Can you remember when you last held your baby in your arms, the feel of them, their smell, their sounds?
Article I wrote for Mums Delivery – on page 4
Our children grow so quickly. While we have a loving, tender memories of them when they are babies over time those memories become something we are looking at, from a distance.
As a new mum we can recall these memories and feelings easily but as the years progress they become distant and fade. We remember by having a picture or short movie playing in our mind, therefore, we are outside of the experience.
What I want for all parents is to find a way to be in that picture, a part of it rather than looking at it. Be the one holding your baby in your arms, feeling them next to you, their heart beating, their breathing, hear their sounds and smell that sweet baby aroma.
When my first precious baby girl was born, she ended up in the paediatric ICU for weeks. I would visit and touch her arm, the only part of her body that did not have a tube or bandage. She almost didn’t make it, but weeks later we were blessed to take her home. I held her as often as I could, I watched her sleep and like all mum’s, did everything for her. I did a lot of therapy with her to help her recover and learn to live with her disability. When she was 10 months old I discovered I was pregnant again and baby number two was born. A demanding and determined baby right from the start. Then just over a year later, baby number three was on his way. Life was hectic. Each pregnancy was challenging as I was sick all day, every day, throughout the pregnancies.
I recall each of them being a baby, cuddling them, reading to them and playing with them. When my youngest baby was about six months old, I knew he would be my last child. I was in his room before I placed him in his cot to restfully sleep and I remember I standing quietly alone holding him in my arms. His body close to mine snuggled into my chest. I could feel him breathing, almost hear his heart beating and sensing the movement of his chest as it filled with life-giving air. I recall standing there saying to myself I would embed this memory into my mind, deeply and permanently forever. I wanted to remember and embrace that moment in time forever, just holding him.
I held him for about 10 minutes. I just stood silently as I rocked holding him, swaying side to side, watching and feeling him. His beautiful innocent eyes gazed up at me as I looked lovingly into his baby blues. I remember his little smile, so contented and safe as his body rested close against mine. I remember thinking I will remember this moment always as I gently kissed his little puffy cheeks, felt the softness of his skin as my lips tenderly kissed his face. I remember his baby smell and the sounds of my other two children playing in another room. I stood, rocked and held my precious baby in my arms and absorbed everything about that moment. His body, his smell, his sounds, the feel of him and how he felt cuddled in my arms.
Now, almost 30 years later, when I close my eyes, I am holding him again in my arms. I can feel him, smell him and remember the touch of his soft skin. I am holding him. Not looking at a picture or looking at myself holding him, but actually there because I embedded that moment within me. It remains safely stored in my subconscious mind to feel at any time I want to experience that closeness of him again.
I did this also with my other two children but at a little older age. While this memory feels beautiful, it does not have quite the same impact of when I held my baby in my arms and truly embedded that feeling and moment in time.
I encourage every parent to take a few moments and experience this. It will last within you forever and never be removed. It becomes part of you. When they are little, so innocent, so extra precious, take the time to do this for yourself. You will be forever thankful you did. Embed this experience deep within your subconscious so you can recall and access it any time you want or need in the future. It keeps you connected and close wherever they are, whatever age they happen to be. Your baby will be within you forever.
Read more form Dr Karen