Monday, December 23, 2019

First Week of Being a Parent, and Obligatory Baby Photo Dump

Today's entry is a short little photo dump and a series of quick impressions I want to commit to the written word before they vanish as memories.  I'm a little tired from the baby-having and baby-rearing, so please excuse me as I dump a bunch of baby photos into this post and then call it a day.  I don't ever expect this blog to become a "baby blog," but considering I've spent the first week concerning myself with getting plant-based, decomposable asswipes and arguing with Andrew about the merits of the book "The Digging-est Dog," I feel that I am well within my rights to write a shorter entry this week and call it a day.

 Personal stance: "The Digging-est Dog" is a literary masterpiece.

While we were expecting, we experienced a certain conversation over and over.  We'd say we felt relatively prepared, as prepared as anyone can really be for something as big as welcoming a baby into one's home for the first time.  And then others would laugh at us and say that nothing can prepare you.  Nothing.  That however hard you think it is, it's ten times harder then you could possibly realize and boy, oh boy, are you in for a trip.

I'm happy to report that those people are wrong.

Does this look hard to you?

We took Calvin home from the hospital after about 48 hours, and he has settled in like a champ.  Maybe it's still too early, but after the first week, I can say this: we were prepared, after all.  And we are having a damn good time.

Calvin with his grandma.

It helps that Cal is a good baby.  He doesn't cry much and he's on a fairly regular newborn schedule of two hours.  He sleeps, he wakes, he fusses, he eats, he poops, and he goes back to sleep.  This is the envious life of a newborn.  He is not very loud and also aggressively cute, and with myself, Andrew, and my mom present to care for him, everyone is a lot more well-rested than I was led to believe we would be.  Having two partners means we're doing just fine.  We're definitely a little tired, since we're up every few hours, but these interrupts are brief, spanning only 30 minutes or so, the length of time required to feed and re-diaper the baby.  On Day 2, we had a 90ish-minute crying session at 3 a.m. that wouldn't stop, but so far, over the whole week, that has been the only "bad baby" moment.  Generally Calvin is a reasonable baby who only fusses when he needs something.


If anything, we're having an almost-vacation.  The house is surprisingly clean and I've gotten a fair bit of work done in terms of catching up on various projects (blog included).

Calvin helping!

In terms of how you feel after giving birth, physically, for the first two days there's a full-body soreness and delicacy, but a week post-partum, I actually feel great.  I'm still bleeding, which is normal.  As far as I can tell, after giving birth, you bleed for roughly the rest of your natural life and possibly into the next one.  I was told to call the doctor if I had any clots the size of an orange or bigger.  In other words, unless your uterus falls out, incessant bleeding is considered normal.

The biggest fly in the ointment has been Seamus the dog, who does not like the baby.  Seamus has been walking around the house with his head down and his tail between his legs, making soft whining noises and periodically jumping on the baby.  Is he trying to protect it?  Respond to its crying?  I have no idea.  He's mellowed out a little with CBD treats, but he's still clearly on edge and having a harder time adjusting than anyone else.  I feel bad for him.

 Meeting the baby when we brought him home.

Possibly Seamus is jumping on the baby because the baby often represents a delicious burrito.

Our plans for Christmas and New Year's are non-existent.  The world stands still a little when you have a baby and you find yourself on your own, baby-centric planet that concerns itself with cleaning out breast pump attachments and locating where pacifiers have gone after being dropped.  I was hoping to get his picture taken with Santa, but since he's so new to the world and lacking in an immune system, and mall Santas are probably Germsville USA, we decided not to in the end.  We took a picture of Calvin in a Santa hat and called it a day.


On Planet Baby, my biggest complaint is the way time moves.  It's all at once sluggish and also far too fast.  Every moment you're mired in is boring.  The baby sleeps a lot and everything you do is done according to the baby's schedule, so "you time" is taken in two-hour blocks of slightly sleep-deprived distraction, with the awareness that you might have to drop everything to go to the baby if necessary.  Yet despite feeling a little stagnant and cooped up with the baby, both physically and temporally, you blink and you've moved forward to the next day, the next week.

We have been relying heavily on planners and to-do lists to ensure we maintain some semblance of structure.  It's easy, on Planet Baby, to fall behind.

Speaking of falling, my first panicked parent moment came on Day 5, when Calvin's cord fell off.

We had gone to see the pediatrician on Day 4, and he told us everything was looking good and normal, but I was still wholly unprepared to suddenly see it gone, and it scared me a bit.  The pediatrician also said, and I quote, "This is an excellent baby."  So there you have it, folks.  It came from the mouth of a professional.  Also, not to brag, but our baby only lost 2 ounces following his birth.  (Most babies lose a lot more.)

Overall impression of Planet Baby?  It's a nice planet.  One that's not nearly as hard as everyone told us it would be, and worth every second of sleep deprivation.


No comments:

Post a Comment