Hello, Sweet Baby

What thoughts will come to mind as you gaze into those eyes? What will you remember from those first post-delivery moments? As these moms can attest, you can't predict the overwhelming emotions you will feel.

Wonderstruck

mother holding baby

By Elissa Brent Weissman

Being pregnant was one of those things I couldn't think about too much without it blowing my mind. Sure, I took Health and AP Bio in high school, I looked at websites that compared my growing baby to pieces of produce; but the process still baffled me, like when I contemplate how cruise ships float.

In the delivery room, when I first held my daughter, I stared at her, speechless. Was this really the person my husband and I had created, the one whose movements had made my stomach contort into visible waves? Did I just push her out of me and into the world? It struck me that I was once this small, this remarkable, this new to my name. My husband cried, but I was too awed for that. The whole experience seemed less like life and more like magic.

Yet here was Karina, breathing and blinking and looking around with quiet curiosity. She was soft and wrinkly with spiky hair and my husband's face. And she was my daughter. I had a daughter!

When I first got my driver's license, I'd inched down the road, my mirrors perfectly positioned and my hands at ten and two, thinking, I'm driving. Ten years later, I sat in a hospital bed, sweaty and hungry and holding a baby, thinking, I'm a mother. I'm this baby's mother. What a thing of wonder.

Elissa Brent Weissman, from Baltimore, is a novelist for young readers and mother of two. Her latest book is The Short Seller.

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