I will never forget the moment the nurse came into my hospital room and said to us, “OK, as soon as we can get you a wheel chair, you guys can go home.” She shared a kind, knowing, smile with the three of us, my husband, myself and our newborn daughter.
I nervously laughed, as my heart sank and my stomach turned. I stood there helpless, as my eyes immediately welled up with tears. I was frightened and overwhelmed, excited and ecstatic and I felt like I was going to vomit on the spot.
I glanced over at my husband, who stood there frozen as the reality hit him too that we were now completely responsible for keeping this baby alive.
I whispered to him, ” Are they really going to let us go home with her?” I knew the answer. I had been planning on the moment that I would meet my baby and hold her in my arms since the second that I knew I was pregnant. Amongst all the anticipation, I had somehow forgotten that, in the end, this tiny, perfect little human was going home with us.
My inner voice was screaming, “My God, please don’t let us break her!” She was so tiny and fragile. I felt like if I hugged her too hard she might break. I couldn’t imagine anything more important to me at that moment than making sure that she stayed happy and healthy.
They make you take a test and get a license to drive a car but there are no test, no license, no qualifications for taking care of a baby. There is no parenthood ed to help you learn how to be a good parent.
At that moment, as we stood there staring at our beautiful, tiny little girl strapped into the giant, all engulfing car seat, scared witless (us not her), the nurse returned with the wheelchair.
I sat down in the wheelchair and prayed to God to please let me be the mother that our sweet baby deserved. I realized at that moment that it was truly the first day of the rest of our lives and everything from that moment on would be changed.
Everything that I had known up to that point in my life was completely irrelevant. They placed our miracle into my lap, our eyes locked and her gaze held me. I was in love, deeper then anything I had ever known. In that millisecond, I have become an extra in my own life and she is the star and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In that moment, I became a mother.