Dear baby girl, I didn't love you...
Oh sweet baby, you are my world. But it hasn't always been that way. The minute that daddy announced it was a girl, and the doctor placed you on my chest, it wasn't love at first sight. To be quite honest, for months, it was nothing close to it. Mom friends would ask, "aren't you just in love?" and I would shamefully respond and lie, "why yes, yes of course!" with a huge, fake smile on my face. I would then wonder, what's wrong with me? Deep down inside, I felt utterly alone.
You see, I thought I had paved the way perfectly for you. Daddy and I married and worked hard on our relationship, momma got sober and set out on new life goals to help others, and we diligently prayed for God to bless us with you. We WANTED you. But each day, as my belly grew, I only grew more and more anxious. I prayed to God, pleeeeease let it be a boy. I KNOW how to raise a boy. I GET boys. But deep inside I knew what I was really pleading to God was that I wouldn't MESS UP a boy. But then the day came, and there you were. A GIRL.
So off we went, taking home our precious bundle. And I waited, and waited, and waited. I wanted to love you. I wanted a better relationship than the one my mother and I had. But I was scared, tired, annoyed, and drained. There you were, taking every ounce of me away... and just when I thought I had something figured out, you would switch it up on me again. I chowed daily on humble pie because of you. And I was quickly learning, I didn't like humble pie.
Do I think it was postpartum blues? Not really. Did it have something to do with growing up in a dysfunctional family? Perhaps. Needless to say, I write this to you not because I want to figure out WHY I felt the way I did (or didn't), but because I want to give you permission to feel how you need to, if you ever become a mother yourself someday.
I only speak for my experience sweetie, but it took me a LONG time to open my heart up to you. It didn't help that all you did was take from me in those first few months. Who knew a baby doesn't respond or smile right away? And the lack of sleep... lets not get into the lack of sleep.
You see, it's like when I met daddy, I did not love him right away (even though he will tell you differently!) It took a long time to date, interact, and to get to know his heart. I began to find his hidden quirks and odd nuances that often drive me mad, but are also exactly what drove me to fall in love and become his wife and your momma. So what made me think our relationship, yours and mine, would be any different?
But little by little, the hardened walls that I had so intently built up around my heart over the years began to fall. I started to realize, I no longer had to protect myself from anyone, especially you baby. That to love, is to be vulnerable, without any expectation or guarantee. YOU taught me that. I am softer, more loving and compassionate because of you. And I think that's why God lent you to me honey.
I just want you to know that however long it takes you to feel connected towards your son or daughter, adopted or birthed, that that's OKAY. There is no right or wrong way, no time limit and no rush. That no matter what others say, never EVER feel there is something wrong with you. You have permission to feel however YOU need to feel, without shame or guilt. Because guess what? The love you have in your heart is special and unique, it is a gift from God. He is inside of you, and God is perfect. So that love inside of you too is PERFECT, no matter how long it takes for it to come to fruition. Sometimes life can cover up that perfect love, or try to push it away. But its there baby, and it always will be. It will never leave you.
And that's what we have now. A BOUNTY of perfect love, that is growing at its own pace and getting more vibrant everyday. It's a beautiful thing.
So I leave you with this: You do YOUR thing. You rock that momma bear role however YOU need to. And if at the beginning of your motherhood journey you feel at any way at all like I did, always know you are NOT alone. There is NOTHING wrong or broken with you or your little one. Remember, that you are a KICK ASS mother, and that God entrusted that little one to YOU for a reason. He believes in you. So do I.
Today I look at your chubby little face, with that crooked grin smiling back at me, and my heart overflows with the love I so desperately craved for us. And let me tell you, it has been WORTH THE WAIT.