Day One: Stupified staring at this gorgeous, perfect being we created. High on adrenaline and sharp memories of birth.
Day Two: Falling in love with her peaceful face, her snuffly expressions and her little toes. Not falling in love with sore, tattered nipples.
Day Three: Pregnancy hormones recede. Come down the stairs after a nap sobbing, “I miss her smell”. Recurrent dreams of tripping down the stairs and dropping her.
Day Four: Hooked on smelling our baby. Like a methodone substitute, we take to sniffing her clothes instead, to avoid disturbing her while she sleeps.
Day Five: Tiredness creeps in as the post-birth high tails off. I reach the peak of breastfeeding pain. A burning that curls my toes and draws sharp breaths.
Day Six: We take her on a car ride. I am a highly-strung, nervous racehorse for the entire trip, eyes darting, watching for errant drivers. I dream of accidentally leaving her outside in the cold.
Day Seven: I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Just about. I feel a wave of feminist guilt for being so pleased
Day Eight: The memories of birth, only days ago so raw and overwhelming, have faded alarmingly. I can barely recall it now. I conclude it must be some sort of evolutionary, protective effect.
Day Nine: First breastfeeding in a public place. Baby is remarkably calm. Feel like a proper parent as I multi-task – eating Thai food, having an adult conversation and breastfeeding all at once.
Day Ten: Something approximating normal life resumes. Grocery store trip, drive to doctors and the gym. Fuelled by plenty of coffee. I vow to take her out more if only for the admiring glances of strangers. “Yeah, that’s right. That’s my daughter. I made her. And she’s adorable”.