||[Oct. 13th, 2012|08:25 pm]
BucktownTiger, Lead Shopwrecker
On September 24, a girl named Alivia was brought into this world... via emergency Caesarean section... five weeks premature... but healthy. She was healthy, and so was her mother, my sister-in-law. Since Alivia was under four pounds at birth, she was kept in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) until she gained some weight. She progressed awesomely, passing all of her benchmark tests, and was ready to come home on this past Thursday.
Before a baby is released from NICU to go home (maybe before a baby is released at all to go home), the mother has to be readmitted to the hospital to spend a night with the baby and watch videos on CPR/choking and car seats. When my sister-in-law went back to the hospital, she complained of pain in her stomach. It turns out that she had an abscess that had to be surgically removed. She was also found to have endometriosis. The hospital readmitted Alivia to NICU, but since she was healthy and nearing five pounds, she was no longer in need of intensive care, and the hospital decided to release her on Friday. And it was on Friday that Alivia came home...
...with my wife and me.
The past twenty-four hours or so have been sleep-deprived for certain. I'm used to being awoken in the middle of the night as part of my career as a network engineer, some nights multiple times. But even the urgent need to troubleshoot and correct network issues that could impact Internet service for millions of customers pales in importance to the around-the-clock care that babies require, and premature babies especially so: Alivia has to be fed every three hours with a special formula to help her grow. And Alivia knew her schedule like clockwork; my wife would set her alarm to go off every three hours (at midnight, at 3 am, etc.), but Alivia would wake up about ten minutes before her feeding time, hungry, knowing what time it was. (Unlike yours truly, who is not even on time to his own concerts. XD)
My wife has done most of the care for her; she has hardly slept since yesterday morning, and neither have I (though I have slept maybe a little bit more than her.) She is so good at it... I have so much to learn if we are to have kids together (and hopefully someday we will have kids together.) And I say that with the emphasis of repetition because there is a big difference between wanting something without knowing what it really entails, and getting to experience the mandatory selflessness that such an endeavor requires, and still wanting it. When mandatory selflessness is thrust upon someone whose demeanor falls somewhere between self-centered and just plain selfish... it can definitely bring change to that person's mindset.
And indeed, I feel that change.
Alivia will be with leolovely and me until her mom gets out of the hospital... probably Monday or Tuesday... in the meantime, feel free to click the pictures for larger images of the little bundle of joy =^_^=