I knew my racing thoughts were completely ridiculous and unfounded, but I couldn’t turn them off. I couldn’t stop the constant self-berating. After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, I finally drifted into a restless sleep, the type of sleep that you wake from and wonder if you ever even fell asleep because you don’t feel the slightest bit rested.
Nonetheless, I did manage to sleep an hour or so before John woke up again. This time he was screaming. I knew he wanted to nurse, but I was really concerned about his damp diaper, so I took him to his changing table in his bedroom. As he wailed, I tried to change his diaper as quickly as possible while still being delicate. I was so afraid of hurting his small body. The umbilical cord stump looked tender, and his penis was wrapped in gauze from his recent circumcision. Before we had left the hospital, the nurses had explained how to care for the umbilical cord stump and his circumcision healing, but I was still quite uneasy. Do I change the gauze and apply ointment each time? Is it supposed to look like that? What color did they say to be wary of? Is that pus or ointment? How could they have sent him home from the hospital while his little body is still healing? What if he gets an infection? What makes them think I am equipped to handle this?
I was developing a cold, and my nose began to drip. I tried to ignore the annoying and tickling sensation at the tip of my nostrils as I finished attending to John, but it eventually became too much. I looked around for tissues and spotted some on a nearby table that was out of arm’s reach from the changing table. I quickly stepped away from the changing table to grab a tissue, and as I turned my back, I suddenly envisioned little John falling off the table. Oh my god, I thought. What if he fell? What if he fell and died? That would be awful. But then at least everything would go back to normal.
The thought flew in and out of my head before I could even grab it and hold on to it. Did I really just think that? Did that moment really happen? Do I wish John wasn’t here? No. No way. I love that little man more than anything…so then why did I have that thought?
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