Alison and I welcomed our first child to the world some seven weeks ago. Before the birth of our son Thomas, I never really saw children; I mean I saw them, but never noticed them. Even the children of our good friends were foreign to me. And now as I show off my boy at the markets I see that same look in other people’s eyes, “mmm, cute” they say, powering off to get their veggies. I believe there is some of this in all of us. There is your pre baby life and then there is the post baby life.
Now I’m not a religious man, but the creation of life really is a miracle. On farms I have helped birth scores of animals; lambs, calves, the odd horse, probably a few goats, a puppy or two, and I have seen many a chicken break the shell, and yet nothing – and I mean nothing – prepared me for that maternity suite. I tip my hat to all you mothers; every time I see a pram now I feel I should go over and shake the girl’s hand for her effort – it’s absolutely massive.
Maybe it was my over exposure to the birthing of animals that lulled me into a false sense of security (I’m sure I’m making our midwife proud here), but the next time I help out an animal I know I won’t walk off without thought as I have done on previous occasions, but I will stay at some distance to watch the wonder before me. Those few minutes after birth when the newborn finds life, are special on every occasion, even if there are a hundred of the little buggers in the paddock.