Buckley John Forster
September 13, 2019
My son1 is 3 weeks old today. Almost everyone has informed us that these first few weeks are a blur so I’ve been doing my best to capture my thoughts. Here is a dump of things that have crossed my mind since his birth. Roughly in chronological order but also not really.
- He is the most perfect human to ever exist, nbd.
- As fucked as our healthcare system is in this country – and I do believe it is very fucked up – the people who work within it are amazing. It is the system and the corporations that deserve criticism – not the practitioners. Everyone we encountered while my wife was in labor and immediately after was amazing. I am so grateful for all of them and couldn’t imagine working in such a stressful profession myself.
- Not being in the delivery room with my wife seems so insane to me. I know that used to be common. But why? She benefitted from my support and presence. I wanted to be involved. It felt like a better arrangement for everyone.
- My wife delivered him without any pain medication, which I can hardly fathom. In one of our birthing classes the instructor was comparing labor to running a marathon. Uhm, I’ve run a marathon and now I’ve witness a natural birth… they are not even close to being the same. It took me a little over 3 hours to run a marathon and I wasn’t really in much distress until about 2 hours and 30 minutes into it. You pace yourself. I had also done long runs (up to 22 miles) so I was pretty familiar with the pain and discomfort. It wasn’t new. It was tough, sure. But you can’t prepare for labor and it seemed many orders of magnitude harder.
- He was 5 days late. Those 5 days, as you can imagine, felt very long. So the due date seemed inaccurate. But after more thought – it takes an estimated 280 days to make a tiny human. So it taking 285 in the end is less than a 2% miss. It seems unbelievable close with that framing.
- I’ve done much better with little sleep than I would have guessed. Tired at times and it certainly isn’t easy but I expected to be much more fatigued. Dad adrenaline or something?
- I got comfortable holding and soothing him really quickly. In general, I’ve felt at ease with him. The only times when I’ve felt panicked or worried about his care have been at night. I wake up terrified about him somehow getting into bed with us. He is always happily in his bassinet. I guess all the posters in the hospital about the dangers of co-sleeping are deep in my subconscious or something. I am hoping this will pass.
- There was a moment when I felt bad for how much I was using my phone. But I was using it almost entirely to take pictures and videos of him and to share those with our family. This is much different than my usual phone usage. We’re quick to assume any phone usage as bad. I’m not going to worry myself about how much I am documenting this little dude’s life though.
- Breastfeeding is hard. Like much, much harder than I would have expected. It has been, by far, the biggest source of stress for us. It is one of those things I had heard before but never internalized until having first hand experience.
- We wanted to avoid using formula but he wasn’t gaining weight with breast milk alone so we had to supplement. This was hard to accept initially. But in the end, certainly giving him nourishment is better than having him starve. So what is the alternative?
- I skew pretty stoic but he has put a good dent in that. We were watching an episode of Queer Eye and I burst out crying one day. It was an episode where they were helping a music teacher who had dedicated her life to her students. The idea of there being such good people in the world and that people like that are going to help little Buckley grow up really struck a chord with me.
- Going back to work has been hard. Tired and distracted are not the ingredients for peak performance. But I’m getting back into the groove. And it is nice to have some blips of normalcy in the day that is otherwise consumed by this little critter.
I’m probably forgetting a whole host of other observations and thoughts I’ve had about this dude. I suspect this will not be the last time I post about him.
Important update: the dishwasher and laundry machine have been life savers. We’re constantly cleaning something. I feel fortunate to have access to both.
It still seems wild to type that… ↩