When we were leaving the hospital, I never felt the “you’re letting me take this baby?” feeling. I knew she was ours, and I didn’t want to shirk the responsibility. I embraced it. We loaded up the car and began the drive home. It was down streets I often travelled on my commute and frequent OB appointments. But a few tears streamed down my face, because suddenly the world seemed HUGE. Everything was brand new to my little girl.
A GIRL! We had decided during the pregnancy not to find out our baby’s gender. This worked in our favor for getting a lot of the essential gear we needed (instead of piles of blue or pink clothing). But I also wanted the surprise, and hoped it would provide motivation during labor and delivery. Just for the record – it didn’t. After a looooong delivery, I didn’t care what the gender was, I just wanted the pain to stop. To top it off, my husband had been anticipating telling me “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” but one of the nurses stole his thunder. I think next time we might find out.
One thing characterized that first month for me: Anxiety.
Evie’s first month wasn’t exactly smooth. She lost a significant amount of weight by her first doctor visit. She needed to have an hour-long ultrasound to check for a heart murmur. She broke out in a rash from lotion, and had her first cold. I was wracked with anxiety through all of this. The kind of anxiety that keeps you up at night, and I knew (and was reminded by my mom) that it was part of my body’s recovery. BUT it was scary, and despite my embrace of responsibility, it is a heavy weight to keep a newborn alive. I remember thinking, “if I just knew we would make it to four months….” I’m not sure why four months seemed safe, but slowly she gained weight and recovered, and my hormones returned to equilibrium. And we were ok, and I started to breathe again.
…to be continued next week.