A friend was recently holding the baby when it was time to go. "It's not fair," she said to me, "you get to hold him all you want, and all I get is a few hours at a time."
What I held back from saying was this. Not fair? Hm. 5 years ago, I met a wonderful man, fell in love, got married, and bought a house together. We decided to have a family, and we planned when and how. I got pregnant and for 9 months, I got to carry this little boy and experienced all the joys of pregnancy. Along with that joy, I got stretchmarks like flames stretching up my belly, hips, and boobs. I got heartburn, hemorrhoids, and sleepless nights. I avoided all sorts of vices and took better care of myself than I have in years. After that hard work, I got 2 and a half days of labor, and gave birth in what was certainly the most painful experience of my life. The last year of my life has been devoted to meeting this child, and it has changed who I was, who I am, and who I will someday be. He's three weeks old today, and the only thing that is unfair is that I ever have to give him up to someone else. Even for a second. I earned my right to hold him and snuggle him and not every want to give him up. The only time I feel normal is when he's in my arms. I didn't know I would feel this complete, this whole, once I met my baby boy. But I do, and I'm in love with him and in love with this feeling.
So I'm sorry to everyone when I take him back after you've only had him for a few minutes. I know you think I'm over protective, and that I'm hovering. I know I will have to learn to let go. But not yet. He's still so new, and he was a part of me until just three weeks ago. We're still juts getting to know each other, and we've both got a lot to learn and a lot to teach. I earned this togetherness, and I'm not letting go. Not yet.