A mother's love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever. - unknown
Duh!! as if one did not know that.. the question is...when does it actually happen? happen is probably a wrong word...hmmm..what does this "mother's love" feel like? when do you start to feel it? is it like love at first sight? is it when we see that first little blip of a heart beat on the first scan? is it when we first feel that tiny flutter of a movement? is it when we see for the first time the entire baby on the 8 month scan where you can actually make out his/her features...and you debate who he/she looks like? is it in the labour room when you see him/her for the first time?
Well, to me it took time...makes me wonder if i am alone in this or it happens to many? i did with great excitement go through all the phases i have mentioned above. One would think that when you get to meet someone who has been a part of you (literally!!) ...for the first time,...it would be more than a blur.
I have never understood how they potray childbirth in movies. A lot of screaming, few women holding sarees as screens/ lucky ones get to the hospital, thankfully in a few minutes the child is born. The unlucky ones get a few hassled doctors and nurses walking in and out of the labour ward or operating theatre giving wierd explanations to the anxious family!!! and the mother cries happy tears when she holds the baby in the end!!! RIDICULOUS!!
Dont know where that came from...now to get back on track!!
In reality, when one goes through child birth we realise a few things. One, does not happen fast to most people, especially if one has a normal delivery...takes its own time. Two, the mother is not crying happy tears, its tears of relief and exhaustion!!
How one little teeny new person in your life can affect, alter and/or augment; perspectives, priorities, people, patience, protectiveness is ...hmmm...peculiar?
The days flow into nights and back into days...and you are in a dimension of your own..you and your child. Amidst the endless stream of visitors giving you repeated advice, irritation, sleeplessness, constant crying(the baby ofcourse!) and exhaustion there comes that one day when they look back right at you, eye to eye, in recognition, a knowing smile.."i know you, you are my mom"...the feeling needs to be felt to be understood.
Those moments when the screaming child calms down at your touch, responds to your voice, sleeps peacefully curled up next to you... with those simple moments of recognition and absolute trust, things begin to fall in place.
At the end of three months, your testing phase is over...you know and understand their every move, expression, feeling and want; and life seems to begin to settle into a routine(that is going to last for the rest of our lives, changing now and then). Life seems to be all about them. Everything and everyone else dissolves into the background. They are the centre of the universe, and all else revolves around them. We anticipate their every want, waking up in the middle of the night to check on them, even though they may have just turned over in their sleep.
My daughter is more than a year old now..she has brought out feelings in me that i never knew even existed. Is that what is mother's love? I dont know how to describe it; but that feeling of pride when she does something new, started to walk, finally began to look a bit like me :); the pain that i shared when she fell and hurt herself or when she got a shot or she fell sick; the anger and protectiveness i felt when someone compared her to another kid!!(it does sound irrational), and that small sinking feeling as i realise she is growing up and is becoming independant as she grows older.
As for my daughter : SHE IS MINE. Anyone so much as bat an evil eyelid in her direction(not even essentially at her) I will not hesitate to hurt, wound, injure, bruise, offend, hit, punch, kick or do whatever it takes to protect her!! Hmmm..mother's instinct?