January 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Having my first child at 52
Lost in a world of baby toys, diapers and a much-younger wife, while trying to retain my sanity. Part Two.
By Eric Davis
The Way I See Things
Eric Davis is rebel, a renaissance man, a racounteur, and a philosopher of little or no consequence.
So now I’m three weeks into fatherhood, and let me tell you it's no walk in the park. My sleep cycles will never be whole again, I’ve been urinated on (and not in the good way), and I’ll never view “lady parts” in quite the same manner that I have in the past. Witness a birth, change a few diapers on your daughter, and you’ll understand.
Her name is Alyson Grace, and she was born on Christmas Day. What a present. Unfortunately she did not come with a receipt, and therefore is not returnable. (Just kidding—look at the photos, I could never send her back. But any barren couples with $ 50,000 lying around should send me an e-mail.)
As Dana Gould said: “We come into this world naked, covered in blood, screaming in terror—and it doesn't have to stop there if you know how to live right.” I’ve always held those words close to my heart but now, having watched the process they have a somewhat different level of meaning and amusement. Thanks to the great folks in the maternity department at Christus St. Vincent for stitching up my head after passing out while cutting the cord. And future dads be forewarned— the mom always wants you to be there, but never warns you about the screaming and cursing and blood. And that’s before the delivery even starts.
We were there for about twelve hours of nothing but fun and games (yeah, right)— talking about subjects which I'm not sure even how to reference here—when the doctor finally announced that it was time. Suddenly 12 people appeared in the delivery room, which was kind of like a Motel 6 room without the little refrigerator, only not as nice. The group of hospital personnel moved with the precision of a ballet team. Me? I was scampering around the edges of the group like the runt of the litter at a road-kill banquet. I had always imagined that having my wife naked on a bed with two other women each holding one of her legs in the air would be a fantasy come true—but not in this case. Not even close. And when my daughter made her grand appearance, I’d like to say it was a moving experience. But in fact, I was semi-conscious at the time, trying not to vomit, scream and pass out all at once. And I failed at them all. Hence the stiches.
My wife (bless her soul), has taken on the brunt of the baby duties (he said “dooty”, heh, heh, heh) since we got her home, but my life has been turned around, too. I am always tired, which I knew was a given. My life has been defined by sleep deprivation (go back to the first blog to understand this) but this is another story altogether. My thoughts are fuzzy, my eyes no longer quite focus entirely, and I have no interest in food, TV or any of the other things that made my previous life so enjoyable. You get the drift.
As for my daughter, she is adorable beyond words but you cannot imagine the level of volume that comes out of something that small. As you may have guessed, my hearing has been compromised due to my many years in the music business -- but she still can scream to a level that cuts through the damaged cochleae and makes my heart skip a beat. Kind of like a high soprano getting put in a wood chipper, surrounded by baying hounds. But I love her more than life itself. And ain’t she cute?
Next time: more sleeplessness, more poop, and more time thinking about why we didn’t just get another Chihuahua.