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D-Day +11

Today is D-Day + 11. Ada is showing us a lot of her personality. Like her mother, she knows how best to do it. For example, while feeding, she grabs the bottle with her little hands as if to say, “let me show you how it’s done.”

She is quite small, even for an infant. Just a hair over five pounds at last weigh-in. I’ve been tempted to put her on my refrigerant scale to see if she’s gained any since our last pediatrician visit, but we were warned that we shouldn’t obsess over her weight. From the way she’s eating, we figure she must be growing.

For people always on the go, being at home for a straight week has been an adjustment, along with new routines that revolve around the endless feed-burp-change-sleep cycle. I was able to take two weeks off from work (will return Monday the 19th) which was fortunate, as we spent much of the first week in the hospital for observation, due to her premature status. All is well now. She’s a healthy kid, just a little smaller than average. Her diapers and her 0-3 month old clothes don’t quite fit yet, but she does squirm around a lot and has a good grip. Again, like her mother, I anticipate a feisty young woman is in the works.

Lola and Sophie have for the most part accepted the new smell and center of attention. Lola in particular seems to have grown into the role of big sister and protector. With her Early Warning Detection System, Lola will approach Ada wherever she is sleeping, rise up on hind legs and sniff, then sit down and stare at us pointedly a good ten seconds before Ada starts to fuss about her need of a diaper change.

Our living room has been transformed into a kind of baby care center with a pack and play, bouncer seat, swing, and other infant accouterment. The nursery, which we put so much time and energy into getting just right won’t be used for a couple more months. The weather is rather nice now, with a bit of an early spring, as in much of the rest of the country, so we open the windows during the day before it gets too hot, so that we can hear the birds and get some fresh air into the place. The azaleas are blooming, the daffodils are long gone, and I gave the front lawn its first haircut of the year. Reckon it will be another hot summer. (Cha-ching!)

So what is early fatherhood like? I had no expectations for internal transformation. But it does feel as if something switched inside. It was quiet and unannounced. Maybe best described in how I drove the family to and from the hospital the couple times we were there. Maybe also how I’ve handled my change in sleep patterns. You know that I am not one of those people who can stay up very late. I’m usually asleep well before the ball drops on New Year’s. But when I take the night shift, the first real cry has me bouncing out of bed like no alarm clock has ever done.

Maybe another quiet change is the feeling that my time is no longer my own. And if I thought before that there weren’t ever enough hours in the day, now I definitely feel there is zero time to mess around. Efficiency is the order of the day. I know that this is a temporary feeling—that as we become better at the routine and more knowledgeable as parents we will find more time for ourselves.

Another powerful feeling, perhaps the strongest: If I don’t feed and take care of this little person, she will die, as many children in this world die. Which leads me to many thoughts of thankfulness for being where we are when we are. I lobbied hard for Ada’s full name on the birth certificate to be Ada Marilyn America Sturgis, but in the end I was vetoed.

3 Comments

  1. James Seipel wrote:

    We are so pleased you have Ada in your life.

    Enjoy the great days and forget about any sleepless nights. It all comes with the territory.

    Friday, March 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Brooke wrote:

    oh how i miss you guys! i wish with all my heart that i lived close by so i could drop by and see these day by day changes and bring you flowers and balloons and premie baby clothes. Hug one another for me, especially that little mommy who has done so much work, and gets little recognition for all her hard work. :o) Love you guys so much! XOXOXOXOXXXOOO!!!!!

    Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  3. Kathy Shiner wrote:

    Laura, Roman!!
    Congratulations on being the proud parents little Miss Ada will love and depend on forever! I cannot wait to see photos and visit. If you need anything, remember we are here! So very happy for all of you!

    Kathy
    PS I’m jealous, Tod says he saw photos this morning at work! 🙂

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

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