Becky Karush

Becky Karush is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in biography and rural New England history.

The other day my son and I went to Walker Farm in Dummerston, where visitors swarm the grounds, in ecstasies over the rare annuals, robust perennials, glossy green vegetable starts, and elegant flowering trees.

A dear friend had her first baby a few weeks ago, and her struggles - with nursing, sleeping, soothing, and accepting the upheaval that signifies life with a newborn - have left me wondering if the first baby is a shock for every parent.