Alternate title: So, we had a baby…
Most of you have gotten the memo already, but Jaimie and I had our little girl! Elayne Kaylee Krycho was born on May 27 at 1:39 pm; she weighed 6 pounds and 4 oz, and she was just over 18 inches long.
Our lives since then have been a bit topsy turvy, as you might imagine. Sleeping at night? Not so much. Elayne has decided she much prefers sleeping during the day. This isn’t really a surprise, for two reasons: first, this is typical of babies; second, she did this before she was born, too. More than once, she kept Jaimie up between 1 am and 3 am because she was kicking so much. Now she gets to keep me up, too.
It’s been an enormous amount of fun, so far, which is good – because it’s hard work, too. Babies are like that.
We’ve had tons of visitors in the first week and a half, of course, and that’s been both encouraging and tiring. Encouraging, especially for Jaimie, because the baby can be quite overwhelming and it’s nice to spend time with other adults. It’s easy to begin to feel as though the baby is the only other person in the world, especially when you’re up with her at 3 am again.
On the other hand, both Jaimie and I are introverts. People might not realize it, as both of us are fairly outgoing day to day. We’re both friendly and talkative, and we love people. But we both need alone time to recharge. My runs have been helpful for me that way over the last couple years. Writing, too, meets the same need – for both of us, I think, though Jaimie would have to confirm that. In any case, much as we’ve loved all the visitors, and much as they’ve been lifesavers for Jaimie, it was a huge relief to both of us to take a couple hours tonight just chilling out together while the baby slept, cuddling on the sofa and watching a silly show and not having other people around or taking care of Elayne.
One of the biggest challenges for me has been the way our schedule has changed. I don’t mind sitting up with her, as a general rule. Several of the evenings, I’ve been able to read while sitting up with her, and that’s never a bad thing. I’ve even mostly gotten the same amount of sleep, it’s been at different times. As a result, I haven’t been able to run but twice since Elayne was born.
To the non-runners out there (which is most of you, I realize), that might not seem like such a bad thing. For me, however, running has become something of a fixed point in my life. It’s an opportunity to recharge mentally and emotionally. It’s my consistent introvert time; when I get it I’m much happier and have a much easier time relating well to the people in my life, especially Jaimie. Exercise is good for us, on many levels. I’m less tired and have more energy through the day; I’m more emotionally level; I have better concentration on work tasks – you name it, it’s better when I’m exercising.
The flipside is that I’m worse in each of those areas when I’m not exercising. It’s also frustrating to consider the possibility of losing ground that I’ve worked hard to gain over the last year. I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that I’m not going to be gaining ground any time soon, but I’d really like not to find myself starting over at the end of the summer again. Doing that last July was once too many times.
All of that goes to highlight a broader issue I’ve begun to face already: my own selfishness. As I finished up my run this morning – offering thanks to God for the chance to get out, and for relatively cool weather – I thought to myself, I really wouldn’t mind being up with Elayne if I could just write or read or do something productive at the same time. The thought made sense to me just then; it had been a long and frustrating morning already. A moment later, though, the essential absurdity of the thought struck home.
What I was really saying is: I’d be happy to take care of Elayne if only it didn’t inconvenience me.
Praise God, the Holy Spirit made the sheer sinfulness of that thought pattern apparent in short order. It rocked me back on my heels a bit. It’s one thing to acknowledge in some general sense that we are sinful and selfish. It is another thing entirely to see your own selfishness staring you full in the face. I am happy to take care of Elayne as long as she doesn’t make my life more difficult. God, by contrast, has delighted to care for me in spite of the great cost involved.
I have much to learn, it seems. Preach the gospel to myself – and to her: we started the Westminster Shorter Catechism with her the first night – and hold fast to God’s unfathomable grace. It is enough.