I remember walking into Nordstrom once a few years back, only to see they had launched a baby section adjacent to the children’s clothing department. It was full of bouncy chairs and teething toys, and I was horrified that a jaunt through Nordstrom suddenly meant I was assaulted with baby gear. I was with my brother at the time and I’m sure I rolled my eyes and mumbled something to the effect of, “Ewwww it’s my worst nightmare.” In my mind I was thinking, “Where are all the cute clothes?” I was never one for baby stuff…I detested walking into peoples’ homes only to see brightly colored plastic toys (i.e. junk) strewn allover the place. In this particular case I felt like Nordstrom did the unthinkable and squandered potential fashion real estate in favor of something infinitely less appealing – it was sacrilegious. I never wanted kids and I never wanted to see baby gear in an otherwise stylish department store.
This is exactly how I felt when I found out I was pregnant last year. Nothing had changed since that visit to Nordstrom, and as many of you know I didn’t take the news very well. Overall I had a terrible pregnancy and didn’t bond well with the baby growing inside me. I knew she was there, but I hated being pregnant and worried about how I would feel once she arrived. I’m lucky I had such an amazing support system between my husband and my family, who were constantly reassuring me. Despite all my fears, I couldn’t wait to go into labor, because I was simply dying for baby to be OUT. And in that respect I consider myself fortunate, because I had the easiest labor ever. Even so, the whole process was a blur, and I was not instantly gushy and in love. I didn’t cry when I held my baby for the first time – if anything I was a bit dazed. But I do remember feeling happy about the fact that labor went so well. I can’t tell you the exact moment that I stopped thinking about myself and started thinking about her…but it was definitely sometime during our hospital stay. It suddenly became much more real, as I looked at her little face and listened to her little cries, and realized that she was mine to protect. From that point on I was completely in love and obsessed with my daughter.
Bianca was born on a Sunday morning and we brought her home on a Tuesday afternoon. The first thing I did when we carried her through the door was give her a tour of the house. I can’t explain why but I felt it was necessary…a means of solidifying her place in our home. Those first few weeks she was a typical (blob-like) sleepy newborn, though we could tell right away she was an easy baby. Now she’s seven months old and bubbling with personality. She’s happy (but opinionated) and doesn’t cry very much. She only fusses when she wants to be heard, and she’s a fairly good sleeper. As a result, hubby and I haven’t had to make a ton of lifestyle changes. We can still go out to eat or to the mall and we just cart her along…she loves going out. She’s very observant and likes to take it all in. We’ve even taken several vacations – one small trip to San Diego and a much bigger trip to Florida, both of which were successful experiences. Life is in fact more fun with her than without her, and that’s something I didn’t expect.
I honestly can’t explain what switched in my brain. Before I had kids, people would say, “You won’t know what it feels like until you have them. The love can’t be explained…etc, etc.” There are no words to express how much this annoyed me. I’d heard it so many times from so many people and I would always think shut up and get over yourself, I don’t care and I don’t want to know. For some reason it sounded so pedantic and patronizing, and I really didn’t want kids so I truly didn’t care. Perhaps it’s some powerful primal instinct to ensure survival of the species, but once my baby came I knew with certainty that I loved her more than anything and that I would do anything to protect her. And that feeling has only become stronger with time. I absolutely adore my daughter and cherish even the slightest moments – something as simple as a morning walk with her and hubby, or lying on the bed reading baby books as sunlight shines through the window. Her presence has summoned a sweetness and joy unlike anything I could’ve anticipated. So on this Mother’s Day I’m celebrating my baby girl. She’s made me proud to be a mom. And by the way, I adore shopping Nordstrom’s baby department these days.
NOTE: I started this post months ago but never got around to finishing it, hence the photos are a of a much smaller Bianca. With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought it appropriate to finally finish up! Thanks to my dear friend Jessica (as always) for the photos.