Catching up by revising a half-completed entry I started a month ago:

Some things happened since I last wrote. Obama won. That was awesome. Paloma was born. That was awesomer. Okay, both were really really awesome.

So, the birth was pretty crazy, as these things tend to be. It was really really painful, and then Isa got the epidural and it wasn’t  painful at all. She napped  and ate ice chips, and I did work and watched a 12-inning Red Sox game. We were quite calm about the whole C-section thing, but  being in there was pretty nuts. You put on your hair net and mask and walk in, and there she is, drugged up, a sheet blocking most of her body from view. And there are all these monitor beeping and doctors running around, and things being injected and blood everywhere, and I’m trying to come up with something mundane to tell her to get her mind off things. When the baby was born, I couldn’t help but glance over the other side of the sheet, which wasn’t a good idea. By the time the brought her over for me to hold, all the breathing into the mask and watching Isa’s heart monitor and trying to interpret the doctors’ moves was a bit much, added on top a 10-minute old baby I didn’t feel confident holding. I got lightheaded and had to leave the room. Meanwhile Isa was busy drifting off and losing most of her blood, and the doctors had to get a little creative.

But in the end we had our baby, and she was a beaut. We got to stay at the hospital awhile to recover and learn a few tricks. It turns out that babies are pretty easy, you just feed them, burp them, and change their diapers. Maybe try to play with them a little, but it doesn’t have much effect for the first few weeks. Giving a bath is probably the hardest  thing.

They all say how it turns your life upside down, and I guess it did, but it’s not so earth-shattering when you’re expecting it. I got in plenty of carousing, world-traveling and dining out. Now I’m into the phase of staying in with baby and changing diapers. So what? She’s really cute. She has fat cheeks and blue eyes and a lot of hair. She likes to look up at lights and make grunting noises at night. She has an extensive wardrobe.

Almost three months in, she’s progressing well, lifting her head when she’s on her stomach, smiling, grasping at things. Soon, maybe tonight, we’ll move her to her own room to sleep, the first time we’ve slept without her for nearly a year. But she’s getting to big for her cradle, sticking her arm and leg into it.  The first of a million letting-go phases, to be sure.

This whole child-rearing thing is an exercise in letting go. Watching each early phase whiz by, enjoying it, and then letting it go. Letting go of your fear that you’ll do the wrong thing, let her get sick, raise her incorrectly. You get handed something so perfect and pristine, you want to hold onto it and keep it the same forever, but you can’t. That’s the beauty of it.