A new father-to-be's daily struggle with coming to terms with his impending fate.
Friday, February 6, 2009
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.