That Time I Made a Doctor with a Broken Leg Hobble Up the Stairs Because I Was a Paranoid Parent
…or, how being a brand-new mom or dad makes you lose compassion for everyone but your baby.
Illustration by Zelda Galewsky
Finally, she fell asleep in my arms. My infant daughter had been crying all day and all of the night before; I didn’t know why, but I knew something was wrong. I’d rocked her and held her and soothed her as best I could, trying to contain her writhing, fretful body. Her skin was livid, her soft baby hair damp with sweat and tears. She wouldn’t eat; she wouldn’t drink. I was – inwardly at least – almost as inconsolable as she, panicked and afraid. I’d already called the doctor; the receptionist promised me he’d visit as soon as he could. Now it was just a matter of waiting. I cradled her across my body, gently patting her hot back, until finally, exhausted, she closed her eyes. I carried her carefully up the steep wooden staircase and set her down in her crib. She stirred, let out a moan and fluttered her dark-lashed eyes open for a second, but then drifted mercifully back to sleep. I leaned in and stroked her cheek, listening for each breath. Her tiny bod…