In the morning, the phone next to my hospital bed rings. Stepping from the shower, my skin scrubbed of the sweat and blood of yesterday’s triumphant labor, I slip past David to pull on my old robe and head for the phone. I’m not worried. I’m expecting another friend, a relative, more words of congratulation to match my sudden pleasure in my baby–a healthy, full-term boy who waits for me in the nursery–but the woman on the other end of the line is a stranger.
“Hello, darling,” the stranger says in a husky, soothing voice. She is calling from another hospital. She says she needs to clear up some confusion about the spelling of my name before the transfer. I, too, am confused. When I tell the stranger that I don’t understand, that I am about to go down the hall to collect my baby because it’s time to nurse, she says, “I’m so sorry to be the one to tell you, darling.”