Then & Now, Survival Time

Friends of ours are new parents. Emmerson is a few days old and we met her the other day. It quickly reminded me of our early days with Hooper.
Oh how Hooper cried. As parents, and new parents at that, we tried our whole grab bag of tricks to figure out why: Is he cold? Is he wet? Did he poo? Is he hungry? Then we tried adding a blanket, changing his diaper that was hardly soiled, or offering more milk even though it seems like he just came off my raw, cracked, and tender nipple. Come on new moms, you know you feel me on this. Anyway, by the time we would reach the bottom of our grab bag, chances are Hooper would be asleep. Not so much because of the interventions we tried, but because he was a newborn, and therefore good at shut eye (intermittently, of course). Sometimes I think all the things we try are really to make us feel better because it just pains us too much as new moms to watch our new little bundle of joy “suffer” in any way. But truth is, babies cry. Who knows why. I imagine that womb is quite the cozy place and I suppose there is some adjustment period warranted.
Oh how Hooper pooped. Actually, as a newborn Hooper had something quite different than what I’ve come to know poop to be. His poop was far from solid, far from dark brown, and smelled like shit that came out instead as throw up out of a homeless mans mouth. I was reminded of this when we turned Emmerson onto her belly for a few more photos and heard an explosion in her diaper. And then I was thankful when I didn’t have to change it.
Remind me again of a dad’s role in caring for a newborn? Is this question harsh? Am I going to get hate mail for what I am insinuating in asking this? In my experience as a breast feeding mom, much of the responsibility fell on me. Don’t get me wrong, Willy wanted to help. And he wanted to bond. It was hard for him not to play as big of a role as he had envisioned and hard for me to take on a role I expected to be much more shared. This is why I’ve come to coin the first month with a newborn as survival time. People can say how magical and loving and special those first few weeks are and in no way would I disagree with them. There is all that too. But it’s hard. I will never lie about that.
Anyway, I snapped a few shots of Emmerson. It wasn’t easy. I had forgotten all about how to position a newborn, not to mention the explosion. In any event, there will be many Emmerson photo shoots in the near future.
One photo had an uncanny resemblance to a picture of Hooper when he too was just a few days old. It brought back memories of our own survival time.


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