11 March 2014

18 : Newborn - Something Old

There are no such things as newborns...

I came to realise long ago that there are actually no such things as newborns.  I have always loved the idea of newborn babies, so much so that you begin to idealise a conceptual fantasy of what they really are.  You find yourself pregnant and longing for the day when you get to meet your brand new baby. However, you fantasize that you will actually get to look like the picture above at all times; just you and your baby sharing loving cuddles. Although this is actually a real photo of me and my ten week old son, I can well assure you that the reality behind the scene was of an upset crying little baby who was cold, hungry and scared.  The photo was taken of me comforting him ready for the 'family' shot.  I do love this photo and I love the premise behind it, however, perfect portraits like this do not represent the reality of life with a baby.

So why do I no longer believe there are such things as newborns?  Because technically they are actually only a newborn the very moment they are born. At that very instant they are indeed brand new and it is an absolutely amazing moment in your life, meeting your child for the very first time.  A truly magical moment. Then it is over; they become one second old, one minute old, one hour old, no longer a newborn.  Before you know it that wonderful tiny precious newborn bundle you have waited so long to hold in your arms becomes a one month old baby and so on; they begin to smile and think independently, to demand your time all the time, not just when most convenient to you.  You put on that precious new outfit you have imagined them in to pose for a lovely photo keepsake, then you discover with horror exactly what other parents joked about when they told you to watch out for 'number threes'...  Oh the mess!

Nothing ever turns out the way it does in magazines and movies, where there is a lovely baby all fluffy and in white enjoying being passed among family and friends.  The reality is after the first sticky beak and well meaning visits from family and friends, they begin to diminish after an amazingly short time.  From this time on the baby insists on only being held by you and only you, and will only be settled if held in an ever so special position or you will suffer their almighty wrath!  This is often for at least 23 out of the 24 hours of each and every day in those early days.

Once you get over the harsh reality that you feel you must have been the only mother in the world not to be blessed with the fantasy newborn you imagined; you begin to realise instead that there is a actually a special little individual that blesses your life in ways that you could never have imagined.  Yes there are many, oh so many, hard times and so called 'phases' that you seem to have to somehow get through before the next one starts afresh.  But what you don't get told, you get to discover all on your very own, is that your so called 'newborn' is actually an individual from even before they were born.  You never actually owned them, they were never an accessory, they are and always have been an individual miracle that you have the utmost privilege to watch grow day by day. Your children don't belong to you they are simply born through you, watching them grow and supporting them on that journey is truly a privilege like no other. 

So no I don't believe in 'newborns' but I do believe in the miracle of life; I am a very blessed mother that enjoys this opportunity every day, all day with all six of my miracles.

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