I was relieved, he was delivered safely. After 16 hours of labor, I was tired and shocked, may be couldn’t process the incredible thing that’s just happened to me, and simply was desperate to sleep. But when I touched him, it was a feeling of overwhelmed sense of joy, love or responsibility, proud and in awe. At first, I was simply gazing in wonder at the new life, we have created, it was hard to take my eyes off him! We were instantly bonded, and were on the brink of a new life together.
You may imagine about the looks of your baby but you may be surprised at just how strange they look at birth! Curled up in the uterus for over nine months, floating in amniotic fluid, they are likely to enter the world looking a bit wrinkly. May have a few blemishes, somewhat squashed, just PERFECT in their own way. Probably be covered in a whitish substance known as vernix, a waxy covering which had prevented their skin from becoming waterlogged in uterus as well as amniotic fluid and some blood from birth canal. To ensure that your baby doesn’t need any special care, some routine checkups are been done within 24 hours.
Your newborn’s head is disproportionately large at birth which is perfectly normal. Some of their physical traits are simply a result of their newborn status, like they may have little flattened nose, may be swollen eyes from the pressure of squeezing through birth canal, or may be undescribed colour. Your baby’s skin may be pale and delicate, susceptible to bruising. Your nurses will keep an eye on any such bruises.
They may have few birthmarks, mostly are harmless and fade away with time, although some are permanent. Most common ones are red “vascular” caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels, which includes stork bite/ salmon patches (appear on eyelids, forehead, nape of neck or nose or mouth, mostly fading after 2 years) or port-wine stains (pale purple patches, can appear anywhere and mostly are permanent but harmless and usually left untreated), strawberry hemangiomas, café-au-lait spots (harmless coffee coloured skin patch) or dark brown patches on skin like large moles.
After umbilical cord has been cut, a stump remains, which your doc will seal with plastic clip. Few days after baby is born, that stump will turn black and then around one week or later, come away naturally. On top and back of baby’s head are soft, you may even be surprised to see a pulse on the top of your baby’s head while you hold him, be gentle while washing around these areas.
Try to make first feed skin-to-skin. Your baby isn’t born knowing how to breastfeed, but he does have a “rooting reflex” that encourages him to search for your nipple when he feels skin against his cheek. Your nurse may help your baby to latch for first time, and then you can simply concentrate on tuning into your baby and allow him to follow his instincts. At this stage, there are no rules of nursing — simply do whatever feels right for you both.
It’s important that dad has time for a cuddle too. My husband was the first person to hold our newborn. Your baby will quickly learn to recognize the smells of the people closest to him.
Your newborn is amazing! He may seem tiny, fragile and vulnerable at birth but well equipped with all her senses, with a unique newborn reflex. At birth, their vision is little fuzzy, but they can focus on something close by like your face. Your baby is already familiar with sound of your voice, and can quickly recognizes your scent and prefers the smell of your breast milk to that of other moms.
Your baby’s first stool will be dark, green and tarry as they pass meconium that was in their intestines before birth, its difficult to get stains out of nappies. For that, I had cut out disposable nappies out of soft, old, washed cotton bedsheet to avoid dirty, trapped stain laundry. It will last for sometime till breastfeeding is well established.
So, buckle up mommies, need not to worry, you are likely to go through a whole gamut of emotions in just a short period following your baby’s arrival. You may feel incredibly elated one moment, overcome and tearful the next, its all normal after a long labor. Once you hold your tiny, amazing creature, you will realize there is already so much they can do. Their well-developed sense of touch are main sources of communication, and your instinct will guide you to soothe your baby with gentle stroking and touching. They love to be touched by you and will relish the sensation of your skin and, of course, your undivided attention. It’s all so MESMERISING!!