Bonding With Emilio
The love I felt for my daughter when she was born was instant, earth shattering, the purest joy.
When I was pregnant with my son, he was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
It was the worst day of my life.
Something inside me said: Don’t love this one too much, you won’t get to keep him.
I had spent my whole life protecting myself.
I didn’t want to hold back like that with my son.
But the thought of letting love take me over, and then losing it, was the scariest thing I had ever faced.
I knew that I wanted to love him wholly, for however long I had him.
I did everything I could not to hold anything back. I stayed with him every second.
It was still a great love, but it wasn’t the same as what I felt for my first born.
But here, it’s like making the distinction between stars, and the brightest north star. It was immense and immeasurable love. But I was also still blocked from that supernova that happened when Sofia was born.
Every time I felt a surge of happiness it was followed by a stab of fear in my gut.
After Emilio’s third open heart surgery, life became almost normal. We didn’t have any more terrifying surgeries coming up.
Best of all we didn’t have to go to hospital for every single cold. Wondering each time if this was the one that would kill him.
Gradually, I realised: I still had him.
I began to consider that I might actually get to keep him.
And then, there it was. That supernova love.
Not a blast all in one go, not a firework moment. But a stealthy blossoming in my chest. The iron fist that had been clutching my heart loosened, just a bit, just enough to let the light in.
I realised I loved Emilio as much as Sofia, I always had.
But I had been bracing for impact. Three and a half years.
It makes me wonder: What else am I holding back on? What else could I feel and achieve, if I was only brave enough to feel completely?Emma