People have said – and by people I mean parents – they “never knew what love was until they had a baby.” Which, in my opinion, is quite a heavy, schmooptastic statement. I guess it means I should operate under the assumption that because I’ve procreated I am thusly granted access to the holy grail of true, unconditional love. And, as life would have it, in my short 2.25 months of Mommy hood, I actually believe that’s the truth.
No one ever bothered to write in the books you’re supposed to buy that, in reality, having a baby actually breaks your heart. It takes all that new love and smushes it like an avocado destined for guacamole. I think if someone were to actually say something about the excruciating heartbreak that comes with parenthood, enough so it would show up in search results for “famous quotes about having a baby,” that there just might be fewer babies. Which isn’t a bad thing. Babies can be noisy. And interruptive. And noisy. But back to the love thing…
My heart freakin’ breaks into a million pieces every day. I walk around emotionally undercooked. Now, I’m not talking about “I accidentally clipped skin instead of nail” type heart break. Ooooorrr, “screaming in the backseat while I’m unable to stop the car,” heart break. It’s more along the lines of…
We make eye contact. Break.
He smiles at me. Break.
He burps after chowing. Break.
He full-body stretches after being in the carseat most of the day. Break.
He hits the dangling thing above his head and makes it sing for the first time. Break.
He farts. Break.
He sneezes, coughs or hiccups. Break, break and break.
He pees an impressive arc over his head. Break.
He falls asleep in the most uncomfortable-looking position in my lap. Break.
I find him wide awake after nap time completely content hanging out all by himself. Break.
He stops crying. Break.
He starts crying. Break.
He falls asleep. Break.
He wakes up. Break.
You get the idea.
“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone
(Yes, I asked Google for ‘having a baby quotes.’)
My heart is an unwrapped, exposed heap of love goo. It’s equal parts cool and scary. There are many a la carte moments of awesome, but they all seem to come with a side of “Holy Sh*t!” at the same time. With each break I instantly see his entire life flash before my eyes. I want to squeeze him tight and yell at the carnies to stop the ride. Someone call Shutterfly and have them stop production on all moments past now.
Alas, positive thoughts…
Here’s hoping I wrote “baby” and “love” and “heart” and “break” enough in this post for it to show up in someone else’s search results. I would like to ease other new mommy minds when they realize the same thing I did: having a baby is so amazingly super rad, but it’s downright sad, too. And that’s OK. It does teach you a new love, a love that’s born from a million heart breaks healing together. I guess that makes it the strongest love ever in the end… but in the middle of each moment it still feels awfully fragile.