30 Days as a New Dad

Yes, the part about the sleep is real. It’s a challenge.

On the 30th day of officially being a “Dad” I share a few loose and scattered observations.

It was amazing to witness the event of my daughter’s birth, and the endurance and strength of my wife, Aya as she delivered our baby.

Having our daughter in a hospital during a pandemic was interesting; probably a little more inconvenient than without being in a pandemic, but all in all it was a great experience. The biggest surprise was how helpful a great doula was.

Because of our doula’s expert help and guidance, we were able stick closely to our birth plan and have our daughter naturally. There’s more to the story, but having a good doula is a game changer. If I were climbing Mt. Everest, I wouldn’t climb without a Sherpa… and even though I wasn’t the one giving birth; I wouldn’t want my birth team without a doula to guide us through the process.

As for sleep, luckily, I’m a short sleeper. There have been several nights where I’ll get 2-3 hours, then be interrupted and be up for a few hours unable to get to sleep. The next day, tempers are short.

Meal train and the support of friends dropping by meals a couple times a week has been a big help. It’s so nice to recieve all the generous and nutritious meals from our friends.

I’m a heck of a lot more “free” than Aya. I can go for a walk, to the gym, to the store… Aya is nursing the baby every 2-3 hours or so.

I can see how “Dad Bod” sets in. A few bad nights of sleep, maybe some late night snacks, and skipping workouts. I’ve had a few days like that, but right now and keeping my fitness and weight steady.

Working from home has been great. I’m able to occasionally pitch in to bring my wife tea, hold the baby while she breaks for the bathroom, keep the laundry moving and all that stuff.

A high point has been seeing that sometimes I can comfort and quiet Emma Cate when she’s being vocal and active with Aya. “Dad Energy” is what I call it. Sometimes I take her outside in the “football carry” so she can get fresh air and hear the sounds of the world. I can swaddle her into a tight burrito, and that seems to bring her comfort too. I must have learned something watching the workers at Freebird World Burrito in I.V. during my college years.

Aya says I’m “doing good” as Dad. She’s amazed at how I’m calm and keep cool with the little things that come up with the baby’s health… in other words: she’s worried about this “rash” or “she hasn’t pooped in 2 days, what should we do..” Then I go researching, and we’re about to check in with our doula and pediatrics team, when all of the sudden: “Unchi!! (poop!)”

Aya is healing well, and we are increasing our daily walks.

Aya attended all the prenatal appointments alone. I wasn’t allowed into the office due to COVID restrictions. Now, I’m returning the favor by attending all the pediatrics appointments solo.

Aya and I have had some tension and some fights; usually fueled by exhaustion and hunger. We are aware that it’s “typical” and hormones are still all over the place. With the fatigue, it’s been a challenge a few days. On the positive note: we’ve had many more good days than bad days.

I’ll come back to this soon to add some more thoughts.

Leave a Comment