Monday, June 7, 2010

Sam I Am

     Well, the day has come, and now, we are the proud parents of a baby boy....Samuel.  The entire process was pretty much exactly what I expected.  That's not entirely true.  What I meant to say was that the process could be summed up as a roller coaster ride in complete darkness that had twists, turns, and loopdy loops, but we couldn't prepare ourselves because we couldn't see that far ahead of us.  Now that we have had time to exhale, let me catch everyone up.
    A relative normal softball practice was interrupted with THE phone call...that's right, Los Bravos was having a two for one chimichanga special.  Without a moment's thought, I sprinted out of practice and rushed to my house to meet my slightly rattled wife.  TWO for ONE!  It's not something that happens often.  Seriously, just 48 hours prior to that phone call, our doctor emphatically told my wife, "You couldn't be any less dilated."  Now, we were being rushed to the hospital for induction, and I hadn't finished the 9th month chapter in my "How to be a Supportive Husband during Birth" book....My wife was not going to be happy.

    We checked in relatively easily and made our way to the so-called "birthing room".  Twelve hours later, after three other people had checked in and had their babies, the water broke.  Twelve hours later, after those other people had checked out and went home, the epidural wore off.  Three hours later, as the other three parents were filling out registration documents for kindergarten, the doctor decided that C-section was the way to go and asked if I would like to stand with him as he pulled Sam out.  My response, "Ugh, gross!"  Evidently, my first fatherly words were not something that was bumper sticker worthy.  Thirty minutes later, we were proud parents. The other babies, the ones that came and went, drove back to the hospital to greet Sam's entering the world.  It was very thoughtful of them.  Anyhow, the entire experience completely exhausted me, and I think my wife was a little tired also.

    Post birth, I cut the umbilical cord....which was just weird.  We had Sam circumcised, which just seems mean.  Did you know that not long ago, doctors didn't use any sort of anesthetic because they thought that the babies couldn't feel it?  Keep that in mind next time you go to the doctor.  I am just curious what we are doing now that we will be appalled about in just a few short years.

   I am learning new terms such as swaddle (which just seems like a way to limit the amount of air the kid has so he will stop screaming), latch (I stuck my finger in Sam's mouth, and let's just say that my wife is a rock star), rooting (I have a hickey from my son's confusion), and a peepee teepee....which, well, needs no explanation.

Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed, scared, nautious, and any other word that could describe the absolute terror I felt about being responsible for another human being.

Then, he fell asleep against my chest....all was right with the world.   Welcome home, Sam!



Monday, May 17, 2010

Time after time

        We’re waiting……we’re waiting…..we’re waiting…… Well, all is calm on the home front, unfortunately. I’ve come to the realization that there is something worse than a pregnant woman that is nesting… a pregnant woman nesting that has nothing left to do but wait.

       Of course, I have been the epitome of supportive. I share my unbounded excitement about raising this child with such a wonderful woman. That is immediately followed by hot flashes, heart palpitations, nausea, and the realization that I don’t have a clue on how to handle a baby. I realized recently that I have only held one baby in my entire life. This realization accompanied by my superhuman ability to drop everything I pick up induces massive and debilitating panic attacks about three times a day.

      Within every 24 hour period, I am asked about 727 times whether or not I am ready, and I have no clue how to accurately answer this question. Let’s see… am I ready to sleep for 60 minutes at a time only to be awaken by the screams of an infant wearing something that can only be compared to a nuclear spill…..NO! I am not ready for that as our cat found out at 2:00 AM when he flew across the room after interrupting one of the few nights that I have left of peaceful sleep. Also, while we are on the topic of diapers, I should mention that I am rapidly approaching the Guinness World Record for the most consecutive amount of gag reflexes when within a smelling distance of a baby explosion. I am unsure how this will be handled in the near future since (along with my super ability to drop things) I have the smelling ability of a bloodhound. Will I have a barf bag attached to my side for the next seven years? Though, I am not even sure that we will be allowed to bring this precious child home once he/she graces us with birth. Evidently, car seats, though manufactured in China, are designed by the out of work nuclear rocket scientists from NASA. The only way our lovely newborn makes it home is if the professional car seat checker person is a redneck at heart because only a person of redneck background can truly appreciate the bungee cord technology that I have designed to secure our car seat.

           So……. we wait patiently in the living room only accompanied by each other’s pleasant companionship and these wonderful, overwhelming, crippling, panic inducing thoughts that race through my mind every fifteen minutes. Oh the joys of parenting.....and it hasn't even begun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Empty Nest

     OK...I am a little spooked.  Someone has replaced my wife with someone that looks like her, walks like her, and talks like her but is definitely not her.  I would like the original back! This particular version, we will call her Wife 2.0 from this point on --not at all to imply that this is an improved version because as Windows Vista and Coke will attest, newer isn't always better-- has gone completely nutso. Evidently, --and excuse me for not knowing this internationally understood concept-- there isn't just a right way and a wrong way to fold and stack towels, but also a particular way to vacuum, stack groceries, wipe the table, do the dishes so on and so forth... Also, is there really a need to dust the attic?  It seems Wife 2.0 does not run on the same laid back program that the previous much more popular version ran on.

I was completely confounded as to what was happening to my peaceful universe, but after countless hours of research, I have finally uncovered the reason for the rapidly changing dynamic in our household. My wife has been stricken with a vicious disease called "nesting". I have to admit that I was not prepared for this primal urge to clean, prepare, and completely destroy all of my free time. Though, I am told that it is just preparation for our new arrival, and I am extremely concerned.........that my free time will never be the same again. 

This new Mrs. Doubtfire version of my wife made me begin to wonder if I was prepared for my soon to be son/daughter.  Internally, I was a wreck and needed time to reflect on these troubling thoughts.  I quietly retreated to my Man Hole to do some deep soul searching.  After what seemed like hours --2nd inning of the Cards game-- I began to feel better. I now realize that I, like most men I am sure, have my own version of nesting. What would that be called...Nesting for Men?  Manesting?  Anyhow, that is what I have been doing.  Let me give you just a few examples of the hellacious nesting process that I have been putting myself through to welcome our little one to the world:

1) I play golf.
2) I meet friends for dinner and drinks.
3) I have renewed my relationship with my Xbox 360.
4) I purchased a smart phone.
5) I have tried new and challenging things (see entry about the stupid changing table.).

Now before you head to my house with pitch forks and hot coals for live roasting and fellowship, you need to hear my side  (Speaking of roasting alive, we don't hear much about this once popular communal gathering anymore.  I wonder if that is why communities don't seem as close as they once did?  We need more roasting people...something to think about.)  My side....  It is my understanding that I will not sleep or have free time for the next 26 years.  It makes sense to me that I try to get in as much free time now as possible???? Therefore,  I have been sacrificing all of my free time doing the aforementioned things for my future son or daughter.  It's no wonder that I am have been completely exhausted as of late.  Besides, can't we do all of the cleaning, assembling, and repacking when the baby sleeps?  What's that huge fiery glow outside my window? 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tool Time

Let me preface this next entry with statement of fact. I am not, have never been, and never will be what is considered a "Man's Man". I don't hunt. I don't fish. I don't shoot things, drive a pick-up truck, wear boots, spit tobacco, or have a belt buckle with my name on it. I don't say these things as an insult to anyone. But, I know who I am, and I am completely and perfectly at peace with it. Now, I mention this only because one of the prerequisites for being included in the fraternity of "Men's Men" is that you have to like (or pretend to like) building or assembling things. I hate building or assembling things....mainly for two reasons...I have no patience, and nothing, I mean nothing, ever goes together like it says. Which brings me to my point...the Changing Table from Hades.

First, who decided that there needed to be a table/dresser built for the sole purpose of changing a diaper on a baby? There are many things in life that people have that aren't necessary...televisions, a land line, an appendix, an opinion...and so on, but I think that this may just be the most useless idea ever introduced to mankind. And, while we are on the subject, the majority of the items sold for "babies" needs to be questioned. Basically, it comes down to this question, "Do we seriously need Babies R Us?" I know, I know...where would we register...

Anywho, back to the Changing Table from Hades. After being purchased (unbeknownst to me, though it wouldn't matter either way), it sat in the soon to be nursery for weeks collecting dust (much like it will most certainly do for the next 3-5 years). I knew it was there... my lovely wife knew that I knew it was there...but there it sat. (It should be noted that she tried to put it together but became stalled because the company doesn't believe in using actual words to help people assemble their useless product...only somewhat recognizable pictures and arrows that reference random pages throughout their picture book.) Eventually, it needed to be assembled, and being fans of games, my wife and I played out the fateful roles of dutiful wife and oblivious husband.

Fast forward a number of weeks to a peaceful Sunday afternoon of me taking in a baseball game from comfy confines of our overstuffed couch.  A consistent flash continually darted back and forth through the room. I tried to ignore it and continue with the baseball game, but eventually, curiosity got the best of me. I ambled toward the back of the house only to be welcomed by the complete contents of every closet between the family room and the back room covering the entire floor. It was if the closets had simultaneously thrown-up all over the hallway. The buzzing flash, which happened to be my wife, had evidently taken it upon herself to restore order to our house (I didn't know that we were out of order, but that shouldn't surprise anyone). Guilt ridden, I tried to return to the couch to watch for the conclusion of the game....I didn't make it.

It was high time the Changing Table from Hades and I had our showdown. To make this long story...less long, presently, the drawers won't close on our lopsided changing table, and my wife and I didn't speak for an hour. The point you ask of this overwritten drivel, is that expectant families do not need all of this baths (we called them sinks as a kid), burping rags (old socks?), changing tables (here's an idea, how's the floor?), so on and so on... I believe it is time to collectively rise up and tell these experts that force-feed us with fear that WE DON'T NEED ALL OF YOUR JUNK! Wait,......yes hon? OK. Gotta go. Evidently, we need more onesies!?!?  What the heck is a onesie and why would we need more than one?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fear Factor

As we go this process, there is one thing that continues to shock me. I do not fully comprehend why we don't see more expectant mothers with a cocktail or chardonnay in their hands. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that pregnant women should be going out and hammering back shots of cheap tequila on a Friday night, and I am not even saying that these women should be drinking at all. My point is that there are so many "experts" with so much “advice” I am surprised that it doesn't drive these poor women en masse to the bottle! Let's look at the evidence. The following is a shortened list of the things that expecting mothers either should or shouldn't do regardless of fact or fiction....

Do not eat eggs, sushi, some juice, some fish, soft cheese, caffeine, deli meats...basically eat rice and drink water.

Do not take a bath....ummm gross?

Don't lift arms over your head.

Avoid reptiles.

Don't drink tap water.

Avoid herpes. (isn’t this rule applicable to all?)

Do know if you’re immune to German measles. (How does one go about this?)

Do get exercise.

Keep your body temperature down.

Eat healthy (but get plenty of fat and cholesterol) but eat healthy....?

Avoid thinking negative.

Avoid stress.

So, if you see stress, immediately turn the other way and run...oops, don't run...walk quickly...wait, avoid raising your body temperature.....ok, turn the other way, close your eyes! While doing this, trust that no one throws an egg at you (but if they do, keep your arms down while trying to block it), pray that rain water doesn't fall into your mouth and that no one with German measles or herpes strolls by (which they probably won't because you haven't taken a bath in 8 months), and hope a reptile doesn't make its way to you....but do ALL of this while thinking positive!

Geesh! I need a drink!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Final Countdown

The countdown has officially begun.....26 days until school is out! Oh, there are also 27 days until the reign of Baby begins. Up until this point, there have been few countdowns that have captivated my attention like this particular countdown. The countdown for graduating high school barely registered a blip on my radar. I was so disturbed by the Y2K craze that on Dec. 31st, I rushed out to the local Wal-Mart and invested heavily in a case of Sam's Choice water ($3.27) and then proceeded to fall asleep on the couch at 10:30. However, the countdown of the last few months has completely enveloped me...followed by total denial. The denial days are quickly dwindling. Let me quickly catch you up to speed...

Septemberish - "Oh my gosh...I think I am pregnant," says lovely wife. Whoa...that's cool! replies "completely unsure of what this means for me now" husband.

October - February - Random doctor visits. Completely awesome wife handling the overwhelming changes to body like a champ. Husband (blissfully ignorant of the complete chaos that is about to crash down upon his, up to this point, delightful existence) continues to go about his day with very few changes.

March - Husband feels baby kick, and everything becomes much more real....followed by the realization that due date isn't until May...."plenty of time..." Continues blissful ignorance.

Baby delivery classes - What the heck?!?!?! How do these videos help anyone? I now know one thing for sure....I am getting the epidural, and I don't care if it inhibits my ability to latch...and what does that even mean?

April- Baby showers, strollers, changing tables (are these really necessary?), cribs, car seats, burping rags?, big plastic balls that suck air and supposedly go into baby's nose, and.... most disturbing of all, people...tons of people...friends, colleagues, family, acquantances, neighbors, my barber's mother's gardner...basically everyone approaching me with a devilish grin that says, I am going to absolutely enjoy watching you turn into a steamy pile of sleepless goo over the next few months while verbally saying, "Are you getting excited?"

April 22nd - Fear!

Til' next time...