Max turned 1 month old on Saturday and already it is obvious that he is growing. Tomorrow is the official doctor check-up but we think he’s grown about an inch and weighs about 10 lbs. We’ll see tomorrow.
He has a tiny rash on his neck and small spots on his face that we are curious about…spots appear on babies every day as they build up their immunity. You get used to them…they’re nothing to be scared of, just something to be aware of. I have a cold which means Max and Kate will have one soon (may be why Max has the small spots), and it makes everything extra miserable. I’m in a daze. I already feel like an inadequate father at times…toss in drowsiness and rejecting holding Max for fear of getting him sick and you’ve got a winning combo for feeling like a jerk.
I’m still grappling with issues in my head around being a father. It is tougher than you can imagine. You don’t go from being an egotistical spur of the moment guy to a patient sharing father overnight…it is painful lessons in patience and humility, two things I am terrible at. My sole driving force when I am frustrated is to remind myself over and over again that I am responsible for making decisions for Max, he is helpless, he is more frustrated than I am, and he doesn’t know how to express himself in any way other than crying and making pained noises. When he cries I just want to fix it. It frustrates the crap out of me. I want to yell at him, “What?!!! Tell me what you want!” Or as my mom would always say, “Use your words.” He doesn’t use words. He screams his head off. I hold him. He kicks me over and over again while thrashing his head from side to side…he can’t be hungry again, he just ate like 10 minutes ago. Present boob. Suck, suck, suck. Happy baby. Then he makes the strangling-a-duck-underwater sound from his rump as seedy mustard-colored diarrhea fills his diaper. Ah. Hungry and was working on a number.
I am still trying to figure this all out in my head and learn a little patience. For all you expecting fathers out there, if your baby is screaming; before you freak out and call the doctor – try putting the baby right back on the breast or giving another small bottle. Bicycle the legs. 9 times out of 10 it will be hunger, poop, or gas. Knowing this is only half the battle…less maybe. Practicing it and being aware of it is the real trick.
…and now you’re covered in breast-milk vomit.