Embracing Motherhood: 50 Days In!

A few weeks ago, I attended a comedy show by Tom Segura in Southern California. Toward the end of his sketch, Segura mentioned how he'd recently become a father, and that as such any notion of free time was destroyed. In fact, having an infant grants you moments at best.

After seven weeks of real, visceral motherhood, I couldn’t agree more.

Stephen was born during the wee hours of my birthday – November 1, or All Saints Day. What a saint he is for holding off on his arrival to make my special day immeasurably more precious. Seven hours of natural, unmedicated, and hence excruciating labor were quickly pushed to the recesses of my mind, to be forgotten. 

Weighing in at a dainty 3.210 kg, shy of the ultrasound technician's 4-kg estimate, he is affirmation of the adage that “big things come in small packages.”



Stephen has such a firm grip!



As I sit here on my kitchen barstool typing this, I’m enjoying one of those “moments” Segura alludes to. Stephen nodded off nearly two hours ago, and odds are he’ll interrupt this blog post several times before it’s sent to the printing press. I’m writing on just four hours of sleep, but who am I to complain? Donald Trump swears by a four-hour beauty rest, and look where that’s landed him.

Newborns force you to become powerhouses of efficiency. I pace my house probably one hundred times in a day, stuffing laundry into the washing machine, sterilizing baby bottles, wiping down counters and surfaces, disposing of hazardous waste (ever smelt a diaper demolished by a #2?). Most of my tasks cascade from him – he is quite a demanding little dictator.

A relative asked me whether so far everything was under control. I facetiously replied that yes, everything was under his control, and that my husband and I are just scraping by to appease the small fellow.

Jokes aside, I often catch myself peering at his pristine beauty. The pore-free skin. The diminutive lips. His fine eyelashes. The soft hair crowning his head. His fingers and toes are my fetish, and I love watching him squirm restlessly, arms and legs flailing about, even whilst seemingly asleep! As a matter of fact, jerky movements sometimes jolt him awake, and though I’ve tried to swaddle him in blankets, he won’t have any of it. Who would appreciate being bound in a straitjacket, after all?



Tiny feet!



I’ve been admiring my husband flesh out the fatherly persona, and it suits him handsomely. Jimmy rationalizes with our newborn as though he were a grown adult, asking him what the matter is whenever Stephen explodes into screams, or insisting he bring his arms down when they inhibit the passage of bottle to mouth. And Stephen concedes! Somehow he understands, even though we don’t speak the same language yet.

A week ago, at Stephen’s 40-day mark, he exacted his first gargantuan challenge, and that was a nearly 24-hour transatlantic trip from Los Angeles to Beirut. I’d been anxious for weeks about how he’d fare up in the air, whether his ears would cause him pain, whether he’d cry relentlessly for hours, the magnitude of dirty stares and glares we’d become the object of.

Astonishingly, Stephen was angelic, sleeping most of the journey, and only sloughing off slumber for half-hours at a time to imbibe formula and exchange sloppy smiles with neighboring passengers. He even spared us the pungent glory of a #2, deferring its delivery to the arrival hall of Beirut International Airport. 

Virtuous? I told you he’s a saint!

Oh, and by the way, he’s still knocked out. Beirutista – Baby Boy, 1-0.





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