• Angelene Woodard

Confession: I Didn't Love My Son at First

Talk about being unqualified.

Countless mothers told me I would automatically fall in love with my baby boy the very instant I heard his raw cry. It was guaranteed that just as soon as he was laid on my chest for the very first time, I would possess feelings that would overwhelm and change me for the rest of my life.

What can I say? It didn't happen that way.

It wasn't instantaneous.

I will make a long story short. Because you all know - us moms love a good birthing story. This could take a while. But I will spare all the gushy mushy details.

Here's our abbreviated summary: My first born was measuring off the charts when I went in for our last checkup.

My concerned doctor booked an induction immediately. She was afraid my whopper baby was going to try to make his way into the world and then not fit. He didn't need to hang out in utero any longer. We were both at risk.

My husband and I arrived at the hospital and waited. Nothing happened for eighteen hours. A cesarean was scheduled.

There were complications. It was scary and dramatic and stressful there for a good little bit. In the end, our baby boy was just fine. I was just fine.

Our sticky bundle (weighing in at almost 9 lbs) was indeed placed on my chest...for about twenty two seconds. I didn't even really get to hold him. I just kinda saw him. Then he was whisked away by nurses.

My husband saw him. Held him. Was in awe of him. But the anesthesiologist cranked my meds up to a let's help her rest a little better level and that was it. I was out.

When I woke up a few hours later, I felt no different than when we arrived at the hospital. Where was my baby? And why was my stomach still so huge? Shouldn't it have deflated or something since it's now unoccupied?

Anyway, by the time we got to our room and requested a visit from the nursery, a total of six hours had passed.

I finally got to hold him. To really look at him. To smell him and unwrap the blankets to count fingers and toes.

He was so sweet. And wonderful.

However, I wasn't convinced he was mine.

Seriously, he could belong to anyone. My soul did not recognize his soul. My inner most being didn't feel an instant bond. There was no overwhelming love that took my breath away.

There was some relief. There was some excitement. There was some awkward feelings of what now? But, honestly, I didn't love this child.

I did all the things I was supposed to do. I learned how to nurse (which didn't happen super quick either). I learned how to swaddle. I learned how to fasten him into a car seat properly. I learned just how very much I didn't know.

Basically, I went through the motions.

And eventually, the love came. The fierce love that hijacks a mother's heart most definitely snatched mine right up. That powerful emotion I had heard so much about introduced itself, grabbed me hard, and shook me to the core.

Our love story took a while to develop. But it did develop. Even though it is very different than what I had hoped and prayed for - it is still covered by the hand of God.

I am sharing one of my most personal mothering experiences with you for one reason today.

Maybe you are struggling to love someone too. Maybe you have doubts about something God has called you to do too.

Maybe you're pregnant - again. And not fully prepared and/or excited about it. Maybe you're supposed to adopt a child and not sure that you have the emotional capacity to deliver on such a calling. Maybe you've been given a second chance at love and are ready to jump in with both feet - except you're not so sure about properly loving this person's children.

Maybe you are having another boy and really wanted a little girl. Or are having a girl, but really wanted to give your husband a son.

Maybe those you cherish the most have disappointed, hurt, and even possibly, betrayed you.

Maybe you're sick and tired of being sick and tired of your spouse and just want out - all the while knowing that deep down you don't have a good enough reason to leave.

Here's my advice: just wait. Wait.

Go through the motions. Do what you're supposed to do. Follow the path you are currently on and be willing to follow it blindly.

There is honor in obedience. Patience is strengthened by faithfulness.

It's when we are stumbling along in the dark, feeling for the right way, calling out for help with our whole heart, that things change. It's when we take tiny little steps - like barely-making-any-progress-at-all-shuffles - when we are changed.

Our Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what is hidden deep. He placed it there. Just because we don't see the capabilities doesn't mean they are not there. Our dominant feelings may just end up taking a back seat by the time He intervenes.

And those feelings that are late in showing themselves? They may be late to the party, but they party hard once they arrive.


Wait for the Love to show up. He always does. And He always delivers.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I humbly invite you to share this post if you think it will benefit others.

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