First Day of My Life 生日

Yours was the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go
-Bright Eyes

Hi World! My name is Dumpling. My parents expected my appearance in January, but you know what? Womb life is just a little too humdrum when the world outside just seems so interesting.

So on the evening of December 5, as my mom sat down to eat a bowl of fried rice and watch TV, she felt a gush of clear fluid running down her legs. Time to jet to the hospital.

We were quickly admitted to the labor and delivery room and the on-call doctor confirmed that the amniotic sack-- a sterile wall protecting me from viruses and infection-- had indeed burst. Although labor hadn’t yet started, I was fully in position, my mom’s body pulling me down further into her pelvis, the water draining. Ready or not, here I come.

My early arrival wasn’t quite on the agenda. My parents hadn’t packed a thing for a hospital stay. Baby clothes, blankets, and supplies were packed away in the closet. The diapers were on order. Mom still hadn’t completed her cleaning-this-and-that-before-baby-comes goals. But what can I say? I like surprises.

In her typical fashion, Mom worried. I was too little, not ready for life outside the womb. In his typical fashion, Dad saw the glass half-full. They were going to see my face finally!

December 7 at 1:54 am, 26 hours after arriving at the hospital, including roughly 3.5 hours of hard labor, I entered the world kicking and screaming, my lungs expanding and contracting like on an engine on full throttle. As it turns out, even though not fully cooked at 4.2 lbs and almost 19 inches long, I came out pretty much good as done. But I still need to gain some weight. Supermodel skinny legs aren’t really my thing right now.

After a day and a half in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) just to monitor my breathing and body temperature, 3 days of intravenous antibiotics, a few stints with phototherapy, lots of diaper changes and a week of sleep deprived nights for Mom, we are ready to pack it up and go home. While hospital life was sweet-- room service, room cleaning, a friendly nursing staff eager to get Mom and Dad ready for caring for a preemie baby girl at home, a spacious room and all the time in the world for family bonding-- life at home will be even sweeter!

Hi World. I am here!

Chinese Word of the Blog: 生日 Shēngrì
English Translation: Birthday

Me and Mom get a brief moment together before going to NICU
...four hours later in the NICU
I have got duck lips down
After one week in hospital, we outta here!