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The Sighting of the First Robyn

Babies have their own mysterious clocks. One day, a pregnant woman is busily cleaning every nook and cranny of the closet and the next day, a pudgy stranger who looks mildly familiar is staring back at her. Little Robyn arrived after a long night of labor for Edie. A happy, healthy baby girl who cried joyfully upon her arrival. When Edie was settled back in her room, Artie made a call to the name Edie gave him and we all got the news. Artie started handing out cigars, the appropriate response for new fathers. Baby Robyn was tended to by no-nonsense nurses who rolled the bassinet down to Edie’s hospital room every 3 hours on schedule to promote lactation. Exhausted Edie held court in a flower filled room dressed in a quilted bed jacket of light green satin. I noticed that she had already combed her hair and held it back with a sunshine yellow headband. I visited at the same time as Mags and we snuck in a small stash of cigarettes and matches in case Edie needed them. Edie had endured a lot of heartburn at the end of her pregnancy and wanted mostly to eat.¬†While Edie spent the next few days at the hospital, Artie visited daily, always bringing a large bouquet of flowers. The smell in her room was funereal but the flowers looked pretty.

For the first few days after Edie came home, we took turns going over as Artie returned to work. This way, Edie would be able to bathe and change her clothes without worry. Robyn was adorable with a tiny cupid’s bow mouth and dark blue eyes under little wisps of blonde hair. On the day I spent with Edie, she came out of the bedroom with tears in her eyes while I rocked the baby. Edie admitted to having some sad feelings and thought it might just be because she missed Artie. The blues aren’t unusual after having a baby and most of the women I knew admitted to having some moments of sadness after they came home from the hospital. Gail always denied having any baby blues with any of her three, but Gail is like our Mother Earth figure. I am sure the nights were harder but Edie wasn’t complaining and she kept the baby nearby at night for ease. I told her that I used to vacuum holding my babies when they wouldn’t stop crying. I told her that the sound of the vacuum drowned out both my crying and the babies’ tears. Eventually, our moods lightened and the carpets went back to their regular cleaning schedule.

New mothers are supposed to be happy and pleasant. The real truth behind the facade was there were feelings of inadequacy, sleep deprivation and fear that you didn’t know what you were doing. A new mother’s body often felt flabby and very much like a cow expected to produce copious amounts of milk. I remember not being able to get into my girdle for weeks. I reminded Edie that she could talk to any of us who had babies previously about her feelings but she shooed me off. I just wanted her to know that it was safe to be real, but so hard to do. I know that Edie will be okay; we mothers always are. Just the same, I think I’ll be attentive a little longer using that beautiful baby as a good excuse to visit more often. Edie had a lot of experience with romance, so once she fell completely in love with her new baby, she could write her own love story for Robyn.

 

 

 

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