Holding My Baby for the First Time

The first time I held my first child, it was for a matter of seconds before they snatched her away to the NICU because she was six weeks premature. As I was holding her, they were also taking my blood pressure in one arm, so I barely got a glimpse of her tiny round face before she was gone.

All I could think was that my life was changed forever. I was a mom. It was like an instant metamorphosis. I knew at that moment that nothing would ever be as important as my child.

It also hit me that our days as carefree travelers was over. Ironic that I thought that, since we ended up moving to France with my first daughter when she was one for a year and traveling all over Europe. Funny how we assume things about motherhood that are just so wrong.

Then I didn’t see her for twelve hours. Twelve excruciatingly long hours. I couldn’t sleep. I started to forget what she looked like from that brief moment I saw her face. Since I had lost so much blood during the birth that I almost fainted whenever I sat up, the hospital staff would not let me go down the hall to see her, not even in a wheelchair.

So in a sense, the real first time I held her was the next day. She was connected to cords and tubes. I was terrified I would disconnect one or somehow break her. But I had spent every minute of those twelve hours obsessed with wanting to hold her again. I felt empty, incomplete. It almost felt unreal, like there was no baby, like I wasn’t really a mother.

When I held her again, I was complete. I was a mother.

Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know what went through your mind when you held your baby for the first time? By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and a $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs October 17 to November 13, 2011. A random winner will be announced by November 15, 2011.

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