My Darling Baby Girl,
No one told me.
No one told me that the pain in my body would pale when compared to the joy in my heart the day you were born.
No one told me how I’d feel holding you in my arms the first time.
No one told me that when holding your tiny hand in mine that I would feel equal parts pure job and sheer terror.
No one told me how much more I would love your father for giving you to me.
No one told me what it would feel like having you stare into my face as if you were memorizing every detail.
No one told me I’d feel simultaneous relief and frustration everytime you’d cry out for me at night.
No one told me that my frustration would quickly fade as I snuggled your warm body into mine.
No one told me that I’d miss those night time feedings all cuddled up in our own special world.
No one told me that I would cry each time I had to pack away the clothes you outgrew.
No one told me that the days would fly by so fast I would wonder if they even happened at all.
No one told me how it would feel to be both excited for each milestone and also completely devastated that you were one step further from babyhood.
No one told me that in the days before I went back to work that so much of the joy of being with you would be overshadowed by the overwhelming fear of leaving you.
No one told me that in the week before I returned that I would feel overwhelming sadness every time I put you to bed at night knowing I was one step closer to leaving you.
No one told me that t before I went back to work I would hold you in my arms in the early hours of the morning while tears ran down my face knowing that I wouldn’t see your sweet face again until after a long day of work.
No one told me how it would feel to pack my bag full of pump parts, bottles, and nursing pads all the while feeling overwhelming sadness that someone else would be feeding you when you woke up.
No one told me how it would feel to look at your sleeping face and walk out the front door for that first day of work.
No one told me that my arms would feel empty as I walked into my classroom alone that first day back.
No one told me how it would feel drying the eyes of my sad students knowing someone else was drying your sad eyes.
No one told me how it would feel to spend my hours caring for other people’s children while someone else was caring for you.
No one told me that I would somehow be able to do my job with pride and joy but still miss you with every heartbeat.
No one told me how it would feel to walk into the house after that long first day and to finally hold you in my arms.
No one told me.
Or maybe they did and I just didn’t understand until today.