Tuesday, February 24, 2015


...then all at once.  That's how I fell in love with my daughter.

I owe that quote to John Green.  In his novel The Fault in Our Stars there was a line from one of the characters about falling in love with someone and she said "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once", which is exactly how I feel.  It sort of happened when I wasn't looking.  I kept stressing out while I was pregnant that I hadn't connected with the whole process.  It kept feeling like it was all happening to someone else, and even after she was born I felt like I should have been hit by a bolt of lightning that just rocked my world and struck me in the heart with this overwhelming feeling of love for her, but it didn't happen like that.

A few weeks after she was born my mom asked me "Did you ever think you could love something so much?" and I said "I don't know.  Maybe I'm weird, but it's not like that for me.  I think she's pretty great, but I'm not obsessed with her or anything" and she said "Yeah, you are weird.  There's something wrong with that".  So, of course, I fell into a spiral of guilt over being a terrible mom, which is starting to feel way too familiar to me, but the truth is that she is pretty great, but I wasn't there yet.  Some of this may have had to do with how traumatic her birth was, and all of the medication I was on, and how utterly exhausted I was even after I came home because I'd gone essentially four days without being able to sleep properly, but for whatever reason, I didn't fall for her immediately.  I beat myself up for it all the time, watching my husband fall easily in love with her, constantly feeling like I had something wrong with me.  The truth is, sometimes love isn't immediate.  It's not always a bolt of lightning.  It's sometimes a journey.  My journey took a while.  I loved her from the beginning, and I cared for her, but there was always this feeling that I was missing something important.  I was missing that sense of obsession, of NEED to be with her.

This past weekend I realized that, when I wasn't paying attention, I fell in love with her all at once.  We went to my nephew's birthday party, and then out to dinner with a couple of friends, and on the way home I suddenly realized that she had me.  Hook, line and sinker, she had me.  I didn't stress out while we were gone.  I didn't worry.  I didn't text constantly to check up on her.  I was out and I was present with the people I was with, but as we got closer to home I found myself anxious to see her.  I wanted to go home and pick her up and press my face up against those chubby cheeks and just hold her.  We made a stop on the way home to pick up a couple of groceries and the whole time I just kept thinking "Let's get out of here and go home.  We're so close to home" and it was so strange.  Strange to be excited to see someone after only a few hours away.  Strange to have a force drawing me home when most days I am perfectly happy to be out and about.  It startled me, and I realized that I'd been working toward this slowly for weeks.  Slowly finding moments where she caught my heart.  Feeling relief when she finally smiled for me after weeks of doing it only for my husband.  Suddenly realizing that maybe she doesn't hate me, and maybe she is happy when she sees me.  As I started feeling more like myself, I also started realizing how great she is in the moments when she's not screaming.

I fell in love with her slowly, and then all at once.  I'm so glad.

1 comment:

  1. That's great :) It makes sense that a mother's love like that would come on at different times, just as it does with other types of love in life.