Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Black Holes and Baby Universes
Our first few days with you have been wonderfully uneventful. Your mother and I are both home with you, for the moment, and at night she takes the first shift and me, the early morning. Eventually, we'll split the week into two halves and I'll take one half while she'll take the other. For now, it's an unexpected pleasure, having you lay on my chest while the light of dawn sneaks in through cracks in the window shades. With you here, the hours of the day slip away so quickly. I'm not sure why some people find caring for a newborn so tedious or unpleasant. I think it's fun building your muscles. Stimulating your senses. And yes, all the diaper changes and feeding and burping. Taking care of you involves some creative problem solving also (like determining the best way to burp you). Maybe working with stinky mammals and fish poop for so long has desensitized me or something, but I don't find being pooped and puked on troublesome at all. Not much, at least.
That's not to say that you don't have a few challenges. Like the gas... oh, the gas. There are so many concussive blasts coming from your butt that it sounds like you're nursery is being shelled. And it's not that all of the gas is bothering ME, per se. It bothers you. It keeps you up constantly, so much so that you barely get a chance to sleep. I used to be the gassiest person in the house, but now, the teacher has become the pupil.
You also have some feeding issues, too, though not quite like one might expect. Let me explain. The American Pediatrics Association describes numerous kinds of feeding behaviors in babies, and most babies fit a specific profile. There's the Excited Ineffectives, the Procrastinators, the Resters, the Mouthers, etc. So what type are you? You are "The Barracuda." Yep, most micro-preemies have a problem with eating too little. You have a problem with eating too much. When its mealtime, you tear into the bottle like a Barracuda who's convinced it'll be his last meal. There's so much grunting and growling and slurping that you sound like a pack of hyenas tearing up a carcass. Now that I think of it, though, you aren't really like an animal at all. You're more like a little baby black hole. Anything that gets too close to the event horizon gets sucked in. Your mouth is a sneaky little hole, too. It roams around while no one is looking, not just sucking in bottles, but also bibs, shirts, your mother's nipples, MY nipples, and a few times when I was changing your diaper--- shoooom!--- my finger got too close to the gravitational field and was sucked right in. I suppose its all pretty standard baby behavior, but you've got some rigor behind that head and mouth that I was never expecting from a baby that is technically negative one week old.
I'm still worried about your long term development, but that's not stopping me from enjoying the process.