Here are some thoughts I thought I'd share with you that I jotted down when Roan was 5 days old. (She's 20 days today.)
Today is Day Five of young Roan's life. I can't believe how much she has already learned and changed in these few days. Her first day on this planet she seemed completely overwhelmed by everything. Any time I moved her - even just a few inches - she went immediately from silent contentment to a red-faced scream. But by the next day, she seemed to have developed enough trust in Arwen and me to give us the benefit of the doubt before erupting. Each day she's learned to become a more accomplished nurser. And yesterday out of the corner of my eye I thought for a moment I saw her trying to move her hand to her mouth. I dismissed the notion as silly for such a young baby. Then today as I was watching her play I plainly saw her fold her fingers into a fist, flex her thumb, and erratically thrust her arm into space. It didn't go anywhere near her mouth, but her intent was clear. She amazes me.
I've had time over the past 5 days to reflect a little on her birth. It's ironic that I put so much thought and energy into preparing for the pregnancy - from nutrition to reading to exercise. But I never read much on what to do with a baby after it's born. In fact I never allowed myself to indulge in thinking at all about what she would be like or how it would feel to be her mom. I told myself that I didn't want to go setting a bunch of expectations, but really the truth was I was afraid.
This baby just meant too much to me. We had tried for so long to conceive. I had ached to bring a new life into this world with the man I love more than anything. I just could not bear the thought that something would go wrong, and that ultimately I would lose her. It seemed tremendously unwise to hope for, to believe, or even to think about holding that sweet baby in my arms.
The only possiblity I did not consider is that she would be born beautiful and strong and healthy and perfect in every way. I have been flooded with a sense of relief and joy, knowing that she is okay.
The other thing I worried about is what my reaction to her would be. Everyone wants to meet the ideal of maternal bliss, but postpartum baby blues are a reality for so many women. The radical changes in your hormones, the extreme and perplexing demands put upon you as a new parent, and chronic sleep deprivation are all very real. I hoped that I would find myself content as a new mom, but it worried me in the back of my mind.
Again, the only possibility I didn't really consider is that I would feel such a deep sense of gratitude and wonder at this little person. And an all consuming love. I thought - stupidly - that after all the buildup to her birth over the past two and a half years from attempted conception through pregnancy, that her arrival would be in a sense anticlimactic. Now that thought is bizarre to me. Anticlimactic? She is the most significant thing that has happened to me in my whole life! I can't wait to see what she will do in the next 5 minutes, who she will change into tomorrow and next week and next year. I am simply overjoyed that I get to wake up every day for the rest of my life and be her mother.