My daughter came to this world ahead of schedule and gave us a taste of the sleepless nights to come straight away. She was diagnosed as being small for gestational age in utero and we couldn't find a reason. One of the problems with being a doctor when you are an expecting parent is that you immediately tend to look for the worst differential diagnoses, even though in some part of your rational mind there's a voice saying that you are over-reacting and it'll be fine. That voice is however easily engulfed and silenced by the irrational fears of a father. Never again will I show the slightest bit of impatience with a parent enquiring about their child. After a torrid week at the hospital where she scared us with her weight (1.78kgs), jaundice and a false alarm with neonatal hypothyroidism, we finally brought her home so that we could settle into the serious business of feeding her every second hour and hoping that all this effort is rewarded with a gain in weight. Never before in my life have I measured grams so assiduously. Every sneeze or cough, every sound she emitted commanded immediate and complete attention. If she craps we worry, was that enough, wasn't it a little too runny and God forbid if she doesn't crap on schedule then we also become scared shitless. All of it would actually have been funny if it wasn't all too real. And all talk of a big family maybe even a set of twins have all gone out the window. Twins!?! What was I thinking!
But it cant and wont always be like this. One day she will be bigger and hopefully soon, toilet trained. And then we'll have different things to worry about. Like where she's crawling off to next or will she walk those few steps without falling. And all too soon there'll be tantrums, school, sleepovers with friends, and, dare i say it, boyfriends!! But I'm sure it wont be all worries. There'll be special moments that only a father and daughter can share, trips that we can take, lively discussions about books, movies, life and love. But I'm getting way ahead of myself here. My baby still cant hold her neck up let alone look at another baby boy. So thats something I can worry about later. But its fun to imagine all the worrying I can do in the coming future. And if you think I have lost my marbles, then such is the state of a freshly minted parent.