Two days before Thanksgiving, my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our second child, a beautiful little girl. Like our son almost two years ago, the joy we felt when we heard that first cry is an unparalleled feeling. Tears came to both our eyes simultaneously.
One of my dearest friends sent me a congratulatory email with one sentence:
“You are a lucky man”.
I am grateful daily for his words along with the health of our new family of 4. Life has been good to me and I do my best to keep it that way by respecting the values taught by my loving parents and never taking for granted the simple joy of waking up in the morning.
During the pre/post excitement of a new child, one can sometimes overlook the extraordinary work it takes for a woman to deliver a child. I made sure to be in the moment and appreciate the awesome power displayed by my wife. I was inspired to see her handle this tougher 2nd pregnancy so well and bear the sometimes brutal pain after delivering our daughter.
My mother-in-law and father were never far away from our thoughts. They both died in the last 4 years and will never have the chance to see their granddaughter. I was wearing my dad’s wedding ring throughout just as I did at our son’s birth
Our son’s reaction to his new baby sister is top of mind these days. I brought him to the hospital to see his mom and new sibling after a couple of days as we thought it was better for him to meet them there rather then to come home and see a new baby on his territory. The visit went well but it probably didn’t register fully with him.
When he came home after day-care, there was no doubt that he was a bit shaken by the tiny girl in the house. It has only been a few days but there have been many moments (some at night) where the reality of his new world is evident. His reaction has been as expected and we look forward to him embracing his sister and taking care of her as a big brother should.
Like most newborns, our princess sleeps quite a bit but still manages to keep mamma from enjoying a quality night’s sleep. She also makes those squeaks and occasional gulps that prevent her mom from sleeping just as she is dozing off.
In Sweden, the father enjoys the right to be off from his job during the first 2 weeks of the newborns life, which is a terrific aspect of the generous parental leave. I love this time as it is so precious and needed; allowing the family to bond for a couple of weeks without the pressures of work.
In addition, my wife will be on maternity leave for 1 year. In late 2009, I will take parental leave for the second time when my wife returns to her job. In 2007, I had 5 months off with my then 10 month old son; time filled with invaluable father & son bonding moments. Kids are only small once and we are fortunate to live in a country that values the family unit.
As we heard many times, life with a second child is more complicated than the first but we are ready for the challenge!
Livet är bra (Life is good) as I like to say in Swedish!
Our little girl is “Perfect as a Peach” and for that we are thankful.
Happy Gswede Sunday!