First Days


Mica seems overall to be a fairly calm baby. She didn’t even cry when she was first born — just lay on my chest in the birth pool, coughed a few times, and squinted around at things with her dark eyes. Eventually she thought to utter a cry or two, but where Nathan had been clearly tired and unhappy, and Ryan simply mad, Mica seemed caught between bewilderment and mild annoyance.

It wasn’t until a couple hours after her birth that something disconcerting happened to her bottom and caused her to utter the first major complaint of her life. Being diapered was clearly not on her agenda — the previous arrangement of naked snuggling had worked just fine for her — and her little face afterwards, as she let herself be soothed, was somehow incredulous. “Good lord,” she seemed to say, “what the heck was that indignity? Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.”

She’s been disappointed, and so far is not reconciled to the prospect.

Though it was late when she was born, the boys had not been able to sleep for all the excitement, and when their grandma heard the first little baby cry she brought them in to meet their sister. This was perfect for me; in those quiet moments after the birth I wanted very much to share her with the rest of our family. They stayed up for a while, looking at the baby while I showered, coming to see me after I was done, and (in Nathan’s case) taking a few pictures, including of the placenta, which clearly was a fascinating subject matter for him.

Nathan likes his sister a great deal, and is happy to stroke her little hands and arms and head and spend time smiling down at her, although not nearly so much time as any of the adults in the household. The fact that her tiny hand will close around his finger is something that makes him smile every time. Ryan is less enamored; he was as excited as Nathan initially, and is still interested in touching her sometimes, but he told me yesterday that he was done with having a baby around. Apparently she made noises that disturbed him while he was trying to play a video game. This is from the boy who can carry on hours of loud running commentary while engaged in his own activities. I’ve helpfully informed him that, regardless of his feelings, there’s no going back to our baby-less state.


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