I was going to title this blog “A week in the life of” but it occurred to me today that it’s been more than a week since some amazing madness took place. So let us begin from the beginning, the beginning being about, errr… nine days ago? Ten?
Once upon a time at 3 am, after I had just finished assembling the crib, rearranging furniture, moving a rug and reorganizing storage, I went to sleep on the sofa. I was waiting for HF to return home. He did come home, and he brought me a surprise cup of Chai. No, not the kind you drink, this one. Chai, my homey who was presumably nowhere near this part of the earth at the moment. And there was much rejoicing.
Props to HF and Chai, it is NOT easy to surprise Abez. Also, it is apparently not easy to induce early labor either. If moving furniture and arranging a nursery and being surprised nearly to death at 3 am aren’t enough to do it, I don’t know what does.
Day two: Owlie, Momma and Daddy (of Chez Daddy) arrive as per a pre-planned lunch. Owlie, being traffic-weary and in a frazzled mood moans, “I need a cup of chai!” Chai, of her own theatrical volition (and what theatrical volition it is) then runs out of the room and exclaims, “Someone said they wanted Chai?” which gives Owlie several small happy heart attacks. The rest of day two is spent in shopping, showing Chai around, and getting ourselves ice-cream drunk from the Marble Slab Creamery. The evening is spent playing Scrabble and eating popcorn and jellybeans while watching Howl’s Moving Castle. There is much rejoicing.
Day Three: there is more out & about as we again fill Chai full of ice-cream, take her shopping and then return home to grab her luggage. I am left at home due to logistics. Had I come with Owlie and Chai to the airport, then Owlie would have had to double-back to drop me off before driving home again. Chai is delivered to the airport. HF returns from work and we take our sleep-deprived, over-funned selves out to a friend’s for dinner. We get home around midnight and collapse into bed.
Day Four: Khalid is born, 3.45 kg, or about 7 1/2 pounds, at 5:30 pm SubhanAllah, with his eyes open and his little fingers and toes wiggling. I’m not sure where to begin with this. SubhanAllah, my limits of pain and tolerance were pushed farther than had I ever thought possible. Then suddenly the pain ended and the nurses placed my tiny, precious, amazing, perfect little son on my stomach, and the threshold for love and emotion and overwhelming joy was pushed farther than I had ever thought possible. These emotions were not just for Khalid, but for my loving, amazing, wonderful HF, who was not technically allowed into the labor room but kept me company on my cell phone, and who so endeared himself to the staff that they even snuck him in to be with me during the most difficult stages. If you thought you loved before, try being a parent, try going through nine months with the best man you’ve ever met to give birth to the most beautiful little man you’ve ever seen. Everything before that is just the first stage of understanding how deep, how overwhelming, how desperately in love you can feel for someone.
Day Five: Khalid and I are discharged from the hospital. Before we even clear the delivery ward, he manages to work his hands free and grab big handfuls of both his own cheeks. (Hey, what are these, and who put them on my face?) We decide we need baby nail clippers very soon.
Day Six: Khalid and I spend the day sleeping. We’re both exhausted. Me, from the delivery, him from all the effort required to repeatedly escape his swaddling and wave his arms around. His face is less swollen, and he develops the ability to open one eye at a time while sticking his tongue out, my cheeky little son.
Day Seven: Khalid looks decidedly yellow, and a visit to the pediatrician confirms that he is jaundiced. He is admitted to the pediatric ward where he will spend this and the next two days being gently roasted under a phototherapy rotisserie to help clear the biliruben from his system.
During his baking period, he will discover, and later master, the art of removing the cover that protects his eyes from the ghostly, electric-blue light. He will also establish himself as a baby evil genius, and be pitted against his mother for the first time. Momma vs. Khalid, The Mask Battle. I eventually won the battle by taking a baby hat and cutting the band loose. I fitted that over his eyes and challenged him to work that off. I won. Ha!
Day ummm… Nine? Khalid and I return from the hospital around 9 pm, and it is like the first homecoming again. I am exhausted from 3 days of waking, feeding, changing, and turning Khalid every two hours, and Khalid is looking less yellow and quite happy to have escaped captivity. I check my email and discover over 25 unread messages, none of which are spam. I write one letter to my brother informing him of where on earth we’ve been for the last week and I crash in bed. There is much rejoicing.
Today is day, err.. ten? Khalid is still being fed every two hours to help clear his system, and I’m still in my pajamas. In about 15 minutes it’ll be time to wake him up again. I’m wondering what new skill he’ll have learned. Yesterday he learned what his fingers were for (sucking on) and the day before that he got his first case of hiccups outside of the womb. That was hysterical to watch, as each hiccup took him by surprise and left him confused. (Hic! What the? Hic! Who did that?! Hic!)
I’m still in wonder & amazement mode. I still can’t believe that this tiny, silly boy is the son I carried for nine months. His face changes every day, and he learns new and devious things faster than I can account for. Today he peed in a perfect 3-foot arc, clearing the towel and the changing area and squarely hitting the leg of his crib. Not only was that a well-aimed shot, it was also well timed. I had been sitting with him as he lay naked, soaking up some sunshine, and the minute I decided to get up and grab a cup of tea, he let the waterworks loose. My boy, I tell you he has timing. I commended him on the good shot and diapered his deviant little cheeks before cleaning the puddle up.
Yes, updates may be short and few for the next few weeks. Khalid and I can’t settle into a normal routine just yet because of the two-hour feedings. As soon as we do though, I want to get back to the things I missed during pregnancy- like my feet. I haven’t seen them in months, and we have a lot of catching up to do.
Love, Peace, and Handi Grease