Although we had all the regular medical appointments, we chose to wait until the baby was born to find out the gender. In May 2010, the delivery staff did us the courtesy of holding up the baby and letting my (suddenly-new-father) husband discover and announce that it was a boy!
I wouldn't remember anything except that I've been keeping notes...
Although I had just seen him for the first time, he seemed familiar to me. He looked like our child, with dark hair and a light complexion. His startle reflex recalled to me how he moved in the womb. He lay on me, skin-to-skin, and when I held out a finger, he grasped it with his own. Later, he latched on to me, still and intent. Ten months on, his early morning feeding is the same: wide-eyed and purposeful.
Each day of that first week felt like the expansion of the world, of our own world: 'And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.'
Instant attachment...telling my husband on day 3, in post-partum tears, if anything ever happened to the baby, he should lie to me as long as possible...
Nursing a child means an 'objects-closer-than-they-appear' zoomed-in perspective. The cry of his newborn hunger was so compelling that it may have also added to his presence in the room. It's only in pictures and as others were holding him that I realized how small he was.
The father next door with two kids visits with a baby basket and tells us he's taking down the lattice privacy screen he had put up over the fence between us. It seems a metaphor for our arrival as parents of a young child. We've entered into a society where the sharing of our children's ages signals a potential play date, and ensuing child-led adult interactions.
I wanted the following on the birth announcement, for this baby born in the Chinese year of the Tiger: