Three Days Old

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay?” R asked me.  Our daughter was three days old, and he was going to leave us.

As soon as we’d known that the doctors planned to induce labor, we’d called my father.  R had an interview planned in Cincinnati for four days after my due date; we had assumed at the time that I would be late, as I had been with Zachary.  But when we knew that labor was going to be induced, my father booked a flight for the day before R’s interview, which we figured would be three days after the birth.

It was a good thing R had decided to go ahead with the interview; on the day our daughter was born, his superiors at the office in Stillwater had cleared out his office and put all of his belongings in a conference room.   R went to work on the day after her birth only to be told that now that the baby was here, he would have two weeks to tie up any loose ends at the office.  He came home glumly with his personal effects while I nursed Melinda, still in shock that they had moved quite so quickly to terminate his employment after her birth.

“We’ll be fine,” I answered him.  He was going to the airport to pick up my father, and then my father would be here for five days while R interviewed and took in the sights around Cincinnati, scoping out possible places to live.  “My dad will be here, and Zach is old enough to be helpful.  You’ll get the job and we’ll start our new life back in the Midwest.  Please don’t worry about us.”  I looked over at Melinda, sleepy in her bassinet.  She was a very easy baby so far; unlike her big brother, she woke up to eat and fell easily back asleep when she was satiated.  I was tired, but not terribly so.

“I just hate that I have to do this now, when she’s so new and so needy,” he said.  “I hate leaving her, and you.”

I nodded, marveling for a moment at what it was like to even have a partner to share all of the wonders of a new baby with.  “I know. But you know as well as I do that in the long run, you leaving for a few days now will make a big difference for her future as well as yours.  This is a big opportunity for all of us.   The thought of living so much closer to home would be amazing.  I mean, you could be interviewing in Georgia, or Nebraska or God forbid Idaho right now.  But you’re interviewing so close to where we’re from.  For a really big company with loads of room for advancement.”

R took it all in.  I knew he knew all of this himself, but he just needed to hear me say it to feel better about it.  “I’m nervous,” he said.

“About driving to Tulsa to get my father?  You shouldn’t be.  Don’t miss the turn onto I 40, though, it can get tricky.”

He laughed and looked at the clock.  “I guess I should be heading to go out there and get him then,” he said.

I reached out for R’s hand.  “It’ll be ok,” I said, knowing he knew that I wasn’t talking at all about the drive to get my father.

“I know,” he whispered, squeezing my hand.  “I know.”

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2 Responses

  1. Thats awful what they did. Atleast they waited until the baby was born, I suppose.

  2. Yeah, it really was crazy. We were both really shocked at how quickly they pushed him out after the baby came…but we did feel they should have been upfront with us from the start. If they had, who knows…I might have been a little better at Spanish than I am right now.

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