As the trite sayings often describe the arrival of a new baby, this is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. But, it is also one of the most trying and difficult things. And I send rockets into space. And keep them safe. All from Earth. An entire 256 vertical miles and thick atmosphere away. Yet, this is the biggest challenge I have had, testing my resolve and perseverance. My will to succeed.
To be honest, all of the things that I think others find tough have not been that bad. Lack of sleep. Fussiness. Living in a cycle that repeats every two hours. Yes, at 2 in the morning and on no sleep, sometimes those things have gotten to me. Admittedly.
However, what's been my true test is breastfeeding. I assumed that nursing would be a natural instinct for both mom and baby. That there was no learned technique. Pain didn't even cross my measly mind. Being horribly unprepared for it made it worse. Unlike childbirth, which I was quite mentally prepared for. That was easy. Yes, I just said that. Easy. There was a defined end. I knew the baby had to come out of me, one way or the other. But the nursing pain-that had seemingly no end. Until recently.
We've reached out for help and received some great tips for successful breastfeeding. My sister, D, was my inspiration, having nursed both of her kids for an entire year. And now she's my rock. Constantly replying to my million texts. Listening to my boundless complaints. While I am not there yet, I can now see light. We've made leaps and bounds of progress, and with breastfeeding as one of the parenting decisions I refuse to compromise, I'm thankful for the many people who have helped along the way. With personal stories of struggles. And the many meals I didn't have to cook myself (thanks P and my mother-in-law). Not to mention the natural parenting skills no one knew Srin had! Soothing. Loving. And always willing to help.
Shyam turns one month old tomorrow, and I love him. I love watching him feed. I love when he gives me the stink eye that tells me I waited too long to feed him. It shows personality. I love that he's more active, observing the world around him. Firing those many synapses. Committing the world around him to memory. I love seeing him progress from the fetal position to stretched out. I love his pout. And I love that he is consolable. Rarely have we witnessed a cry that couldn't be soothed. And I still have trouble believing I put him in this world. Me. He came from me. That is a concept I wonder if I will ever truly comprehend.
Our first family picture!
Fatherhood suits him well!