Meeting Your Newborn

by Pregnancy.org Staff
Your baby is finally here! You have spent months dreaming about what s/he will look like. Will her eyes be blue? Will he have a dimple in his chin?

But if you are like most new parents the reality is a bit different than the dreams. You may have pictured a chunky, smiling, alert baby similar to what you see in the movies, but most newborn pictures we see in magazines and movies are of babies several weeks old. Your baby may not match that image.

So what can you expect? For starters you can expect the most lovely newborn in the world. There's something about looking into the eyes of your own baby, hearing those first whimpers and seeing arms and legs move that plants awe in a person's heart.

"Now, I must say that I do not believe in love at first sight of the romantic variety, but I fell so profoundly in love with these two little beings right away. They fill me with a sense of vulnerability and truth that I have never felt before. I know that I would die for these two little ones. They are my world and I feel so grateful that we are finally here, a family that I thought I might not ever have. We are blessed." ~Linda aka linchan

"However, she arrived safely and both myself and my husband are over the moon -- it's so difficult to describe what it's like when the baby is given to you for the first time." ~Emma aka EmmaK

Just after birth, many babies are bluish or purplish. They may be covered in blood and in vernix, a cheesy substance that protects their skin from the constant exposure to amniotic fluid. The vernix will be absorbed by the skin or washed off with the first bath. Lanugo, a fine hair that develops in the womb, may give your baby a soft furry appearance, especially if born a little early. This fine hair will fall off in a week or two.

Some babies are born wrinkled. Often his face is swollen and bruised or discolored. Depending on the birthing experience (cesarean, vaginal, quick, slow), your little one's head may be pointed from passing through the birth canal causing you to wonder who in the family was carrying cone head genes. This molding is only temporary though. Her head will round out during the next few days. You may be surprised that your baby's head is so large in comparison to the rest of her tiny body.

Rashes, blotches, and or tiny white bumps are also common and will usually disappear in a few weeks. After months of growing with legs and arms being bent at the knees and elbows, to allow them to fit in your ever tightening womb, your baby may be appear to be scrunched up, somewhat like a little frog getting ready to leap. This too will pass, as your baby grows.

The newborn features that may make him look strange, are only temporary. That the head will round out, arms and legs will stretch out, and blemishes will fade. It is such an endearing time. Enjoy while it lasts!

A special thanks to mom2breighan, Kimberly84, linchan, MegR2004, sdh1207, All4Matthew and SpeedDemon who shared these beautiful pictures.

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