I wanted to be a mother since I was 16. Perhaps it was the result of being the oldest of four siblings, or perhaps, I felt, this lifetime was for me to experience motherhood.
Whatever the reason, when I was 29, my daughter was born, at 8.30, on a rainy morning in August. The doctor handed her over to me after a labour of 12 hours and placed her in my arms immediately after birth.
When I looked down at that tiny red face, and saw her eyes, wide open, looking back at me, I was in love.
It was not just that she was the most beautiful and tiny thing I had ever seen. She was the culmination of the last 9 months of expectant waiting to see this beautiful little being.
Until now, she had only meant a heartbeat in an ultrasound, a couple of limbs poking up uncomfortably through my tummy and some vigourous kicking inside my belly just as I had finally settled down to sleep for the night.
Now she was real and I could hold her in my arms, watch her nurse hungrily and feel her soft, baby skin against mine. I had become a cliché – the new mother, for whom nothing is more important than her baby.
No matter how long you prepare yourself mentally for such an event, you are never truly ready for the wonder and the miracle that those first few moments entails. My first encounter with my baby girl was all that and more.
As a new mother, I was full of emotions ranging from delight to gratitude, that my child was healthy and lively. And, like most mothers, I knew that this was a day that would remain fresh in my mind as long as I lived.
What were your first moments of motherhood like? Do share them with us in the comments below.
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