I Was Paralyzed with Irrational Postpartum Paranoia. Then the Terrorists Came.
When I finally convinced myself it was safe to bring my new baby outside, we found ourselves blocks away from the biggest attack France has seen since World War II.
Illustrations by Marianna Madriz
“Votre bébé est jaune,” the midwife snapped, hovering over my sleeping baby, who, to her, looked yellow. “C’était quand la dernière fois que vous êtes sortie avec lui?” — How long has it been since you took him out? When I admitted it had been several days, I was told, in an even sharper timbre, that going outside was not a suggestion but a requirement. Conflicted between being grateful for and inconvenienced by these complimentary health care house calls that France provides for new mothers, at this moment I decided I hated the midwife for challenging my intuition. The truth was I did not want to go outside with my newborn son, not out of fatigue or inattention, but out of fear. While I could never be accused of being reserved when it comes to expressing my feelings, like my scorn for the manual breast pump I was invited to use, I was unable to be candid about my apprehension regarding leaving the house alone with my child. How could I precisely illust…
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