Hello new life: a newborn baby with nine months of story

Welcome, newborn baby. You’ve got plenty to teach me about individuality and being yourself

Breech baby

Breech baby. Laura Eades 2014

There’s new life in my life

Today’s the second-week anniversary of my second daughter’s birth. She’s slowly awakening, opening her tiny deep black irises to look at the world for just a few minutes a day. Mostly, she feeds with her eyes closed and a hand atop my enormous breast, so it looks as if she’s holding a planet in her hands. Then she sleeps: a koala doped up on Eucalyptus.

Occasionally, she forgets to sleep, and just feeds again, or creaks and cries.

She has many faces: wise yoda, William Hague, little penguin, dolly.

New life is wobbly and vulnerable and gives me freaky bad dreams about responsibility and breakages. New life is cuddly and tenacious and wants to stay perpetually connected.

Where does the story start?

Before birth, that’s for sure!! I’m struck most of all by disbelief: can it really be true that the same life that ‘did a born’ (as my elder daughter says) was just as alive, on the inside of my belly, and just needed to come outside?

And I’m struck by how different the whole pregnancy and birth was than the first time around. Of course, we’re in a different country, with a totally different healthcare system, so this time around we had tons of scans and information by comparison to Britain’s minimal approach. And of course, this time I’ve had a C section whereas the first birth was a natural delivery. But it’s as if the whole story of the child, the narrative of their journey to ‘do a born’ was completely different too: one head down, the other sitting up – they even felt different inside as a result, elbows and heads and different feeling in my pelvis. I have to assume that these experiences felt different to the baby too.

Our life is our very own

I don’t want to read too much into their personalities based on the journey. I don’t think the second was un co-operative, or a joker really; or the first one in a hurry. It’s too early to tell. I don’t think it’s all written into their stars or anything. All I’m really saying is that our lives are totally unique, individual; our pathway our very own, right from the start. And she already began before this beginning, this is just one more beginning of many!

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