In fifteen hours, we’ll be meeting our new little one; by this time tomorrow, I’ll be recovering from surgery and—I hope—nursing a tiny, shocked newborn. By this time tomorrow I’ll be off the antepartum floor and onto the floor where babies are crying and new parents are happy. I can’t wait.
The baby seems excited, as though she knows something’s about to happen. She’s been more active than usual, flipping around determinedly; her heartrate tracings during today’s non-stress test were filled with dramatic peaks. The nurse monitoring me said my baby always has the best tracings—“shows up all the other babies” were her words. Eager as I am to have this pregnancy over and done with, part of me does feel sad that this baby is missing out on three weeks in the womb. But all this was not up to me. She can take it up with the placenta.
By this weekend, I’ll be home. The very idea of it fills me with relief and calm, even though nothing about my homecoming is going to be calm. I’ve never had a C-section, of course, but I know the sheer physical strain these early days impart—the painful start to breastfeeding, engorgement (will I escape this time?), bleeding, molecular-level exhaustion. All of it, this time, compounded with the C-section recovery and the perhaps heightened demands of a toddler facing a huge family transition.
The thought of the physical hurdles ahead makes me weary, but I know there will be happiness in there too: a new appreciation for home and our daily routines, a new fondness for even the more difficult toddler moments, the luxury of having Andrew home for weeks, and the wisdom of knowing this time that all those early, hard, infant days do come to an end. And then, soon enough, there will be little matching outfits, walks to take together, stories to read, crafts to make, giggling in playhuts. Yes, much of this is a touch far off in the future, but it’s there in my mind’s eye.
But first things first, starting at 7:30 tomorrow morning. And onward from there.