The chronicle of a lonely do-gooder family doctor who survived.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Holy crap, I'm exhausted.

I promise not to turn this into yet another daddy-blog, but it's true that I have done very little in the last week outside of child care.

Some observations:

The level of exhaustion is nowhere near residency training. Newborn care is incessant, there is no time where you are free from responsibility, but I haven't had to do much thinking and there have been regular nap periods. I have lost my ability to do simple math problems such as figuring out the tip on take-out food.

It's amazing how much laundry one tiny little six pound human being can generate.

Breast feeding is difficult. Extremely difficult.

The ergonomic design of baby gear is incredible. I'm consistently impressed at the attention to tiny details that make your life easier. The way the car seat clicks in and out of the base. The handles on the laundry hamper are exactly where you want them. The way the baby bjorn holds Ravi exactly where he wants to be, without any back strain whatsoever.

The lithium battery on our TV remote went 3 days ago. This was a major crisis and we had to have one flown to the house overnight.

Baby care is all about rhythm and it is a team sport. Ideally, it goes diaper change --> feed --> burp --> nap --> repeat. It's pretty easy to get into a pattern of feed --> burp --> feed --> diaper --> short restless nap --> diaper --> feed; this is a Very Bad Situation. If both of us are functioning like a coordinated team, and the schedule doesn't get screwed up by something like a doctor's appointment, each parent can get 1-2 hours of relative freedom every three hours. Thank the gods that Shireesha and I have been working from the same playbook through all of this. I can't think of anyone I'd rather share this responsibility with.

Wet babies are extremely slippery and cute.

I'm really surprised by my capacity to love this child, but I am probably more surprised by my capacity for patience. By all rights, I should be totally pissed off when it's 3 am and he's been fussing for 2 hours and won't go to sleep. But I'm not.

I would do absolutely anything for the well-being of this child.

Despite a few frustrating nights, I think we've been doing pretty well. Shireesha's been going out for walks almost every day, and I've managed to exercise several times. The three of us made it out to the Ballard Farmer's Market at day 6 and I got to go to the My Bloody Valentine show on day 7. We even had band practice on Sunday. Ravi is gaining weight, he's clearly able to focus his vision on faces and seems to have a preference for his mother and father over other people. His feeding is getting better. I'm not sure what is going to happen when I go back to work but I think uncertainty and problem solving are probably the defining characteristics of child-rearing.

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