Friday, February 6, 2009

He Arrives

On Sunday, February 1st, at 10:09AM Mommy and Daddy in Waiting welcomed Jackson Race into the big, wide world. We knew he was coming around that time due to elective Cesarean Section. The fear from my wife was Jackson might be too big, any induction could be harmful to the baby and end in c-section anyway, or there may be shoulder dystotia in the boy and he could suffer a broken shoulder or worse. So my wife elected to deliver that way, and it ended up being a decent decision, as Jack had a loose knot in his umbilical cord. He must have jumped through it early on in the pregnancy but thankfully it never tightened. The nurses commented, however, that it easily could have gotten tighter during a vaginal delivery.

Anyway, he's here and, yes, life has surely changed. It's been five days but I'm still in disbelief, like I'm watching a movie of someone else's life. He's so tiny, making seem almost unreal, but hearing him breathe and seeing him stretch, etc., makes it hit home every time that this is the big dance now. I pictured this time of my life for months but now that it's finally here, I'm still in awe.

He's a bit fussy, which makes me feel he is definitely MY child, but each day that has passed has make me enjoy him more and get to know his tendencies better. Like almost any baby, he's surely no fan of getting his diaper changed, but the venom in his cries and screams during the changes really threw me off in the early going. I'm feeling pretty comfortable changing him, especially after NEVER changing a baby ever before, but Jack makes it sound like he's in real agony. This really freaked me out but the nurses and doctor haven't found any reason to believe his behavior is any concern. "He's a screamer" has been the answer. So now I make sure to have the changing table prepared to cut down the time he's "wide open."

The things we didn't want to do, like using a pacifier and supplementing his breast-milk diet with formula, has been invaluable so far. Once the wife gets her body used to his needs and can really get the milk flowing, we didn't see any other way around the formula needs. Our doctor approved so we did what we felt was the right thing, at least for now. The pacifier first became necessary during the boy's circumcision, which was sort of a late decision. I can't easily tell you how I came to the decision of getting the procedure done but I stomached it. The nurse gave Jackson a pacifier with sugar water to calm him, and it had a good effect. I told my wife that if I had seen the procedure prior to making the decision, I probably would have gone the other way. I wasn't disgusted but it just really seemed unnecessary. Oh well, he can replace it when he gets older if he wants...

But along with "screamer" our boy's also gotten tagged with the label of "sucker," hence our continued use of the pacifier. We knew he couldn't use my wife's nipples to pacify whenever he wanted so we gave it a try with some success. He hasn't lost his early ability to latch, so we're pleased, and we try our best to limit the pacifier use.

In later posts, now that the "in-waiting" tag of my blog sub-head is no longer necessary, I'd like to explore my feelings about this new chapter of our lives. I've found myself being much more affectionate towards the boy than I thought I would, and surprisingly comfortable with him in my arms. I can't get over how easily my wife has taken to motherhood, though I've known she would be since we got married. She's already able to multi-task effortlessly. Sometimes I feel I'm not doing enough when stacked up against her efforts in breastfeeding the boy. So I try and help out by making sure she has water to drink, changing Jack's diapers every chance I get, keeping the changing table ready to go, cooking meals, and other household chores. Last night I went to the store for some dinner items and ended up getting 10 times as many items on my list, just so we'd have things to eat that we'd both enjoy (Ben & Jerry's FroYo, e.g.). I still won't feel I'm doing enough compared to what she's gone through over the past nine months, and especially over the last few days but I hope I'm building a good foundation to build upon a strong fatherhood and marriage.


Sheryl said...

Mike, thanks for the details. But you forgot the vitals - like his height and weight! I'm a sucker for details! As for your efforts, it sounds like you're doing everything right. Breastfeeding is hard work and anyone who tells you it isn't is lying. Keep at it if you want, but don't beat yourselves up. Dave's job post baby delivery was to fill my water with ice, he'd change teh babies while I went to the bathroom and hand them to me to feed. He got up every time I did those early months and I fed them and returned to bed. If they cried, he just sat next to me and we were in it together. Parenting, is a long road. We wanted to avoid binkies (pacifiers) too but both girls used them. They were lives savers with both Lacey and Zelda (my niece) this time around. I had a c-section twice, I hope Angela is feeling well. Do you have any slings for carrying the baby? My sis is very "crunchy" (cloth diapering and all!) and while I would not consider myself cruncy, I have utilized a sling a time or two and it's helpful to have another way to carry the little buggers around. Keep up the great work,bothof you. He's gorgeous. I look forward to hearing more of your journey.

KMT said...

I'm with Sheryl...I love hearing the details. Maybe it's a number thing, nerd that I am. :) And I second everything with regard to nursing (did for both my girls and is such a great thing, but also supplemented when I returned to work and was pumping) and the binky use (my oldest did, but youngest didn't; I have a great 'binky weaning' story, should you ever need it...I may market it! :)).

The one comment that struck me in your post was about how you feel you're watching someone else's life. I can't tell you how many of those first nights my husband and I were home with our oldest and kept looking at each other and saying 'so when are her parents going to pick her up?', as if we were babysitting. :) Of course the reality sets in pretty quickly, but we still laugh about that, almost 7 years later. And all of those little noises and yawns and stretches newborns precious, isn't it? And you helped MAKE that little person! How about that? :)

Keep up the good work of being a supportive partner, which is so appreciated by Mommies everywhere, and to marvel at your wife's ability to multi-task so well; I think we women are genetically predisposed to it. ;)

Congratulations again on your beautiful family! I'm excited for you guys and look forward to hearing more, once you get some sleep...