No one understands what it’s like to be a parent prior to becoming a parent. One can hypothesize, of course, but parenting is something you must experience to understand. Before I had my daughter, I didn’t even know how to change a diaper. I wasn’t the person who couldn’t wait to have kids or loved babies. I've held a few babies before I had kids, sure, but quickly handed them to their parents. I've heard the urban legends of how amazing parenting is, but I didn't understand until my newborn changed my life in 24 hours.
There's a reason my ovaries ache when I see a pregnant woman at the supermarket. There's a reason I unintentionally touch my breasts when I come across a breastfeeding mother. Now that I have an (almost) 8 year old and an (almost) 3 year old, I am often wistful for the newborn stage. I watch new moms at the pediatricians office, bringing in their 4-day-old newborns for their first checkups. I peek into the carseat and admire their tiny little squished faces. I giggle to myself when the babies smile in their sleep. I remember, with my rose-colored glasses, how sweet my babies were. I remember their succulent smell, their soft skin, their kissable cheeks. A newborn baby is the epitome of perfection. A newborn baby forces grown men and women to their knees. A newborn baby is everything.
My first baby arrived after 16 hours of labor and over two hours of pushing. She was a stubborn one and did not come out without a fight. However, when she finally emerged and finally joined us and finally decided it was time, she changed my life. She renewed my existence. She made me a mom.