Waiting for the arrival of my daughter’s baby, I am reminded of the births of my own children, and how one waited with great anticipation to meet the infant. This is a critical introduction: this person unknown to you will be one of the most important people in your life.

In truth, I think most mother’s reaction immediately the birth has taken place is of relief that it is over. You listen to your husband speaking to the baby and welcoming it to the world. As you gradually recover over the next few minutes, your next preoccupation is to examine the baby to assure yourself that externally at least it appears as you would expect. I found that at this moment the babies were wakeful, alert and oddly mature. They, it would seem, are examining you much as you are examining them. So, you exchange a first look with your baby. I thought, of each of them at this point, this baby is fine and will be OK. Then you look at its actual appearance; whether it has hair; what colour might it eyes become. Often the baby at birth strongly resembles its father. You look at the hands, so tiny, and yet the character is already there, and at the beautiful feet which have yet to walk the earth.

But you still don’t know him or her. That’s a long journey you will start together and the child will leave you to continue on his own. For nine long months he has been growing, hidden under your very bones. But now he lies, separate from you, mysterious, unknown, but definitely ‘other’.

Still, ignorant of these mature reflections, you clasp your tender baby in your arms and rejoice. You have been safely delivered of a child. You are blessed among women.

PS To Elisabeth and Robert, on 23 March 2016, a son, William John Sullivan, 9lb 3oz. Mother and baby both well.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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