Saturday, October 24, 2015

One Month With A Baby

**Edit: This post is already 3 weeks old, thanks to Google's Blogger platform deciding to crap out for a couple of weeks. Although I was going to delete it, I decided to stick with it and post it anyways, because one month with a new baby is special.

Today Maxim turned 1 month old. I always made fun of people who, when asked how old their child was, answered with "14 months" or "8 months". Now I get it.

Maxim is absolutely wonderful. He's sleeping in the other room right now, tucked into his soft wool blanky that his great-great-aunt in Australia knit for him. He sleeps with his head to the side and his arms up, bent at the elbow, as if though somebody were sticking him up but he's too cool to care.



He's very inquisitive and stares at his mother and I with big, love-filled eyes that are a dark grey colour. I really hope his eyes don't change but they probably will. He likes to gurgle and hear his own voice, although he's not a cryer. He makes a frantic "Bwaaaaaa" sound when he's hungry and not being fed immediately, but we just find it adorable.  Other than that he's not colicky and not very fussy. He's actually a pretty chill baby.

Our first week was hard. Katya was recovering from labour, and her stitches were becoming extremely painful. My uncle Jon bought her a sitz bath and that seemed to do the trick. By the beginning of the second week all the pain was gone and she was able to sit and walk without difficulty, which is a good thing because the first day of the second week as a father I ended up in an ambulance.

It's been 21 years since I dislocated my shoulder, and I had all but forgotten it, but that morning I sat down at my computer with a cup of coffee, prepared to work on NLingua for a little, stretched with my arms up and BAM! My left shoulder popped out.

Unlike a subplex, which is a dislocation that goes back in, my shoulder dislocations require hospitalization. "Katya! Katya!" I cried out, my arm bent at a disgusting 80-degree angle from the shoulder. She rushed in to the office and saw my arm. "Oh my god! Oh my god!" she started frantically saying, and ran out, and then in, and then out, and then back in again. I remembered that she is a panicky type and that one of us had to be calm, so I forced myself to slowly say "Get my phone and call 9-1-1..please".

Within a few minutes we had the Fire Department and the paramedics here. There were about a dozen guys in uniforms and boots hanging out in our living room. A thought did occur to me: the last time I dislocated my shoulder the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series, so I shared it with all the people in our living room and they laughed. Maxim slept through it all.

To make a long story short, they took me in an ambulance to the hospital, where Katya had just been released from the week before. They put me on oxygen and an IV, and put me under (such awesome drugs they have nowadays...as I drifted off I vividly remember chasing a cartoon cat through some trippy 1960's orange-coloured world).

I awoke with my arm in a sling. They released me, my uncle and aunt picked me up and I went home to continue my second week as a parent (now one-armed, at least temporarily).

The Guelph paramedics were awesome and professional, although I didn't expect that ambulances were so bumpy (might have just been my dislocated arm)

While waiting for my 'relocation', I was messaging Katya with Google Hangouts. I sent her this selfie, just so she didn't feel she was missing out on all the fun.
After returning home the next couple of weeks blew by.

Maxim has been the life of the party. He's visited his great-grandad Steele, his Oma and Opa VanderKooy, his family doctor and even Zehrs grocery store!

Maxim and I have grown very close in the past month. From the first day he was born he tried to look at me with one eye (he hadn't figured out how to open both of them at that time). Now he gets excited whenever he hears my voice and tries to look around to find me, so much so that whenever we're trying to make him sleepy or Katya is feeding him I have to speak in a whisper.

It comes from all the time I spend with him. Katya is exhausted and spends most of her day in sleep-deprived zombie-like daze, waking up to feed him every 2-3 hours (sometimes every hour). She's growing more attached to him now but for her he is a lot of work.

That means I get to spend lots of time playing and cuddling with him. I read that at this stage of development kino awareness is important, so I've been playing games that involve his body with lots of touch. He loves it when I play "This little piggy went to market" and stares at me intensely until the tickling part comes, when he'll breathe excitedly and flail his arms and legs around uncontrollably. I hold his hand in front of his face and tickle his little fingers, and he stares with amazement.

He also lays in my arms a lot, just staring at me with those dark grey eyes of his, usually sucking on a pacifier. I can't remember any lullabies, so I've been teaching him The Beatles, The Doors, Third Eye Blind and others. He really digs Pearl Jam but hates Led Zeppelin.

To help Katya out I've been bottle feeding him pumped breast milk from time to time. This gives Katya an amazing 5-6 hours of sleep at a stretch, but it's really hard for her to find the time to fill a couple of 5-ounce bottles. I love it, because Max and I get to spend more time together, with him just sucking on the bottle, staring up at me and making satisfied little mousy sighing noises.

Maxim looking at his grandmother

My view of Maxim, staring up at his daddy
After one month of having this little pampushka around, I can say that I absolutely love being a father. It's impossible to describe the love I feel for my little guy; it's like nothing I've ever felt before. He's so defenseless and dependent on us for everything, and he is full of unconditional love, yet his future is so bright and shiny and I am already daydreaming about taking him camping, fishing, canoeing and to Toronto Blue Jays baseball games!

My little family out for an October walk

Maxim's "poop" face; that is, he's pooping

Max and daddy cheer on the Blue Jays. Go Jays Go!