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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 with each passing day. Of course, when my babies were born and I finally got to see their smushy, red little faces for the very first time, I was struck 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-sight feeling 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 life from day one, while others' lifelong bonds take a little more time. For me, with all of my kids, that level of love definitely grew as the interaction level increased. New parents are all about giving, giving, giving and newborns are happily taking, taking, taking. And rightfully so: There is little they can do for themselves at the beginning of life and the reliance on mommy and daddy to help them along the way only fuels the bonding process, on both sides. Little by little, the interaction starts to happen, and those first smiles, first giggles and the 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 get older, you start to see yourself in them. And them in you. Physical characteristics aside, you might have the same sense of humor, share similar personality traits - even share a love of mint chocolate chip ice cream, in my case. The bond is strengthened by those common ties and by seeing what wonderful, curious, funny and caring kids they are turning into.

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

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