March 02, 2013

HASHTAG CLEMENTINE

Some of my close friends and family will remember when I was about 6-months pregnant with Clementine I worried that I didn't love her or that I was going to be a terrible mother. I didn't sit for hours and think about her or imagine how life would be with her. Probably, mostly, because I really had no idea what to imagine or think. Motherhood and a tiny baby were just beyond my ability to pretend.

So actually, I don't think I was one of those moms who bonded with their unborn baby. I mean, I was happy to be pregnant, happy for the chance to be a mom, grateful that she was growing healthy and strong. But I just didn't feel mom-like or get overwhelmed with loving her. Not until those first few minutes, hours, and days at the hospital.

Our first encounter was a few minutes after she was born. I was super high on morphine but managed to lift one of my 85 pound arms to her tiny head as a nurse held her close enough for me to see and touch. My first words to her were, "hi baby". Swaddled up she looked even smaller than 4.5 lbs and in my drugged out pillow brain I almost thought I had given birth to nothing more than a baby head.

About six hours later I finally coaxed one of the nurses to break every hospital rule and take her out of the nursery and bring her to me so I could see her with a clear head. So I could hold her with arms that didn't feel like they actually weighed 85 lbs each. I held her for about 30 minutes before word got out that I had a preemie baby outside of the nursery and she had to go back. But "hi baby" and 30 minutes was all I needed to fall for her hook, line, and sinker.

Everyday this kid, this little girl who once was born half the size of our 8 lb cat Agnes, will do or say something that turns my heart into a big clump of gummy bears. In these moments it is best if I'm not driving or doing anything that requires logic and reason. Because I don't have any. The only thing I'm really capable of doing is breathing in and out and falling even deeper in love with her. I'm fairly certain that is my new job; I fall for this kid again and again, every single day.

So the fact that I'm six months pregnant with baby girl #2 and not feeling a really strong maternal bond doesn't freak me out the way it did with Clemmy. I know it will come. It will come when we meet and every moment after that. Just like Jerry McGuire, she'll have me at "hi baby".




No comments: