Chronicles of Sadie

The Projectile Princess

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The first day at home was a dream… initially, that is. While at the hospital, Sadie was on a very regular three-hour schedule of feeding, sleeping, and waking. Our first few hours at home were no different. With every moment she is in my life, I can feel myself being twirled tighter and tighter around her tiny finger. Hey, isn’t that the way it is supposed to be for daddies?

But darkness (our first night) descended upon the Driver household like a baby blanket and everything changed. It was a fabulous beginning with a midnight feeding, diaper change, and PRESTO, baby is back down asleep. Whew, that was not so bad!

My rejoicing was premature because the 4:00 a.m. feeding came and the bottom fell out–literally! Apparently, my little girl could set the Guinness World Record for the most powerful newborn suck. This child could suck a bowling ball through a straw! This is great, except for the fact that the particular bottle she became used to in the hospital causes her to literally inhale her milk with huge, air-filled gulps. All of this creates a recipe for hiccups and an unhappy, gassy little princess.

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Time: 4:20 a.m.

Location: Sadie’s room.

Mission: Have Sadie asleep in the next ten minutes so I can go back to sleep.

Her poor Mommy, still recovering from surgery, had already spent half the night trying to calm her, but the curse of hiccups was keeping Sadie from staying asleep. Daddy intervened, putting Mommy to bed and taking on the challenge of hiccup suppression and newborn sleep success. So picked up the little darling and prepared to save the day.

But the day would have none of it! As I slowly walked towards the glider to rock the princess to blissful rest, “Mount St. Sadie” erupted in my arms! She projectile vomited all over the ottoman! And sadly, the ottoman was not the only victim, for I was also unable to dodge every drop of digestive shrapnel.

Soiled. Slimed. Swamped by the circumstances. In the darkness, I clumsily stumbled towards the baby wipes in a desperate attempt to mop up the mess, regain control of my gag reflex, and simultaneously keep Sadie relatively calm as to not wake Laura. I might as well have been juggling chainsaws.

Even the baby wipes were in on the midnight mutiny, apparently packaged with the intent to only be opened by the force of a machete. The plastic dispenser had an “easy-open” slitted pop top that allowed them to individually feed through from the top. Tragically, they had not been fed through the slit yet, so as I finally broke through the impenetrable packaging, I began pulling out hundreds of connected wipes like a magician pulling the perpetual handkerchiefs from his sleeve. Sadie was crying on the outside, but I think she was laughing somewhere in that gassy little body of hers.

Spit up cleaned up, baby awake but not crying, and a clock that read 5:00 a.m. still found me in Sadie’s room. During the pregnancy, one of the few purchases I insisted on was a glider that doubles as a recliner. Reflecting on this one pre-decision was the only moment in this night that offered a sliver of solace for my pride! I reclined in that glorious chair with my baby as the first glimpses of dawn’s light began leaking through the window. My friend, Jonnie, says that when you have been up all night without sleep and you see the morning sun that it is like God’s shining a flashlight in your eyes followed by an ominous voice. “What did you do?” I could relate.

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But apart from the events of the night, the new father in me actually relished the moment. She was calm and eventually went to sleep in my arms. I was comfortable, Laura was finally sleeping, and Sadie was perfect– what more could a man ask for? Though not the way I plan on spending too many nights over the next several decades, my first night at home with Sadie was more than memorable.

The next morning found Laura and I brainstorming a solution for the hiccup conundrum. A trip to Target and the purchase a whole new line of feeding equipment produced more success the next day. At the root of the problem was Sadie’s familiarity with the bottle from the hospital and her insistence on sucking down her milk at breakneck speed. In her little mind, that was the way it was supposed to be. What she did not realize was that her thoughts on the matter were actually making life more difficult for herself, and her clueless parents as well. In this matter, our thoughts were more correct than hers.

Does Sadie have the mental capacity yet to weigh the pros and cons of newborn feeding practices? Can she conceptualize what is causing her tummy to hurt or proactively seek solutions to the problem? Negative. Though I know she is the smartest five-day old little girl on earth, she is still only five days old and those particular thoughts are just a little too “high” for her.

Isaiah speaks of this concept concerning God and his children. My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 8-9 (NLT)

At first glance, this scripture fuels the skeptics’ claims that God is demeaning our intelligence; but that is not at all the contextual concept of this passage. God is simply stating the truth. Look, you are like a five-day old and you cannot understand things the way I do. In fact, your way is actually harmful to yourself. You cannot fully comprehend the ins and outs of the complexities of the universe–or of the earth–or even of your own psyche–all of which, I created. Just let me make the necessary adjustments you need to keep you from “spiritual hiccups” because “my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”

Sadie’s corrective course of action (for this day) was decided by her parents, yet she remained oblivious. Instead, she simply enjoyed her rest. But you and I are not oblivious! We have the choice every day to let the “higher” thinking of God lead our lives or to continue “spitting up” because we want things the way we want them. Because we are convinced that our thoughts are higher.

I don’t know about you, but I am ready to choose relief and rest. That is the way my Father wants it for me… besides, I could really use the sleep.

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