Thursday, July 23, 2009

Change is happening

This is my own baby picture taken after several months of newborn life. I was born prematurely by 2 months and had to be kept at the hospital for some time before I was able to go home. I was born too early for my lungs to work properly on their own. I often think about what Jude might experience now in these very first weeks that will be carried on with him throughout his life. Maybe just an emotion that tells him whether or not the world is comforting and safe depending on how much love he feels from us now in his newborn state. He is already smiling when he is greeted by us with smiles and he can easily lift his head up and look around him. Fatherhood is just as hard as everyone says it is but it is all worth it, every bit. The sitting up in at 3 in the morning sometimes for a hour or so because he is not sleeping, or the throwing up of all his food on his clothes and on the floor, or the crying which at moments feels unconsolable are all trials of the new parent. I am amazed also that so much alteration and change and endless work is caused by one so small. It is a time to recognize that not much else can be done in the way of personal goals and pursuits and to struggle with this idea only creates confusion. One thing I love doing is taking baths with Jude who floats so buoyantly in the water and looks so peacefully up at me in his natural element. Just yesterday I made the mistake of wiping his hairline which had a creamy build up on it from the bath water and his hair rubbed away leaving a crop of missing hair on one side. I have heard about baby's hair doing this but I was still surprised that I caused it. Jude each day grows a bit more readable and needs more and more stimulating to catch up with his developing interests,, being the sucking on his pacifier, or a bumpy knee, or a change of scenary. Our poor house pets have been either uncomfortable with the presence of the baby or show symptoms of being jealous, doing odd things to grab our attention. Isabella had some trouble adjusting as well for all the attention given to Jude to meet his needs but she has been growing more self assured and loving towards her new brother. I had to contend with 4 other siblings but I can't imagine being the only child for 8 years and then having a baby brother move on in. Sam and I have worked further in our communication with all these things that we are going through and on our outlook for the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2 1/2 weeks

Jude looks subtlely different each day as he grows bit by bit, cheeks beginning slightly to expand, skin clearing up to a healthy unblemished hue, and features showing themselves to be a bit more distinct. I cannot imagine not having this time to stay home with Jude and our sleep happens over small shifts which can make time feel like one very long day. Jude is 2 and a half weeks old already and his head is 14 and 1/2 inches and his has grown a 1/4 inch in length from 23 inches. Isabella and I got to see the new Harry Potter movie which we saw at the Grand Lake Theater here in Oakland by the lake, just a small walk from our home. We loved it of course. Isabella and me have also gone swimming earlier this week in Berkeley where I am helping her to learn how to swim.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One week

Well Jude is over a week old already and it seems that each day he looks a bit bigger, his face a bit more defined, his skin clearer and healthier looking. For the most part he is an ideal baby. He doesn't cry very often and sleeps for hours on end and we have to wake him up for a feeding. Fathering feels very natural for me, as his needs appear pretty straight forward; change of diaper, time to feed, a struggle with gas or a bowel movement. He has already gone through so much in the way of being poked and proded, during the many examinations and procedures of doctors and nurses alike. I am often surprised at his size for being so young and he has already demonstrated that he can roll over and occasionally lift his head to look around him. This morning and throughout the day Jude has approached the day with wide contemplative eyes studying the appearance of things close by and bending his head towards the many sounds around him. Our pace has changed dramatically since the birth of Jude. Now we wake late in the morning, our showers take place towards noon and we are not often eating breakfast together but end up taking shifts to do the normal routines which one does to ready themselves for the day. All in all things are really great and we are delighted to have Jude as a new member of our family.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Baby is Born!

We are happy to announce the birth of Jude Willem Vanderwyst-Kozlowski (a very long title indeed)! Jude was born on Sunday, June 28th at approximately 8:00 in the evening at the Kaiser Walnut Creek facility without any complications. At birth Jude weighed almost 10 pounds at 9lb and 12 ounces, measured 23 inches long and had a head circumference of 14 inches, which is an inch longer than average. So Jude is a really big baby as one can imagine. At this point I am not sure if Jude looks anything like Sam or I but he is a handsome devil nonetheless. We had a couple sleepless nights but Jude has become a really mellow boy and loves sleep and being held. Sam had a natural birth and was able to recover quickly and is doing really well. Jude on the other hand is still recovering from a skin rash that he developed on his body due to exposure to the outside world. But all in all Jude is a content baby and a wonderful addition to our family.