Thankfully, while we were prepared for the worst, these first 8 weeks of parenthood have been a surprising delight. This is not to say that it hasn’t been tough at times or that we haven’t on occasion felt as if we were sleep-walking through the day.
We loved her immediately. We loved every inch of her tiny little body from the reddish brown fuzz on her head to her perfect, impossibly small toes. It is amazing the depth of love that one can feel for a creature who at the earliest stages of her life offers none of the usual signs of love in return.
She cries, but most of the time we have the power to comfort her (holding, bouncing, feeding, changing, etc.) and that is enormously satisfying even when we’re not quite sure what we’ve done to stop the crying.
Except for two blissful occasions, she does not sleep through the night. We have both been on overnight shifts during our careers in television. “Tired” after working an overnight is completely different than “tired” after getting up a few times during the night with your new baby. Shifting your entire schedule to be awake and functioning at night causes a absolutely bone-weary-dog-tired that makes the world seem like a dark and dreary place and the act of going to bed a heavenly almost orgasmic experience. Comparatively, waking up a few times during the night to feed, change and comfort your pride and joy is a piece of cake. Nonetheless, it will be a wonderful thing when she sleeps through the night. Waking up even for an hour in the middle of the night does tend to make one a bit scattered and forgetful during the day.
A couple things have been surprising: the sheer quantities of poop and barf that come out either end; sometimes at the same time. It seems as soon as we’ve finished changing one diaper it’s time to change her again, and she has an uncanny knack for spitting up anywhere but the burp cloth on your shoulder.
We’ve also become aware that, despite our vows pre-baby not to let her change our lives, she has changed our lives. Having her has made simple things like taking a shower or running out to the grocery store much more difficult. Taking off for a weekend sail or road trip now seems much more complicated, nevermind international travel of the sort we used to enjoy so much. We’re thankful that we’ve spent so much of our relationship traveling as much as we can and getting out of town as many weekends as possible. This also makes us even more determined, even with the challenges, to try to get out as much as we can with her.
She is a precious gift; we are so thankful to have her. Looking at her, it is sometime hard to believe that she is ours and here to stay. We wouldn’t have it any other way.