3 a.m. It’s always 3 a.m.
After a week of lounging, walking, watching movies and Netflix, there was a knock on the guest bedroom door at 3 a.m. “It’s time! We are going to the hospital!”
The Girl had packed a bag. i was in my night shirt, but quickly threw on clothes, tossed my phone charging cords/brick into a small bag along with my toothbrush, and met them at the door.
A week past her due date, with a known big baby trying to make an entrance, the labor didn’t progress enough before there were minor signs of fetal distress around 2:00 pm. We were all a bit astonished by the speed of the staff as they whisked The Girl off to an operating room.
Her husband and i waited – only about 15 minutes later, a nurse arrived with a tiny bundle of squawk! All the fingers, all the toes, and an expression that said “Screw this! It’s cold out here!” Weighing in at 4 kgs (9 lbs), she’s almost outgrown her newborn clothes!
It was just over a week ago (on the 14th), but it seems longer. When i delivered my two spawn via c-section, i was in the hospital for about four days. The Girl was released 28 hours after delivery – high quality health care here!
For the past week, Mom, Dad, and baby are all getting used to each other. That dazed feeling of “We made this?” and “It doesn’t seem real!” and “Holy shit! We are totally responsible for this tiny human and we have no idea what we’re doing!”.
When the last grandcritter arrived, i had a fairly well defined job. Entertain the 3 year old big brother, cook/clean and take care of household stuff. This time, i had more of a ‘front line’ involvement – The Girl couldn’t lift or bend, and needed some help getting around. Taking the 3 a.m. to morning shift with the baby, making sure the exhausted parents get some sleep.
A week into the adventure, The Girl and her husband are gaining confidence. i only lend a hand when asked – and am focused on cleaning, cooking, laundry – with the added challenge of having only a basic working knowledge of the local language – but i’m proficient enough to shop!
There are several stories to share about culture shock and adjustments, but right now i’m operating on about 4 hours sleep. It will have to wait…
As excited as i was to welcome the new member of the clan, i’m just as excited to watch The Girl and her husband become parents. Somewhere along the way, her dad and i didn’t completely screw up… She’s got this.
“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of babies – ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.'” – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.