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Mom and I went to visit Mandie and Danielle last night...

Mandie is doing much better and is out of the High Risk area. Danielle had to spend a day in the NICU under, essentially, a heat lamp to stabilize her temperature, which turns out to be a common, minor problem to babies born a few weeks early. But she was reunited with her mommy, and her mommy was moved to a regular room.

I got to hold Danielle for a little bit. First off, she's only the fifth baby I've gotten to hold. The first was my sister, the second was a neighbor's baby, third and fourth were cousin's babies. Danielle is the fifth. And I got to hold her for a good half hour, or at least, it felt like that.

Again, she has a hell of a personality already! A nurse came in to take Mandie's temperature and blood pressure, and then to take Danielle's temperature (via armpit). Danielle didn't fuss, but gave the nurse a hell of a stink eye.

Holding her, I felt her moving through the blankets and swaddling she was in. Little feet kicking slightly, little arms moving around, and her picking up her head slightly. She went through a range of facial expressions, opened her eyes and looked at me a few times... In many ways, it's like her brain is running constant diagnoses on everything, calibrating for whatever responses it's getting.

Mandie says she hasn't been fussing or crying very much. I think this is because Danielle's getting all her needs met. And getting showered with tons of attention and luvins. And it occurred to me that she's an exceptionally lucky baby. We may not be rich or anything, but she was born to two loving parents who have loving, supportive families. There is an abundance of both practical and textbook knowledge among everyone. And there is an abundance of unconditional love.

There will be pets who, when they meet her, will accept her into the family as unconditionally as the rest of us, largely because they, the pets in question, were accepted and loved unconditionally. This is a situation where karma comes in and repays kindness a thousandfold. I'd lay money that Loki and Lily will give Danielle the gargoyle treatment, standing watch. Lily may take a few days to warm up to this pink thing that makes noise and such, but I'm sure she'll step up to the plate. Loki will probably fall over himself to be her first buddy.

I'm reminded of the TNG episode "The Defector" when Romulan Admiral Aladir Jerok explains his defection to Captain Picard, that as a parent, there comes a time when you look into your child's face and realize that you have to change the world for her. I may only be her uncle, but I feel the same press to make the world suck less for her benefit.

And there's a part of me that feels badly for all the kids out there who aren't as lucky as Danielle.

But yeah, Danielle's one of the quiet ones. She'll be the type to have a secret lab in her closet at the age of eight, working on cold fusion or something.

I told Mandie that yeah, her and Scott's lives are now forever changed, but I'm realizing that with the closeness of the relationship, Mom's, Rich's, and my life have all been changed as well, as well as our counterparts in Scott's family. Though this is Mom's and Rich's first time as grandparents, and my first time as an uncle. It's still sinking in for me that I'm an uncle, and figuring out what that means in general and what it means for me.


Though of one thing I'm certain... I need to re-learn how to change diapers. Two things, actually... I'm going to be taking and posting lots of pictures...

That last picture is with a shirt the bell choir at church got her at the hand bell festival last weekend...

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January 2015


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