I always share life events here like job changes and big moves. However, due to a lack of sleep and not really being all that concerned with the internet the last few days, I've been lacking on this update.
I'm now a dad!
Campbell Jewell Hawkins made her appearance into the world at 1:46 am on Friday, October 28. She weighed in at seven pounds, two ounces, 20.5 inches long and feet so big they barely fit on the little footprint square they use in the labor and delivery room.
Both mom and baby are doing fantastic. We couldn't be more thrilled with our new addition. She's only been here a few days but I have a hard time remembering life without her here.
I've only been a dad for a few days - not even two weeks at the time of writing this. It is amazing how much you can learn in just a short time. I'm sure I'll learn even more as this whole fatherhood thing really ramps up.
Keep in mind, most of this is written from a dad's perspective.
You're never really mentally prepared for the labor and delivery event
At least for a first time dad. We took an eight hour birthing class at Northside about a month before Campbell was born. It was very helpful and I'm glad I took it. It probably helped level-set expectations of that event way better than if I hadn't gone to it previously. Even though I had all the "facts" about the day of, the actual delivery was intense. I'll leave it there without details but the whole process was overwhelming and a blur at times.
One minute you're just a dude and a moment later you're instantly a dad. It's quite the shock to the system. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.
Sleep deprivation is real
When we announced the pregnancy this spring, people would always joke "haha get your sleep while you can!"
Turns out that was no joke. That was a deliberate warning.
With Campbell being born at 1:46 am, we were already working from a sleep deficit when we were brought to our room for the next few days. Then there's a baby, who cries every hour and you're not sure yet what each cry means. Campbell has also been cluster feeding a lot, so it's meant far less time in between her being awake and asleep. Usually between 1-4 in the morning.
You develop this super power that allows a twenty minute nap to feel like you just slept a couple of hours. Then, when we have a night like we did last night where she slept for several 3 hour increments, you wake up feeling like a champion. It's an adjustment but parenting vets constantly remind us that while it feels like an eternity, this season is relatively short-lived in the grand scheme of things.
Dogs > Cats with babies
The dog does way better with the baby. He's even gotten up and joined me for a few midnight feedings to offer his moral support. He guards her pack-and-play during the day. He sniffs her head and goes over to her crib with me if he hears her cry.
The cat has chewed up a few phone chargers, a Chromecast and a Macbook charger. So there's that.
Still have a lot to learn
That's obvious. And we'll always have more to learn. So far, I've learned how to change a diaper in my sleep in a matter of seconds. We have given her a bath. I've learned that not every squeak or noise she makes at night is an emergency. She's going to be okay.
It's only been a few days. In some ways, I'm looking forward to her getting older and giving me more consecutive hours of sleep. On the other hand, I also kinda want her to stay this small forever.
Teamwork is vital
It takes both Megan and I to really succeed at this. Or at least feel like we're succeeding at it. We've kept her alive and relatively unharmed for 10 days, so we're off to a good start. We've learned how to take shifts on feedings in the middle of the night, doing shifts on naps during the day, changing her and wrangling pets. Without having each other, I'm not sure how we would survive the sleep cycle (or lack thereof) that an infant brings to the table.
Teamwork has helped us keep our sanity in the biggest life transition yet. I'm thankful to have an amazing teammate like Megan along for the ride. I can't wait to see where all this takes us.