The best feeling in the world

Since the birth of my second child five weeks ago, I’ve struggled to find a meaningful way to describe the experience for you. Our world is a revolving door with people coming and going at an astonishing rate. Nearly 50, 000 babies are born every day. So why should you care about mine?

Though my new little person and the proud big brother are the light of my world, there is no reason for me to expect my readers to feel the same rush of excitement I do about my experience. Every baby is a miracle, but that victory is God’s, not mine. The fact that He chose to bless my family with a perfect new member is awe-inspiring, especially considering everything that had to go right for that to occur. He did the hard work. My body and I just fell into line.

As I paced our bedroom in the throes of labor, my husband suggested we go to the hospital for the fourth time that week. “No!” I insisted. “They’re only going to send us back home again.” I’d resigned myself to the fact that I would carry this child forever. A little less than twelve hours later, he arrived.

When we got to the hospital, after my husband’s insisted, I promised myself that once I settled down I was going to take in every little detail. I wanted to remember more this time around.

Labor was long but relatively easy with my first son. The agony again was in the wait. I wanted to see my baby ‘s face and learn whether I’d be buying pink or blue clothing. Most of all, I wanted to experience what my sister-in-law described as “the best feeling in the world” – that moment when they first place your baby on your chest. When that moment arrived at last, and my firstborn child’s skin made contact with mine, every frustration I faced bringing him into the world melted away.

Almost three years has passed since that day, and no matter how hard I try to replay that moment in my head, I can never bring back that same feeling. During the worst moments of my second pregnancy, I kept reminding myself that I would have that sublime experience again soon. But, this time, I would find a way to prolong that moment as long as I could – forever, if possible.

For about five minutes after I discovered I was the mother of two boys, I held my younger son so close to my heart, it felt like he had never left my body. I gazed at his tiny features – nearly identical to his big brother’s and inhaled his soft, sweet pink skin. I traced his bare back with my finger tips, as I sent a prayer of gratitude to the One who gave me this sacred gift. Still, even as I try to recreate this moment on the page, as I allow my mind to drift back to that not-so-distant moment, it’s flat.

So, why does it matter to you that I experienced something so personal, and yet so powerful? Fifty thousand mothers around the world share this indescribable moment with their newborns every day. Every birth is a window to heaven. Every baby is God’s reminder that He’s never far.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.