I knew that having a daughter would change my life forever. I just never realized how much it would change things. When we were coming up on our due date I thought I knew what was coming: Some sleepless nights and a lot of diaper changing, times to cuddle and times to play, household chores that my wife used to do and the chores that I have always done and finally supporting my wife in her breastfeeding. We had the bassinet ready in our room and had a changing table ready to go. I was that naive dad who had read the books and we took a birthing class that included some post baby talk, we signed up for a PEPS parenting group and I thought we were ready.
Boy was I wrong!
Everything changed from the minute we came home with baby Ellie. Our bedroom is in the basement which is where the changing table and basinet were. Dr. Cherity had been going up and down those stairs for her whole pregnancy, why wouldn't she be able to do that after having the baby. Right?
Lets take a step back to the birth: My wife (Dr. Cherity) had a very quick labor and Ellie had a very large head to hold her large brain which led to a grade 4 tear to her perineum. After a few hours with our new baby (time to cuddle and breastfeed for the first time and for Ellie's grandparents to meet her) we had to head over to the hospital to go through the worst two hours of my life. Watching my wife being stitched up from her tear and being unable to help ease her pain other than holding her hand was excruciating, though I know it was nothing compared to what she was going through. When we went home in the morning, Dr. Cherity was unable to do stairs at all without significant pain and there was no way she was going to be able to get a crying baby down to our bedroom for a diaper change. So first mistake right there, assuming everything would go right back to normal for Mom's body. We didn't move back into our bedroom with the better bed for a month and even then it was more work than we expected. And that changing table, it never made it back into our bedroom, why did I think I would want to go up and down the stairs every time I had to change a diaper - there are a lot more diaper changes than I ever expected, let me say that again A LOT MORE and they are very different every day.
While we are on the topic of diapers lets talk about those diaper changes. As soon as you think that you have things figured out, everything changes. And it isn't just diaper changes, it is everything that has to do with having a baby. So they start out with the gooey sticky black tar like poop, which doesn't seem that bad until you try to wipe it off. There isn't much of it but it sticks to everything and really doesn't want to come off. Ok, I made it through the first few days of diaper changes without too much happening, I'm starting to get this whole Dad thing down. Then the first breastmilk poop comes in, for us it took over a week because her body was using up all of the nutrients that she was getting from the breastmilk. We tried to help her along, massaging her belly and getting all the gas out but nothing. Right when we were starting to get worried, BOOM! We are sitting in the living room thinking we are smelling movie theater popcorn. Who is making popcorn? That's really weird. Oh wait, that's Ellie! Mustard yellow and runny and it had a very strong movie theater popcorn smell. At first we thought great, her poop doesn't smell that bad and I can deal with this. But after 4 months of movie theater popcorn smelling poop, I haven't been able to go to a movie since. And won't ever be able to go to a movie again without thinking about some of the more nasty diaper changes.
We always knew it was just a matter of time before we had a blow out and we thought we were ready, but boy was I wrong. The first one was just a little leakage, change diaper, change onezie and crisis averted. We got this! WRONG $&#! The first real blow out was while Ellie was in her car seat, it ran out one leg and down and up her back all the way to her neck. There was no salvaging that onezie, it got cut off and thrown away and Ellie went straight into a bath. But what about her car seat? I knew the cover was washable but this was a war zone. What do I even do with it? I have a crying baby in the bathtub, a dog trying to lick up the poop (Gross) and only so long to get everything cleaned up before it dries on and is that much harder to clean. So it was outside to the hose while mom cleaned up Ellie and I rinsed her poop into the garden - good fertilizer right, and then straight into the washer.
We survived another test, I think we are getting the hang of this parenting thing. Wrong, its all going to change again. This all happened in the first three weeks of Ellie's life and I am just now a year later getting back to the computer and writing about it.
Many more adventures of being a new mom and dad to come! I haven't even touched on the wonders of sleep yet.