First Week of Hanalei Fatherhood

2008 > America

Exhausting, exhilarating, and entertaining

hanalei at birth
Hanalei one week ago
hanalei today
My little love now, sleeping
Wow! Now that Hanalei is home, the shock of her birth is starting to set in. The counsel of “nothing will ever be the same” is gaining value as Amy and I shift to the role of parents and I watch the reactions of our friends and family.

I’m surprised that everyone seems to be fixated on numbers, specifically her birth weight and length. Hanalei was 8 pounds 5 ounces, and 21 inches at birth, but what does either number really mean? Does that convey something different than if she were 8 pounds 1 ounce, or 19 inches long?

I’m just happy she’s healthy, with 10 fingers and toes, and all the needed bits in between. Now if she could just let Amy and I get needed sleep, the whole family could be much happier. And that lack of sleep is serious!

People always talk about the sleep deprivation of a newborn, and I thought they meant a little less sleep. No big deal, right? Well with a maximum of 2 hours of sleep at any time this week, I’ve felt more knocked out than the worst jetlag. Seriously. From punishing headaches to general exhaustion, I was whipped.

But now that she’s starting to find her rhythm and her parents are adapting to it, Hanalei is a little less disruptive member of the family. She is still making us change our roles. Amy is the mom – the provider for Hanalei. I am not the momma – the maid, cleaning her up when she bequeaths us a diaper load. During the day we share time with her, alternating holding, watching, loving her as the other enjoys independence for a bit.

Amy is also home now, taking a three-month maternity leave to care for Hanalei. As I work from home, we’re finding ways to share the house where we can both have our space and I get work done.

Yet I still step away from the office every so often and marvel at this child in our lives. How seemingly quick she’s gone from Ziggy the Zygote to a real person. Nine months passed in a flash! Others say her whole childhood will too, but it’s hard for me to believe that right now. I am still in awe that she will some day be a whole grown woman.

So parents of young and grown, please feel free to share tips and tricks on newborns. Amy and I can sure use the help.

12 Comments on “First Week of Hanalei Fatherhood

  1. Jeff just passed on the link to your blog to me and let me know that you are a happy new father. Congratulations. Hanalei is absolutely gorgeous – and it looks like she has your cheeks.

    Good luck getting some sleep! And remember – even though her birthday is close to Christmas, always always, separate her birthday from Christmas presents.

  2. Congratulations! Being a father of two daughters I know how you would feel! Along with the first child a father is also born, really it is great feeling.

    With love and regards to your family.

  3. Congratulations! She is beautiful. Enjoy her and your new role as a father. And big kudos to the proud mother – it is a lovely role to have!

  4. The best advice I got was to sleep whenever you can, no matter what time of day it is. If Hanalei is snoozing, so should you.

  5. What an amazing blessing that has been bestowed upon you and Amy! Hanalei is beautiful and so aware of her new life. Congrats is sent but nowhere near enough. As you have learned, nothing in life prepares you for holding your own creation of life in your arms. Treasure these moments with her and with Amy, they go by so very quickly. One year passes in about 1 month.

    Way to go, Amy!!!! Marley, my second daughter was close to Hanalei’s size, just a bit bigger, so I feel Amy’s pain, although I had to deliver her cecarean..she was too large for my pelvis! haha She just turned 6 months!!!!

    Anyway, we four send you three all the best wishes and Thanks to God for a healthy and beautiful little girl….now raise her right! XoXoXo

  6. Congratulations to you and Amy! My little Henry is almost 20 months now, but I remember those first few days like it was last week! My advice is to hold onto every moment because it flashes by in a blur. For more practical advice, may I suggest the swaddlers that hold together with velcro. They work better than swaddling her in a blanket and a swaddled baby sleeps better and longer! Good luck- she’s beautiful!

  7. Dear Wayan
    I like to congratulate about your baby she is too nice. I thank god that everything come very good and may god bless all your family.
    Wishing you and your family a nice holiday season & a happy New Year !

    happy chrismas for you.

  8. The advice above is very good, most important, sleep when she sleeps! It will make a ton of difference. Embrace the Nap, it will be key for her (and your sanity sometimes)!

    And remember this stage, enjoy it, even those diapers, it is going to shift to a new stage before you know it… I remember being pretty proud changing them (and quite curious and fascinated, some strange instincts there i think..)

    Congrats to Amy, Wayan, and Hanalei!

  9. Congratulations!! She is beautiful!! Best source of advice for us were Dr. Sears and Also, check every advice against your heart – if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. From my experience, first-time parents need more warning against advice than anything else. There are a lot of “baby-training” systems out there, which are easy to buy into for overwhelmed new parents. Most such systems are ill-conceived and eventually weaken parenting and family bonds and cause more harm than good. Above all, enjoy the babyhood!! Joanne is about to turn 2, and we aren’t quite sure how it is that she’s no longer a baby.. Sleep deprivation.. – don’t worry, you get used to it! Who needs sleep anyways?? 🙂

  10. for our twins’ first 6mos, we survived on the paci, swaddle (velcro or micracle blanket) and swing. i also read, ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ by Marc Weissbluth.

    it’s not the best read, but stresses sleep really begets sleep and children will be ‘little monsters’ when sleep deprived. the girls sleep 7:30A to 7:30 since 7mos, and everyONE wakes up happy!

  11. Hi Wayan and Amy,

    Congratulations on the birth of Hanalei! Wayan, in answer to your question about what her birthweight and length mean, I can provide some answers. They mean that she will be tall when she grows up. In between now and then, she will wear clothes sizes that are larger than her age in months, and she may have trouble finding appropriate clothes that fit her as a young teen. They mean that at 14, she will be 5’8″, and that she may grow to 5’10” or taller. Teach her to stand tall and proud, to emphasize the inner person, and to be herself.

    You will also find that a lot of basketball coaches will eye her hopefully and ask if she plays basketball. Just start talking about the “inner person” and they can’t wait to get away . . .