Augusta Victoria Burkhart was born on April 5, 2017 at 9:09 A.M. She weighs 3,240 grams, is 55 cm long, and is covered in baby fur. She is lovely. Geoff’s been proudly walking her all over the hospital. Eliza, equally excited, is going out of her way to be a responsible big sister. I’m still recovering from the Caesar. This time I’m doing everything I should have done when Eliza was first born: napping when she naps, taking the pain medication, and not watching Bad Girls Club.

At Eliza’s birth, Geoff read to me from Travels with Charley to distract me. We made it through two chapters, plus an episode of The Price is Right before the serious birthing happened. This time, he read from The Deptford Trilogy. After about two pages, I heard Augusta cry, and it was all over. I was stitched up and sent to recovery. A Caesar may have a more difficult recovery, but it is fast.

Wellington Hospital, though not as fancy as Prentice in Chicago, has been great. The doctors and midwives are attentive, Augusta and I have our own room, and even the food (I had lamb for lunch yesterday) is pretty good. Once we leave the hospital, our midwife will visit us at home for the next six weeks. It’s amazing that this level of care is available for free to all New Zealand citizens.

When I was released from the hospital after Eliza’s birth, I thought they were making a mistake. How could they let two such inexperienced people go home with a baby? I secretly wanted a C-section because it came with extra hospital time. Today, confident that we can keep another person alive, I’m ready to go. Thanks to the kind people we’ve met in Wellington who have cooked us meals, donated baby gear, visited the hospital, and helped with Eliza, this has been a wonderful experience. We are really lucky.

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