Ask any one of my close friends or family members and they will all tell you that I am, in fact, a cold and heartless individual.
Ha, not really. But admittedly, I’m not one to readily wear my heart on my sleeve.
Pregnancy screwed all of that up for me.
My best friend couldn’t believe when I told her that the big ball of hormones I became during those 9 months had me crying at movies and even commercials! I’ve always been the one to make fun of people who cried at sad movies. “You have no heart!” My mom would tell me when I didn’t even shed a tear while watching a certain movie that made her weepy.
Yet, once I was pregnant, the flood gates opened. I made the mistake of watching “A Walk to Remember” early in my first trimester. And then the hubby took me to see “The Choice” for Valentine’s Day. Darn you, Nicholas Sparks!!! NOT pregnancy friendly movies. I made sure to steer clear of “The Notebook” while I was gestating. But heck, I even cried at the end of “Pitch Perfect” when Benji finally got his big solo! What!
There was a PSA video that was circulating my Facebook newsfeed for a while about an old man who died and became an organ donor and left his dog behind. Oh goodness, I couldn’t even think about that ad without sobbing uncontrollably. I tried to tell Drew about it one day and only got out “I watched a sad video about an old man and his dog” when I lost it. I couldn’t stop blubbering to even form words until about an hour after the fact.
In the weeks leading up to the birth of my daughter, I spent many hours watching birthing videos online. It never failed; every time the baby was born, they put it on the mother’s chest, and she finally got to meet and hold her baby for the first time, I would get all emotional and teary-eyed. I couldn’t help but imagine what that magical moment would feel like for me… finally getting to see and touch the little being that had been growing and squirming around in my belly and kicking me from the inside for the past several months. It had to be the best moment of any day EVER!
I was sure that I would be a soggy, snotty mess when it was my turn. I told Drew multiple times before the big day, “I just know I’m going to cry when she’s born! I’m definitely going to cry!”
But, I didn’t.
I didn’t even feel CLOSE to crying when she was born. And here’s why:
By the time my daughter was born, I’d already been in labor for 19 hours. I’d had PLENTY of time to think, “This is it! I’m going to meet my baby!” and imagine what that first sight of her would be like. Not to mention all of the months I’d spent previously picturing the moment as well. I was READY. I’d already imagined every way it could go and by the time I was pushing, I was just focused on ending that extremely long day of labor and pain.
Also, I’d been pushing for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. So, when the moment finally came, I didn’t really have time to process the magical-ness of it all. The main thing I felt when I held my baby for the first time was relief. Overwhelming relief. I was no longer in pain. I no longer had to push. She was here. She was safe. She was healthy. I didn’t have to worry about what labor and delivery was like anymore… I’d already been there, done that by the point the baby finally arrived and all I could feel was RELIEVED.
Don’t get me wrong, I was so happy to meet her and just amazed at the process of it all and how perfect she was (is). But it was different to experience it first-hand than it was to focus on what an incredible and perfect moment it was like I could when watching birthing videos from other moms.
The next day is a different story, however, when I turned into a ridiculous mess while trying to read Briella a story called “I Love You Animally.” Why? Because it was just too darn sweet! Gotta love those hormones!