And then I went into labor.
You'd think after the 9 months of the aforementioned pregnancy, giving birth for me would've been the horrific, blood-curdling cherry on top of an already dreadful sundae. But much to my absolute joy, it was not. In fact, it was glorious. My initial labor pains were not nearly as bad as the pain when I almost miscarried, and they took a very distant second to the pain of having a root canal. Not having the slightest desire to rest on my laurels, I nevertheless elected to get an epidural almost immediately. I slept soundly for hours as the contractions got stronger and stronger, with me blissfully unaware of any of them. And then, when it came time to push, I did so for exactly 23 painless minutes and out came by beloved, beautiful Vivian, with ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes.
Enter The Village.
The day after Vivian was born, I got my first visitor (outside my in-laws, of course). My assistant from work, Jaynee, showed up with a stuffed bear. I was sitting in my hospital bed frustratingly trying to figure out how to breast feed. Vivian was crying inconsolably. She was not latching on and I was convinced (as all new mothers are) that I was starving my child. Jaynee, who had a child of her own, told me that I might want to try changing Vivian's diaper first. I looked up at her and with a panicked look on my face said, "I don't know how." The nurses had been taking care of doing that for me for the last day and I had absolutely NO IDEA how to change a diaper. I remember feeling embarrassed in front of this woman, who was 8 years younger than me and who reported to me within the confines of the office, that I did not know how to change a simple diaper. Jaynee kindly and gently said, "Here, I'll show you." And she did. That one small, seemingly insignificant gesture was my first indication that I needed a village - and that I was developing one.
"You'll be fine," the kind nurse said. ”Just don't forget to ask for help when you need it. You'll. Be. Just. Fine."
And of course, we were. Thanks to The Village.
Paying it Forward