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.
"I was all like, Braveheart. FREEDOM!"
"I didn't like it at first. I missed my baby and felt disconnected."
"The first time I left my son it was to go to work, so I was quite mad to be away from him. The sitter kept sending me cute pictures of him, but my overall emotion was resentment."
"Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I actually didn't want to go home. It was just so nice to only have myself to worry about."
"The first time I went out without my baby girl, was when she was about 3 months old. I went to get my hair cut. Afterwards, I walked around the mall and started some random conversation with an old lady. I just wanted to tell someone I was a new mom!"
"My husband and I went for dinner when our baby was a week old. When I saw the flack Chrissy Tiegen got for doing the same thing, I couldn't believe it. We needed a night to ourselves to get used to the idea of being parents. It's a lot to take in!"
"I left my baby with his dad for the first time just to walk around the block. He had been crying all day and I had no more than a couple of hours of sleep, so I just needed to escape. I walked to the bottom of the street. I still had my slippers on!"
"Unfortunately, I had to go to a funeral when my baby was 6 weeks old. Everyone was asking about the baby and I got to show off photos of my son and, really, it kind of made the day a bit brighter."
"I didn't leave my baby until he was a toddler, but I remember the first time I went out with him after he was born. He was 3 days old and I took him down to the beach, which is a 20 minute walk from my house. I showed him the ocean."
"After staying home for a month, I got a babysitter and I went to a party. My mom was mad with me but I am not going to become a totally different person just because I had a baby."
"I had a lot of medical complications after having my daughter, so I had to go back into hospital. Obviously I was sick so I didn't feel good and I really missed my baby."
"I took my new baby to my best friend's birthday party, three weeks after his birth. Everyone wanted to hold him and they were all fussing over me, so I felt like a celebrity!"
"The first time I went out after having my baby was to collect some paperwork from the office to keep up-to-date during my maternity leave. I had only been away from the office for a week or two, but now that I was a mom I felt like a different person."