This weekend I held the smallest baby I’ve held so far.
My dear friend Lisa gave birth Friday to a gorgeous baby boy, and I got to meet him and hold him as he crossed the threshold into his 1 day birthday.
Two years ago, the smallest baby I had held was 3 weeks old or so. A year ago, I held a 5 day old. And now, Brand New New Borns aren’t even that scary! It is likely that the next youngest baby I’ll ever hold is my own. How’s that for having your mind blown?
People know I’m not a baby person. I don’t reach for the newborn (normally). I don’t volunteer to hold your baby. I’ve always felt very strongly that babies are the best judges of character, and that they begin judging you the moment they are in your arms. And I’ve always felt that the babies are thinking “You’re going to be a mediocre parent” when I am holding them. Likely because I’m so tense I can barely relax my shoulders after I surrender the baby back to its mother or the next volunteer.
But lately, I’m much less intimidated by babies. Their judging eyes are not going to phase me, because whether they think I’ll be a marginal parent is inconsequential. I’m going to be the best parent, and the only person who needs to think that is Baby Dub (and maybe The Hubs).
I held this Brand New New Born for a while, in varying positions, while moving around. I passed the BNNB off to various other parties in varying degrees of standing/sitting. I watched with delight as one of my oldest friends made the transition to parenthood and I got very, very excited about the journey I get to take with my husband and Baby Dub.
When you know you’re getting your own baby soon, you become more observant too. I spent several hours with Lisa, her husband and their amazing newborn, and while I was there, I was taking in some serious details, because I need to be prepared for this.
For instance: It appears that everybody in the medical professional makes the assumption that you know nothing about babies when they come in to talk to you. If you are my beautiful friend, you handle this very gracefully. I envision myself being much less graceful.**
Another thing you notice. Nobody knows exactly what they are doing, and it doesn’t matter. You might not know the best way to swaddle a baby yet, but neither does the old woman who comes in to give the baby a hearing test. So you laugh at her a little bit (silently, of course) as she struggles to find the light switch in the room, “Because the baby needs more darkness to fall asleep, and he can’t have his hands by his face, either.”
And you hold the BNNB until he falls asleep and you feel as though you’ve conquered the world, because this particular baby must know that you’re going to be okay at this if he’s going to trust you enough to fall asleep in your arms. VICTORY!
Brand new babies, I have conquered the fear. You no longer intimidate me. I know I can handle you. And what you think doesn’t matter to me as much as what the little fetus I’m brewing up at the moment thinks (although I am glad that I have bonded with Lisa’s baby, because he’ll likely be around for many of Baby Dub’s life events…). And I’ve got a few more months to prepare for Baby Dub’s arrival. Come July, I’m going to be like a modern day Baby Mamma Grace Kelly.
Bring it on.
**In comparison to Lisa, it is likely that most of my pregnancy and “giving birth” experience will be handled with less grace. Alas.