I don’t really know how to start. If you follow my stream on Flickr, you probably know anyway. I just want to put this on virtual paper, so I can remember, and everyone else too, but only if they want to.
I feel like we’ve told the story a billion times already, and I used to think that it gets boring after a while, but every time we have friends over who are meeting her for the first time, the story of how Mari came onto this world is retold, and I don’t mind.
I went to Edinburgh for a conference more than a week ago, and while it was good fun and Edinburgh is an amazing city, I went with mixed feelings. There were signs that our offspring might come early, and little did we know it would actually do it.
I came back last Sunday, and Jördis picked me up at the airport. We spent the Sunday rather lazily, since we both haven’t really slept that much. I had an early flight back home, and plus daylight savings time switch, that added up to just about three hours of sleep. At night, when we were (again) lying around in bed, Jördis said: “Only four weeks to go.”
Four hours later, she woke me up saying that something was weird. We weren’t sure what it was, so we called our midwife, and she told us to go to the hospital. Which is what we did, and not really coming as a surprise, but still sort of pulling me into a weird reality, the nurse checked and told us that we’re not too far away from birth. I think you’re starting to get the irony of J’s statement earlier that night. Little did we know that the tiny one wasn’t gonna let that happen, and decided to come almost four weeks early.
The kind of sad thing about this is that originally we wanted to go to a birth centre, but as the little one was early, we had to go to the hospital. Of course it wasn’t bad at all, and you don’t think about it that much anyway. I’m just glad everything went well, and everyone is well.
We walked around for a while and then settled into a room where I slept on the couch for a little bit while J started to feel the contractions. For me, time seemed to run as slow as possible, and I started to wonder how long we’ll be there.
I’ll spare you the details of the birth, in the end it went rather quickly, we were told. It still felt like ages, but in the end you just don’t think about that anymore. For me, it was sort of a terrifying time. There was nothing really I could do, except to be there. I have never felt so helpless in my life, but afterwards I think I have never felt so happy in my life either. So I guess it evened out in the end. I could just stare at her forever. Suddenly, my life felt somehow complete. It didn’t feel weird at all, it just felt natural to have her around.
J stayed in the hospital for a couple of days, so that they could keep an eye on the tiny one, what with her being early and all, but on Thursday we could finally go home. Thank goodness spring has finally showed up in Berlin, just in time for Mari. We already took her around the block in the pram, and now she’s almost a week old, still insanely tiny, but still insanely adorable.
As for my new role as a dad, it also just feels natural. Sure, there’s a lot to learn, and it’s all new to me, to us, but I couldn’t be more happy about all of it. I did have one revelation on Friday, when I went shopping for some more baby clothing. I was shocked about the kind of clothes you can get in most of the shops. Everything’s pink, has bears or other animals, or even some stupid slogans on it. I want simple colors, nothing fancy, nothing more. No über-cute animal applications, not everything in pink, thank you very much. But that seems to be a hard thing to do.
I spent most of the week organizing things that we needed, and which we wanted to buy this week anyway, and to get the apartment ready for the new family member. Mr. T spent some nights alone at home, as I stayed in the hospital for two nights, but I bribed him with luxury cat food, and he didn’t argue, so it’s all good.
He’s currently getting some love, as he’s lying on my belly and both my arms while I’m typing this. I can’t blame him, and we’re gonna make sure that he still gets enough attention.
Hei Mari, and welcome, we could not be more thrilled to have you around.