Fifteen months ago, I became a Dad… which I characterized as an experience that is unique in being predictably amazing. Given the circumstances of being on two hours sleep, I’m particularly proud of the article. That pride is likely misplaced as I don’t proofread my articles and make the poor presumption that what I’m feeling inside comes across in my writing.
While I wrote that our first child was predictable, he required an “urgent” C-section due to a drop in heart rate. They were supposed to get me in to see it, and they had me all gowned up, but it didn’t happen. The doctor actually apologized to me for not getting me in there. It’s a little like a pilot apologizing for not mentioning a great view when he’s landing a plane with an engine out.
As I’ve mentioned briefly in the last few posts, I’ve become a father again. I had to type that sentence at least 4 times as it still seems odd to think of myself as a father. This time, we had everything scheduled and I was there to hold my wife’s hand during the C-section. I got see all the gory details. Except they weren’t gory. They should have used this moment as an example in my college class on perception of how what the visual cortex delivers to the brain is completely different to how it processed. I hate to be mamby-pamby jackwagon, but what I saw was as best I can describe as the embodiment of love.
I went back and forth from our new son to my wife. It was like I was in a baseball rundown. I’ve never had surgeons with their hands in my body… much less be awake for it, so I can’t imagine what it felt like for her. At the same time, I can’t remember what it’s like to leave the comfy warm dark wetness of nine months to the dry, lighted, cold outside world. There’s was no right choice, but I spent most of the time with the new baby so I could report back details (such as weight) to mom.
During those few minutes one conversation I overheard stood out more than the rest. It was the nurses commenting on the baby’s skin. Fifteen months ago, I wrote, “If anything comes up that’s a surprise, it’s a bad thing. There are no pleasant surprises. No baby comes out singing with perfect pitch or throwing perfect spirals.”
With the benefit of hindsight, I was wrong. The nurses had never seen such perfect skin. They immediately asked my wife what she did. She credited the amount of almond milk she was drinking as it was low-carb to comply with her gestational diabetes diet. One nurse said to the other, “This looks like my first 10 Apgars.” The other responded, “I’ve never given a 10 Apgars either, let’s go with 9.” For those who aren’t familiar with Apgars score it is a basic evaluation of health. My understanding is that if things go according to plan, the score is going to be a 9. That’s a very healthy child and really all that a parent can ask for 3 minutes after birth. Yet, I found myself disappointed to not get that rare 10 score, especially in reading the Wikipedia article about the difference between a 9 and 10 is most often based on the skin that they recently praised.
I’ve since gotten to know my new son a little better. Thus far his most notable trait is his extraordinary ability to sleep. My wife has nicknamed him Snoozehound, but I’m partial to Dozer (perhaps because of the Matrix, even if for a different reason). Names that probably got cut a little prematurely were Rip Van Baby and Sir-Sleeps-A-Lot (“I like big ZZZZs and I can not not lie…”). From day one, he’s slept over 5 hours consecutively at night. After a feeding he’ll sleep another 3 more. The doctors asked us to wake him up to feed so he doesn’t lose too much weight, but he’s gaining well according to their schedule. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it simply isn’t possible for us to be this lucky.
At this stage, that’s really all there is to report. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be writing some articles on how this changes our financial plans. From that perspective having another boy is paying immediate dividends in allow us to re-use the same clothes. Also we anticipate saving money with cloth diapers.