A friend of the Hubs, in discussing having kids and babies and what-not, told him:
“Bath time is the best time.”
He wasn’t kidding.
The night that Hudson passed away, the night nurse let the Hubs and I give her a bath.
This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. The most fun I could ever imagine. Sign me up for another, please. Bath time is the best time.
For the first time since Hudson was born, we got to touch our daughter, to cover every little perfectly-formed inch of her. For days I’d ached to hold our baby, and this was as close as I’d been. Together, the Hubs and I took turns washing and drying our baby’s hands, her perfect little wrinkly arm pits, her hairy-tufted shoulders, her folds of neck fat (Oh how I cherish those little folds). We got to turn her on her side and rub her back, we got to take off her little diaper and clean her adorable butt (“Front to back!” Zeb was paying attention in birthing class). We fought over who got to change the first diaper – we ended up doing it together. We were careful to get behind her ears (oh those ears were so perfect and soft and round). Her tiny toes needed extra attention to get the ink off from the footprint fun earlier in the day. Her pudgy little thighs were next, and Mommy was careful to get the backs of those darling knees. And then we got to take a soapy washcloth to our daughter’s gorgeous head of hair – oh man, I know 1 year olds who don’t come close to having as much hair as Hudson. I never wanted the bath to end.
Next, we got the baby lotion. We warmed it in our hands before carefully caressing it into Hudson’s hands, bruised and swollen from IVs and fluids. Then her feet, wrinkly and just a little bit cracked, each little piggy getting special attention from Mommy and Daddy. Her back got a baby lotion massage, oh how I treasured the chance to touch her back and feel her soft skin and explore this previously unchartered territory and look for freckles. We discovered a freckle on her left thigh, right beneath where her diaper stopped covering. And then we massaged the baby lotion into Hudson’s hair, both of us eager to get our hands on that head of hair again, both of us a little timid about rubbing too hard on her soft little noggin, both of us in love with our daughter and in love with the experience and in love with each other and in love with being Hudson’s Mommy and Daddy.
No bath toys. No tub. No hooded towel that looks like an animal of some sort. No pajamas afterward.
But the best time I’ve ever had.
I know Hudson loved it too. Earlier in the day, we did hand and foot molds and had a photographer come take pictures of Hudson too. Throughout these moments Hudson’s vitals oscillated and you could tell she was a little stressed out.
Not during bath time. Her vitals were steady and strong. I think Hudson was just as hungry for Mommy and Daddy’s loving touch as we were to give it to her. I was dying to touch and hold my baby. If I could have held her to my chest and somehow kept her body at 33 degrees Celsius I would have done it. I would have held her until my arms fell off.