After a pretty awful 48 hours, during which I tried and failed not to phone all local birthing centres — after receiving a text that read ‘It’s started!’ — the baby girl has arrived on the scene, daughter of good friend Helena and her husband.

And she is absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful. So precious.

Another question, going on from two days ago: why is new life so very very astonishing?

My father-in-law, a retired GP, says the one thing he never tired of was helping babies into the world, that moment. I find that moving.

What do I remember about those first moments? Relief at E being so healthy, so solid from the beginning, an emergency C-section. Panic the first night when I couldn’t reach him, stretching to rock the crib. Relief at being alive. These feelings co-existed with some wariness until he was six weeks old, when I watched him sleeping at 6 am, his profile there, and thought yes, I am his mother, and I am so thankful.

With M: getting the shakes going into theatre, a planned C-section this time. The midwife understanding the flashbacks. And the irrefutable, instant connection, like an electric circuit. The same midwife nodding, standing next to me in the recovery room, M at my breast. Better this time? And not being able to speak.

Congratulations. Everything’s always alright in the end, even if the beginning is rocky. They are still the best things since sliced bread. Hell, they’re unspeakably better.

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