I Had a Baby

It’s been so long, I don’t know what to say….

But let’s start with:

I had a baby!

Here’s a picture from the day I gave birth.

June 28

I was feeling pretty nervous, scared, excited.

That’s how I felt during the whole pregnancy: nervous, scared, excited. But mostly, nervous. And scared.

I was scared to death about everything:

Would it hurt? (Yes.)

Would the baby be ok? (Yes.)

How would I handle two kids when taking care of one was all-consuming and — let’s face it — really freaking hard? (Work in progress…)

I couldn’t believe that I was going to walk into the hospital without a baby and walk out with one.

board

But that’s what happened. I walked into the hospital at 6 a.m. And by 8:30 a.m., I was holding my new baby.

First time I held Gus

He was covered in black hair, cried like a cat and was just about perfect in every way.

I had a C-section and after the doctors put me back together, they whisked the baby away and wheeled me onto an elevator to bring me back down to recovery. This random guy hopped on the elevator with me on the guerney. I felt so strange and euphoric. I felt like shouting, Do you know my whole life has changed? In this moment, it has changed forever? There is a new person in my life –and it will never be the same again?

Because having the baby is the biggest, most radical change I’ve ever had in my life. Aspiring writers sometimes ask me if publishing a novel changed my life. The answer is yes and no. Yes, in the way that it’s a wonderful thing to have a dream and to achieve it. It doesn’t always happen.

But it didn’t change my day to day life. I still have a job (the same one I had before I got published, actually). I still have money troubles. I still have good days and bad days. Days where I feel like giving up. Days where I think I wrote something brilliant but still nobody will publish it.

It’s still a struggle — is what I mean. But that’s life, really. Writing a novel didn’t change that.

But having a baby does change your life. Irrevocably. Your life — your whole life — your day to day life — your year to year life — everything –changes forever. It is radical.

It’s not happily ever after, by any means. But it is, forever, changed.

The nurse wheeled me back to recovery. I bled for a while and it was scary. I kept asking, “Where’s my baby?” And “When can I hold the baby?” And “When are you going to bring him down here?” And finally, after a bunch of tests and people coming in and out, they finally brought my new baby — Augustus Fox — to my room and let me hold him.

Here’s a picture:

Recovery

And for the first time in nine months, the fear was gone and I felt happy, joyfully, blissfully happy.

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