The Early Days - Month 1
Dash 4 hours old
Dash was born Friday, October 21, at 10:48am. He weighed 8 lbs and 4 ounces and measures 22 inches long (which apparently, like Zanzibar and Kili, is pretty good sized (people are surprised how big the cats are)).
Leigh and I are so relieved as we spent a long week and a very long night with concerns about some heartrate issues. Apparently a non issue as he's in great shape, passing all his tests. He's a good baby and in the eight hours he's been on the outside he's been very alert attentive and calm. He cries only when being prodded injected or harassed by the hospital staff (which they seem to do so at every opportunity). I need to learn to stop crying every time he cries. It's heartbreaking (but harmless). Fortunately he's easily soothed. (Update 10/26: I am clearly a fool: I got lucky a few times and thought it was a trend).
Dash, 1 hour old.
Click here for the Labor and Delivery Play-by-Play
Update October 23, 2005.
Leigh and I both forgot it was her birthday until late afternoon. We've been a little pre-occupied with a great little present. I've always intellectually recognized the superiority of women as they can incubate and give forth life. The past few days have given that axiom some profound emotional oomph. The labor stuff was no surprise, but getting the breastfeeding down was a complicated difficult frustrating dance where Leigh's singular persistence paid off. Dash is doing well. Passed all his tests and is a prodigal pooper (which apparently is MONEY around here). They say that mommies fall deeply in love with their babies, Leigh is well on her way. I kinda like him too.
Update Thursday October 26, 2005.
I now know the meaning of 24/7. Good gravy! (and I ain't talking diaper contents). Dash's cranky period appears to be from about 10:00p to 2:30a. During the day we have about two hours of sleep after he gets his meal. It's like we hit a timer and scramble to get things done in our two hour windows. He's a good kid, but thank God mommies fall so in love with their babies as they can be so much work. If I ever meet anybody who tells me he climbed Mt. Everest I'll say "So what my wife gave birth AND breastfed." Just because miracles are so routine doesn't mean they're not miracles.
Clearly this all gets easier (else there would be only one child per family), and the challenges morph into different challenges. It's all worthwhile. He's a good boy.
I got some good pictures and videos, but they're in the camera. I'll try to post them as soon as I can .
Wish us luck and rest.
Update Sunday, October 30, 2005
The Good News: Dash can do a Mighty Gator Chomp. The Bad News: He does it on Leigh's nipples. I knew that breastfeeding could be painful but I didn't think it could be so thoroughly confounding. Wit's end. Dash is doing fine, but Leigh is having something of a tough time with it.
Update Saturday November 11, 2005
Gee it's been a week. After about four days "going it alone" at home with Dash, I said to Leigh "I'm not smart enough for this. Let's bring in some help. Bring in some experts." So we brought in Mom and Dad Stokes on Monday night. They have been a tremendous help, even though Grandma Stokes doesn't "gush" quite as much as I think would be appropriate. I went back to work for a couple hours on Wednesday and am ramping back up. Things are becoming more routine, with moments of unquenchable crankiness.