Locked In Love

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings

The night we came home from the hospital, our newborn slept in her bassinet next to the bed and I was about to crawl under the covers with the help of Bryan of course. I was exhausted and nervous to spend our first night at home with our kid without the help of nurses and round-the-clock care, and had no idea what to expect in our new life. After surgery, I felt pretty worthless and couldn’t do much except stay in bed and host Madelyn for her meals. I was also an emotional wreck about not being able to be more involved and then I guess there were those hormones getting the best of me, too, adding to the weeps and sighs. So when it was finally time to sleep for the first time without hospital beeps or nurse interruptions, I was welcomed to bed with another surprise.

A little blue box. With a white ribbon. And a super cute and exhausted husband beaming with pride.

I looked at him in confusion. For me? Moi?

He said I deserved this and I didn’t think I did. They call these “push presents” and as we all know by now, there was no pushing. I housed a fetus for almost 10 months and the doctors and nurses did all the work to bring her to us in the outside world. But still, a present — a got-cut-open present? — all for me and I bawled.

No, I mean, I bawled. I remember it was a big ugly cry. I don’t know if it was because I’d been put through the ringer or if the pain at my incision site was mysteriously brewing the agony I would experience the next day, but the crying was full of alligator tears, snot, and a stutter. I remember Bryan hugged me gently, and asked me to hurry up and open my present. I was so emotionally overwhelmed, feeling joy in bringing home a perfect and healthy baby and feeling an all new love for my husband who proved to be my rock — no, boulder. Mountain, even — in the hospital. And then he gives a nice Jewish girl some Tiffany jewelry and I’m a mess.

I opened up a shiny and pristine classic heart-shaped locket. It had two slots for miniature pictures and I was giddy about how feminine and traditional this gift was. Bryan also included a note with an adorable poem. I remember I read it after I opened the locket and had Round 2 of Big Ugly Cry. It was such a sweet message and the whole experience was so thoughtful. It was the perfect kind of homecoming when we finally had our first few moments to ourselves after a bustling day. I spewed thank you sentiments through more sobs, and I finally drifted off to sleep for a bit until the next wake-up.


Every month since that night, I’ve thought, “THIS will be the month I put in Madelyn’s picture!” Then she got cuter or bigger or smilier each month and I got busier and lazier and more forgetful each month.

I wore the necklace, but it remained empty. People would say, “What a darling necklace! What’s inside?” I hung my head in shame. “Nothing. My heart is empty.” Only literally, of course. But the expression was funny to say especially because the truth was the exact opposite. My heart was so full, I could never choose the right pictures for the locket and the housekeeping that went along with it (sizing it, cutting it) was never a priority when I found myself so busy.

Well, it only took 17 months, but two days ago, I finally filled the locket.


In it is the boy who gave me his heart, and the sweet little girl who fills ours.

Happy 17 months, Madelyn. You are locked up in my heart forever and the key was thrown away long ago!


  1. Rachel Kitt
    1/10/2013 4:22 PM

    Oh God, you just made me cry. And I’m at work. Too sweet. I’m too emotional to be reading this stuff (ahem, 8 months tomorrow).

  2. donna
    1/10/2013 4:19 PM

    not sure why I read these, they always make me cry-beautiful!

  3. Auntie Pattie
    1/10/2013 4:00 PM

    You’ve got a couple of keepers and that picture of Madelyn was worth the wait!!! TEARS!!! Wow…..beautiful. I think Jaimie got a new ipod. haha