Well it's official. I am a Dad. My daughter was born February 28, 2008 at 2:11 a.m. But before you congratulate me, let me finish the story. Baby girl arrived 10 weeks earlier than her due date and the whole "premature/preterm" birth thing has my mind all cloudy and jumbled with crazy thoughts, expectations and worries.
One thing that I've struggled with a little bit is all of the "congrats" we've received. I guess in my mind I would rather everyone save their congrats for when we get to bring our baby home which could be months from now. Unlike my significant other, I try to stay away from the stories or the statitics about premature babies because I don't need the external info that might make me get my hopes up or put me in a worse mood than I'm in already.
I like to think of my baby girl as an original. The standard operating procedures don't apply to her because she may progress or recuperate differently than the babies you've read about before. It's all about optimism and outside influences have a way of dampening that sometimes.
So far the Docs say she's doing well, breathing very well on her own, digesting mom's milk and just really moving along at the top of her class (other babies born at 27 weeks) and as long as I continue to get reports like that, I'm right as rain.
But it's scary. Scary to fall in love so quickly just to...well, you know.
But the bright spot in all of this (other than my teeny tiny baby girl) is that in times like this you really know who holds you in their hearts. Friends and family that call everyday to check on baby and mom, parents and grandparents that make sure you're eating and that your home is comfortable, and everyone else who gives you strength and motivation just by letting you know they care. Not to sound too sappy, but it's an amazing thing to really REALLY know that you're loved. If I think about it too long it might even make me shed a tear or two so I try not to. But I recognize that love truly is a blessing.
Just like my daughter... ;-)