The Gift of Holding Your Child for the First Time

My daughter was born 30 years ago and I can still remember the first moment that I held her, as if it were yesterday. After 28 hours of labor I was thrilled for the process of childbirth to be complete, but I was in awe at the beauty of this tiny life.

When she was placed into my arms I remember the rush of things that went through my mind, from overflowing gratitude, to how will I know what to do to take care of this precious child? I remember staring at her for hours then falling asleep while gazing into her eyes, holding her close.

My second child, a son, was born 7 years later by a c-section. I was hoping that we would still have a strong bond even though the birth was caesarian, and I got my wish. Although slightly drugged, I still have vivid memories of the doctor handing my baby to me and of our first look between mother and son. It’s as if my son was saying, “Hey Mom”… and it’s continued to this day from that very first moment.

Thinking that nothing could ever come close to the feeling of first holding one of my children, on Christmas Day, 2008 I received the greatest gift ever. It was a small package wrapped in blue and silver paper, with a beautiful silver bow. It was light and odd shaped, and I had no idea what was inside. My daughter and son-in-law watched intently as I opened their gift. Inside was a pregnancy test, showing positive. I was going to be a grandmother!

Nine months later my baby granddaughter was born. Holding that strong, healthy, beautiful baby girl in my arms for the first time was a moment that will remain forever frozen in time.

Through tears of gratitude, I felt an overwhelming need to protect her, to guide her and to share whatever wisdom I had with her. I wanted to pave the way to make her life easier. I remember holding her close and promising that I will always be there for her in every way.

Childbirth is such an incredible moment, and I’d love to know what went through your mind when you held your baby or your grandchild 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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