Picture this. You are holding your newborn baby in your arms. Her searching, innocent eyes lock with yours, and your heart fills with an overwhelming love that is unlike anything that you have ever known. Then suddenly, your baby grips your finger and your world is complete. This is your inaugural moment…you are officially a parent.
Sound familiar? I realize that arguably the experience of labour and delivery was my inauguration into motherhood, but I believe that we all have a ‘moment’ after the medication, or the euphoria, or the fogginess of the first few days with your new baby wear off when we are slammed in the face with the realization that we have officially entered into the world of parenthood. I think this is true whether you birthed your own child or not, and whether you are male or female. We all have a ‘moment’. There’s a scene in the classic sitcom FRIENDS where Ross asks his dad “When did you start to feel like a father?” and Ross’ dad describes when Ross was a newborn baby and he grabbed his dad’s finger and squeezed it tight. That was the moment Ross’ dad knew he was a parent.
Many people’s inaugural stories are meaningful and heartfelt. They draw a single tear and tug at the heartstrings. Although I have had countless meaningful moments with my baby daughter, the story of my inauguration into motherhood invokes none of these descriptors. In fact, my inaugural moment comes with the disclaimer that if you are squeamish or offended easily you may want to choose to read another mom’s blog post. For those of you who choose to continue reading, I apologize in advance.
It was Christmas Eve, and my family was over for the day to celebrate the holiday with our special new baby girl. My mom was helping me change my week-old daughter who had just decided to pee all over the change table mat which then leaked all over the brand new change table. Mom offered to clean the table and I grabbed my now naked baby girl to comfort her before starting the diaper change dance all over again. I cuddled her tiny, perfect head in my left hand and with my right I cupped her adorable bare bottom and rested it on my chest while gently swaying back and forth.
And that’s when it happened.
Unexpectedly loud. Surprisingly forceful. Unforgettably messy.
My perfect week-old daughter explosive-pooped all over me. At the time I was sporting a tank top, and my hair (which I had styled down for the holiday occasion) was in curls cascading down my shoulders. This allowed for the explosion to successfully propel down my shirt, up my neck, and easily embed into my hair.
Had this occurred prior to the birth of my daughter when I was holding another person’s child, there would be no end to the screaming, the dry-heaving, and the general horror that I would have portrayed at such events happening to me.
Fast forward to being a week-old new mommy and my reaction was very different, yet very similar to my daughter’s explosive action. I also exploded…with laughter. My mom and I had tears running down our cheeks, as did my husband who managed to enter the nursery just in time to witness the smelly shrapnel covering his wife. In fact, a few hours later he discovered that I hadn’t found all of the evidence and he noted the smell still coming out of my hair.
As I stood there with my mom and husband, covered from head to stomach in baby poop, I thought to myself “this is it….I’m a mother”.
And so I was inaugurated into the world of parenthood. I am officially a mommy.
And I couldn’t be happier.
Do you have any inaugural stories to share?