Do you remember the moment when you first laid eyes on your newborn? For me, there was an instantaneous feeling of recognition, as if I was welcoming an old friend. There I lay, propped up against some pillows with this tiny infant in my arms and I’m thinking, “Hello, old friend.”
I hesitate to say I didn’t experience that same feeling with my second child. The birth was easier than with my first, although it was in some ways more traumatic because it was the first time I was separated for more than a couple of hours from my two-year-old daughter. I wonder if somehow my son knew my thoughts were elsewhere because within a day he found a way to get my attention. He developed what the doctor called “Fast Breathing”, so they put him in an incubator for 4 days and started giving him antibiotics in case there was some kind of lung infection. I had to leave him in the hospital eventually and pump my breast milk that first week. It gave us a good scare, and I understand now as I look back that even then he never had any trouble gaining the attention he needed and deserved.
We never did find out what was wrong. Perhaps he just wanted to make a grand entrance and shake everyone up. The end result was that he created a parent-child bond that was just as powerful and life-changing as his sister. And in both cases, I felt as though something had hit me over the head and spun me around until I was dizzy and disoriented and wasn’t sure which way was up or down.
The world never really does settle back down again. Perhaps it’s the job of children to spin our world around every once in a while and make us see things in a new way…