Why didn’t anyone warn me that I’d love you like this? That the sight of you sleeping would make me tear up, and that the sound of your cry would make my heart race. That no matter how much I love your father – an all-encompassing love, the kind that can rattle my whole world and take my breath away – that no matter how much I love him, that love would be like nothing compared to my love for you. Why didn’t anyone tell me that my arms would ache for you when we’re apart?
I became a new person the day we met. My love for you rose up like a wave and smashed so many of my fears, my insecurities, my shallowness. The day we met you took over my mind, but I did not “lose myself” as I had sometimes feared, in the darker moments of my pregnancy. I have lost nothing, but gained everything. Though I have always been a complete person, my completeness has solidified since meeting you. It has more texture now, more depth. Though you did not give my life purpose, you have made my purpose, and everything I do, so much more meaningful that I ever could have imagined life would be.
Sometimes, while you nap, I stand in front of a mirror and look at what has become of me, physically. I think about the fears of pregnancy – that I would get fat, that horrible stretch marks would form, that I’d never “get my body back”. As I look in the mirror I think back to that, and smile. If only someone could have told me then that I’d cherish the roundness my belly has now, and will likely always have. If only they could have warned me that I would still smile and caress that spot, your former home, even after you had vacated. I wish I could have known then, while you were safe and warm and protected inside me, that I would miss those days so much now.
Every day you grow and change, almost before my eyes. Each time I look at you, you are bigger and stronger and more like a little person, exploring the big and exciting world. Every day you become more like yourself, you draw away from me just a little bit more, and I know that this will continue until, someday, you will move away. And the thought of that day makes a hole grow in my chest – a bottomless pit of fear and sorrow and pride. Why didn’t anyone warn me?