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Diary of a New Mother

Day 3

At last, Cole is here. I really didn't believe I was having a baby until I felt his head crowning. And then, holy moly, there he was -- a slippery, squalling little miracle lying in my arms. My husband, Greg, sat in a chair in the hospital, just gazing at him for an hour. It seems as if we've known and loved him for years.

I'm in a bit of a daze, but it's not unpleasant. This morning Greg brought me breakfast in bed, and I watched the seagulls swoop into the water outside my window as Cole nursed. When he conked out in my arms, I laid him on the bed next to Greg, who'd fallen asleep. Then I threw a load of clothes in the washing machine, put the dishes in the dishwasher, and set a kettle of water on the stove to boil for tea.

"Ha!" I thought. "This baby stuff isn't so tough." Half an hour later, Greg found the kettle -- boiled dry and slightly melted.

Day 5

Last night, Cole nursed at 9 P.M. And again at 10. And at 11 and at midnight. Later, we got our first taste of the Baby From Hell: He cried. He squirmed. He had gas from both ends. I began to worry that something was really wrong. Greg walked him, and Cole cried even harder. I hate it when he cries. It hits me in a visceral way, breaking my heart and making me feel panicky inside. Greg says he likes to hear Cole's voice. More evidence that men are weird.

At 2 A.M. I took Cole upstairs and walked him around, barely able to keep my eyes open. He finally dropped off after an hour and a half of nursing. I hardly dared get up from the rocking chair, but I managed to lay him down without waking him, and we slept until 7:30 A.M. Four glorious hours! I feel almost refreshed. The phone has been ringing nonstop. Everyone wants to wish you well when you've just had a baby, which is exactly when you don't have the energy to talk.

My body feels like I've been in a car wreck. My nipples are beginning to hurt, and my breasts feel like water balloons.

I took a shower in the late afternoon while Cole slept. Alone at last!