There is nothing in the world more pure than the sound of a baby's first cry. The proclamation that they are in fact here and alive, and nothing will be able to silence them.
This then changes into them sizing you up, determining what exactly is this blurry vision in front of them, and why you're even there in the first place.
When I see a baby, I painstakingly note the way they react. But it never stops my heart sinking every time.
The irony is that I am a midwife who can bring all the babies into the world. Apart from my own.
For every mother's grateful exhaustion that it went well this time. For every father who swoons over the baby daring to touch him. I cry in my house, unable to take the strain.
My husband couldn't look at me when I was like this. That's why I come back to an empty house.
Every day I torture myself with the possibility of what could have been. Is it really worth it?
I don't know.
All I know is that when I see a baby, I want to hold it. I want to cherish them and give them the love that they deserve.
I want to go through the bonding experience of breastfeeding. To give them the nutrition and sustenance they desperately needed.
I want to see them grow into their personality. Would they be mischievous? Or shy? Or even just a troublemaker?
I want to take them to the seaside and let them discover nature for the first time.
I want to pay for their first class photo which I know they'd hate but eventually grow to love.
I want them to be able to make friends at school. Maybe they could even have a best friend if they were lucky.
Maybe they could discover the bittersweet ecstasy of falling in love for the first time.
And the heartache when it ended.
I want to be able to let them go for College, knowing that they would come out on the other side stronger for it.
But most of all, I want to feel that baby grow inside of me. I want to go into labour and go through all the pain to get my sweet baby.
Instead I am the bystander in my own dream. And this is as close as I'll ever get.