I have a confession to make and I am most likely in the minority here, which is probably a good thing, but I find it difficult to pretend that all babies are adorable the second they’re born… namely mine.
Now I know how this sounds, and I assure you that I do instinctively want to protect them at birth, it’s just that I don’t necessarily gush over how attractive they are in the same way that most parents do the very instant they’re born.
At first I was concerned that it may be the post baby blues. But after consulting my doctor it looks like I could just be hugely and unnecessarily judgmental of all of my babies faces when they’re born- I’ve had the same reaction to all of my little ones at birth.
Let’s face it, the second they’re born a majority of them resemble grumpy old men more than blissfully beautiful babies. Their skin is all wrinkly and folded, they’re covered in vernix and blood which makes them look like some sort of gross cheese and that’s exactly how you first meet them- it isn’t the vision of attractiveness that is usually portrayed on Instagram now is it!
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They feel slimy and fury at the same time and their little limbs keep flying everywhere and you somehow have to manage to trap that new tiny little being onto your chest for skin to skin time or to latch them, if that’s what the two of you would like.
Some will latch, some won’t, but either way trying to hang on to that slippery little being is a task in itself which no one actually prepares you for prior to birth!
Here’s an idea- as practice, all expectant parents should be given a watermelon covered in Vaseline to hold onto, whilst naked and exhausted. That might prepare you for the task at hand, although it won’t ever prepare you for their appearance.
They don’t stay that way forever I must admit, it takes time, but eventually you get them cleaned up. Their little faces fill out, their hair fluffs up and boy oh boy do they look like the most heavenly little vision on earth!
It’s the moments leading up to that though that I just never find as attractive as other people do. My hubby for one seems to be smitten from the second he sees them… my friends and family are always amazingly kind about the appearance of my babies even in the first few days. So really it’s just me that admits my babies are usually not born cute.
I don’t think parents are even really allowed to confess how they feel about their baby’s features.
My closest friends are usually horrified to hear that I don’t find my baby’s instantly visually attractive and they always encourage me not to be so forthcoming with my opinion. It’s just that I find their gushing over how “adorable” my baby is so utterly confusing when I simply can’t see what they seem to.
Maybe there should be some sort of code that can be used when seeing a freshly born baby to convey one’s sheer excitement without necessarily having to pretend that the baby is the most beautiful little bundle they’ve ever seen in their life. Something like ‘Congratulations, and don’t worry Love, your baby will grow into their features- just like the ugly duckling did’, but perhaps more sensitive considering the height of emotions post birth.
At the end of the day all babies are absolute blessings, no matter how anyone perceives their physical appearance. To be able to have and hold a live, healthy, happy baby is probably the biggest miracle and that in itself is beautiful in a way which will blow your mind.
The gift of a life is stunning, completely breathtakingly stunning to a point where you will question what in the world you could possibly have done right to be gifted with such an incredible little blessing to call your own.
Maybe the beauty of babies isn’t portrayed in their faces, but it is their very being. Their instant attractiveness could be their purity, love and their illuminating aura which makes you feel weak at the knees.
Babies are beautiful, a kind of spectacular beauty you see with your heart when you’re looking past all the birthing byproducts they’re covered in and realise how very fortunate you are to be able to have a living, breathing, blessing cradled in your arms- no matter how slippery or slimy they are.