Yesterday my daughter gave birth to the only baby in the whole world.
(A very large detour from the usual today, since punctuation is really not top of my concerns right now!)
We have just said hello to a healthy little girl weighing just under 9 pounds, blonde and perfect. Mother is doing fine, if exhausted after 3 days of very little sleep.
So what do I mean, “the only baby in the whole world”?
A quick search tells me that there have been 116,549,444 recorded births this year up until 16.30h today 12 November – which means our little girl is one of around 370,000 who were brought into the world yesterday alone.
Each and every one of them is the only baby in the whole world.
Less than a month after her conception, we started to anticipate this new addition to the family. In a way, we didn’t quite believe it, but as the signs became undeniable, we started to think about whether we wanted to find out if it was a boy or a girl. I always used to think no, let it be a surprise, but I have revised that.
Now I know how your mind changes once you find out what sex the baby is, you immediately start to welcome a real live personality into your family, 6 months before her grand entrance! You can’t help but picture her face, or imagine her crawling around in a pink babygro, taking her first steps holding on to the sofa… so much easier than in the past when the uncertainty meant you held back any decisions on what to buy or prepare for this genderless being.
Isn’t it a wonder that in spite of those colossal numbers, when she’s born, your own child or grandchild totally transcends every detail of the urgent and important things you were going to do today, and will forever hold a unique and irreplaceable corner of your heart. We examine every little crease of her face, every little pore of her skin, to try to recognise somewhere her mummy or her daddy or her big brother. Even when we do find those indisputable likenesses, that child is still absolutely unique and new and like a rosebud still tightly furled. We are impatient to see it unfolding, enthralled by every tiny frown, every quiver of her lips. We can’t wait to hear her first cry, to see her open her eyes and watch as those blue eyes lock onto ours.
I just find it amazing.
No matter how many children are born, no matter however many offspring I may have had, and today no matter how many grandchildren, nieces and nephews I may have, every single one of them is the most beautiful, unique, amazing child that was ever born!