Our sweet little boy Harry was born last Friday, and already my heart has doubled. He has a duck-down fuzz of hair covering his little head, and a scrunched-up, little-old-man expression that just melts me. (Everyone who knows Mr B says, "Now we know what you will look like when you're 90). Harry came into the world so quickly, and in such calm, that we barely had time to adjust. I went from five centimetres dilated to 10 in half an hour, and there was only another half-hour from the time they said "start pushing" to the time he was in my arms. In between pushing, I was laughing! Mostly from delirium: we'd been so busy this year that I'd hardly had a moment in my pregnancy to come to terms with what that meant. Maybe I'd been sub-consciously relying on a drawn-out delivery to get my head around what was happening to our lives.
It almost felt unfair to Harry. As if something as momentous as his birth should be accompanied by more build-up, more drama, more fanfare, than slightly hysterical giggles and a few big pushes. But before I knew it there he was, head and shoulders, and the midwives were saying, "You pull him out." And I thought "You must be joking" but it wasn't the moment to split hairs so I did as I was told, and the next moment he was snuggled onto my chest, pink and perfect with barely a whimper.
Madeleine, by contrast, had entered the world like a tempest. She cost me every last ounce of energy I had inside me to bring her to us, and months of pain in the aftermath (though I know others have had it far worse), and she was NOT happy about this birth gig. Eyes wide open, bottom lip protruding, she bawled her dissatisfaction at everyone in the room. And she has been stormy ever since, frequently swinging from delight to despair and back again in the space of a minute.
I've barely heard Harry cry yet, though only time will tell if that's his temperament or just an adjustment period. The most he has given me so far is a squeaky kind of grizzle, one that's easily fixed by milk or a cuddle (or both).
And that is where both my children are the same: they love to snuggle. Don't all babies? But it is just the BEST THING for a mother to feel her babies go calm as soon as they are in her arms, to smell their perfect little heads, to breathe in and fill her soul with love.
To anticipate life with Madeleine AND Harry in it... well, I know it's a cliche but I'm pretty sure that makes me just about the luckiest person in the whole world.