We make holes in teeth!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 50

Yesterday was the 7 week anniversary of the birth of our daughter, which makes today day #50. In the great march to 100 days - the base-10 number which some set as the holy grail of newborn nirvana - we have made it to the midpoint. Now, it's not like we're halfway through the woods at this point - far from it. The first 50 are going to undoubtedly be harder than the next 50. But in terms of raw time, here we are at the halftime show, Janet Jackson whipping out her boob nuggets.

How has it been? Honestly it's hard to say, to really give this block of 50 days a single description. If I had to, it would probably be...Marilyn. Wait, no, I mean whirlwind. Don't you hate these Gen X jerks who cannot write anything without embedding pop culture in the prose? Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Anyway, these 50 days have been a whirlwind tour, with the range of emotions going from top to bottom. I could whip out an Everest-to-Death-Valley comparison but it's not really that dramatic. Sure, when your child is screaming insanely at 4:00 in the morning, it's hard to see it as anything but totally awful. On the other hand, I've never been stabbed. So I really have no basis to compare. Likewise, I've never climbed Mount Everest and have no idea what it's like to tackle such a feat. Having said that, when I lay Julia down on the couch and play with her legs and she smiles big for daddy, there's really not much better feeling than that.

So in the first 50 days we've had a lot of things I could talk about, the vast majority of which I have long since forgotten. When you have so many trials and tribulations (sorry, stock expression is easier than using my brain), a lot of things fall out when new things come in. But there are some random things I do remember, some of which I took notes on. Here are some of them in no particular order and, at time, with far too little information to make any sense of...

The Thunder Cart. The Thunder Carts are the carts that the newborns get rolled around in at Overlook Hospital when they go from the nursery to your room. They are cheap as dirt, and so they rumble down the hallway with a gallantly thundering noise. In their cheapness, they serve to keep the newborn quiet by providing white noise which generally keeps them quiet. But not always. At times, we would be woken in the middle of the night by a nurse rolling a thunder cart full of screaming baby to our room. There was one night in particular, when Julia (who was then still being called Girl Zurawski) had been exceptionally difficult the night before. We had finally gotten her to sleep and returned her to the nursery at about 7:00 am. We got maybe an hour of sleep before the bagel lady showed, and were in the process of slapping cream cheese on our bagels when we heard it: the distinct sound of a Thunder Cart coming close. Mind you, this is after a night of about 2 hours of sleep. Both Natalie and myself stopped cold, and simply stared at the door in utter shock, listening to the rumble of the Thunder Cart. It came closer...then rumbled on by. This was one of those moments when you know you're not going to be really over-doting parents. I mean, this early in the game we were both like, "ok kid, you gotta give us a fucking break." Natalie laughed so hard at this moment her c-section incision started to hurt and she called for the perkaset.

Fire Trucks. When we got the hospital there were fire trucks blocking the entrance. I don't know if that was an omen, but the main lobby was closed because of this. We ended up driving up to near the entrance only because the Summit police officer was kind enough to let us go past the road block. Then we had to argue with the minimum wage parking attendant about where we could or couldn't go. I mean, give me a fucking break I have a pregnant woman in the car. Assholes. Anyway, we parked in the deck and my wife - between battling her cramps - walked from the deck to the hospital.

The First 10 Days. Basically, this is how it went. The first 5 days were sheer joy, a totally and utter wonder of the world. I so fell in love with my daughter in these first 5 days that nothing, and I mean nothing, could deter that. She was such a sweet little peanut that it was impossible not to be taken by the sheer joy of being a dad. I Still remember how enjoyable it was to have this tiny little girl sleeping on my chest. And then, days 6 through 10. It's a good thing that the first 5 days were so good because the next 5 were totally and utterly awful. Suddenly the bassinet was not good enough and she had to be held to sleep, which meant mommy and daddy had to take turns sleeping with Julia in our arms. Wow, what a rough 5 days. As great as the first 5 were, the next 5 were brutal. Thankfully, Orion & Michelle brought over the co-sleeper and she started sleeping in her Magic Box (as we call it) on top of our bed. She's been there - sleeping alone - ever since.

"It gets better." Words of warning to the parents-to-be out there. Everyone who has kids will utter these words to you: it gets better. And yes, it really does. Even now, only halfway to day 100 she's getting better, sitting by herself, sleeping a little longer from time to time, sleeping by herself in the daytime, and smiling at us. Ah, the smiles are really the cherry on top, those little things that make it all worth it. Yes, it does get better but it's still a difficult road - for the first 50 days at least.

Going Back to Work. It sucked. On Julia's 15th day I had to head back to work. I guess that means I've been back to work for 5 weeks. It's gotten slowly better but I still don't like to leave the house and say goodbye to mommy and daughter every day. As difficult as it can be I enjoy the good times and the progress you see on an almost daily basis now. Of course, work is necessary to pay the bills and whatnot. And sure, it's nice to get a break from the crying once in a while. But the 11 hours away from home make for a long day, especially when I know mom is by herself to deal with the Screaming Peanut.

So those are some of the things I remember, or wrote down. Slowly things get back to normal. Last weekend I went for 2 mountain bike rides and I've been out on the road bike for 4 weekends in a row. This week I hope to ride during the week once or twice. I'm still mowing the lawn and planting flowers in the flower beds. And we went for a family car ride yesterday even though Julia has been having a tough time dealing with the car seat. Saturday we had friends over for a small dinner gathering and this weekend I think we're going to the neighbor's son's graduation party. And, despite rumors to the contrary, you can actually still cook your own meals - you don't have to order out or eat microwave food every night. All in all, it's a hell of an adjustment but you can still do all of the things you enjoy in life so long as you keep certain things in perspective.

So there you go, 50 days. What the next 50 will bring I have no clue.

Accommodation in aviemore