Monday, November 10, 2008

New Addition

The Lewis family has a new addition.

Michelle and I welcomed Nathaniel Ames Lewis to the world at 12:16 p.m. on Nov. 5. The little guy weighed 8 lbs., 10.5 oz. and was 19 3/4 inches at birth.

He is doing fine, and Michelle is doing fine.

We are very blessed.

We are also very tired. The five days since Nathaniel's grand entrance has been a blur. Time is all but irrelevant; night is day, day is night. Our schedule has morphed into his schedule. He calls the shots, dictates the pace of our lives. The days of selfishness, of bouts of self-absorption, have ended.

He's the new sheriff n town, and our emotions are strangely tied to his. When he cries, we're tense, confused and unhappy. When he sleeps, we're relaxed, grateful and glad. If I were to give a ratio between these two competing states, I'd put it at 60-40 in the tense, confused, unhappy column.

Not bad, I think.

You know, we've gotten a lot of advice of what to expect and how to react to our baby's arrival. All of it has been with the best of intentions. People with children are happy to dispense with tips and stories of their experiences. I don't profess to know much, but it seems to me all babies are different, and they have their own set of likes and dislikes. What works for one may not work for another. For example, we've found that for the most part little Nathaniel does not seem to like his arms to be pinned against his body. That has made the SwaddleMe outfit, an infant strait jacket if I've ever seen one, not the end-all, be-all solution to hysterically crying infants as we expected. Nor, however, does the little king like his arms to flail madly about. Must be a control thing. The best we've figured our so far is he kind of likes it in-between; he likes his hands to be mobile, but he doesn't like full arm motion. He likes to be swaddled, but not overly so.

It's serious on-the-job training, and there is no manual.

We also haven't figured out a position he likes best, one that keeps him content. Lord knows I've tried all sorts of bodily contortions, short of turning the little dude upside down. You feel like you find one that works, and lo and behold, it fails the next time. Then, like magic, it works again. The latest trick I found that worked was holding him up to my face and letting my suck my nose, like a pacifier. I kind of discovered that one by accident, as he was squawking his fool head off early one morning, and I brought him closer to see if he blew out his vocal box (just kidding, of course). He latched on to my nose like a life preserver. It didn't hurt, and really, it felt kind of cool. A bond of sorts between a father and a son.

Can't wait until he gets teeth.

I guess what it all comes down to is
there is no rhyme and reason to the first steps of babyhood and parenthood. If you like structure in your universe, you can forget it.

So, screw structure. I love my universe fine right now – just the way it is.

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