It's always somebody's birthday.
My best friend had a baby today.
He was 12 hours old when we visited. The antiseptic stink of the hospital transported me back to that dark time 20 months ago when my youngest was born. My joy at his arrival was overshadowed by the deepest sadness I have ever known.
But today it was someone else with a ravaged body and a squalling newborn, and the baby's cries sounded so small and sweet, I could almost trick myself into feeling nostalgic about this whole childbirth business.
"Don't you want another one?" I asked my husband as we gazed over the hospital nursery. "Try for a girl?"
"No. Do you?"
I always feel so protective of new mothers. Even those without postpartum depression still have a rough road ahead. Babies turn you inside out, expose your tender insides to the world.
"Call me," I said to my friend as we prepared to leave. "Call or text, day or night. I'm here if you need anything. Anything at all."
But no one can ever really be there, in the dark of it. The chrysalis only has room for one.