"You've got to take her back, I'm going to get sick," weren't the loving first words Anne Danforth, of Richmond, Virginia, envisioned saying about her firstborn, Emma. "I always imagined they'd hand me my baby and I'd have this immediate bond," she says. Instead, "I didn't even want the baby in the room," says Danforth, who was nauseated from drugs given to ease labor, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Emma's dad, on the other hand, was a natural from the get-go. "I remember my husband holding Emma and gazing into her sparkly greenish-brown eyes that first day. He had this instant bond as I watched them, thinking, What's wrong with me? I don't feel this way."
It wasn't until after their first week home that things began to change. "My husband had gone back to work, and all the visitors were gone. Once I got a chance to really spend time with her, I realized I was falling in love." That bond deepened for Danforth over the coming weeks, especially as she fed and bathed her daughter and saw Emma's first smile. Three-and-a-half years later, "I'm in awe of her and the amazing little person that's emerging," says Danforth.