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First Time I Fell in Love with My Baby

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

The love I have for my kids is beyond unconditional. It's undying,unquestioned and fierce, and it's a love that continues to grow witheach passing day. Of course, when my babies were born and I finally gotto see their smushy, red little faces for the very first time, I wasstruck with the love bug. How could I not? I created them (with help)and they were inside of me for almost a year.

But I didn't experience that head-over-heels, love-at-first-sightfeeling that you hear some moms talk about. Mine was more of an I love you because you were in me kind of emotion, but the fierceness of that definitely has been cultivated over the years.

Every new mom's experience is different. Some are bonded for lifefrom day one, while others' lifelong bonds take a little more time. Forme, with all of my kids, that level of love definitely grew as theinteraction level increased. New parents are all about giving, giving,giving and newborns are happily taking, taking, taking. And rightfullyso: There is little they can do for themselves at the beginning of lifeand the reliance on mommy and daddy to help them along the way onlyfuels the bonding process, on both sides. Little by little, theinteraction starts to happen, and those first smiles, first giggles andthe first recognition as me as "mommy" sealed the deal for me.

What's so neat about this ever-growing bond is that as the kids getolder, you start to see yourself in them. And them in you. Physicalcharacteristics aside, you might have the same sense of humor, sharesimilar personality traits - even share a love of mint chocolate chipice cream, in my case. The bond is strengthened by those common ties andby seeing what wonderful, curious, funny and caring kids they areturning into.

I was bonded to my babies from the minute they were born, but thatbond has grown stronger with each passing day I have been their mom.Lucky me.

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