Meeting my baby for the first time was easily most magical moment of my life. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, then snuggled with him for a while. I thought so many things all at once, like, "Is he OK?" and "It's all right," and, "Hello, I'm your mom." Later my husband wanted a turn and, well, who could blame him? As my partner held our son, I thought about how bizarre this situation must be for our little one. I mean, there must be more than a few things your baby is thinking the first time they meet your partner, right?
As my husband tentatively and gently cradled our son in his arms, judging from his cry and expression, our baby was definitely thinking, "WTAF? Who is this person and what do they want with me?" It was nothing personal, I mean, he was used to the relative quiet and comfort of my uterus and was seemingly being attacked by a giant, enthusiastic, excited monster.
Pretty soon, I'm assuming his thoughts shifted to something along the lines of, "Hey, why did you take me away from mommy?" followed by, "I'm hungry and cold." Then he probably came to the realization that this large scary person isn't so scary after all. In fact, as my husband gently cradled our son, I could almost see our baby realize that his dad loved him and that he loved him back. Essentially, my son was falling in love for the second time in his short life, and with another person who will always be there for him.
I am pretty sure my baby thought these, and a few other things, the first time he met his dad. So if you're looking forward to introducing your partner to your brand new baby, here's an idea of what your baby will probably be thinking during that meeting:
"Who Are You?"
I am pretty sure birth is just as, if not more, traumatic for babies as it can be for their moms. After it's all said and done, and just when they start to get used to the bright lights and sounds un-muffled by their mama's body, someone else picks them up. They have to be thinking, "Well, now who in the hell is this?"
"Why Are You Taking Me Away From Mom?"
Then, when your partner carries baby away from your warm chest and loving touch, baby can't help but as themselves, "Seriously, what's happening?"
I have no doubt that after 40 weeks (give or take) inside your body, your baby feels some ownership over you. After all, you are their person. So they definitely feel a bit threatened by your partner, thinking, "I'm not jealous of you, but I know from the way she's looking at you that she likes you (at least a little bit, anyways). Remember, though, you can't compete with me, because I am cuter than you. Back off. She's mine."
"You're So Snuggly"
Your partner's snuggles feel pretty good, too, so baby is probably thinking, "Eh, maybe I can just stay here for a little bit longer."
"I Like It When You Rock Me"
All parents, no matter what their gender or whether or not they birthed a baby, naturally end up doing this kind of go-to gentle sway whenever they hold their baby (and, sometimes, even when they aren't). As a result, baby feels safe and comforted. I'd like to think they're silently telling themselves, "I can totally get used to this. I think I'm going to make them do this every night for a year."
"I Can See Mom Over Your Shoulder"
"You must be OK, because I can see mommy and she's smiling so big."
"Oooh, You Have A Bottle!"
Dads and other non-lactating parents feed babies, too. That's probably right around the tine your baby starts to think, "That's so freaking awesome."
"Can You Give Me Back To Mom, Now?"
"Alright, I gave you some snuggles and you're great and all, but give me back to mommy now, please. I need her."
"I Love You"
Those first moments during the golden hour with your brand new baby are so raw, emotional, and new. As your baby meets your partner for the first time, and gets used to the idea that they actually can separate from mama for a few moments and be OK, I can't help but assume they start to think, "I don't know who this warm, gentle person is, but I love them so much."