Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Overwhelmed and overjoyed

Hi friends. We're 12 hours into Lyla's life and I have to tell you it's been the most amazing/exhilarating/exhausting/apprehensive half-day of my life. Katherine and I were moved up to our post-partum/recovery room around 12:30 am last night. It's a pleasant room with light green walls, various medical equipment/furniture, and a cot (for me... by pointing out the cot I am insinuating that the accommodations are not aimed at providing comfort for the father; but to be honest, that cot was very very comfortable for the two three-hour naps I was able to take.)

Katherine and baby are doing well. I've come to realize in this period I am the most vulnerable I've ever been. My wife (the love of my life) had a major procedure and is recovering and my child (the love of my life) is new and I realize that despite my belief that I'm good with kids, I have no newborn experience. So I don't understand the constant crying, eating, pooping, sleeping (actually, writing it out shows me how straightforward it is), what I don't understand is what this little person is asking for when she cries.

But my confidence is building quickly. I've successfully changed two diapers and am getting pretty good at swaddling. I've been able to console her twice now with the latest outcome of her sleeping peacefully in her bassinet. We are blessed. It makes me really appreciate and love the fathers who face much more difficult challenges and step up and love and serve their wife and child wholeheartedly. I've always admired those guys I know, but this is the closest I've ever come to knowing the helplessness they must feel. And so I'm grateful for how much I've learned about love these past 12 hours, both to Lyla and Katherine for pulling me into this next stratosphere of being a father and husband, but also to the men in my life who (while in their most difficult struggles) have modeled for me what true love is.

Unfortunately for those of you who only get to see digital Lyla, she spends most of her time either crying or tucked into her blanket burrito. Here are some pictures that hopefully show her beautiful face a little better. Her face is what you get if you combine the top half of my face with the lower half of Katherine's. She has Katherine's beautiful mouth and cute nose and my eyes. Of course her face is all smushed right now, so we'll see how she fills out.

We're spending the day resting and recovering. Katherine is doing great, she just took a walk out into the hallway and back. Both girls are resting right now. Later today, the pastor from our church (4th Reformed in Grand Rapids) will hopefully be able to come in and pray over Lyla. And we're up for whatever other visitors want to come by and meet this little girl. She's pretty awesome!