12 emotional photos of the moment when you first felt like a mama

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When was the moment you first felt like a mama? Was it when you held your baby in your arms for the first time? Or finding out you were about to add another member to the family?

We asked #TeamMotherly to share photos of when they felt this overwhelming, indescribable feeling—for the first time.

1. My rainbow baby 

"After four miscarriages, getting to deliver my rainbow baby."—Kenzie S.

2. His birth momma was in labor and we rushed to the hospital 

"When I held him for the first time. We had three-hours notice we were having a son, that's all we knew. His birth momma was in labor and we rushed to the hospital. Adoption has blessed us with our beautiful baby and we cannot wait to grow our family again!"—Rachael S.

3. A few hours right after delivery 

"This was taken a few hours after delivery. He is my rainbow baby after three miscarriages. My first words to him were, 'we did it sweetie.'"—Bria C.

4. When they put both of my twins on my chest

"When they put both of my twins on my chest! 😍💖After five years of infertility, an ectopic pregnancy, traumatic labour and birth, I was so happy to finally see their faces! Tears of joy."—Colleen B.

5. I wasn't allowed to touch him for 2 weeks

"I felt like a mom and cried like a baby this day because my sweet 32-weeker followed my voice and stared at me for an hour even though I wasn't allowed to touch him for two weeks. He is our miracle baby after six years of infertility."—Kayla R.

6. Whenever my babies look at me like I'm their person

"I felt like a mom when I heard that first heartbeat in the Dr.'s office. But also whenever my babies look at me like I'm their person, I'm mama in that moment nothing else matters and everything else can wait."—Claudia C.

7. Feeling like a mom the second time around

"Not the very first time, but the first time I felt like a mom of two—introducing big sister her baby sister 😍That moment was so magical. So pure. So intense and emotional. I realized she really isn't an only child anymore."—Theresia W.

8. Doing skin to skin

"My little boy was born at 37 weeks at 5:11am weighing 10 lbs. This picture was taken the day after he was born, one of my favorites... skin to skin contact. This is also the first time we were alone together."—Katie N.

9. The minute I saw the pregnancy test

"After two years of trying and one IUI, I took a pregnancy test nine days after the procedure and knew from the very very very faint line that I was going to be a mama. Hundreds of tests before and had never seen even the slightest second line."—Ashley B.

10.  The moment the nurse from the fertility clinic called 

"I knew the moment the nurse from the fertility clinic rang to say my bloods came back positive and my IUI was successful. This is my beautiful boy Stanley ❤️ He's now four and eagerly awaiting the arrival of his little sister in August."—Lisa H.

11. She was sleeping so peacefully

"In this moment. I looked down at my newborn daughter and I felt so overwhelmed with all the love and joy in my being. It felt like holding my beating heart in my arms. I couldn't find the words to explain how deep my love grew for my sweet girl. I just sat there in my hospital bed, crying tears of happiness knowing I had everything I needed in my life. She was perfect, sleeping so peacefully. I soaked in every second and memorized it in my heart. Being a mommy is the greatest feeling in the world."—Lauren M.

12. I was trying to figure out how to breastfeed

"My husband took this, my little smoosh was 4 days old and there i was trying to figure out how to breastfeed. That's when i felt like a mom. My body still felt like it belonged to him."—Cinthia Perez

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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