So being a dad is awesome. There. I said it. We began the final stage of our pregnancy journey about 3:00 on Thursday morning, and it was certainly not the mad rush that I was expecting. Coffeewife's contractions were becoming unbearable, which eventually ruled out a natural birth for her. Looking back, if she'd elected to stay on the natural route, she'd have been cramping, contorting, and vomiting for around 15 hours. I left her in severe pain when they did the epidural, and came back to her all curled up under the sheets in bed, as peaceful a look on her face as I'd ever seen.
The actual childbirth part lasted only a little over an hour. Again, she did very well, and we had a wonderfully encouraging midwife and nurse overseeing everything. And then Coffeeson appeared. There wasn't a baby, and then suddenly there was. And he was ours. And he was cold and cranky. All 8 pounds, 3 ounces of him was writhing, craving the warmth he'd just left. All four grandparents met him that first day, and Coffeewife and I made an endless amount of calls and e-mails to other family and friends. The joy and relief outweighed the fact that we'd both been up for 12+ hours straight (I still came home and crashed, of course).
Now we're home, and I'm just at the start of two weeks' paternity leave. Judging from a brief blogsearch, I think I might be getting shafted a little in this area: some jobs give a month, six weeks, two months, six months. That's not a commentary on my own church, though. These are the guidelines set out by the Conference, so I imagine they're fairly universal in application.
Besides that minor irritation, we've gone two nights now experiencing being new parents. So far, I think we've been very fortunate. First off, besides needing to be fed or changed, Coffeeson doesn't want to sleep unless he's all curled up in a secure-feeling location. Big open Pack and Play? No. His parents' arms? Oh yeah. Lights out. So the first night, we actually took turns holding him so that he'd sleep. Last night, I got the bright idea of placing him in the car seat (one of the tightest, secure-feeling places for him), and was able to get 2-3 hours of uninterrupted slumber.
And yeah, Coffeeson eats and sleeps. A lot. I guess it doesn't take long for the personality to develop; for him to smile at something other than his own farts (babies sure are freaking gassy creatures) and to take more notice of the world around him. I'll look forward to those days, but I'm not especially in a hurry. He's here, and we're happy and feeling blessed. And that's enough.