The excitement level you achieve when your baby says their first words is on par with their first steps, first crawl, and their first fist bump. Perhaps it's because, like attempts to walk or crawl, we can see their efforts for months before they actually say a word, when syllables start to make their way into a baby’s repertoire. It's definitely because we all hold out hope that the word will be some variation of “mama.” Either way, there's no denying that the thoughts every new mom has when her baby says their first word, if she’s anything like me, are likely to be some variation of giddy excitement and foggy disbelief and, in the end, even a little sadness.
I, personally, required a repeat performance or confirmation by other witnesses who could confirm that, yes, what I thought happened had just happened. Kind of like when a UFO or a celebrity is spotted, and the more people who can corroborate the original statement, the better. When literally watch a human being grow and evolve and develop right before your exhausted eyes, it can be difficult to believe what you're seeing (or hearing).
So, if we were to take a close look at what a new mom experiences in those actual moments when she hears her baby talk, we’d essentially be embarking on a ten-second emotional roller coaster ride that’s full of twisty turns, high highs and even the slight (but understandable) low. Like you would on a roller coaster, you'll want to scream and cry and shout your excitement at the top of your lungs (unless the spoken word is, like, something terrible that you’ll never want to tell anyone, like "moist" or "girth" or "murder"). For everyone else, I suspect the emotional journey look something like this: