Memories of Max

–In the first weeks of his life, Max’s breathing was quite irregular. Sometimes he would stop breathing for several heart-stopping seconds and then he’d take a big, shuddering breath in. I would too.

–I sometimes caught him smiling in his sleep. Sometimes, he would laugh. I’m not sure if Sarah believes me about either of these.

–When he slept, he would make chirping noises and occasionally snore.

–We often wrapped him up like a burrito in the Miracle Blanket, which he seemed to like.

–The first three nights of his life, he kept waking up crying. I would rock him to sleep against my bare chest, which he snuggled up against. It was on the third night that I blearily realized: he’s waking up and crying because he’s COLD. We dressed him more warmly and he slept much better after that.

–The strangest things would soothe him: my pinky finger in his mouth; being bounced, laid sideways, on my knee; an ambient noise generator that Fred and Sarah gave us shaped like a shell–he liked the “ocean” noise the best.

–We had to get up often in the night to change him. The worst night was when I was leaning over him and he peed all over my hair. That may be the only 4am shower I’ve ever taken.

–In the early weeks, he didn’t open his eyes much. And when he did, he was awfully squinty. (No hint of the giant, anime baby eyes he has now.) Sarah often worried aloud that there was something wrong with his eyes. Me, I never worried. He was just taking things at his own pace.

–On his tenth day, he got a bad diaper rash. We were ravenous with worry, tearing our hair out and snapping at each other with each diaper change. We took him to our midwife and she fled as soon as he started pooping all over the examining table. Eventually, we found a solution that worked with the help of our pediatrician’s nurse practitioner: A+D. Apparently, it’s something our grandmother’s might have used.

–I played a lot of video games on my Nintendo DS with him asleep on my lap. Specifically, Rocket Slime and Puzzle Quest. He slept a LOT in those days, back when he’d actually fit on my lap.

–I was in the middle of reading SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS when he was born. His birth was such an immense event that I completely forgot that I hadn’t finished the book until more than half a year later. I finished the book nearly seven months after he was born.

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