Day #1 (Mon., Jan. 4, 2010) – Welcome Little Katie!

We welcomed little Katie into the world just after midnight (i.e.: 12:17am) this morning. Weighing in at over 8lbs she was a delightful pink color, with a nice head of hair, and blue hands and feet to boot. I’m told that all babies have blue hands and feet, but how was I to know? I didn’t really read up on babies much till after I learned my wife was pregnant. People almost passed out on me when I told them that I was going to have a child. This whole “baby” process is a learning experience for me. Like the title of this blog states: “The daring attempt of a first-time dad to make sense of his bundle of joy’s journey through life…” I’m starting off with Day #1 of Katie’s life, and will continue on as long as I can. I welcome all comments ( baby comments or otherwise ), suggestions, ideas, or recommendations…after all, for a “first-time” dad I can use all the help I can get…

2010-01-04 - Delivery Station
2010-01-04 - Delivery Station

After her birth, once the nurses had cleaned Katie off, they brought her to me to hold. The mask over my face was making it hard to breathe, but I did my best to soothe the child…holding her and bouncing her. I’ll never forget this experience!!! She started to cry a bit, but I made a little “white noise” sound like “Shhhhh…..” and that seemed to do the trick.

I must admit that I was worried she was going to start screaming uncontrollably and the nurse would have to take her from me. Oh the shame of it all, a baby having to be snatched from the arms of an “incompatible” father. In the end, Katie and I managed to work ourselves through the whole introduction process, and it was my arms that eventually gave out. I’m really not used to holding something in such a cradling position, especially something so precious and fragile. I started to get scared that I was going to drop her, but eventually they wheeled a hospital baby cart around and I was able to put Katie into it.

The nurse had me follow her as she wheeled Katie into an adjoining room. It was here that I was able to get tons of photos and video of one of the newest inhabitants of planet earth. I was concerned that the camera flash would bother her eyes, but the nurse said not to worry. Eventually they wheeled my wife into the same room and we were one small but happy family…daddy, mommy, and little Katie. The camera and video were soon out again, and we were able to record this happy moment as well.

The awe of the moment was probably tempered a bit by the fact that my wife and I were just so tired. We have not slept much the past couple of days, and now that Katie is here safe and sound, we sort of “crashed” (first mentally, then physically). I was able to get some emails off to family and friends to announce Katie’s arrival, but that was about it. By the time we were wheeled up to our sleeping quarters we were done. It took all the energy we could muster to listen to the nurses talk on baby care and such. In the end, they wheeled Katie out to the nursery, and my wife and I were off to “dreamland”. Welcome Katie…this is the beginning of Day # 1…you new life in a brave new world.

After a nice long and needful rest my wife and I were up to face the day with our lovely child. Here are the events of the day as they unfold chronologically:

6:00am – My wife feeds Katie. Katie’s blood sugar is 37…needs to be higher.

8:11am – We learned that Katie’s blood sugar was 62, so she did manage to get some of her mother’s milk. Yippee!!!

My wife and I were so tired that we decided to let the nurse take the baby to the nursery so we could both get some more sleep. We are exhausted. I was afraid that if I didn’t get some sleep I would miss some signals that the baby was hurt or in distress. She looked so peaceful sleeping there that I asked the nurse how you could tell she was still alive. She said “look at her chest”. Ah yes, that’s right. If I wasn’t so tired I could have probably figured that out by myself… 🙂

For breakfast they brought my wife a lovely hot meal (quiche). Lucky her. I had to forage for myself. I went to the cafeteria and got a huge “everything” omelet and brought it back to our room to eat. My wife was asleep when I got back, and I joined her in “dreamland” about 0.0001 seconds after eating breakfast.

At noon we talked to my wife’s parents and then my mother on the phone. Everyone is so excited.

I spent the afternoon composing and sending out emails to my workmates an friends announcing the birth of Katie.

At 3pm I had my first diaper change. You know, it’s not as bad as one thinks…but maybe because it is your own child. Don’t think I would want to do this for a living. My wife did walk me through the whole changing process. Note to self…with a girl…it’s front to back…

4:00pm – The nurses just helped my wife get a shower and walked her around the hallway a bit. Apparently a walk will help her to heal quicker.

5:00pm – They brought birth certificate documents for us to sign. There were some discrepancies that we had to sort through, but we eventually clarified them. Here’s another tip. When someone tells you to not bother reading something, READ IT!

6:00pm – I learned that little Katie likes to be wheeled and rocked in the baby cart…the swaying movement seems to calm her down.

7:15pm – The nurse told us that our baby has been one of the best eaters she has seen in a long time. Go little Katie…drink up, be strong!

8:30pm – Try, try, try, but the baby doesn’t want to eat. Is this a foreshadow of what is to come? We are going to let the nurses take her to the “newborn baby nursery” (I actually stopped a nurse in the hallway and asked her what the name of it was), and let us know as soon as she is hungry and ready to eat.

1) The miracle of birth.
2) How important sleep is.
3) Beyond theory…the “down and dirty” (pardon the pun) of diaper changing.