The baby is screaming again. My baby. I hoist her off the narrow hotel bed–again–and try to cradle her as I rock my torso back and forth in an uncomfortable straight-backed chair.
This baby does not cradle. She doesn’t know how to cuddle, to be soothed in anyone’s arms. She howls and arches away, squirms and flops, a sixteen-pound fish out of water. I’m not used to holding babies, and she’s not used to be being held, but when I try to put her down, she wails. My arms feel chafed, raw, and my wrists ache from the hours of straining to hang on to her.
Huge tears pool in her eyes. These tears could break my heart. These screams could break my eardrums.