Growth Spurts: Love at First Sight
My water broke sometime between placing my order and actually receiving my chocolate milkshake at Sonic. I was with my sister Julie, who was visiting from out of town. We had been hoping that I might go into labor while she was in town, so we were both pretty excited. But I was also slightly freaking out, since this was my first baby.
Julie called my husband Kevin, who was working at the time, and told him to meet us at the hospital. When Julie and I got there, I marched to the desk and told them that my water had broken and thatthe baby was coming! Calmly, the lady asked me to have a seat, and they would look into room availability and get me checked in. I thought she was awfully calm at a time like this! Didn’t she hear me say that I was ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY???
But we got all checked in; my husband arrived at the hospital shortly afterward; and labor was underway. In the meantime, the grandparents-to-be were on the road from Mississippi to Texas, and my Callie paid them the courtesy of delaying her birth until all traveling family members were safely (but sleepily) in the waiting room.
As soon as I saw that sweet baby’s face, I was completely smitten! I had never experienced anything like it. This was a love that was unlike any other. This was a mother’s love.
Twenty-two months later, I was five days past my due date with my son, and he seemed entirely content to stay put in the womb. And though I appreciated how much he wanted to stay close to his mama, I was so ready to get this child out of me. So labor was induced.
During the next several hours, (well, in between contractions anyway), I pondered the emerging of this new creature–a boy–and, to be completely honest, I feared that I would not be able to love him as much as I loved my firstborn. My love for Callie was so immense; I feared it could not be replicated.
But then my Caleb was born. As soon as I saw this baby boy, all fear was replaced with overwhelming love and adoration. My capacity for love had simply expanded.
Another twenty-two months later, I woke up early one morning (which is never natural for me), and I immediately started having steady contractions just a few minutes apart. My third baby was on her way!I felt calmer this time around. (Experience tends to have that impact.) I also felt confident that there were no limits on this mother’s love, as it had proven to do nothing but multiply with the birth of each of my children.
My Katie was born after just a few hours of labor. And once again, all I had to do was see the miracle of that baby’s face to know that I was completely in love.
And now–this time, more than a decade later–I am waiting once again for the arrival of another child. This time there is neither a due date nor an option to induce. My husband and I have no control over the timing of this child’s arrival. In fact, we can only hope that it will happen within this year. We don’t know anything about him–only that he is in need of a family and a home. We are doing all that we can to make the adoption process go as quickly and smoothly as possible, but so much of it involves simply waiting. And as we wait, we wonder. What does he look like? What is his name? What are his interests? What will he think of us?
This type of waiting can be incredibly hard; it’s a very different kind of labor. But just as I have done with my first three children, I will wait with excitement and anticipation for him. I will prepare for his arrival as best I can. And I will take comfort in knowing that as soon as I see his face, I will, once again, be in love.
Carrie Bevell Partridge never got to drink that chocolate milkshake from Sonic.