taken by surprise / by Carey

Friends of ours that are more like family had a brand new baby on Monday, August 22.  I do love that miracle of new life.  I keep searching for the perfect words to describe the feeling inside me and always come out at a loss.  'Miraculous' sounds so cliche and overused, but that's the only thing I can come up with.  With new life like this, how can anyone deny the existence of an amazing, amazing God?  This new little life is here because God breathed life into him.  It just stills me.

So last Friday I drove two hours to capture that brand newness at five days old.  At some point during everything, they asked me something.  I can't recall the question, but I do recall the slight panic at having to answer truthfully.  Awkward moment.  I'm pretty big on authenticity and honesty.  Plus, I'm a horrible liar.  And to answer whatever the question was, I had to admit that while I'm awed at the miracle of new life, I don't really love the baby phase.  At all.  I'm just not really a baby person.  I really like age 3 and beyond.  When they can truly interact with you.  But right now, they're just a blob.  Just take.  No give.  Nothing inside me yearns to hold the baby.  I don't get all gaga over the anticipation of smelling that new baby smells.  I want to document it with my camera, but I don't need any contact.

A while later, I wanted to take some sleeping shots and so I began to hold the new little dude just like I held mine.  Head cradled in my left arm with my right arm wrapped around him.  Swaying in that familiar figure eight pattern.  Body arched ever so slightly to the left, so that my left hip will start aching any time now.

My body and mind shifted here so very easily.  All that was missing was the humming that I did for mine.  I confess.  I enjoyed it.

Then he was out and out good, so I shifted him to my chest in preparation to lie him down for the shots.  Again I cradle him and start to sway...

And I smelled it.  And I felt it.

Sweet little baby head, right next to my head.  I can admit it.  I'm a tad teary eyed right now just remembering it.

He smelled good.  Really good.  That new baby smell.

He felt good.  Really good.  So very, very soft and warm.  Just cuddled, relaxed into me.

Paul picked up my camera at this point and took a few shots.  I really, really dislike being in front of the camera.  But I'm really glad he took these.  This was a special moment for me.  When I was able to calm and soothe a new little life and remember how it felt to hold my own.  I do not think that I could handle the entire baby phase again.  I am pretty certain that my marriage wouldn't survive me attempting the handle a baby phase again.  So I do not expect another child to be in our future.  But it sure felt good to hold a new baby again.