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Dear Baby, I Don't Love You Yet

Photograph by Twenty20

It was pure joy the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test, the one that said you were officially on your way. Christmas week couldn’t have gifted me a better surprise. The new year would be full of so much joy for our family!

But then I was sick. And we were moving. And I was juggling three other children, your big siblings, the ones who have been smitten with you from day one. Acknowledging my pregnancy fell by the wayside. Sometimes it felt more like a hindrance— something else for me to manage.

As my belly grew (with you inside!) I waited for your sweet little thumps and kicks. The first signs that someone was in there, the beginning of our physical connection. I’d experienced it three times before and the potential of what was coming was real. I knew I’d adore you in no time, but for now, the love? The bond? I hate to admit it, but it's missing.

I mean, technically I love you. Of course, I do! You are wanted and cherished and already an important part of our family. I’d give my life for you, even now, never having seen you face to face. If something happened, and I missed out on holding you, watching you laugh, learn, and love your own children someday, I’d be destroyed.

But the overwhelming emotion of love? The one that brings me to both smiles and tears for your big sister and big brothers? It’s still growing for you.

I’ve always felt this disconnect during pregnancy. It’s just so hard to imagine who you are, who you'll become.

I know someday you'll do amazing things. I know you'll fill my heart to the brim and make me more proud than words will ever express. You and I will be not only grow to love one another, but we'll grow to understand each other in only the ways a mother and son can.

You seem out of touch. Not quite real. So perfect, but still, so far away.

But right now? I would be lying if I didn't say that I feel like my midsection is home to a little alien. A cute, precious, perfect little alien, but an alien just the same. Someone I sort of know about, but don't fully know... yet. Soon you'll be the baby I feel overwhelming adoration and love for. You kick and wiggle and punch me and, for now, it all just feels so foreign.

Pregnancy is mysterious. It takes so much effort to be still and acknowledge that the person inside of me is YOU—a whole, unique being just waiting to to be known. And sometimes, I just can’t. Even though you're inside of me, I feel too far removed to understand. You are too complex. Too amazing of a person, even now, for me to grasp. You seem out of touch. Not quite real. So perfect, but still, so far away.

When my other children were born, though, when I had the chance to see and hold them, that’s when the magic happened. And that's when it will happen for us, too. I'm sure of it.

All will be well. The love will flow (and flow and flow and flow, probably forever!) and all my worries of "Can I love you enough?” will surely disappear. It’s happened before and I trust that it will happen again.

Oh, dear baby, I don’t love you yet, but I will.

I promise.

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