There needs to be a new word for frustration over a colicky infant. Our son had such a hard time coming into the world. He took several minutes to take his first breath. On his second day of life, he had to spend 24 continuous hours alone under blue lights for hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice), while we helplessly held his hand. And now he was spending what seemed like every waking hour crying and in discomfort. He refused to eat more than two ounces of formula at a time, which our pediatrician said was his way of guarding against the pain but which meant that he was waking up every few hours to eat (crying throughout every feeding). We tried gripe water. We tried probiotics. And then our pediatrician finally prescribed an antacid. Thank God that the antacid worked, because there were times when I felt overwhelming guilt for bringing my son into the world only to suffer so much. And I have to confess to not a few meltdowns on both my and my son’s part.
But our son started to feel better over the next few weeks, and grow out of his immature digestive state. His naturally sunny disposition has started to shine through: he greets us almost every morning with a completely charming and warm smile. He looks appreciatively and observingly at pretty things (sunlight dancing on the ceiling, light fixtures, etc.) and is much more verbose than his twin sister. Our son can spend the better part of a morning happily gurgling away as he looks around the room. I am in love with his deeply contemplative nature.
Our daughter, in contrast, looks at us with an almost unnerving intensity. It always seems like she’s analyzing her world at every turn. She also is a morning person, and greets us most of the time with an effervescent and dazzling smile that crinkles her almond shaped eyes into inverted little crescents. I’m also (sometimes) amused at how insistent she can be, giving ear-piercing shrieks when she’s kept waiting for her bottle. (Her brother, in contrast, has a constant and grinding cry when he’s unhappy.) I only hope we can nurture our daughter’s insistent and strong will into a confident woman without being driven crazy.
With our children thriving and as their individual personalities begin to unfold, our attention started to turn to our upcoming Red Egg party. Asians mark the arrival of babies with some very distinctive traditions. Chinese have been giving out red eggs, symbolizing joy and life, and eating ginger at babies’ one month birthdays for centuries. Modern red egg and ginger parties are now usually thrown later, merging with the Korean tradition of 100-day birth celebrations.
The stars were in alignment for us, because we were able to baptize our children around the same time of their 100 day birthday. (We’re practicing Episcopalians.) So family and friends came flooding into town to meet our children and join the party. I had no idea until then how children fill a home – not only with their crying and coos, but also with the love of family and friends. I spent most of my life feeling alone and different, and never imagined that so many people would come together to celebrate my family. That, along with baptism/christening symbolizing the purest intentions and wishes we have for our children, made it a full and truly blessed day.
Here are some pictures from our special day – our event planner truly rocked it! The LED lit dance floor (I didn’t know what the whip/nae nae was before then) and the arts and craft table were the most popular with our younger guests, while our adult guests obsessed over the video-games and air hockey table when they weren’t at the bar.