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Hello World!

Date

Tuesday, 05 October, 2010

Content Just over two weeks ago, I accompanied Linh as she checked into hospital in the early hours of the 16th September. Heavily pregnant, she was not due for another 3 weeks and our combined concern over sporadic pain and other effects that she was feeling, justified the visit.

Llithyia Born

Four and a half hours later, Linh gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Llithyia Yan Yi Wu at 6.02am. She had arrived amidst a flurry of events that began with the midwife's declaration that it was time, followed by an expectedly quick, but nonetheless painful three and a half hours of labour, eased slightly by the warmth and comfort of the birthing pool.

Whilst I cannot in any way understand the intensity of pain that a woman has to endure to give birth, I'm incredibly thankful that for Linh, the duration was relatively short. By all accounts, we had read of typical estimates of twelve to fourteen hour long periods of contractions, more so for first timers. That Linh gave birth so quickly surprised the midwife and may have been testament to Linh's almost religious adherence to healthy eating, living and lots of regular exercise - yoga in particular, in the months leading up to the delivery.

As I now understand as a father, one develops an elevated degree of concern felt for both mother and baby, and so it was with great relief that Llithyia was born strong, weighing a healthy 7.4 pounds and that both were released the same day, six hours later. I'll forever be in debt to Linh for carrying our child for nine months and enduring the final push.

Introducing Llithyia

As new parents, three weeks earlier than planned, we were quickly tested by our new routine responsibilities, though I feel we've fared well so far, supported partly by the frequent and informative visits from midwives and health visitors but also because of the time we've allow ourselves for the third member of the family. I currently work at my home office, which you can imagine is incredibly convenient for a host of reasons, but more importantly, extremely valuable in experiencing the first weeks of Llithyia's life.

Since then, both Linh and I have gone through the formalities of introducing Llithyia to people in order of importance. First to family before close friends and then the wider social circle. Though I assume everybody goes through or at least considers this process of introduction in the same vein, in my industry right now, I can't avoid thinking of that f-word.

Facebook

Pre-conception, I'd be conscious of Facebook friends that live their status updates through their kids. Adorable as they are, I can't help think the occasional photo is adequate, but one too many baby updates later, and my mouse finger twitches over the "hide person" button.

Though I'm connected to *real* friends on Facebook, by extension, their children would be of interest to me too, but there's something unappetising about enduring frequent status updates of an individual whose activity is even more limited and by definition less interesting than what someone had for breakfast.

As far as our newborn goes, I understand any proud parent's desire to show off their children. But with the recent fiasco that Facebook was criticised for, we're reminded of issues of privacy, not just in protecting our child, whose ability to make these kinds of informed decisions is non-existent, but also in wanting to protect the moment for ourselves, as parents. Though Llithyia is clearly not shy of being vocal, the quieter moments are the most humbling and we are encouraged by friends and relatives to enjoy these early phases in life before she is able to walk and cause mischief.

With our initial announcements, we communicated with what we felt were more personal methods. We called individuals, got them around to visit and if they weren't available, waited before telling others. I tried to stay away from Facebook as long as possible to satisfy myself that we weren't going to make a "Facebook Baby announcement".

Llithyia closeup

Llithyia Dot Com

As the photos began stacking up digitally, I finalised my thoughts on how we were going to introduce our daughter to the digital social world at large and when she's old enough, for her to understand how she would fit in.

Surprisingly, her first name was available as a .com domain, which I take as a precursor to her future domination of the web (!). It was important for me to begin carving out a slice of the web for her and retain control of all her digital assets online such as her photos and videos. In this case, self-hosting is my answer, particularly as content management systems in recent times, have become so flexible and practical to implement, that a thoroughly categorised and ultimately easy to browse database of content is possible. Perfect as a central destination for us to direct (both close and distant) family and friends to new updates on Llithyia's development.

However, there's no denying Facebook's utility as a practical communication tool and I recognise its proliferation among friends, encouraging some users to prefer its format for life's updates. With this in mind, I plan to test the practicality of a Facebook Profile for Llithyia as the means to perpetuate her updates to "confirmed friends" who are interested and only once she is old enough to understand the implications, will I hand over the reins for her own use.

Thoughts aside, Linh and I plan to enjoy the simpler things in life for the weeks to come. The odd smile, the frequent hiccups and even the numerous nappy changes.

Categories

Events. Made By Mark.

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