I saw the umbilical cord and couldn’t tell at first but then managed to stammer out, “It’s a girl!!” My chest was seconds away from exploding; even as a young girl, I felt so swollen with love that it almost physically hurt. And from that very moment, I have loved my cousin in a way that is hard to explain with words. She’s weeks away from her high school graduation now and it seems so surreal. All that being said, I can only imagine that it will be that way with my own little girl. I don’t know how it can even be possible, but it will probably be an even more intense and deep love than what I have for Laila Eva simply because I will have birthed this miracle myself. So I’m not worried that I don’t feel connected yet; I know it will come in that split second between in and out. Like I said before, in that moment, there is absolutely no denying that God exists. The intensity of it’s reality hits you with a physical force that takes the breath right out of you. A brand new life has just begun with a single breath.