Im not one of those mothers who said that when her baby was born she instantly felt this overwhelming matchless love. Thats not to say that I wouldnt throw myself under an oncoming bus to save him or that I dont love him more than life itself. Its just to say that I felt that tremendous unparalleled love when I first learned that he was growing inside me. When I first saw the positive pregnancy test I was wracked with an emotion I almost cannot express. Despite the fact that I was in denial for weeks, how could this finally be happening, I felt the most amazing adoration swelling inside my heart. It was a love unlike any other, tainted by fear that this, too, would end in heartache, flanked by relief, swollen with joy and filled with pride. I didnt even know his name. I didnt need to. Just knowing that he existed, buried deep inside me was enough. I didnt need to give birth to him to realize that matchless love. I knew it when I saw him sucking his thumb on the ultrasound, when I felt those initial bubbles that became violent wiggles by the third trimester and when I first saw his heart, taking up most of his teeny, tiny body, beating fiercely on the screen. I knew that devotion when I saw the positive test. Deep down, somewhere within my subconscious, I think I even knew it during all those months of infertility and when, at last, I thought my firstborn would come through someone else and be given, miraculously to me through adoption. When my heart was waiting for him, I knew. I knew it when I was afraid and I knew it when I was so numb that fear was absent.
And because I prayed through my anguish and my pain and my fear, carrying him began to feel like a little bit of heaven. It was a secret paradise, a hope that only I had access to. Of course I love his ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes more nownow that they belong to a face and a name, but sometimes I almost think that I have dreamed him into existence. And sometimes, when I remember them putting his warm, fresh body on my chest, I feel terrible that I didnt have that initial, overwhelming wave that I hear every mother talk about. Doubt crowds my memory and I find myself wondering if I am a bad mother because my heart wasnt swelling to hefty proportions as he stared at me, seeing life for the first time. But I remind myself that ours was a different journey. And as he peered, intently, into my eyes, I stared back into his. But I wasnt seeing him for the first time. Because in those eyes was every prayer answered, every tear nullified, every wish granted. And the love I felt for him wasnt overwhelming. It was comfortable. It had always been, at least, for as long as I could remember. As he gazed at me, I stared back. Our eyes met, and they told our story.