For the first few days of a child’s life, it all feels very much like a collaborative affair. Raising a kid by committee, with the 24-hour midwife assistance, medical staff on hand and regular meals brought to your room. But after both baby Lorelei and mother had been checked over, and the discharge formalised, it was time to leave the hospital. For the first time since birthing the baby, Elisabeth and I felt alone with her.
We’d long imagined that the reality of having a kid would only really sink in after we got back home, just the three of us. So strapping my daughter into her car seat for the first time filled me with trepidation. The drive home felt surreal, but there was a sense of normality once we got her inside.
About eight months into the pregnancy, and attending the first of three antenatal classes, we were provided more information than we had any hope of holding. One piece of advice did stick out to me – go about your usual routine throughout the day, attending baby’s needs as and when they arise. At the time, this was hugely reassuring to me and something I’ve tried to bear in mind in these few days since we’ve been discharged.
Elisabeth and I needed to feel normal, like a family but also like ourselves. And so we turned to Star Wars. The saga has been a constant companion through misery and illness, and now gave us the sense of ourselves and the normality we needed to adjust to this new life with our little one.
At first, we sped through the first season of Forces of Destiny and while I smiled and grinned at seeing Hera on Endor, or Jyn Erso crossing paths with Sabine Wren, Elisabeth sat beside me feeding Lorelei. We felt like a family.
We’d joked that the first thing we’d do on returning home with our newborn was to put on A New Hope. When it came down to it, nothing seemed more appropriate, and so following Forces of Destiny, I loaded the disk in and pressed play. Cue the timeless stirring theme from John Williams. I don’t know how many times Lorelei had heard that score in utero, but she certainly looked at peace throughout.
Until she needed changing. And then feeding again. And then again. To us, though, that little girl feels like a new hope, just as Luke was for the galaxy.