Five days after I gave birth, I took my baby to a lactation consultant to get some advice on our breastfeeding practice. On the way home we stopped at a store to pick up some supplies and my mom held my son while I quickly ran inside. Being without him was surreal, which was a sentiment echoed when I listened to 13 women describe the first time they went out after having their baby.
As I wandered around the aisles forgetting what it was I even needed to buy, I had the strangest feeling that almost a part of me was missing. My little baby had been out of my body for less than a week, so to be somewhere he wasn't was completely unexplored territory. I kept panicking that I had left him somewhere, only to remember where he was. I also felt a lightness because it was only my body I needed to move and carry. I was missing the soft, warm little passenger accompanying my every step.
When my son was a little older, I would take some self care time every Saturday morning and go swimming. As I moved through the water I felt my mind clear and I was able to concentrate, plan, and schedule my week ahead. While being away from my baby was, initially, somewhat uncomfortable, it turned out to also be somewhat necessary. So, with that in mind, here are 13 women on what they felt when they left their babies for the first time.