he was sleeping on a nest of blankets while i got ready. i was nervous about being late for his first appointment. i gently picked him up, disturbing his baby slumber. i still wasn’t very good at getting him all strapped in to his car seat. his smallness intimidated me. i worried about hurting his arms or neck. christian loaded him in the car and i made sure we had everything and more stuffed in to the diaper bag.
the clinic doesn’t see very many newborns so the front desk girls were very excited. all checked in we sat near the fish tank. and then i suddenly realized my mistake.
in all my anxiousness and paying attention to the clock, i hadn’t once thought about what it meant to get ready with a baby. my hair and make up were done, but he, well, he was starving. while christian held up a blanket i fumbled through layers of clothes and nursing bra snaps. asher’s tiny baby cries got increasingly angrier. i began sweating as i tried to maneuver this four-day old baby. just as he latched on a nurse called his name.
the visit was longer than i expected. he was down 12 ounces from his birth weight and he also needed a follow-up on some jaundice concerns. but he was hungry and his mom hadn’t even thought about waking him up to eat before we left.
that heal prick did me in.
because he was dehydrated the blood did not run. it did not flow. it didn’t even trickle. the phlebotomist massaged and squeezed his little foot and he screamed. a scream i had not heard yet, and rarely heard since. i stroked his head and couldn’t stop the tears.
i cried the whole way home. he soon forgot why he was so mad. nursing was much easier without a waiting room full of people. and without hiding behind a blanket. and that afternoon on my couch, without a shirt.
cry baby cry, the beatles