Held by the Hand that Crushes
I squeezed my husband’s hand—our fingers dodging the tangled mess of tubes which ran to the IV drip bag hanging beside me. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. New moms were supposed to be home with their baby—frazzled about diaper blowouts, tummy time, or whether or not to swaddle. Instead I was tethered to a hospital bed, surrounded by Red Lobster take out boxes—a birthday dinner for my husband. Every few hours, a new nurse would pass the neatly folded yellow protective wear stacked on the table outside my door, suit up, and enter in to administer medicine, IVs, or in some cases, examine my chest.
“Bless your heart,” she said. I can’t tell you which nurse it was, because it was the same words of pity every time. My daughter was ten days old when I spiked my first fever. Antibiotics remedied the mastitis quickly, and life resumed as normal as it could be for first-time parents. Yet as the days progressed, more fevers came and the lump in my breast lingered. High fevers became a regular occurrence, causing my husband to strip blankets off the bed while I bawled at him to stop. His shaky hands dabbed a cold washcloth over my body in hopes to reduce my temperature…
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