First Two Weeks of Being a Dad

I’ve survived my first 2 weeks of being a dad. For me, fatherhood is a journey that I have been on since I first found out I was becoming a father and a dad. The adventure kicked off in a whole new way with baby Alexander’s physical arrival.

Parenting, Dad Life, Dad, Mom, Parenthood, First born, baby, son, first son,

Fatherhood and by automatic extension, parenthood has been a ride that my wife and I have been simultaneously prepared for and unprepared for. It’s like I kept telling my colleagues, friends, and family whenever they asked if I was ready: “I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be.”

Fatherhood has been a series of lessons and realizations since day one. Some were simple things that made me feel accomplished as a parent since the hospital took care of my wife and I for the first 24 hours while we slept and got through the first couple feedings together.

Other surprises were things I was rationally prepared for, but not physically prepared for like the exhaustion:


I learned new terms to describe the baby’s habits, like learning about the joys of the two week growth spurt and consequent cluster feeding that would be Alexander’s first two weeks of life. [Cluster feeding in Alex’s case meant he literally fed every hour on the hour for about twelve hours to sixteen hours at a time. Christine and I got very, very little sleep between his near constant eating and diaper changes.]

That was just the first two days. Finally, we came home:


It wasn’t too soon, before I began going on missions for baby Alexander and Christine. This further added to the sleep debt I was incurring.


Even Lulu, our Australian sheagle [Australian shepherd/Beagle mix], had a difficult time adjusting.


In spite of the difficulties induced by mostly the lack of sleep and the disruption of anything remotely routine, there were successes.


Just as quickly there were reminders of sacrifice and compromise as well.


With the added benefit of sleep, I realized the exhaustion was all too familiar. I had been this tired during college and during grad school when I had been on a broken up, polyphasic sleep schedule due to working jobs, doing coursework, and taking care of my personal life. This revelation came about five days in, right when my brain and body realized they weren’t going to get 6 straight hours of sleep for a while. I could win this lack of sleep thing!

 


On Day 6, I had a huge break through with baby Alexander where he stopped being so foreign to me. [I loved him from the start, but this proved to be a special moment of connection for me. I’ll blog about this aspect of fatherhood and being a dad soon.]

 


I also endured new challenges like trying to figure out how to entertain baby Alexander and realizing that I couldn’t remember any English lullabies and a total of two Spanish ones. I ended up making things work out just fine by tapping into stores of knowledge I hadn’t realized would come in handy like lost memories of TV shows and hours of video game play.


While Christine and I were developing some semblance of a routine to help us take care of the baby and stay healthy and less sleepy we got encourage and help from family and friends.

 


Ultimately, Christine and I figured it all out so far as a team with some help from family and friends, even keeping our communication exciting and keeping our sense of humor and adventure.

 


Alexander’s 2-week appointment was today and things are going swell. His pediatrician said, “Keep on doing what you’re doing and we’ll see you in two weeks.”

Two weeks so far and I can only wonder what new things I’ll learn on the next leg of the journey. and upon reaching the one month milestone.

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