It's been four weeks now that this kid has been in our lives, and it still seems so unreal.
At night, I will wake up to small animal noises. I look over, and I see this teeny tiny person stirring in the crib next to the bed. Its movements are hurky-jerky, like a little puppet. What the hell is that?!?

It's our miniature person. It poops and eats and sleeps and poops. It also cries, and occasionally maintains an adorable "awake and alert" state. Still, we feel so compelled to take care of it. We think everything it does is just the greatest thing on Earth.

I have a new philosophy. Newborns are like maniacal cult leaders. They get you good and sleep deprived, and then they rope you into taking care of them. You spend all your time and money on them. You proselytize, telling people how great they are, how yours is the best. Even though you look a mess, you still feel like you've found the one true way. You have no thoughts for yourself. Your only desire is to serve your leader — er — I mean, baby.

We think Max may have colic. He refuses to go to bed and likes to spend much of his non-sleeping time screaming like he's being physically assaulted. This means I spend most of my time swaddling and bouncing and swinging and feeding and had as much time for taking too many pictures of him. But here's another one (actually from week ago):

Brian has posted some more pictures. This one I actually took with my camera phone. It's an authentic poop face:

He posted some videos to his album as well. And one he posted to YouTube. Brian apparently thinks it's hilarious that I do not know the lyrics to the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin.'" Whatever.

Crack and Babies

Babies are like crack.
At least, that's what I imagine. Until recently, I hadn't tried either. Now I have only tried baby.

I believe that both babies and crack will make you feel strange surges of euphoria. But beware! They will both ruin your health. And as you walk around, zombie like, malnourished and sleep-deprived, without concern for your personal hygiene, you will become sure that the only cure for your condition is the exact thing that is causing you so many problems.

An example: After hours of feeding and swaddling and diaper-changing, and cooing, we will finally get Max quiet and asleep in his crib. Here would be my opportunity to take a shower or a nap or make a meal that consists of more than a candy bar or a hand-full of cereal out of the box. But instead, like an idiot, I say, "He looks so sweet and peaceful. I just want to hold him."

DON'T DO IT!!! Do not give in to temptation. It will only cause you pain. Leave the sleeping baby ALONE!

But I am weak. Too often, I give in to the urge. But, like a ticking timebomb of personal woe, as soon as I pick him up, he wakes and begins screaming.

I keep thinking that my life is now measured in teaspoons. I guess this would be correct if a teaspoon could hold about two to three hours at a time. Day and night have little meaning. Brian and I call meals "breakfast" or "dinner," but that is rarely in keeping with the time of day at which they are eaten.

Still, Brian and I seem to think this three week old with a magnificent pair of lungs is the best thing to ever happen to us. Crack.

Max had gotten around a bit lately. He inadvertently got to witness "Baby's First Gay Pride Parade." We also visited the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to see our friend Val become a naturalized US citizen. It was very meaningful, but Max seemed to miss the solemnity of the event, spending the majority of time spitting up or pooping on himself.

I have wanted to blog about all the new and crazy things that we've been experiencing, but the only way I can find time to sit in front of the computer is if I have a baby attached to my boob. This makes typing difficult. I tried to prop Max up and get him to take dictation, but he was hopeless. We worry about him.

I took another picture of Max all dressed up. Here's His Holiness, the Dalai Lama:

I moved around some photos to a new picasa web album. Here is one taken recently with Max and Brian.

More to come.

BabyWatch2010: Max Has Arrived!

The baby is on the outside!

Maximilian Moroch Geller was born at 5:49 am on Wednesday, May 26. 8 lbs, 2 oz, 19.5 in.

I have recapped my experience for many. I will try to do so again in as brief a way as I can.

Monday, around 7:30 pm, I woke up from a nap and felt something gushy. I was relieved that I had not peed on myself. I suspected something was up. Small gushes continued. At midnight, it was noted that I was standing above a puddle of my own making, so we called the doctor. She said call back if I were to begin having contractions.

Just before 4 am I began feeling what I deemed to be contractions. They were irregular and not very painful. I called the doctor at 5:30. She said to call back when they were painful and 5 minutes apart, or else come into her office at 1 pm.

Contractions stopped around 8 am. I panicked. They started again at around 10:45, now more frequent and more painful. I panicked. They were still between 8-10 minutes apart when we showed up at the doctor. It was determined that my amniotic membrane had in fact ruptured, and we were told to precede to the hospital. We were checked into triage at 3:15 pm. By this time I was thoroughly miserable. Blood was taken and sent to the lab. Results didn't get back until almost 6:30, when they were finally able to call the anesthesiologist for the epidural. I went from thinking I was going to die to feeling like I was on vacation.

Brian was wonderful the entire time. I continued feeling fantastic as my body continued to dilate and contract, and the baby's head continued to descend. At 3:30 am, I was told it was almost time to push. I couldn't feel my legs, and was perfectly fine with that, but my doctor seemed to think this wasn't the best. The epidural was shut off (I thought they were just turning it down).

When I first started to feel the contractions, I was very happy to push. But the pain got increasingly worse, and I became increasingly exhausted. Brian, who is usually quite sheepish, and was unable to watch the birthing videos, handled my exposure and writhing remarkably well.

It occurred to me as I felt like I was dying that though there is perhaps nothing more natural than birth, there is nothing that feels more unnatural than passing a small human out through your hooha.

Eventually and horror-show-like, the baby was pushed into the outside. The doctor and nurse wiped him off and laid him on top of me. It was the most foreign thing they could have done. This thing that had just been inside me (and causing me so much pain) was now outside and alive, with eyes and mouth and voice. It was alive! I asked if they could clean him off first. They told me he was as clean as he needed to be. I didn't believe them, as I spied a blood clot in his hair.

They eventually took him to the nursery. I felt like a train had run over the bottom half of my body. And I looked it too. A couple of nurses came in to clean me up. I was completely exposed and in a pool of my own gross with the door to the delivery room wide open to passing traffic, but I couldn't care less.

Brian and I were moved into a postpartum room. We slept. I was told I needed to use a bedpan, but sneaked off to the bathroom on my own, dragging my IV with me. When I returned, unsteady on my feet, there was that same little human. It had followed me here. It was crying. They gave it to Brian and me, and here it was, our son. It didn't seem right that they should trust us with this tiny creature.

I had lugged my giant camera to the hospital, and was so sure I was going to email people and blog about my experience. But I've been completely overwhelmed and exhausted.

Brian and I both think Max is adorable, and I think he looks an awful lot like his dad. Brian wrote this to a family member, and it made me want to cry:

New parenthood, as you know, is unadulterated bliss. All he does is lie there and flail his arms about occasionally, and it makes Deb and I ridiculously happy. It's very odd and magical.

Here are some pictures of Max. I uploaded them to a picasa album:

I think Max looks an awful lot like his dad.

Here are some more.

What a good sport our baby is!

Also, here is an album of some pictures Brian took: