Welcome to New Zealand's First Baby!
What’s in store for Jacinda and Clarke?
By Bianca Zander
Congratulations, Jacinda and Clarke! The baby we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.
And welcome, Jacinda, to motherhood.
Much has been made of how the First Couple will cope with the practicalities of having a baby in office – but what of the emotional and physical changes in the aftermath of birth?
Having your first baby is like moving to a new continent—one where you don’t speak the language or have a map of the terrain. It’s a one-way ticket and the route back is forever blocked. The feeling of leaving behind your old life the instant you become a mother is profound. The substance you’re made of changes.
The first few days on the continent of motherhood are euphoric. Birth is a miracle, even with the pain, and to hold in your hands a life that you have created is to experience the ultimate natural high.
In hospital birthing wards across the country, nobody sleeps. For the first 24 hours, excitement and adrenaline rule. There is a flurry of visitors, phone calls, Instagram announcements – a mood of joy and elation. Even if you’re not the Prime Minister, it’s like having instant celebrity status. Jacinda’s messages of congratulations are going to break her phone – or phones (I’m sure she has more than one).
Somewhere around day three, along come the baby blues. It’s normal, at this time, to feel moody, irritable, overwhelmed. Part of it is your body adjusting to the massive hormonal changes that come with the end of pregnancy. Euphoria turns to uncontrollable weeping. The tears come in a flood, along with boobs like zeppelins, and cracked, sore nipples. Many mums start to feel anxious about baby’s health, even if baby is thriving. Exhaustion is common, along with an inability to sleep. Your baby may be fractious and unsettled, giving you your first taste of the way babies mirror mum’s mood.
Around 3am on the third night, it’s normal even for mothers with several children to reach breaking point and to feel as though they cannot cope. Hospital midwives are well trained to recognize this moment and will swoop in and take baby away to another room for a few hours so you can get some sleep.
I feel for Jacinda, going through all the stages of mothershock with so many eyes upon her. I hope she finds a way to block us all out, surrounding herself with the small group of people who love and care for her the most. May she switch off her phones – throw them out the window if she has to. May the First Family get all the space and privacy they need to fall in love with their new baby in peace.
The baby we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Giving birth in office is a momentous occasion, a triumph for women and working mums everywhere. The pride and excitement we all feel is totally in proportion with how awesome this is!
A hearty congratulations from all of us here at Little Treasures. Thank you for being brave enough to make history. Your village is waiting with open arms.
Photo by Hannah Peters / Getty Images.