When You See Your Newborn for the First Time: 13 Honest Stories for Parents-to-Be by Nicole DeAvilla

When You See Your Newborn for the First Time: 13 Honest Stories for Parents-to-Be

My son was born! The doctor handed him to me. I looked at him and thought, "So this is what you look like — you, whom I’ve been communing with for nine months." He looked at me, his eyes wide. I felt that he was saying the same thing to me. Then I turned him toward his proud father. Our baby boy slowly and deliberately stuck his tongue out at his father. We all had a good laugh! 

My daughter, on the other hand, was ready to get down to business the instant she was handed to me. She was ready for her first meal; introductions could come later. After all, we already knew each other.

What are your memories of those first minutes with your baby? I asked my friends to share their stories and I am an awe of what they shared. I would love to hear your story, too!

  • "Enjoy[ed] my happiness and the love that I felt at that magical moment!"
  • "I cried because I had been so worried throughout my entire pregnancy that something would go wrong. I had two miscarriages. When I saw how healthy each of my three boys were, I thanked God, my husband and my body’s wisdom for nurturing this amazing being and prayed that I would do everything in my power to help these boys live healthy and happy lives."
  • "We had a very unexpected/not planned delivery. Emergency C-section ... then Rooney went to the NICU. I didn’t get to actually see her for 15 hours. Those were the longest and saddest 15 hours of my life ... This was the moment we saw each other for the first time. It was as if she was like, “MOM!! I have so much to tell you!!”
  • "I felt relief that my daughter was alive. My pregnancy was difficult. I was in shock from losing so much blood that my blood pressure had dropped. But she was robust and had excellent head/neck control that when they place her next to me, she stopped crying and looked at me and began wiggling her way toward me moving two inches so that she was touching me as they finished putting me back together from the C-section. There are no words to describe my emotions."
  • "I stared at him trying to decide on a name. It took me two days!"
  • "After four years of trying to conceive, multiple miscarriages, help from the fertility center at UCSF, then preeclampsia and four long hours of labor, all I could think about was that our miracle baby had arrived! Just remembered this: My first thought was from 'The Velveteen Rabbit': When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real. I had longed for a child for so long, I believed that his arrival in my life would be life changing. And it was."
  • "After 18 hours in labor that turned into a C-section I was so happy and instantly fell in love with our sweet baby Ben."
  • "My first thought when they entered the world (we had twins) was they're a miracle! My second thought was life, as I knew it, was over."
  • "I was in labor (induced) for four days, then had a C-section. It was a relief and frightening at the same time. I remember holding my breath waiting to hear him make noise. And the relief and happiness when he cried out."
  • "With the birth of each of my boys I remember just being amazed at this whole little person. They each were so completely themselves right away and have remained true to their core nature ... And after first son was born and held him for a bit, I ate, what is still in my mind, the most delicious warm chocolate chip cookie in the world that they served at the hospital (along with lunch) because not eating for a day or so and giving birth makes a person really hungry."
  • "I don't recall a particular thought, but I'm sure there were many. I remember my mom being there with me, even though she passed many years ago. I recognize now as this question resonates that my experience was beyond what I can capture in words; it is still so much bigger than me. One of those life-changing moments."
  • "Wordless, speechless and spellbound . It was a relief when my son came out screaming after a long labor and forceps delivery!"
  • "I fell asleep. I had planned a natural birth, so labored for almost 48 hours without any pain meds. Only after five plus hours of pushing did they inform me they needed to do a cesarean because my water had been broken for too long and we were both getting a fever which could have led to an infection. I was SO exhausted the moment all the pain ended, I fell asleep. I did catch a small glimpse of her, and her full head of hair, but that was all before I dozed off."

Thanks for the moms and dads who shared their touching and honest stories: Maria Cristina, Andrea Beth TrankMolly Laird, Katherine Folk Clancy, Katie Yeckel Sloan, Ann Peckenpaugh Becker, Meredith Schneider, Jeff Jackson, Rhiannon Bowden, Stephanie Cannoe, Prema Vaidy, Samantha Aleman and Vicki Stolberg.

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Elisa Schmitz
This is so beautiful, Nicole DeAvilla ! I love reading your reactions as well as those of our community members. It is a momentous occasion, and words almost don't do it justice. I was in awe, breathless, exhausted and exuberant - all at once. Thank you for this amazing post! xoxo
Nicole DeAvilla
Thanks @elisa. It is amazing how we can have so many diverse feelings all at once! xoxo
Ann Marie Patitucci
These stories gave me chills, Nicole DeAvilla ! Thanks to everyone who shared their precious moments with us. Molly Laird : that photo of you and Rooney is AMAZING! xoxo
Nicole DeAvilla
Yes - amazing stories. I agree - Rooney's expression is priceless.
This is so sweet! Every story is so personal and individual

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