Sunday, May 8, 2011

Overwhelmed With Love

“It is all very surreal.” I told my doctor the day after The Beast was born. The Beast, swaddled in a baby blanket, lay tiny on my legs that were propped up slightly so I could examine her little alien features. I did not feel a deep maternal connection to this little being. I felt terror and exhaustion.

The doctor looked at me and she said, “I know.” She picked up the little alien and continued, “Let me tell you what happens.” She said in her doctor-patient mode voice, “ It all feels new and scary and this little baby goes home with you and you love her now, but in 2 weeks your love will double and every two weeks your love will double for her. And this is what is really surreal—there will come a time—at about six months when you feel you could not love another being more than you love this little creature and then it will happen—your love will double. It is really overwhelming and it does not stop. But you will get use to it—sort of” she said and handed back the little creature and told me to try to rest.

The Beast looked at me with her dark, dark unfocused eyes—I put the little Beast on my chest and relaxed into the sterile hospital bed. “I normally trust modern medicine,” I thought—“we will see…”as we both fell asleep.

The Beast still sometimes falls asleep leaning against my chest with my arms wrapped around her just like that first day. And what my doctor said turned out to be true. If I am not careful I am overwhelmed with love. It could be something so simple as seeing The Beast practice the piano or striding down the street toward us—suddenly it hits me-- like having the wind knocked out of me and I think: How is it possible to love anyone THIS much?

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