New Addition

Yesterday I received the wonderful news that my youngest daughter is expecting her fourth baby. It’s very early days; The baby is not due until November. To a lot of people there isn’t a baby, there is an embryo, just a complex clump of cells, multiplying all the time, but not, as yet, a baby.

To me though, that bundle of cells is very definitely a baby. He or she is loved and wanted already. We can have some idea of looks, even some idea of character and personality, because we have three other wonderful children who have been born into the family already. The new baby will probably bear a resemblance to one or other of the children, or to his or her parents. Actually, what the baby looks like matters not one jot, because looks don’t have any bearing on what a child is really like. The baby will be beautiful to us, his or her family, anyway. Don’t we all have the most beautiful baby in the maternity ward?

Years ago, I had a friend who fostered new born babies prior to their adoption. She was showing me photographs of the babies, and one stood out from the rest as being a particularly beautiful baby. He was adorable. She told me his story, how a prospective adoptive mother had broken down and told the social worker that she didn’t know how to tell her husband that the baby didn’t feel like hers, that she didn’t feel she could love him. There was an element of being scared, too. She was terrified that if she turned down this baby, she wouldn’t be offered another. The social worker helped her to tell her husband, and a few weeks later they were offered the next baby that my friend fostered.

We have a term in our family to describe babies that are not really very pretty. We call them “huggly”. They are still loveable, and you want to hug them, but they are not really very beautiful to look at. This second baby was such a child. His new mother walked in and fell in love with him immediately. To her he was the most beautiful child she’d ever seen, he was hers. I like to imagine that when they took him to the clinic, no other baby would be as beautiful as their’s. They’d have felt smug as they compared him to other babies there. If they’d known the word, they’d have said that all the other babies were huggly, not like their beautiful boy.

That’s how it should be, that’s how it is. The phrase “He has a face only a mother could love” is very true.

This new baby, this Grandchild, will be loved and welcomed into our family just as all the others have been. It doesn’t matter that this is the eleventh child born into that generation of the family. The baby is just as wanted as the first Grandchild was, nineteen years ago. We’ll be just as excited to see what the baby looks like, to find out the birth weight, to hear the name chosen, to have a cuddle.

So Congratulations to my daughter and her partner. you’re doing a great job with the others, and I have no doubt that you’ll do as well with this new little bundle.

Congratulations to our lovely teenage Grandson, who is a boy to be proud of. I know it isn’t easy to have all these little ones around, after ten years as an only child. I know you lose patience sometimes, you wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t. You are a really great big brother though, and we are all very proud of you.

Toddler…you are an absolutely lovely, lively, gorgeous little boy. You have coped well with being a big brother so far, and we’re proud of you too.

And baby, you have no idea what is going to happen, but I’m sure you will greet your new little sibling in the way you greet everyone else, with a big beaming smile. You, like all the others are absolutely adorable. Who could not be proud of a child like you?

Yesterday afternoon I didn’t know we were going to have a new baby in the family. Now I know, I’m so thrilled and excited, and I really can’t wait!


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