"Pastella Rose Winters," says the PA, smiling down at me. "What an unusual name."
I smile back wryly, lifting my daughter to my breast. Yes, it is an unusual name, but it fits. My daughter is radiant in her own special way, with subtly pink skin and pale blue eyes. She is every pastel shade. She is Pastella. And she is mine. Mine.
"A week old today," continues the PA, as she begins to shuffle around the room. Tools and needles click lightly as she bustles and straightens, pretending to make casual conversation. For the second time that visit, I wish my doctor was here, and not this inexperienced assistant. I know that she is wondering, like all the rest, why the baby's daddy is old enough to be my own father. I wish they wouldn't ask. I haven't seen Thomas in days, anyway, not since the birth, and I miss his presence.
Being discharged yesterday felt wonderful. I was too tiny to have the baby properly, and so there had been complications, which I had never completely understood, and had been stuck in the hospital for. But the baby is healthy, and, as far as I know, so am I. And Thomas is coming back to the hotel today, for dinner. Perhaps I can see him then. I am excited.
"Vaginal discomfort?" Asks the PA. "Spotting? Soreness?"
"No," I lie. "I feel fine. Great." I don't want to tell her, this woman, about my private pains. And besides, I know that Thomas wouldn't like me to talk about it with strangers. It was hard enough for him to take me to the hospital to have the baby.
"Well then, Miss Winters," she concludes, "You're free to go home. Have a wonderful day."
Yes. A wonderful day. I touch that tender area between my stomach and my apex, and I'm sure it will be.