This past week, during World Breastfeeding Week, Jenny Lewis posed a questioned to her followers; ” When Was The First Moment You Felt Like A Parent?” I watched through the screen, reading entries by strangers and familiars, finding solace in their way of digging deeper during that intersection of decision and definition.
So I asked myself and others the same question; When was the first moment you felt like you became a parent?
Me: The first moment I felt like a parent, was a moment of confusion. I’d just had River, and I laid in my shared room with the curtain drawn and light peeking through the sides. I had this feeling of finally settling in, as I curved my face toward the sun and felt it on my cheek. She had been born in the morning during the middle of a New York City snowstorm. I’ll never forget the way I laid there, quietly feeling as If I finished a marathon. The moment in-between her entry and my breathes of relief felt short lived. A nurse came in, smiling thick, with a secure kind of bounce a healthy newborn wields over some. She wheeled her in, whipping around the corner of the bed as to not have the frame and the plexi kiss. She propped her up, checked our wrists bands, and kindly requested that I feed her. I knew I had just given birth, but the connection felt delayed. Bewildered? Certainly.
Are you sure she’s mine?
I remember the way the nurse nodded and plopped her down above my aching stomach and right into the sweaty folds of my arms. The hospital, one for immediate connection of mother and baby, had no space for nerves. I sat there, staring at her, analyzing her tiny face and toes. It was that moment of now what? And, I guess I’m in charge here?! When I felt like a parent for the first time.
“When my first son was born, he was jaundiced and had to have his bilirubin levels checked daily at the pediatrician. This involved several hours of navigating bus routes and walking in the New York winter. Even though I had just given birth, all I could think about was him. Was he warm enough? Was it too loud? Was he okay? Any concern for myself had been replaced with my love for him.”- Lauren
“When River grabbed onto my hand and squeezed on me for the first time.” – Peter
“When my son started school. It was different then him being a baby, when he grew up and I actually had to speak to teachers and make sure his grades were up. It felt like real parenting.”- Brittany
“When the doctors laid him on my chest, just moments after he was born, there was an immediate feeling of completeness. In an instant, my world included just one. In the small person that I held so tightly, held all my love, highest expectations and dreams. All I wanted, was to love and protect him for the rest of my life.” – My mother
“Two months before his birth when I sold my car to finance a move to a more family friendly neighborhood.” – My brother
Finally, Sarah; “I think my transition into motherhood was slow and steady, even after Iris was born; but I remember finishing her nursery a few weeks before my due date, and walking in every morning just to stare at it. That, for me, was a magical moment, quiet and peaceful, but so, so real.”
If you’re a parent, when was the first moment you really felt like one? You can follow along on Jenny’s account to read the entries of others right here.