The other day I got to hold newborn baby for the first time since having my own baby boy back in December 2016 and my good God was it a smack in the face of strong brooding hormones and delightfulness I didn’t see coming!
I’ll be frank. Before I had my son, I wasn’t really much of a baby person.
There I said it. The thing you’re not supposed to say.
I never wanted to hold a new baby because they always cried. It’s like they could sense my inexperience and fear and they reacted by roaring their adorable faces off, until I gave them back to mammy or daddy. Seriously, without fail, you could start a countdown the second the child was put into my arms…
It was what I like to call ‘the death roar!’
Plus every time I held one, some relative would give me that shit eating grin and say ‘oh you’ll be next,’ wink, wink or ‘suits you,’ nudge, nudge or some other kind of not-so-subtle hint that they wanted you to hurry up and procreative before they popped their clogs.
But the bottom line was, I was never comfortable holding a tiny newborn. They were so fragile and I was so clumsy, unsure and felt plain unnatural holding one.
Of course, that was just one of the things that changed when I had my own baby. I got comfortable holding him pretty sharpish. And not just holding him, but picking him up with one hand, holding him in all sorts of odd looking winding positions that would have terrified the life out of me pre-baby and generally becoming super comfortable with this little bundle in my arms all the time. But that becomes par for the course the second you become a mum.
Now that he’s a very sturdy 14 month old, I still have to hold him, only now he sits there up like the Maharajah, expecting to be carried tither and yon and is so strong you might get a left hook during one of his tantrums.
So when I went to visit one of my best friends the other day, who’d just had a new baby herself, I hadn’t given holding her baba a second thought. In the past when I’d visit a friend, I’d secretly hope they didn’t make me hold their baby and I’d subtly try and make my exit before that happened.
This time, when I was offered a hold, I just moved naturally and in an instant he was in my arms.
And oh holy Jesus was it wonderful or what!
His little warm, wrinkled body nestled perfectly in my arms and all of a sudden my body started moving gently from side to side on autopilot, recalling the many days and nights I’d done the same with my little dude only a year earlier. No words were needed. My body just knew what to do.
I was strangely comfortable and he didn’t move a muscle. There was no ‘death roar’, no squirming, no sensing that I was some rank amateur who was terrified of babies and should unhand him immediately.
He just lay happily in my arms and slept.
I couldn’t believe just how natural it felt. It was the first time I’d held a newborn (that wasn’t my own,) where I was reluctant to give him back.
It felt simply fantastic. My ovaries suddenly shot into overdrive as broodiness took over every facet of my body and I could quite happily have stood there all day with this little bundle of warm gorgeousness in my arms.
It was like he erased all the bad memories I had from those hazy newborn days with my own son. The stitches, the horrendous infection I got, the not being able to sit down, the crying, the sleepless nights, the silent reflux, the sense of being lost, overwhelmed, the nappies, the feeding and everything else that had me in a fog for the first few months of his life.
Reluctantly I gave the baby back to his mammy and then gave my ovaries a VERY sharp talking to… from now on ovaries you're banned from newborns! Got it?
I needn’t have worried though, as a few hours later I was knee deep in temper tantrum land with my 14 month old and every drop of broodiness disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.