Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 50: Meeting their Daddy

Last night was rough pulling my first shift with the babies with no help. Mom wanted me to wake her to help but I refused. I think it is better if Vinnie and I do night duty and catch up with sleep during the day when Mom and the new nanny/cook/helper can help out. They covered so that I got a four hour nap this afternoon. I've realized that at night there is enough opportunity to grab sleep, but being able to get right back to sleep is the problem. I'm too attuned to the slightest noise, so I use earplugs so that only real cries get my attention instead of the slightest coo jolting me awake. I wake up for all alarms without a problem though.

Geeta is our helper during the day, and I knew she used to work at a hospital but that is all I knew about her. It turns out that I love her to death! While Mom was at the dentist I decided to show her how I changed and sponge bathed Tara, then supervise her while she did Vivek. When she laid hands on him it was like baby wizardry, and I could tell from how confidently she handled him that she knew exactly what she was doing and could teach me a thing or two. She did a very vigorous coconut oil massage on him and he was loving it. He cooed and was wide eyed and alert as she firmly but carefully rubbed all over him. I felt like Tara got shortchanged. It turns out she used to be the one to cut the umbilical cord and give babies their first bath, so it is her area of expertise. In India they believe in vigorous massage for babies to help build strong bones. I don't know if there is any truth to that, but I know that the massage seemed to do him good and is recommended by neonatologists. After seeing her work her magic and sterilize the baby equipment and do all the baby laundry I was so relaxed and confident in her that I laid down for a long nap while Mom returned to help with the next two feedings.

Vivek relaxing after his massage
Shalini is working on getting us a neonatologist appointment on Friday, by the way. Everything else is organized and waiting for Vinnie to arrive, so the rest of the day was spent eating wonderful meals they brought over to us and waiting for the flight to arrive.

Manu and Samahita drove me to the airport while Mom pulled the late shift with the babies, since his flight arrived at 12:50am and the babies ate at 1am. I anxiously waited at the exit while Manu and Samahita made rounds in the car because you weren't allowed to park. After a long wait and becoming worried maybe he had missed his flight I see my husband's head in the crowd past some Indian Air Force soldiers in camoflauge and turbans. I shove my way through the crowd and greet him, crying hard and making a big scene. I have no words for how happy I am to see him other than it feels like I have the missing piece of myself back and I am whole again. He makes me a better person, and none of this picture has been complete without him here to share it with.

We drive home and the big moment is truly wonderful, and we were so happy that Mom and Manu and Samahita were able to share it. Vinnie was his usual quiet self, but you could easily tell how moved he was. He just sat perfectly motionless and stared endlessly at them. He held Vivek first, who had been wide awake for two hours waiting to meet his Daddy. He stared right back at him and they sized each other up. As he held Tara his eyes got a little red and he closed them and raised her up to his heart, and I know he was silently thanking the universe that we have finally been so blessed.

He is completely inexperienced with babies, so as Mom went to bed I realized I had to give impromptu bottlefeeding and burp and diaper change lessons. I hope I am a good teacher, but there is some awkwardness as Vinnie tries to analyze every angle and movement I make to figure out the formula in his head. I told him by this time tomorrow it would be far easier. I know it will be a long night, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow. In the middle of the night as I am exhausted and Vinnie is restless and awake I pawn off our restless son on him and beg him to hold him so he'll be quiet and I can grab at least one hour of sleep. I finally slept, and  I imagined the two of them had a great time just getting to know one another.
Daddy holding Vivek for the first time

Daddy holding Tara for the first time

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