Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Good News and Bad News

(Spoiler alert: 99 percent good. . . . )

Baby Kataleya is one week old today! Her mother, Ashley, has made a near-miraculous recovery from her c-section. I knew she was having a vastly quicker recuperation than I did from the c-section that produced Kataleya's father when I saw Ashley scoot herself into a more comfortable nursing position without wincing or groaning. Sure enough, she reported yesterday that she feels as if she never had surgery at all.

I posted earlier about my fears of the inevitable disruption caused by having a newborn come to live in my tiny condo in the middle of an already stressful semester. These fears so far have proved completely groundless. Baby Kat eats well, sleeps well (five hours the other night!). While her parents report some nocturnal fussing, her tiny mewls can scarcely be heard anywhere else in the house. As we eat supper, she dozes contentedly in the little bouncer that came to us as a present from the church "welcome celebration" in her honor.

Did I mention that she is adorable? Well, she is. We all adore her.

And what is sweeter than to see one's son cradling his newborn daughter?

So where is the bad news, you may ask?

Well, I've been working on the second book in the Nora Notebooks series, in which Nora becomes a reluctant ten-year-old aunt, overwhelmed by the chaos that envelops her once-peaceful home, as an incessantly crying baby makes ordinary life impossible. I certainly remember that as being the way my life felt to me in the weeks that followed Christopher's birth.

Was I mistaken? For now it seems as if a newborn baby brings no commotion at all. Our house feels as if there isn't even a baby in it. I go into their room and see both parents resting on the bed, but no baby. Where is she? Where did she go? Then I see this tiny beautiful sleeping little object on one of their laps. I've probably heard her cry twice. I had to strain to hear it.

What is going to become of the plot of Nora Book Number Two, given that I now know that babies are completely delightful and no trouble at all? Someone out there, tell me that I can salvage my plot, that some newborns do howl, and that some new families are bleary with lack of sleep.

Wait. I do hear her, in the distance.... Plot saved, after all?


  1. Tim's niece, now a MD, had colic and was a light sleeper. She screamed when someone put a foot on the bottom stair of his parents two story four-square house. She now has four boys of her own. Proof that one grew out of it.

    Billy, on the other hand, would have slept through feedings if we didn't wake him up. That changed once we got him on a schedule of eating every 3 hrs--one which he would keep now if it were possible in school. He had a specific cry for "I'm alone in my crib and may or not be sleepy and you need to come get me."

  2. Love this glimpse of Billy-as-a-baby! And how it connects with Billy now!

  3. If, like Nora, I was doing science experiments in my home, I would be much more worried about a 2 year old child than an infant. Taking care of an infant requires a lot of effort from the parents, but infants aren't mobile enough to cause havoc to a delicate scientific apparatus like an ant farm. 2 year olds are mobile, curious, and too young to understand which things are toys and which things are science experiments. (I'm not sure that I fully understand that distinction yet either.)

  4. Good point, Scott! I've just been thinking myself that however easy little Kat's presence in my life is right now, it may be quite different once she's an into-everything toddler....