Her First Week ‘Her first week’ captures the emotions of a newly made mother and shows her feelings during the first week she spends with her child. Sharon Olds expresses her happiness of being blessed with a baby girl and shares the experience of emerging into motherhood. The poem transfers the joy and thrill of being with child and portrays the feelings of the mother with her child around. It also shows the beginning of a new bond between mother and child. The poem is descriptive while it conveys the thoughts of the mother on the baby’s appearance.
She thinks of her baby as a small and fragile being. The phrase ‘She was so small I would scan the crib a half second to find her’ proves that the mother felt her child like all babies was so little and fragile. This may have been an impact after keeping the baby in the womb for so long and when she finally came out she was smaller than the mother had expected. The child like every other is a fragile being and the mother feels responsible for taking extra care when handling her and in order to keep her safe.
She feels it is her duty to guard her and make sure she does not get harmed. Her paranoia surfaces in the line ‘I was afraid of her neck, once I almost thought I heard it quite snap’ and puts forward the gentle process she needs to follow to keep this baby safe and unhurt. The mother treasures her baby and is overjoyed to be part of something so magical. In the line ‘fallen from some sky’ the mother describes the position of the baby in the crib. It could also be how she thinks her child is like a star that descended on the earth: beautiful, bright and unique even at this stage.
It may show how she thought how heavenly her baby was and she was so wonderful she had never seen anything quite like her. The poem also beautifully shares the bond created between a mother and her child much before the use of words. It brings out the connection among them through their eyes and mute conversations just by holding each other close. Olds shows this bond and says ‘I felt she was serious, I believed she was willing to stay’ and shares her great experience with everyone who shares her joy of being a mother and with those who don’t.