The wrinkly stranger pooped. Again. I looked up at the kind nurse charting my vitals and gestured feebly. “Do you want me to show you again, honey?” Her eyes crinkled a bit as she set down her clipboard and grabbed a new diaper from the bag of freebies on my bedside tray. Explaining the pertinent information once again, she wrangled my squirming daughter expertly, wiping up the mess and ensconcing her in a fresh nappy faster than I could ever imagine doing.
The birth of my first child was a much-anticipated event. After several rounds of fertility drugs, we had been ecstatic to see the faint blue line appear on the pee stick. Now, three baby showers, one midnight life-flight, and six weeks of bed rest later, I was reeling. Looking down at my tiny daughter, I felt an emotion I had not expected. Fear. I had expected the joy, the relief, and the exhaustion. I did not anticipate this black hole of fear that threatened to swallow me whole.
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