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Creek Running North
September 01, 2004
And yes, there is something you can send back to me: Spanish boots of Spanish leather
The training films don't prepare you for the smell of childbirth. It's, well, earthy. It smells of blood, for sure, and a thin sour smell that you cannot quite identify - amniotic fluid? Babies have that baby smell almost from the moment of birth. And then the placenta comes, smelling like a mixture of blood and shit and vomit. And you notice the smell but only a little, because the baby is out and alive and screaming lustily. And they hand her to you, and you fall in love.
And then your sister complains, but you write it off, because they're sewing her up after the episiotomy and she's a little cranky, and the nurses have been walking into the room all night and telling you what a cute couple you two make, you look so much alike, which come to think of it might account for that vomit smell. And then there's the thing about her having had her first child five minutes ago.
So you smooch with the baby and explain what you can about where she is, and what those shiny things in the ceiling are, and who you are, and how much everyone expects of her but not just yet. And eventually your sister says, somewhat petulantly when it comes right down to it, "can I hold my daughter, please?"
So you hand over the baby to her rightful owner, and it's very late, so you close your eyes for a moment.
And then when you open them again, the baby girl has left for Spain in her third year at Duke, and she's started a trip blog.
Posted by Chris Clarke at September 1, 2004 07:37 PM
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oh my. that sound you just heard was my heart breaking into a thousand tiny glittering pieces. what pure treasure this must have been for you. i held my own niece, such, mere hours after her birth. but had never attended birth, until very recently. i cannot wait to read what you have written each day. thanks!Posted by: Anne at September 2, 2004 10:46 AM