Ready, Set, Go!
When Kiersten and I discovered last summer that we were expecting our first child, we set about learning everything that we could. Before falling asleep each night, we read side by side in bed, Kiersten thumbing through a paperback of What to Expect When You're Expecting, and me reading The Expectant Father on my Nook. We perused The Bump and followed along with their checklists and suggestions. Early on, we did an extreme baby room makeover of the den and spare room, creating a nursery and guest room. By fall, I realized my two door, 6-speed manual bachelor mobile wasn't going to cut it as a baby mobile, hugged it goodbye, and traded it in for a new Honda CR-V. The baby shower rolled around with it's dizzying array of baby gear, gizmos, and tiny outfits that made your heart melt. In January, we completed childbirth classes, pre-registered with the hospital, and took a tour of the maternity ward. All in all, we were feeling pretty well prepared for our March 14th due date. Last weekend we felt restless and decided to focus on some of the final details. On Saturday we installed the car seat in the CR-V, set up the plush rocker we bought from Babies R Us in the nursery, and I downloaded "Kiersten's Baby Mix" onto her iPod. On Sunday night before going to bed we finished stocking the hospital overnight bag. Since we were both off for President's Day, we stayed up late and went to bed around midnight.
At four am I was gently shaken awake by Kiersten. Childbirth classes had coached us on the average times for the different stages of labor, as well as what week of pregnancy first time deliveries usually occur. In reality, things zipped along much differently for us. At 9:59 a.m. we had a baby girl, and we named her Emma.
The past 7 days have been a single, long, wonderful day. Day and night have blurred together; quiet times and crying times, sleepy times and cuddling times, lots of diapers and burpings, and mom and dad promising to take a nap themselves, always tomorrow. In hindsight things didn't unfurl the way they were planned, but all the planning helped things unfurl a little easier. Now, we've got a new book to read: What to Expect in the First Year.