Being Dad – First Two Weeks

This was originally going to be a “first week” post. Guess I’m already experiencing the concept of time moving forward at an accelerated pace with children that people speak about.

Two weeks and one day ago my daughter, Anika, was born. Yep, first kid. I think we are moving past the “deer in headlights” phase (maybe that’s where that first week went) and settling into what it means to be a couple with a child. To me this means folding her into our pre-existing life as much as possible. Really I have no idea what that means, but since she is with me right now as I type this, snuggled in a very cool HugaMonkey sling (Black Leaf Organic – very hip) I have to believe I’m off to a good start.

Some memorable moments:

  • Catching her during birth and placing her on my wife’s chest.
  • My mom bursting into tears upon seeing me holding her only two hours after she was born.
  • Seeing her contentedly drink from my wife’s breast. Instinct is amazing. Maybe a cliche statement, but hard to deny.
  • Laughing as we dressed her for the first time to come home, because all the baby clothing we brought were way too big for her 5lb 2oz body.
  • First nap with her lying on me.
  • Taking LOTS of photos. Uncle Chad suggested we do a photo a day for as long as we can. Why not.
  • Walking around the house trying to soothe an unhappy baby, deciding that if she is going to scream I might as well turn off the babbling brook sound and put on jazz. She quieted down immediately.
  • Playing guitar for her. A solo arrangement of the standard ‘A Child is Born’ seemed apropos late one night recently.
  • Being able to take the entire month off to be near her.
  • Reading to her. We read most of The Happiest Baby on the Block and this morning we were reading Newsweek together.
  • Any time she returns my gaze. My heart swells and melts at the same time.

Some challenges so far:

  • Newborn gas. Apparently digestive systems have a break-in period. At least that’s what Anika has been telling us nightly for the past couple weeks.
  • The whole “I’m crying because I’m uncomfortable — Now I’m yelling because I’m unhappy — Now I’m screaming because of all the yelling — I’m screaming so hard I can’t breathe” thing.
  • Going through the LOTS of photos we are taking so we can post some online for friends and family.
  • Finding time to keep the rest of life going (bills, email, etc.) while still attending to all the needs of a newborn baby.
  • Being able to watch Battlestar Galactica (or a movie, or one of the other two shows we watch) all the way through in one sitting.
  • First day of school, first date, teenage insurance premiums, college tuition — okay, so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.
  • Dealing with child related challenges in a state of sleep deprivation I’ve rarely experienced before.

Really, the challenges so far are not all that great. Well, the sleep deprivation is tough. Still, most of the heavy lifting is done by Mom at this point, with Dad mainly playing the hunter gatherer role — a role I have put off for a month. So basically I’m just making sure the needs of my girls are met, and enjoying it while I can.

1 Reply to “Being Dad – First Two Weeks”

  1. Doug,

    Congratulations on your firstborn and welcome to “fatherhood.” The pictures are great as well as your rendition of the first 2 weeks.

    I promise the sleeping thing will get better, but try and use the bassinet early on (very tempting to let her get used to sleeping with you in bed.)

    She is a beautiful baby (trust me, not all are) and you both are incredibly Blessed!

    Best of luck in the next chapter…..

    Best,
    todd

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