It’s the slightly fuzzy, pinch-me-is-this-happening, moment when you’re leaving the hospital, anxiously clutching your car seat with its precious cargo.
That’s when it gets real.
This is it.
You’re a mum and you’re going home with a slightly reduced bump and an actual, wriggling, crying baby.
In a cute little hat. Equal appreciation of adorableness and total terror...
You made him (good times!) and now you have to take him home and look after him. Boom.
He has no choice in the matter and is now completely reliant on you for EVERYTHING!
Nothing and no-one prepares you for that moment. The pre-arrival distractions of tiny booties, nursery wall stencils and Ikea cot assembly all fade away and your world quickly shrinks to encompass the well-worn spot on the sofa that offers a cushion to rest your feeding arm on, the changing table and drawers full of onesies and muslins. And that’s pretty much it. For the next few weeks at least.
Sitting down slightly dazed in your own house, having survived the journey home, you and your offspring will contemplate each other and wonder what on earth happens now.
And then he will cry and you will panic for a second because there’s no call-bell to ring for the midwife.
This is it, the start of the rest of your life...