Even though it’s been almost three weeks since my son was born, I think I was still in a bit of shock that yes, I’m now a mom. A large part of it has to do with the fact that our son was born five weeks early. And yet, even with his early arrival and how unprepared I felt at first, there was a moment when everything just clicked – the Mom Moment.
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It was strange to be in the recovery wing of the labor and delivery ward, hearing babies crying in other mothers’ rooms and to know that my baby was on another floor, up in the NICU. It was a quiet night, my mom leaving around 2:30 in the morning while I finally got some sleep after an intense natural birth earlier that evening.
When I awoke the next morning, I again thought how strange it was that my son wasn’t in the room with me. It really hit me when I stood in the shower and felt that my belly was no longer round, my baby no longer snuggled up inside of me. “He’s really here now,” I thought, suddenly overcome with emotion.
I was nervous about seeing my son for the first time in his private room in the NICU, so I waited until my husband finally made it to the hospital after the longest 14-hour flight of his life from Japan to the United States. I was scared that he might be hooked up to so many machines, about what he might look like. And yet, as I walked into the NICU hand-in-hand with my husband, seeing my son in his isolette, wires and probes attached to his tiny, sleeping body…
It just clicked: the Mom Moment.
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All at once, I knew that this was my son, this child for whom we longed for such a long time. The child we fought for, prayed for – he was here. And here we were, his brand new parents. Our family of two had finally become a family of three. The wish I had been making for four years was finally granted. And as we stood there, as I realized the journey that lay ahead of all of us, I broke down.
I would do anything for this child. I would move heaven and earth to have my son be happy, healthy and well. No matter what it takes, I’ll do whatever I need to do to get him home.
And as the days here seem endless, the routine of life in the NICU a grueling one, every day when I see his face I remember: I’m a mom now. And I’m not just any mom.
I’m his mom. And I always will be.