My oldest son arrived five weeks early. It was an emergency c-section, but I was grateful he stuck it out 35 weeks. There was some concern he'd arrive at 29 weeks, and the difference between 29 and 35 weeks is significant.
Because he was premature, there were some minor complications, and he spent the first 10 days of his life in the NICU. That's neonatal intensive care unit, and if you don't know that, consider yourself lucky. But like I said, things could have been so much worse.
My youngest son had had an uneventful birth, but after a couple of nights at home ended up in the NICU himself for a period of time. Unbeknownst to us, he was essentially starving. It's so difficult to know if your newborn is getting sufficiently fed via breastfeeding those first few days. I remember thinking how lucky we were that Sick Kid Hospital was a mere bike ride away. They took care of him.
My daughters, by comparison, were easy babies. They were full-term, didn't require any hospitalization, and didn't cause any additional anxiety.
I was thinking about my daughters today because today is my oldest daughter's 19th birthday. I wouldn't change a thing about Michelle. She's thoughtful, driven, smart and sweet. She's an incredible big sister, not to mention a wonderful little sister, and oh yeah, the best daughter this dad could ask for.
Happy 19th, Michelle. Daddy loves you!