I'm holding in my arms a three-day-old baby. He was born drug exposed and is in foster care until his family life gets sorted out. I think there's a good chance he'll get moved to a relative's care today.
(I love how his ear is still flattened and folded.)
In the meantime, we are enjoying the rare treat of a brand-new newborn. The kids doted on him all evening long yesterday. When the kids went to bed, Mark and I turned down the lights and he opened one eye then the other. We watched his old little soul take in some of its first glimpses of the mystery of mortality. He woke many times in the night, and I'm doing that familiar detective routine of trying to read each clue offered by his wakefulness, fussiness, or hungriness to figure out his desires and routines. This morning I snuggled into the rocking chair with him to feed him a bottle, enjoying that decadent sleepiness of a night breathing and dreaming baby.
I'm learning that taking care of a newborn with a (relatively) healthy mind and body is a whole different game than doing it after the trauma of pregnancy and delivery. Seriously, it's just not that hard. For me, the most traumatic thing so far is that Kelton was apparently circumcised just hours before he arrived here--something that has not happened to any of my other babies. Frankly, I'm horrified. I've been positive but blase about our choice not to circumcise the boys, but now that I've seen this poor boy's mangled equipment I'm ready to start an advocacy group or something.
Just so you know, a newborn p*nis is supposed to be a wholesome, fleshy little nubbin that reminds me of nothing so much as a candy corn. Kelton's is an angry red, strangled by a little plastic ring. (Apparently this is one of two circumcision methods.) Seriously, I'm more distraught that his mother circumcised him than that she filled his blood with meth.