Thursday, 30 August 2012

Parenthood: day nine

Holy crow—this baby is amazing! What the hey hey—this baby is crazy!

The first week was strange and hard and wonderful. It was a blur of visitors, diapers, fatigue, one-arm tasks, and everything is different. He nursed, slept, woke, cried, and filled his diaper, all of which we expected, but for which we were nonetheless unprepared.

We did things for ourselves before. The first week, everything we did was for Oliver.

It is marvellous to look at him and feel our new family and to imagine the possibilities he embodies.


Meconium, the initial baby poo, while black-green and gooey as expected, was not as tar-sticky as we were told. Nonetheless, we used disposable diapers for those first days—for convenience and fear.

Regular infant poo is yellow and curdy, like sour milk, which it is essentially. (It also smells that way.) After a brief period, it turns green. There is a lot of pressure in an infant's intestine, which Oliver demonstrated by projecting his stool across the room when I wasn't prepared. The first time happened in the middle of the night, when in my dozy state I missed the signs that he wasn't quite finished moving his bowels. He nearly damaged one or two designer dresses of Danijela's. I said then that I wouldn't be so careless again, but mere hours later, I missed the signs at his morning change, and another clean-up job ensued.

Cloth diapers aren't terribly difficult to use—or inconvenient. We are using washable velcro diaper covers that enclose a thick replaceable cotton pad. No pins required! They're not quite as quick as disposables, and they are bulkier to be sure, but I feel pretty good about them so far. Obviously there's more laundry, too, but methinks that's the reality of parenthood, with or without cloth diapers.

It is strange not to sleep through the night. I'm getting used to it. Or am I?

I am washing my hands twice as much as usual, which is hard on my dermatitis.

Oliver has been difficult to soothe. This is among the most frustrating things I have ever experienced. His wants and needs are so simple, but our languages are utterly incompatible for the first while. But I understand that he's having an existential crisis pretty much constantly now that he's out of the womb, so I appreciate his anguish. Parenthood without patience must be a terrible experience.

The baby whisperer (Tracy Hogg) is a godsend.

More later. I have to eat and run!

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The New Dilettantes by Adam Gorley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.