In some ways I think having a newborn is like going on a much-anticipated family holiday. It's hectic and confusing with long stretches of nothing broken up by periods of high drama and pure bliss.
But when I look back on the photographs it all looks so beautiful. And temporary. Because it was.
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Matt at Dad Down Under recently wrote about how one might feel ecstatic when their new babe arrives, but also one might not, and that's okay too.
I've had three different babes, three different births (eek, still no lady birth story by me, will I ever?) and experienced three different reactions.
One time I gave birth, looked at my baby and thought it was the most beautiful little creature I'd ever laid eyes on and immediately fell head over heels.
Another time I felt pleased. I looked at that little person and felt protective and oh so loving, but not in love, not yet. A day or so later I did though, so that felt okay.
Another time again I felt surprised. Not in an awesome way. I kind of thought, hmm, what do we have here?
It took me a while to admit that to myself. But I can see now that that time gave me something I wouldn't otherwise have; it gave me the chance early in my babe's life to know, not just assume, that I would love them no matter what. No matter if they weren't what I expected, no matter if I didn't feel in love. I would still love.
I like that.
Why do you think we tell parents-to-be that they'll feel love like no other? Is it just our natural reaction to be positive of a new life arriving? Is it because for the most part we do feel ecstatic?
Do you think we should be more open about the spectrum of emotions that fly around when a new babe arrives? Or do you think that's unhelpful?
Did you feel ecstatic when your newborn arrived? Or surprised? Or dismayed?
How did you feel? Or if you're a parent-to-be, how do you expect to feel? I'd love to know!