As my son marks 7 months outside the womb, it seems like a good time to look back over his first half year earthside.
When Huilin was born Ma Li and I were not fully prepared. We had the bare essentials, but we fell far short of the idyllic young couple that furnishes an entire baby room from floor to ceiling. However, our redemption, and the reason for our relatively painless transition into parenthood, was in being fully aware of just how unprepared we were. There was no hubris, no denial, just lots and lots of … shopping!
The one area of our preparations in which I personally fell shortest, and was also completely blindsided by, was muscles – specifically that extensive array of tiny muscles which fan across your shoulders, lower neck, and upper back. Huilin was only 3.5kg when he was born, but the constant lifting, bending, and leaning associated with manipulating a newborn quickly left my entire upper back in knots. The first few weeks were really quite painful, but by the end of the first month my back and shoulders had caught up with his weight, and from there I resolved to really start diligently exercising again to ensure I’d always be able to not only heft my little monster, but swing him about with ease.