COLWOOD -- Andrea and Stacey smile and point at the new family of geese walking along the shore of Esquimalt Lagoon, recalling how when they were younger they would have watched the goslings with wonder.

“I remember telling my parents I wanted to help take care of babies,” Andrea smiles.

While Andrea always knew she wanted to be a maternity nurse, Stacey was unsure until she attended an unexpected delivery as a student.

“It was the most exciting thing that ever happened in nursing school,” Stacey remembers with a smile. “I knew then, that’s what I’m going to do!”

After more than a decade of supporting others through the process of becoming mothers, these friends are now new moms themselves.

As they watch the geese herd their little yellow goslings, Andrea and Stacey are appreciating the work of their fellow, albeit feathered, new moms from a different perspective.

“Let me tell you, it’s a steep learning curve,” Andrea laughs, looking affectionately at her daughter Olive.

Olive and Stacey’s daughter Gabby was born during the start of the pandemic. Unlike the geese, their support systems were curtailed by COVID.

“The nice thing for [the geese] is they have all their other momma gooses helping out,” Andrea says.

But like the geese guarding their gaggle, Andrea and Stacey are finding that no matter how sleep-deprived or overwhelmed, being able to witness the world through their children’s eyes or watching them reach developmental milestones never ceases to inspire awe.

“It’s the most exciting and rewarding part,” Stacey says.

“The little rewards make up for the hard stuff in spades.” Andrea adds.

But perhaps the most priceless rewards of all are those times like when the mother goose sits down, and the fuzzy goslings rush to cuddle in under her wing.

When between feeding and changing, protecting and preparing, your child reaches for you, and you envelope them, and for a moment you can just be together.

“It’s a gift to have this time to spend together and be present,” Stacey says, holding Gabby tighter.

“It’s almost indescribable,” Andrea smiles. “But it hits you in the the feels every time.”