During those 9 months, Madelyn was literally a part of me. We were two souls living in one body and that's the closest two people can ever be.
We were never alone. Where I went, she came. What I felt, she felt. What I heard, she heard. I remember being stressed one day and crying in the bathroom (pregnancy hormones, I tell ya!) and I felt this little nudge inside of me and I rubbed my belly back. I felt like she was comforting me and was reminding me that she was here and that she loved me as deeply as I loved her.
Pregnancy feels like there's another person with you at all times that just understands you and loves you no matter what. Nothing else compares to that feeling of constant companionship when you're so in sync with another human being. Maybe it's because you are sacrificing so much between morning sickness and weight gain, you're producing this immaculate service to a tiny person and yet it's impossible to resent them. It makes that love so unbreakable and enduring. And in return you can feel the love your baby has for you radiate from their tiny growing body into your heart.
Nothing beats the love that overwhelms your whole body the moment you find out you're pregnant. Or when your baby starts to wiggle inside of you the moment he or she hears your voice. Or that first kick. Or seeing them dance on the ultrasound. Nothing beats that love you feel for someone you've never even met.
Right after having Madelyn this feeling of emptiness settled into me. Something I wasn't really prepared to feel. I wasn't a fan of pregnancy at the time and thought I'd be overjoyed to have her in my arms and never, ever wish I could go back and relive it all again. But I do, even the months of constant vomiting. I'd do it all over again just to hear her beating heart inside of me or to feel her move from one side to the other just one more time.
Everything changed the moment I saw someone else hold her and I realized I had to share her with the world now. It was devastating to realize I would never again feel her move inside of me and that she was no longer all mine.
The first time I left the room she was in I wanted to cry because I hated being so far away from her (even though I only went from her bassinet to the hospital bathroom). I felt like this huge piece of me was gone. Suddenly everywhere I went she wasn't with me and I was so alone. That little soul that I was so used to having be a part of me was just gone. The loneliness I felt while someone else held the baby that used to only be mine for so long was deafening.
After giving birth to Madelyn I felt so. . . hollow. So empty inside.
Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love having my baby to kiss and cuddle. I love how her personality is coming out, and especially seeing her crinkle her nose when she smiles or laughs. I love sharing her with the world and watching her fall in love with the people and places around her. But at the same time I miss being the only person that held her and felt every movement, hiccup, and stretch. I miss having all of those moments to myself. And I miss being her whole world.
I don't think I will ever stop missing the days when she was all mine and my stomach used to be her home. I will always miss that time when everywhere I went, she came with me.
But for now my stomach will be an empty place where a miracle once occurred and that'll just have to be good enough.