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It’s been almost two months since my last post, and, my god, what a couple of months they were.  Babies are quite something – It’s quite incomprehensible how much of a change having this little bundle of joy can have on your life. Looking at this scientifically, their effect is clearly inversely proportional to their size – massive disruption to normal life when they’re tiny (viz – now), and increasing “normal” function as time goes on and as baby gets all nice, chubby and big. Or am I being optimistic??

Now, considering my pre-birth blog was titled “contemplating diapers”, I can confidently state that I clearly did not contemplate hard enough!  Your child’s birth is a watershed event, even beyond what people keep telling you (“it will change your life”!) – at this point this is manifest much more in a practical sense than a mental one. One aspect of this is that having a two month old baby does not necessarily “register” – we don’t really feel as “parents” yet – rather you find yourself subdued to the whims of a simplified hybrid of you and your partner (“she has your eyes”; “she has your feet”; “she has your gas” – the latter being said to me , of course), and your whole life is suddenly taken over by the requirements of taking care of her. So it just happens. You get sucked along – I guess the realization comes afterwards.

While things for me have continued in some part unchanged – I still go to work every day, though come back earlier, for Anna life has completely been paused – a never-ending groundhog day cycle of sleep-feed-nappy-sleep which goes on and on. While we have tried to go out, have friends over, and are planning to go to Paris for the new year tomorrow, I do feel that it’s very hard for her. On a positive note, we have been interviewing nannies and it looks like we will be able to find someone, so Anna will be able to go back to work with reasonable confidence in February.

Of course, we had both grandmothers over for two week-stints – which was really helpful for us as the first month was  real boot camp experience. Let’s see: you don’t sleep much, run around a lot because someone is screaming at you, are lucky to have time to go to the loo, have to obey the needs of someone with the brain capacity of a baby (my sergeant major was a doozy) At least the food is better here!. I mean, who knew there were so many different forms of baby cries? The long nights, the steep learning curve, the support within such a new, demanding situation would be so much tougher had the grannies not been here! Of course, they got some quality granddaughter time and so a positive overall cost/benefit ratio 😎

Another aspect worth mentioning is the time factor – it suddenly goes by so quickly….days and weeks fly by, each one centered around what the baby has done, how has she slept/ate/smiled today…it’s quite amazing when you think of it. The days are packed, always a lot to do around her little highness, but as a whole you suddenly catch yourself and she’s already one month…six weeks…two months old…heck, we’ll be sending her off to college in no time.

The good news is the little lady is growing well, already almost 5 kgs of cuteness. Apparently her head is quite big (90th percentile), but what do you expect with two geeks as parents. She’s definitely eating well – she gets that from me, of course.

And so, 9 months of waiting have finally ended with the arrival of her excellency, the royal baby of the local Belkin branch.  While we were diligent in preparing ourselves as much as possible for the delivery and what to expect afterwards, we were, of course, caught by surprise by both the sequence of events during the former and the radical changes to our life in the latter.

Anna had veered towards as natural a birth as possible during the pregnancy, and even on the final day, in the hospital, was considering going for a water birth. However, things frequently take an ironic twist and due to unforeseen developments we ended up going for the exact opposite – a C-section!

However, all’s well that ends well, and after 5 days in hospital we were all well back at home. Anna’s mom is here to help out, and my mom will follow. Honestly I cannot figure out how some people manage without help during this period – it’s practically being a slave to a little person who is preoccupied with three things only – sleeping, eating and excreting in quite an amazing variety of ways.  And crying a lot along the way. It’s enough to drive several people sharing the responsibility bonkers, so I can only imagine what a mother alone would go through…such as what my mom did when I was born.

So the little one has clearly gotten many physical characteristics from Anna (good for her), but what she did get from my side is a ravenous appetite which Anna is struggling to meet. Seriously, that’s one hungry little person. This may not be the best thing she can get from our side, but heck, at least it’s something, right?

So now I’m back to work, trying to overcome a slightly disturbed sleep pattern (hey, I was tired enough beforehand!), even with Anna shouldering most, if not all, of the nightly responsibilities during the week. Anna tries to get enough sleep, and it seems that the baby tends to sleep more in the afternoons and early evenings and less well at night! Which of course makes our life quite chaotic. I hope she’ll flip over to normalcy soon!

With a two day gap between the two grandma’s falling on a weekend, we will finally hope to have friends over to see the small wonder. Everyone has been asking about this, but very understanding of the pressure we’ve been under. However, it will be good to see some people as we’ve been stuck in the ‘groundhog day’ baby routine for two weeks now…

Will update soon,

Danny

10. Poo on furniture. Poo on clothes. Poo on the floor. Poo on you.

9.You two used to have so much in your life: work, hobbies, books, going out, parties, restaurants, friends and lots more. Now you’re slave to a midget. Sound like a good deal?

8. Baby crying is like watching c-span: it’s supposed to mean something important, but you just can’t stand it.

7. The end of entertainment: No TV. No movies. No restaurants. Just making sure baby doesn’t cry.

6. Scouring heaven and earth to find effective ways of making sure baby doesn’t cry (c.f. 7)

5. Rocking the baby to sleep (c.f. 6&7). Back aches. ’nuff said.

4. Baby trollies are only slightly less complicated, these days, than the large hadron collider.

3. Bunker mode – no visitors till we get some normalcy (c.f. 1).

2. Got milk? Not got milk? Once an American ad slogan, now a highly crucial issue!

1. N-O  S-L-E-E-P

Any additions?

Following are 10 off-hand tips: please add any more you have in comments.

10.  You spend the first 24 hours worried about whether the baby is ok when she’s sleeping. You spend months afterwards worrying that she’s going to wake up.

9. The phrase “quiet, you’ll wake the baby” is, as much as you don’t want to be using or hearing it, one that you’re going to use and hear a lot.

8. Sleep. Eat. Poop. Cry. Eat. Cry. Sleep. Poop. Cry. Sleep. Eat. Poop. That is the schedule for your baby’s life in the first few months, and by proxy yours as well. If the sleeping durations aren’t long, well, buddy, you’re royally screwed.

7. Breastfeeding is far from being a simple thing. Very important, complicated and can cause total anguish till the mother and baby get it.

6. Grandparents call. A lot. That’s what they do.

5. The system shock and lifestyle change after birth is huge: support your wife or you’ll both have a horrible time.

4. Quiet moments, taken for granted before, are suddenly immensely prized assets.

3. If you’ve not had it for a while, you’re going to have to get used to frozen food. If that’s all you’ve been eating beforehand, well, you’re a slob but will suffer less.

2. Babies may look dumb, but they require a huge repertoire of movements, songs, shakes, positions and sounds to calm them down. Like some hoighty-toighty connoisseur, if you don’t get it exactly right – forget it, you’ll be screamed at.

1. Sleep is a luxury. Forget all luxuries.