William Blake Zawadzki - First Pictures

Here are some of the first pictures taken of our newborn son, who was born on 2/17/2012.

The little card that was attached to the hospital bassinet gives all his birth statistics. Apparently college wasn't the last time I'd be turning in my work shortly before dawn on the last day the professor would still accept it. William was 2 weeks overdue. Kidding aside, this actually made it a lot easier for him to learn the basics of life on the outside (i.e. eating and sleeping) than it was for a lot of our friends with early deliveries. Labor was its own story but not one to tell here.

Even on the best of days, I get a little fuzzy about things that happen at 5:30 in the morning, and at this point I had been awake for more than 24 hours, so I'm not sure whether this was taken in the operating room or in the room where they took William's measurements. Either way, this was less than half an hour after his first breaths. The swelling of his eyelid and the pronounced forehead were the result of trying to come out forehead-first, but both went away a few hours later.

Baby feet. Grandpa Kinderman wanted to take a picture of his fingers, too, but the fingernails looked about as healthy as Emperor Palpatine's or Severus Snape's. Apparently spending two extra weeks immersed in fluid will turn your nails yellow and claw-like. As with the forehead and eyelid, though, he got better.

Cut him some slack. He's had a very long day.

William is a thoughtful baby. We don't have a picture of it, yet, but he has since turned this pose into a passable recreation of The Thinker.

A pretty darn adorable smile. Let's hope he gets a better smile than the devilish Kinderman smile (more on that later) or my frightening pair of smiles - the "pushing the big red button on the doomsday machine" smile and the "contemplating my wicked plans" smirk.

Mom, Dad, and baby. William is beginning to get a little weary of the camera flash, at this point.

Another family photo. Baby looks a bit resigned to his fate. The fools, he'll destroy them all, er, I mean...

"Join me, and we will rule the galaxy as father and son." "Hm. That doesn't sound too bad..."

"I'll do whatever you want, Dad. Just stop smirking at me like that!"

There really is nothing like looking into your newborn child's eyes for the first time. Or most of the subsequent times, for that matter. William has an especially intense and curious gaze that just makes me want to pour all my knowledge and experience into him as soon as he's ready for it. I managed to resist the urge to play Chopin's Nocturnes for him for all of two days, and when his expression lit up in response to the music, I wept like a child. It's a powerful drug, this whole parenthood thing.

William with Grandma Kinderman.

William with Grandpa Nikkon, er, I mean Grandpa Kinderman. He's responsible for most of these pictures, actually. I usually don't have the presence of mind in the moment to grab a camera to capture it.

Wiliam with Aunt Angie (Beth's younger sister). Here's an example of the devilish Kinderman smile. I've seen pictures of Beth's family going back a few generations, and it seems like about 1 smile in 4 looks like this - this sort of "I'll give you back your firstborn child in exchange for your soul" smile. Beth doesn't have it, but Angie definitely does.

Mom looking a bit more like her geeky self on the day we were discharged from the hospital.

William on discharge day.

In the car seat and ready to go home from the hospital.