The moment you were placed on my chest after growing inside me for 9 months. I remember your eyes! They were wide open, dark, and alive; you looked at me so intensely. I remember the smile you gave me…just minutes after you were born. It was just for me! Our first secret, just ours.
The truth …I love you more each day. When I first met you I didn’t know you and the love I felt was nothing compared to today.
I will admit to you my most prominent feelings in those moments, Aarya. I was panicked, anxious and worried! Main for still being in surgery; my blood pressure was dropping, my head hurt, I had intense nausea, and I was starting to shiver. Having never had surgery before, this was so scary for me. Luckily it ended soon, but I looked at you and I felt overwhelmed by the journey ahead.
In recovery, I was guided on how to breastfeed you. Oh dear Aarya! That did not go well. Minutes after you were born, I had nurses come to me and say “your daughter is so feisty” pretty exceptional for a few minutes old baby. Your frustration with learning to feed equalled mine. What a significant moment in retrospect…we both had so much to learn. I was overwhelmed. The support I had was phenomenal; your dad being exceptional. He spent the entire day making trips to shops and sterilising bottles. It was a surreal day and every glimpse I caught of him calmed me. He brought me a cup of caffeinated coffee and that was incredibly special; I fantasized about coffee for most of my pregnancy.
All sense of privacy left me after giving birth to you, along with any real concerns about what a good body looks like. My fantastic body had not just nurtured you, it had been cut open for you and milked for you. To me, my body is powerful, beautiful and perfect. My c-section cut is a prize along with each stretch mark…I cannot wait to share with you what a blessing it is to be a woman. The pain we experience is nothing compared to the pleasure we bring.
The day we left the hospital was especially memorable. Your dad made a few rounds to the car and it was just you and I. I was able to breastfeed you for a few minutes each time, an incredible feeling! You were (and still are) the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I looked at you and cried uncontrollably because I thought you deserved a better mum than me. Someone who could breastfeed well and change diapers. Someone who would know when you were cold. I didn’t! Aarya, I knew nothing. Weepiness and depression are real challenges that new mums face. But having never done this before was the scariest thing for me. What if I didn’t measure up? I promised you that day that I would try! I held you close while I cried, you were so peaceful and I was so emotional.
You are 5 months old now. And things are wonderful; we have settled a bit. But after bringing you home, your dad and I were challenged. Lack of sleep and catering to your needs was difficult. We did not know you very well and didn’t understand much. I went with my instinct and we survived. I loved falling asleep with you and waking up to realise you were next to me. I loved breastfeeding you, even though it was tough at times, we could look at each other and I had you so close! As time went on I got to know you and you are wonderful! You are smart, assertive, feisty, sweet, mischievous, special, friendly and most of all happy! Of all the things I want to teach you, learning to be happy is the most important. I am no expert but I always try to find green grass, I want to teach you that. Life will happen, but look for the joy and focus on it. I promise it’s always there. I now know that no one can love you the way I do and I am the best thing for you. At times this responsibility is frightening but mostly, I enjoy being the closest person to you! When you look at me and smile, I feel like the most important person alive. You take my breath away, melt my heart and make me feel so alive. You’re teaching me love and my heart is in your little perfect hands.
Aarya you are my life! I don’t remember officially praying for you but having you, I know that all I have ever wanted was you. You are my gift in this life, nothing compares to you. You drive me crazy at times! But all you need to do is smile and flash those pretty eyes at me and the world is perfect again. When you were born the world became more beautiful because I decided it would. I choose every day to see the beauty and also to create it because you live here now. Mummy will always try to be better for you Aarya, always! Please be patient with me, every step for me is new and abundant with lessons.
And to close with a few words from a poem that always brings me to tears since I’ve met you,“I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart, I am never without it.”
Image by Smeetha Singh