Monday, March 23, 2009

Life with a baby

A lot can happen in a month. You can find yourself doing things and feeling emotions you never thought possible. Especially when the source of this change is the cutest, sweetest little baby girl ever. In fact, so much has happened, I honestly don't know where to begin. All the more reason to blog frequently rather than rarely, I suppose.

The hospital stay was a crash course in early parenthood. We dove into breastfeeding, diaper changing, umbilical cord stump cleaning, swaddling and more, all while learning to function on very little rest. I'm not good at sleeping in small doses, so that was quite a struggle for me. It was worse for Miranda since she was also recovering from major surgery. Not surprisingly, she did an amazing job despite the setback of a c-section. I think we both stepped up to the plate and did what we had to do. We were just so happy to finally have our Hayley, nothing else really mattered. We were parents now.

We came home after spending about a week at the hospital. Even though we were now fully on our own with a newborn baby, just being home made a big difference. Now, 4 weeks later, we've mostly adjusted to life at home with a baby. In that time, Hayley has experienced countless firsts. Sleeping in her crib, sleeping on mommy or daddy, sleeping with mommy and daddy in our bed, sleeping in her car seat, sleeping in the carrier. Babies sleep a lot.

When not sleeping, Hayley went on her first walk around the neighborhood in her cool stroller, had her first visit to the pediatrician, sat and played in her bouncy chair, watched TV (including Sharks games), watched daddy play video games, took more walks, entertained many visitors to the apartment, and went on lots of car rides to grandma's house, restaurants, the mall, Steph's house, the grocery store, and even Stanford. She also celebrated her first holiday, St. Patrick's Day (appropriate, considering her parents got engaged in Ireland). Some firsts were of the sad variety, unfortunately. These included saying goodbye to papa and naini when they returned to Arizona, spitting up, losing the only evidence of her life in the womb when her umbilical cord stump fell off, and switching to bottled breast milk when the pain of breastfeeding became too much for mommy (Miranda can elaborate on the feeding issue if she wants to).

So far, this has been both the most challenging and most rewarding endeavour of my life. I'm still getting used to the lack of sleep, although Miranda has been letting me get a good 6 hours in a row each night, for which I am HUGELY grateful. There are times when I feel useless and frustrated, like whenever Miranda has to pump milk or when Hayley screams for an hour and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to comfort her. But there's so much more time when I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. I mean, I already did when I married Miranda, but now I've got two perfect girls in my life. Holding Hayley as she falls asleep, just watching her sleep, seeing her smile involuntarily, listening to her tiny baby snores, watching her stretch and yawn as she wakes up, staring into her beautiful little eyes while she examines her strange new world - these are the things I live for now. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. She's only a month old!

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