I will never forget the first time I saw my gorgeous son. He was lying on the floor of the lounge playing and rolling around cooing to himself. Missy B was at pre-school for the morning so Mr A and I were having some quiet time together, relaxing and bonding.
It was a sunny day and everything seemed to be falling into place. You know the days I mean. The children eat well, get dressed, leave the house all without a fuss. There are two lines of washing on the line and the house looks relatively tidy. It was feeling like a positive day so far. I’d just made myself a massive cup of tea in my favourite mug and had all the good intentions of drinking it whilst it was still hot. What a treat!!
Then it happened.
As I lifted Mr A up to give him a feed he reached up and touched my cheek gently and smiled at me. His beautiful blue eyes were piercing; it was as if he was looking deep into my soul with so much love. He was talking to me through just a look. I felt an intense surge of love for this little person it was totally overwhelming. I hugged him so warmly and vowed I would never forget this precious moment we had just shared. It was as if he knew that that little gesture of love and recognition was exactly what I needed.
This was the first time I saw my precious baby boy for what he really was. A scrumptious little bundle of love and promise. The bluest of blue eyes. A light downy fluff of ginger hair. Skinny legs and arms with a nice squidgy baby tummy. Small but perfectly formed hands and feet. Every tiny detail about this little boy was simply perfection. His cheeky personality was starting to show through and I fell head over heels into the deepest imaginable love with this little man.
Since this magical moment I am happy to report that our bond has grown stronger and stronger every day. He is growing into the most amazing little boy, no longer a baby. He is walking, saying a few words and trying to feed himself. He plays with his big sister and is starting to hold his own in their ‘games’. I am immensely proud of him and the struggles he has already overcome in his short life.
Do I regret the time I ‘lost’ before I really saw him for the first time? Absolutely not! I was blinded by a fog, caused by an illness that I had no control over. I think that Mr A was incredibly well looked after before this moment and thrived as a new-born in spite of my condition.
Do I feel ashamed that I didn’t instantly love my son?
I wasn’t ready to love him when he arrived early. My body wasn’t ready let alone my heart. I did have very intense feelings towards him. I would go as far as saying that all the feelings I have are all small parts of ‘motherly love.’ I looked at him and fell a vague recognition of who he was, almost as if I had had met him somewhere before. I was find of him but didn’t feel connected to him. I felt that he needed to be looked after and that it was my responsibility to do that.
I wouldn’t change anything about the time between Mr A’s birth and now. I feel that having Post-Natal depression has made me a stronger, more determined, confident women. Someone that my children can respect, learn from and look up to throughout their lives. I hope they will grow up knowing me as a determined Mummy who never gave up even though it seemed like the only option at times. I also hope they feel my love for them every day as they grow even more amazing each day.