Turns Out Babies Are Cute. Who Knew?

October 25, 2012


The Byronic Girl is two weeks old now.  I, however, am at least 8 years older than when she was born.  Like so many major events in life, having a baby is everything they say it is, and nothing they say it is.  Some reflections, thus far…

She takes after her old man.

I’ve always been early to things, to the point of irritation (“Didn’t you say your party started at 8:00?  Well, it’s 7:45 and I’m here!  Why are you still in your bathrobe?”).  My wife tends to be juuuuuust a little late for everything.  The baby was due October 9, and my wife went in to labor at 3:30am on October 10. Juuuuuust a little late.  This does not bode well for my future punctuality.

My wife spent a week in prodromal labor, and then when labor actually kicked in, it was with a vengeance.  After a normally-paced beginning, she went from 2cm to 10 in less than three hours.  By the time I had a moment to call everyone, instead of the magical, misty “It’s time” call I’d imagined, it was more along the lines of “It’s happening get in the car and don’t stop for yellow lights I got to go!”

Not how a c-section works.

She made it through labor without medication… only to discover the baby turned over sometime in the last couple weeks, which meant they needed to do a c-section.  Why are these fashionable as elective procedures?  Do people not realize what it is?  Do they think zippers are involved?  Pop-up hatches?

Possibly the most frightened I’ve ever been: They get the baby and I see in the reflection of some glass the nurse take her over a corner and motion to the doctor to come over, that there’s something she needs to look at. Turned out she got her leg straightened out in the womb and hyper-extended it.  Should be fine.

She has my ears.  I don’t know why I find that so endearing, but I do.

Studies have shown that exercise during pregnancy leads to babies born with more lean muscle-mass.  My wife worked out through week 39.  This baby is strong as a bear.  30 minutes after she was born they wanted an x-ray of that leg and I could barely hold her.  She actually pulled her leg out of my grip.  She’s like some super-baby.

How to do a swaddle wrap.

The engineering dynamics of a good swaddle seem to be more complex than an earthquake-resistant bridge.

The number of times you have to ask “Uh, is it going to stay like that?” is only narrowly exceeded by “Is that supposed to happen?”  Really?  No one felt compelled to mention that newborns slough their skin?

I’m tempted to sue the hospital for sending a newborn baby home with people who clearly have no idea what they’re doing.

Almost no matter what you look up on a website about “Is this a problem?” it will say: “______ is a completely normal thing for newborns to do and is no cause for concern… except for sometimes when it’s a horrible problem that requires surgery.”

She’s clearly advanced.  She’s only 2 weeks old, but she’s already screaming at a 3-month-old level.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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88 Comments on “Turns Out Babies Are Cute. Who Knew?”

  1. Storkhunter Says:

    I swear that there is some cosmic message out there for more. I have read approximately a billion blog posts this week about babies. I’m learning so much – still want one!!


  2. Shannon Says:

    Congrats, Byronic! Screaming? And pooping? They do that. A LOT. And then they switch to wrecking your house without warning you first and you wish that they’d just go back to screaming and pooping.

    Babies are awesome. Especially brilliant ones (like yours appears to be). Zippers and pop-ups — it’s what I was wholly avoiding by having natural births. Until my 4th when she (also) decided not to turn. That sucked.

    Sorry I’ve been away from your blog. Crazy busy with 4 kids. ‘Nuf said.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      The thing that kills me is adults: poop once a day, go without for 5 days it’s a medical situation. Babies: poop 6 times a day, go without for 10 days, maybe you should worry. 10 DAYS?? If nothing else, she went one day without, and the “catch-up” result was, let’s just say, operatic.

      Sorry to be graphic.


      • hecallsmescroogy Says:

        OMG, my husband was hella worried about the pooping schedule. Once Lala went 3 days without pooping and we took her to the pediatrician. Hubby was sure her stomach was going to explode. Turns out that babies don’t always know to push it out. So… our (tiny handed, thank God) pediatrician inserted a lubed up pinkie up there to stimulate pushing, and it all came out. Sorry for the graphic description, but it was by far the most alarming part of their newborn days. Her twin never had that problem, thank goodness. Yeah, there’s a lot people don’t tell you about babies. It’s more fun that way.


      • Shannon Says:

        10 days concerns me too, though I’m guessing there’s not a whole lot of fiber in breast milk. Having a baby is a boon for a stand-up comic; especially some of the crap doctors tell you. I love Louis CK’s takes on raising toddler girls. Seriously funny (not so funny when you’re in it) stuff!!


  3. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Yep, sounds like everything is going according to the plan that doesn’t exist. She is beautiful! If the other half of her face has a big brown eye and full lips, you are indeed ready to kiss that black hair away.
    How has you pupper taken to the new addition?


    • Go Jules Go Says:

      Yes – that’s what I want to know, too! (The pets!)


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Cats went through a brief period of “Oh, come on. What the f***?” then settled in to ignoring her. Except one who gets REALLY agitated when she cries and meows at her to stop. Whatever it takes.

      Dogs adore her. The beagle has calmed down and just really likes to know what she’s up to. The bigger dog is obsessed, kind of to the point of being disturbing. He can’t stay away, even when he knows he’ll get in trouble. He also drools when he sniffs her, which is not comforting…


  4. Kerry Peresta Says:

    Congrats! You will be the best dad ever. 🙂


  5. She's a Maineiac Says:

    It is amazing how they just send a new parent home with the baby from the hospital like that…without so much as a shove and a “Good luck, suckers!”

    At least, I can tell by that half of her head she is a cute. That makes all the pooping, peeing, eating and screaming much easier.

    Sorry your wife had the c-section. That is a rough recovery (putting it mildly). I was so dead set again a c/s that even as they wheeled me into surgery, I kept screaming, but I can get him out! Sure he’s sideways and facing the wrong way and I might die in the process! But I know I can do it!

    Oh, well, sometimes it’s better to have a healthy baby and mom than risk things. Hope your wife is feeling more herself now. Congrats on Baby Byronic!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That’s what they don’t tell you: when you go home, it’s not just with a baby, it’s with a baby and a patient recovering from abdominal surgery.

      While I waited in a room to go in to the OR, I overheard the surgeon talking to a nurse saying he really thought he could do a regular delivery and it’d probably be fine. So I marched out and demanded to know, then, why the hell he wasn’t. They explained that the thinking now, as you say, is to ensure the safety of the baby and that the mother’s needs are distant second. I suspect there was a little “and we don’t want to get sued” in there, too, but I accepted that as valid.


      • She's a Maineiac Says:

        Yeah, once I hit the 24 hour point of excrutiating back labor with no epidural or progression, all bets were off. The doctor pretty much came in there and said, “Guess whwat? Time for the OR! sorry!” (I had been pushing for over 3 hours, too. I am serious!) They even had a hard time getting my son out during the c-section. Is this TMI? It is. I am sorry. Comes with the territory of being a parent, B.


  6. wildramp Says:

    Enjoy…this sleepless phase is short…only 2 years long.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’m more concerned about the “there isn’t enough time to even eat a meal” phase, actually.


      • Lillian Boyington Says:

        This sleepless phase is just the first. The next begins at age 13 and ends around age 20. SMILE Then all this will feel like a cake walk.
        Congrats on Baby Byronic. She’s a cutie.


  7. becomingcliche Says:

    Congrats! She is beautiful! If it’s any consolation, by three months, there’s usually considerably less screaming.

    I, too, was astounded at how neglectful the hospital was to send the kid home with me. What were they thinking?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      They made us watch a video in the hospital about crying, and that you shouldn’t shake the baby to make her stop. Hard not to be insulted. “Seriously? You think we, specifically, need to watch this video?”


  8. Jane Says:

    Ah, children…an unalloyed delight and a mine of blogging fodder. My firstborn displayed similar signs of genius as an infant but peaked at three. Fortunately by her own unerringly honest appraisal, she is exceptionally pretty and now spends many, many edifying hours sorting through photos of herself to post on  Instagram. So proud…  


  9. Katie Says:

    Congratulations! And kudos to your wife for working out throughout the pregnancy.


  10. Elyse Says:

    Congratulations! She is gorgeous, well, at least half gorgeous. I think it’s all due to the ears.

    I’ll let you in on a secret, though. You’ll ALWAYS feel like you haven’t a clue. And you’ll be right.


  11. S. Trevor Swenson Says:

    Congrats on a gorgeous baby angel. You can sleep when she is 18. Check out Patton Oswalt’s comments on fatherhood on youtube.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Are you talking about the stuff from his Finest Hour album? After he had a baby? It’s great material. He’s just brilliant. I love his part about dancing with her, and how he’s so out of shape that now his daughter thinks “dancing” is bouncing to music for 60 seconds and then leaning against a wall and gasping for breath, occasionally seeing if your left arm has gone numb.


  12. renée a. schuls-jacobson Says:

    Hahahaha! I’m only laughing because yes yes and yes. All those books need to cut the chapters on “birth plans.” Yes. I’d like to listen to Van Halen singing “Panama” because I think that will really get me in the mood.

    Um, no.

    “You’re having a C-section. Now shut up and prepare for me to cut you open.”

    Sounds like your baby is truly Byronic and bionic. And, of course, advanced. Why wouldn’t she be? As a teacher, I feel qualified to give her a B- in ears. I mean you SAY she has ears, but this isn’t supported by your photo. Next time, be sure to offer proof and you will surely earn a higher grade.


  13. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    Congrats again!! She is soooo cute, and I hear that cuteness makes raising them easier. As for c-sections, I agree! I once thought it made sense for people to want to choose that but after watching a very graphic video…I would NEVER EVER choose to do that. I hope your wife is recovering quickly. Good luck and enjoy Byronic girl. I hear they grow up fast. Blink and she’ll be a year old! 😉


  14. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    Congrats! I wish I could go back in time and read that penultimate paragraph when D was a few weeks old. I might’ve spent a little more time laughing and a little less crying. :p


  15. Michelle Gillies Says:

    I’m so glad Byronic Mommy, Byronic Baby and Byronic Man cam through the OK. It’s all pretty scary when it is happening and then I’m told you forget about it because you have found this new love of your life. Unless, you write it down. If you write it down it will haunt you forever. 😉


  16. mistyslaws Says:

    Oh yeah, I remember that moment of terror when we were about to leave the hospital and my husband and I are both like, “they do realize we have no idea what to do with this thing right? Do you really think they should be allowing us to take him home?” And then you get home and he won’t stop crying and you can’t just send him off with the nurses for a few hours to get some sleep and reality hits you like a brick.

    And wait . . . the “Misty ‘It’s time’ call?” I never got that call! Did you dial the right number? Dang, I miss all the big stuff!!


  17. speaker7 Says:

    It’s weird how they feel completely okay giving a tiny human person over to people who have no idea what to do with it. I don’t think I sweated more in my life than the day I had to change my son into his going-home-from-the-hospital clothes. It was as if I had never worn clothes or understood how arm and leg holes worked. It got a little easier and then it gets harder again when they decide to fling their clothes in a rage or emulate the life of a nudist.


  18. Go Jules Go Says:

    Yes! It’s endEARing! Ha! …Um, you meant that, right?

    So glad you, Mom and Super-Bean are healthy and well. I don’t know if I’d have let you leave my hospital with more than a tongue depressor. I’m kidding. …Q-Tip.

    When K-Bean gets older, you might not want to give her a hard time for running late. She could take you down. (Then again, I hear someone was a bouncer…)


  19. Lori Lipsky Says:

    Oh dear, I loved this post. Wonderful writing. You had me laughing, then you had me in tears.

    Congratulations!! We had two little baby girls not long ago, but they are 20 and 22 years old now. (It goes fast, by the way). I love that she has your ears and you find that endearing.


  20. tinkerbelle86 Says:

    Congratulations on her arrival, everyone knows that a Dad is the best person to wrap around a little girl’s finger, I hope you enjoy every minute of it 🙂


  21. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Super Byronic Baby! Let’s get this girl a cape.

    Congrats! Hope you get some sleep soon.


  22. Audrey Says:

    What a sweetheart, she’s just a beauty! Having our new puppy is the closest I come to understanding sleep deprivation. Babies is a whole other level, no doubt. Hoping you and the wife are able to get more rest soon! Congrats on your gorgeous little girl. 🙂


  23. madtante Says:

    I’m really late here but it turns out about the time my mother’s heart stopped, your baby was born.

    Course The Duchess’ heart was restarted…but that’s why I missed her birth. Mazel tov!


  24. susielindau Says:

    I loved that last line and can hear her in Colorado! Maybe she will be a lead singer in the electro rock band, “The Come Lately’s!”


  25. Barbara Backer-Gray Says:

    Oh, Byronic Man, you can forget being anywhere on time for a while. You’ll be closing the front door when Byronic Girl has the stinkiest poop ever, and her diaper will have to be changed first. And when you change the diaper, you will find that her onesie is soiled. As soon as you’ve changed her into a clean onesie, she will throw up on it. And on you. When you change BG yet again and yourself as well, you slip on the bathroom floor… By the time she’s big enough to read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to, you’ll totally relate. Enjoy!


  26. The Bumble Files Says:

    Congrats to you and your wife! She’s beautiful. Welcome to parenthood!! It’s true those birth plans never work out. Mine sure didn’t with two C-sections. Right! Who would elect to have this done. I highly recommend the swaddle to calm little baby down. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!


  27. Hippie Cahier Says:

    When I think back on my life’s proudest moments, the one when I finally got the swaddle down figures prominently.

    Do they still have baby books, or is that all electronic now? If you go the hard copy route, she would probably love to read this post some day.


  28. Blogdramedy Says:

    Well, I don’t think she’ll be spoiled…much. 🙂


  29. artzent Says:

    Congratulations on your Super Baby! I had one in the breach position sans c- section Mine was a strong little girl too and she turned out to be a CPA who goes after bad guys and girls. Still doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to me! lol


  30. Love and Lunchmeat Says:

    Honestly, after the birth of my first child, I was convinced I aged 50 years. In retrospect, the bladder stuff didn’t help, and everyone at the specialist’s office WAS fifty years older than me. (Distended bladder due to birthing trauma. Childbirth really is lovely.)

    Sucks that your wife had to go all the way through labor only to have a C-section. Ugh. And strong kids can easily kick out of swaddles. I actually swam all the way through my third pregnancy due to a knee injury. I hate swimming so on Thursday, August 20th, I announced “Who cares anymore? I’m so huge, and I hate swimming! I’m done.” Naturally, our little bundle of joy was born two days later… in the hospital doorway. My husband claims if we were going to have another, we should move closer to the hospital. NOT HAPPENING THOUGH!

    Actually, that’s my parting advice since your wife had a fast labor the first time. Move closer to the hospital if you plan on having another.


  31. 1pointperspective Says:

    This one really took me back. My wife and I both had to get over the reality that no one was coming from the hospital to take the baby back after a day or two. One realizes quickly how worthless the stuff they teach in Lamaze class is compared to the things you need to know to manage the rigors of actual parenthood-training.

    Since we started having babies over 25 years ago, we haven’t been on time for anything since. As an example, I read this post almost 11 hours ago, and I’m just commenting now – that’s later than usual, but you get the idea.


  32. k8edid Says:

    She is a beauty…and I’m not surprised that she is advanced. The whole c-seciton thing is interesting – they sent me home from the hospital with an 8 pound baby and told me not to lift anything over 5 pounds. I’d cared for lots of little brothers and sisters so that part didn’t scare me as much as the overwhelming emotions and hormonal implosions that happened. And the screaming only lasted about 6 months (for the baby, about 18 years for my husband) – drinking helps.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      My wife had a massive mood surge when she was born. Never tired, gushing with love and joy. We both knew what that meant for day 8, when the hormones stopped pumping, so we were prepared. Mostly.


  33. Angie Z. Says:

    I can’t wait until you start every blog post with “so today her poop looked like…” Can’t wait! I don’t believe people know love until they can willingly focus themselves on another person’s poop for several hours of a week.

    Man, sorry to hear things didn’t go better with the birth. I’m glad that the Byronic Family is healthy and doing well now.

    What a beautiful half of a face. I hope she has another half or I’ll be worried.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, I fully intend to blah blah blah on about the beauty of parenthood and how hard it is, as if no one’s every done it before. And to tell drawn-out stories about how cute she is because she was sitting there staring at a chair for 30 minutes. And of course poop. Lots and lots of poop discussion.


  34. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    That helpless feeling that you have no idea what you’re doing …” is a completely normal thing for parents to feel and is no cause for concern…” Ah, I remember that time well.
    Best wishes to you, your lovely wife, and your beautiful baby girl.


  35. they still let me vote Says:

    Welcome to the land of parenting…. or as we limeys tend to call it: “the world of making it up/learning as you go along…”

    As we men can not multi-task being worried, scared and proud simply refuse to fit into a single thought process so it all kind of morphs into something called “bewilderment” – pretty sure that’s what it’s called I did TRY to research it.

    Amazing how protective such micro humans make us feel.

    Congratulations to you both…hope you find the rest of her head (and photograph it) soon 🙂


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I was just reading an interview with someone saying that whenever his kids get mad at him for being unfair he says back, “Yeah, well I’ve never done this before and I don’t know how to do it!” Probably not a great bargaining position, but I appreciate the concept.


  36. pegoleg Says:

    I’m so relieved you ended up with one of the cute ones – that so rarely happens! Welcome to a lifetime of knowing that your kid is way above average…and sometimes, they really are.


  37. Arindam Says:

    I can only wish the best to you and your family. A big congrats to you!


  38. thesinglecell Says:

    I love that you’re so in love with her. And I’m sorry you had to experience the terror of that sudden C-section. Every father I know who has had to go through that (including my brother-in-law) has been tied up in knots about it – watching your wife get cut open while she’s awake, and you can see what’s happening but she can’t… awful. For my sister, the worst part was that she couldn’t hold her sons because she was still tied down to the bed. I’m glad all has worked out well so far for BG and now that it’s been two weeks, I’m sure the Byronic Woman is well on the mend, too. Enjoy. They don’t stay tiny for long!


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