Brighter Days: 6 Top Tips for Meeting Your Baby
Your eyes meet, your hearts connect. Finally.
Here's what our Mommy M.D.s -- doctors who are also mothers -- say about meeting their babies for the first time.
"When my baby was born, I experienced an overpowering, stunned, intoxicating joy," says Elizabeth Berger, M.D., a mom of two grown children, the author of "Raising Kids with Character" and a child psychiatrist in New York City. "Since the beginning of time, mothers all over the world have been brought together with their infants in a deeply personal intimacy. When your baby is born, you join up in your heart with all of these archaic world mothers. It is a gift that life grants to the lucky. When you meet your baby, your mind is blown in an earth-shattering psychedelic fashion that you have trouble putting into words."
"I remember the first moment I saw my daughter," says Dina Strachan, M.D., a mom of one daughter, a dermatologist, director of Aglow Dermatology and an assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatology at New York University in New York City. "I was so surprised. I had thought she would be this delicate little flower I'd need to protect. But when I saw my daughter, she looked at me with an expression that said, 'I'm here. I'm in charge. Everything is okay now.'
In that instant, I had such a strong feeling that my daughter was going to be all right," Dr. Strachan adds. "She's rugged. That has continued to be her personality. She dominates the room!"
"I remember looking at our daughter in the bassinet in the hospital and thinking, 'I have no idea what to do with a baby!' Although my husband and I both are physicians, I don't think anything can prepare you for parenthood," says Rachel S. Rohde, M.D., a mom of a daughter and a son, an associate professor at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and a partner in Michigan Orthopaedic Surgeons in Southfield, Michigan.
"When I met my babies for the first time, I felt very mixed emotions," says Amy Thompson, M.D., a mom of three sons and an OB-GYN at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio. "Here, this person had grown inside of me for nine months. I felt like I should know him, yet I was shocked how much I needed to learn about him. I had felt him move inside of me and knew his movement patterns during the day, but now I had to learn new ways that my newborn communicated with me."
"My baby was born by C-section," says Jennifer Bacani McKenney, M.D., a mom of two and a family physician in Fredonia, Kansas. "I was in the recovery room for around 45 minutes, so I didn't get to hold or feed her right away. After the doctors were finished closing me up, my husband brought our baby over to me. I was so happy to be able to finally hold her."
"Before my oldest son was born, my father-in-law told me, 'Wendy, there's a freight train coming, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.' And then it really happens," says Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a mom of two sons, a board-certified pediatrician and a blogger at Seattle Children's Hospital in Washington. "When you're pregnant, you have all of this excitement and anticipation, and then the baby comes and turns your life upside down. We are all warned, but that's not really helpful at all. I'll never forget the transformation I felt when my son was born. I felt the most amazing sense of vitality. Here was this new person, and suddenly I had no control over life anymore."
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, founding CEO of woman- and veteran-owned custom publisher Bright Communications LLC, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years" and six other books in the Mommy MD Guides series. She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.