You’ve waited nine long months to meet your baby and now you’ve fallen in love! The only thing that can possibly come close to the way you feel now is watching all your other loved ones falling head-over-heels with your new little bundle too.
If dad was at the birth it’s highly possible that he shed a tear (possibly in secret, depending on how he feels about public displays of emotion!). He’s just watched the woman he loves find amazing strength and perseverance, giving birth to his baby while he watched, unable to do much at all to help. It’s highly possible that he’s just fallen in love with you all over again, as well as his new son or daughter. And watching him tenderly holding baby as though he or she is the most precious thing in the universe is an incredibly emotional time for you too. Throw all the hormones that are surging around your body into the mix, and you’ll probably spend most of the first few days either laughing or crying!
Hospitals can be quite strict on who’s allowed to visit maternity wards and when, and with good reason, so it’s often not until you get home that the real influx of visitors begins. You may be feeling sore, sleep deprived, shocked, deliriously happy one minute then in floods of tears the next, but let’s face it – you’re quite happy to invite people in and show off your gorgeous new addition to the family (and if they’re willing to put the kettle on or they turn up with a home-cooked meal, then that’s even better!).
You might find that suddenly you feel more connected to your own parents. All that nagging and worrying that they did throughout your teenage years; you get it now. That overwhelming, protective, all-encompassing parental love is something that has to be experienced to be understood; and now’s the time for the new grandparents to relive that through your child. No matter how chaotic things are at home, and how desperate you’ve been to snatch a minute to yourself when you hand baby over, it really is worth taking a moment to watch your parents, in-laws, siblings or other close friends and family members the first time they hold your new baby. You’re introducing the most precious thing in your world to all of the other people that matter most to you, and the ones who are going to be closest to your son or daughter throughout their lives. It’s such a special moment – have your camera at the ready to capture and preserve their expressions.
Everyone wants to meet baby, and you want them all to meet him or her too, but don’t feel you have to have everyone round at once or at a time that’s not convenient. If you’re shattered by 7pm then ask people to come earlier. Or if you don’t seem to have chance to get showered and dressed before 11am then arrange for them to come later. Having visitors should be special, not stressful.
Your house is bursting at the seams with visitors and there are new baby gifts all over the place. You’re trying to get to grips with all baby’s demands (and for a tiny person, there are A LOT). Now is not the time for being hostess with the mostess – and no-one will expect you to be either. Instead, make sure you make the most of all these people who are coming and going. If they tell you they’re on their way, ask if they’ll pick up some tea bags or nappies or milk en route. If the added clutter of gifts everywhere is making you feel stressed out, then ask someone to pop baby’s new things up to the nursery. Don’t dismiss the offer of a helping hand just to be polite – ask if they’ll pop a load of washing in, or hang some out, or change baby’s nappy if you’ve already done it a million times that day! People like to feel that they’re helping and there’s absolutely no shame in accepting it. Let’s face it, they won’t be there for the night feeds so you might as well make use of the help while it’s there!
Between looking after baby, seeing visitors, and trying to do ‘normal’ things like eating, showering and sleeping, you may feel like you’ve got enough on just getting through the day – but make sure you take some time just to enjoy your newborn. This magical phase is so short-lived. Enjoy the wonderful feelings and don’t feel guilty if you spend hours cuddling, or watching baby sleep. A newborn photoshoot is the perfect way to capture this precious time. You’ll find that, in years to come, you’ll only need to take one glance at your newborn’s photo and all of those incredible emotions will come flooding back. It’s a priceless feeling.
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