On the eve of Sophie’s 1st birthday, this is the very first blog post I wrote about our life with her.
I don’t know if anyone else has experienced these types of feelings when they first met their brand new child – looking back I totally stand by them, even though they seem counter-intuitive and have been utterly overtaken and swamped ever since!
Read on for more.
It had all come down to this.
Nine months of waiting, excitedly discussing plans, imagining what it would be like.
Our first child – we couldn’t wait to meet it (him?…her?)
Like many expectant parents, we’d created a connection with our unborn child – an identity (Baby Bradshaw, or BB) we could love and cherish even before he/she arrived.
I’d tell BB of my hopes and dreams. I’d rub my wife’s bump to keep it calm and stop it kicking. I even caught myself “cheerfully” telling it off in the middle of the night when its constant squirming meant multiple toilet trips, lack of bed space and a very disturbed kip for me!
And then it happened. My wife had been in silent agony for the last few hours, contracting, dilating and all those other messy things that men just don’t understand about labour. And BB was coming. Fast. I didn’t know what to do.
But when our baby girl arrived in the birthing pool, bright purple and covered in white goo, my love took a little while to get going.
Not only was she early, but she also shot out into the water at a thousand knots. I didn’t even have time to announce the sex – my only job!
Where was the connection? She didn’t seem to fit with BB – she didn’t even look like us!
So we had a chat and thrashed our differences. Maybe it was my tiredness, maybe it was worry for my wife (who was still finishing off with the rest of the labour bits (!) that nobody tells you about!)
But when it was just me and my baby girl, I finally worked out what all this unconditional love stuff was about.
Perhaps it’s her beautiful perfect little features. Perhaps it’s her sense of total vulnerability and reliability on us. Perhaps it’s simply the fact that she’s ours.
Naturally, the love washed through me and now I’m full of it.
I wonder if she knows though…nearly seven weeks in and she’s not even smiled at me yet.
We’ll have to have another chat…
This post originally appeared on Geuther on May 12 2014.