Today is a day that I’ve been dreading for weeks. It’s time for my postpartum check. That appointment where we look to see how I’ve healed, how breastfeeding is going, where the doctor asks delicate questions to screen for postpartum depression. Where my OB wants to know how the baby is doing and nurses stop in the hall to fuss over him.
Like so many other things, this is not what is going to happen. We’re going to establish that yes, I’ve healed. I’m still leaking milk (when will that stop?). I probably do have postpartum depression, I guess, but who could ever tell? There’s no baby to fuss over.
Mainly, I’m afraid of the hospital. I haven’t seen my OB since she checked my contractions on the evening of August 6 and went off shift. I haven’t been in the hospital parking lot since we went home without Ezra. And the exam room where they put me after that terrible ultrasound is a place that I dream about every night.
I’m trying to look at it as a step forward. Just like the pregnant women I force myself to sit near in coffee shops and the maternity section I walk through to get to the escalators at Target. We’ll go to the hospital this afternoon, and we’ll ask about trying to conceive again, and we’ll learn to do things that terrify us. Each first thing, each hard thing, is something that I’m practicing. I’m practicing being better.
I’ll let you know how that works out.