While I was pregnant, Steve and I were asked a couple of times whether we were going to "thin the herd" of our animals now that a baby was on the way. We thought this was absolutely absurd. We didn't get our furry companions as child-substitutes. They were and are part of our family to whom we have made a commitment for life. And besides, how would we choose who to get rid of and who to keep? Unthinkable. I'm so glad that we stood our ground because an unexpected joy of having a child has been watching him interact with our pets.
Sometimes I nurse on the couch with Silas propped up on a pillow in the football hold. Nikita, our dog, is my constant companion so she can usually be found sitting on the couch with us (It's pretty adorable - she gets up with me for every night nursing and keeps me company). When Silas has had his fill, he'll roll over so that he's lying on his tummy on the pillow with his head turned towards Nikita. He looks at her and looks at her. Studying and drinking in. Stretching his fingers out until the tips are just touching the softness of her white fur. His eyes light up and he smiles with a joy that is so absolutely pure. It brings tears to my eyes every single time.
We make sure that all of his interactions with them are well-supervised, of course. We trust them, but also know that they're animals and aren't too keen on grabby baby hands in their face. We do lots of guiding with his hands trying to teach him "gentle pets." Saying "good morning" to the kitties is a happy part of our daily routine and kitty pets are a pretty surefire way to bring a smile to a fussy baby's face in much the same way that the ceiling fan used to be. But, all they really have to do is enter the room and he's delighted. Such pure love is really a sight that I feel so blessed to behold.