It's been almost a month now, but it was a hectic month and I haven't had time to make any update. The first and most significant event is the arrival of
this little guy:
We didn't know if we were going to have a boy or girl until the very end, and it was a boy, born almost 1 month ago. He was three weeks early but just past the 37 week mark so there wasn't any concern about his health. The weekend right before, Amy's family had her official baby shower, and it was just in the nick of time.
The second thing, was that this all happened right before the beta release of the big project at work, and we were way behind and about entering into the do-or-die final stretch of development. Of course, I had to take a few days off because Amy was in the hospital for 2 more days, then had to get settled in with a new baby. But I had to then jump straight into 3 weeks of 70-90 hour-a-week grinding to get this product ready for end users to use.
That's not what I wanted to make a post about, though. Now that the beta has come, we've gotta deal with the damage, but it's not like working 16+ hour days non-stop. I'll have time to play with my kid, clean up his poop, and maybe get a few games of Destiny in when everyone's asleep. The big news is, of course, Siddharth. That's right, his name is Siddharth, middle name: Sphere (after the great Thelonious Monk). Since we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, we had to keep two list of potential names. As far as I was concerned, there were a couple of ground rules but as long as it was a name that wasn't going to annoy me, the kid was going to grow into it and it was going to grow on me, so I wasn't that worried. I think Amy was a lot more concerned about picking names we'd like. Fortunately, we had a boy's name pretty much locked. I always like the name Sid (after Sid Barret), so Siddhartha was a natural choice for an Indian name. There's also a "Darth" in there so that's a big bonus. Then I got to pick a middle name so I tried to get the wacko names out first, but honestly, I think Sphere is a great middle name. If you wanted to be out there, you can have people call you Sphere, otherwise you've got options for Sidd or Siddharth. The "A" was dropped at the family's suggestion, because having it was Southern Indian (I'm being told this isn't true, so I dunno why). I personally liked it without the A anyways.
It all started around 2am, water broke so it was time to gather some stuff together and call the doctor; as expected, he said to come in right away. We were pretty well prepared, and I had a backpack of stuff already packed and ready to go, so by 4am, we were at the hospital and Amy was getting wired up to monitors and an IV. Everything was still really chill, I took a nap at some point on the couch in the delivery room (which was really super cold for some reason). Here's a picture of the view from the delivery room:
Since the water broke, the baby had to come out whether the body was ready or not, so labor was induced with Oxytocin. As the dosage was steadily increased as the morning went on, Amy decided it was time to get numb. I was totally cool with whatever she decided to do, she would know best. I was also being told by the nurses that it's SOP for induced labor because your body isn't entirely ready, so there was going to be a lot of pain. I didn't get to see how the epidural went in, I had to leave the room, but it seemed to have done wonders. By noon, there was some more intense contractions but everything was still pretty chill. I was wishing that I had packed my laptop because there was nothing to do. I remembered asking a couple of good friends of mine who had kids whether I should pack my laptop, and they were all like "pfft, you're going to be way too busy" and by that point I'm thinking that I've pretty much had nothing to do for 6 or 7 hours now and Amy was just starting to get contractions. It was right around then that the doctor came in and took a look and said, "well, looks like we'll have the baby out in about an hour". That was a bit of a surprise because a lot of my friends who had kids, the labor bit lasted a long time, not like, an hour.
So it all happened pretty fast. I won't go into details about childbirth, but it was pretty amazing. I didn't think I would be able to deal with it, but my only experience with what happens was on TV or something similar; kind of knew what to expect, but really didn't know what to expect at all. It wasn't a huge bloody mess, but when it happened, it was life-changing. This little baby appeared and instantly started breathing air, for the first time, and started crying. I know there's a lot of cliche about this kind of stuff and people always say how awesome it is and everything, and I wasn't prepared to accept the hype, yet it was really, really cool, in so many ways.
Just going to get this out of the way first, I didn't cut the umbilical cord. It was really wierd, both to see and touch, it was like a straw made out of some bizarre flesh.
But anyways, going through school as an engineer and then working as a software developer, you kind of take for granted that you're creating things out of seemingly nothing all the time, and these things can do all kinds of stuff, sometimes unplanned things to your surprise. But here was something that was created, that consisted of me in some way, that was totally alive and autonomous. It had a brain like me, senses, even hair, and it just experienced the world that I existed in for the very first time. It was truly magical watching this happen. The skin immediately changed into a different hue, there was some womb-goop still around but it was surprisingly not messy or anything. Once the baby was placed under the heat lamps he settled down and stopped crying.
I was led over to the heat lamps, maybe because the doctor/nurses realized I didn't feel too comfortable seeing a lot of blood, where I could interact with the new baby. I wasn't sure what to do, the skin was amazingly soft, like cotton candy or something, and without thinking I took out my phone and started taking video.
His eyes are seeing things for the first time, he's moving around (I don't think he had any idea he was controlling his arms or legs) for the first time, breathing in air, it was all so fascinating, especially his eyes. From that point on, I started taking a lot of video and pictures. I didn't want to be one of those people who took tons of pictures of their kid and went around showing them to other people who probably weren't that interested, but I couldn't help myself; I was suddenly one of those parents that wanted to have pictures (and these days, videos) of everything.
After he got cleaned up a bit, we were moved to the post-delivery rooms where Amy was going to spend at least the next 24 hours. We could also start having visitors. Sidd was a smaller kid than most because he was 3 weeks early, but I'm told a lot of his features were pretty distinct. Everyone kept saying that he seemed so alert, though I don't think his eyes are able to focus on anything yet, or that he had long fingers and stuff. The fingers and fingernails were really interesting. When I try to rememeber what other babies where like when they were newborns, I don't remember thinking that they had hands that looked exactly like mine, but 5 times smaller, finger nails and all. Same with the feet. Amy opted to stay the 2nd night so after 48 hours we put the kid in a car seat and went home as a family of three for the first time.
Needless to say, I've been taking tons of pictures, though the number has tapered a bit because of work and because the initial urge to document everything has worn off a bit. That's not to say I still don't want to take pictures, but I'll find myself holding back sometimes or even deleting pictures because a lot of the pictures aren't really worth keeping. At this point in the baby's life, he eats (drinks milk/formula), sleeps, then shits; a cycle that goes around maybe every 3 hours or so. Somewhere in there, there's maybe 10 or 20 minutes of activity where he's not crying because he's hungry or needs a diaper change and not sleeping, which is mostly what he does. I think that maybe we're fortunate that he doesn't really cry, only rarely, but mostly makes little sounds when he wants some sort of attention, but those 10-20 mintues where he's awake and not in need of food is awesome. He still doesn't quite realize that there's arms attached to either side of his head that he has ultimate control over (occasionally he'll accidentally punch himself in the face), and he's got a full range of facial expressions that are all pretty hilarious; it's like every funny baby video you've ever seen, but you get to watch 10-20 minutes of it every few hours.
A month later, things are progressing well. Amy's mom has been staying with us and she's been a huge help, she's so awesome. I'm actually a bit concerned about the arrangements because she has to sleep in the room with all the computers, and sometimes they get kind of loud, and the non-stop flashing LED's from the network adapters, switches, etc. Those are sweet sounds for me but I don't think it is for most people. Sidd's gotten bigger and is drinking much more milk, and the 3 weeks have gone by and we've passed the original due date and I think the weight is on schedule. He loves taking baths but always kind of fusses over getting diapers changed. Also, since I work from home, and I usually listen to music all day, he's been getting the chance to take in some tunes.
A weird observation through the first month, my Nexus 5 phone has a really hard time focusing on baby faces. It keeps going out of focus unless I click the focal point on something inanimate. Maybe it's just my phone sucks. I also want to thank everyone (not sure how many of them actually read my website) who's helped out with gifts and stuff. I think aside from the disposables (like diapers and wipes), we've been given all the stuff we need. Strollers, the baby's bed, toys, lots of stuff; it's been a huge help. If any of you guys want to see the ton of pictures I've been taking, please let me know, I've had to put pictures off of Google related services because some of my family lives behind the Google-blocking firewall of China.