I'd always thought newborns looked alike and I guess I felt that way then, minus the fact that her nose was cute. I liked it. It looked kind of like mine but fit for a baby, the way it should be but you have to understand I wasn't used to this sort of thing. It had been a long night and I'd slept on the floor of my brother's girlfriend's room, waiting for the time to come. Everybody else had passed out and I felt obligated to stay up and attend to her.
The baby had been born, so to speak, while mom and I were away getting lunch. I remember it being a stuffy lunch, one of those that has little taste but has no necessity either and is more for the disposal of time. Feeling the need to get back and the desire to stay away, we ate in the car. By the time we had arrived back at the hospital we were grandmother and aunt, changed in our titles perhaps but little else was different. There was nothing incredibly shocking or new to this, not like we had been expecting.
We took turns holding her and I took mine, well aware of the sensation that told me this first time would be the last, the self-preservation the moment had of itself. She was light in my arms and still, like a rock swaddled in pink cloth. Her head was tiny and her black lashes long. She was silent, like a mime almost. She didn't cry or rattle the room with high-pitched screams. She just lay there, like a rock that could sink peacefully to the edge of the ocean. No fussing. No moving. A dollbaby that I might have lay abandoned on the floor ten years ago.
Sitting on the edge of my seat, I looked up at her mother, laying in the bed. Her eyes were shot and her cheeks softened by tears. I got up and handed her the baby. The stillborn baby. The dollbaby. There are just some things even nine months of pregnancy won't prepare you for.