A Motherly Bond

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

It was somewhere around 11 am and my brand new baby was set on my chest for the first time.
We had prayed for her by name for the past 6 or so months after we had found out her gender and actually agreed on a name, but I still looked at her swollen little face and said out loud, "Are you Oaklyn?"
I loved her instantly and cried tears of joy upon meeting her, but I still felt like I didn't actually know her.
She cried and I looked to the nurses as if they would tell me what do to with her, as if they knew her better than I did.
I started rocking her and attempted different ways to nurse her and I thought to myself, "I can't wait to get to know you."

Hunter's side of the family has several grandchildren. 
I've been around since the day he became an uncle and when I married into the family, I went from never being an aunt to having 5 nieces and 6 nephews. 
I remember hearing each of my sister in laws saying that their babies had a specific cry that helped them understand what they wanted. 
They knew each of their children so well and always seemed to be able to tend to their needs.
Their kids looked to their mommies for comfort and well, everything else they needed, because they knew each other and had a bond like nobody else. 

So there I was, sitting in that hospital bed wondering when that bond would come and when I would understand my child in a way that no one else would
And then over time... it just happened.
It happened over the course of the several nights I was up with her while the rest of the world was sleeping.
It happened when her first little tooth popped through and her fevered little body only wanted mama to comfort her.
It happened when she was learning to walk and looked for my hand so I could guide her through this new skill she was figuring out.
It happened when I sat with her on the bathroom floor with the hottest water running through the shower in hopes that the steam would unclog her stuffy little nose. 
It happened through bath times, feedings, being rocked to sleep, endless diaper changes, snuggles and kisses, dancing together, doctors appointments, being worried sick during the wee hours of the night, giggles and tickles, and being together every single day.

Those first few weeks home from the hospital, I thought I might never know how to console her when she cried or get her to sleep longer than 15 minutes on her own.
Somehow though, it just happens... and when it does, you'll have never felt a more selfless and unconditional love.
Because sometimes you just need a break and wish your baby would let someone else hold them. 
But, each time you pass them off and they reach back for mama, you think your heart just might burst of love.

I remember several times holding someone else's baby and looking to the mom when he or she started to cry.
Now, I am that mom and I couldn't be more happy about the bond I get to experience with my little girl.
I know it may sound cliche, but you truly can't understand the bond between a mother and her child until you become a mama.
Becoming a mother changes you and that phrase only scratches the surface.
Lately, when I hear Oaklyn cry, or I see her eyes light up, I seem to immediately know what she wants or is happy about.
It's not because I'm some baby whisperer... it's because I have a bond with my child that nobody else will ever have. 
I think I finally understand why my mom was so protective over me and why Hunter's mom cried when every child left the house.
As a mom, your baby will always have a special place in your heart and you'll hope that they will always still need you in some way or another. 
The bond and connection a mother shares with her baby is the whole reason motherhood is so special and beautiful.
So for now, I'll enjoy each time when Oaklyn's little arms immediately reach back for me the second I hand her off to someone else.
I've spent countless sleepless nights working on that bond ;)

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

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