Sunday, October 29, 2006
Well, we're finally home now. As I write this, my son and I are sitting on the couch watching the Bengal's, both of us yearning for a bottle. Rachel just got out of the shower and has announced that she "Officially feels new again." It feels so good to be home from the hospital.
The first night home was great. We didn't get much sleep, but that's par for the course. Tenzin slept a good one to two hours at a time…not bad for a newborn. His appetite is amazing. It appears as though we come into the world with a craving for the boob, and it doesn't seem to diminish with age. He's feeding regularly now, about once every hour or two. We had five dirty diapers in the last 24 hours, so it looks like we're right on track. Rachel, or should I say Booby McBooberson, is also discovering the wondrous side effects of breastfeeding. Milk enhancement seems to be a much cheaper and effective way to increase your bust. Her enjoyment of these new "gifts," however, is not what you think it would be. These new "babies" are causing some unwanted discomfort. Nevertheless, I will continue to enjoy them for both of us.
Rachel and I have spent a lot of time with our noses deep in books. You can do everything you can to prepare yourself for this moment, but there's still so much to learn. Tenzin takes after his dad, and seems to be the gassiest baby on the planet. It's led to many cases of hiccups and toots, none of which make him a very happy baby. So we’ve jumped from chapter to chapter trying to find a way to alleviate the problem. It's not the easiest to burp a newborn when he doesn't have any neck muscles. You always feel like every position you put him in is uncomfortable. My sister, Sarah, has given us some great pointers. We'll try them out tonight and see how they go.
I never thought I would say this, but the poop is amazing! It's very alien, with little green and black presents at every turn. For somebody that doesn't have any muscle generation, he sure does know how to push them out with force. Baby body + man butt = interesting 3:00 am changings. I'm still on edge at the changing table, ready to duck and cover when needed. I've already received a yellow gift on a t-shirt. Let's try and keep that to a minimum.
The friends and family have been absolutely awesome. We can't even begin to say how thankful we are that we have such an excellent support system. We came home yesterday to a clean house, folded laundry, and ready-made meals in the fridge. With Tenzin coming as early as he did, we can easily say that a lot of household things were left unprepared. We're even driving my mom's car, seeing as we were waiting till the end of the month "deals" before we bought a car. I'm looking forward to finally getting our own ride, considering I love car dealers soooo much. I know not all of them are bad, but let's just say that the good ones are few and far between. We're still trying to decide between a Honda element and a Chrysler Pacifica. We're weighing closer to the Honda, just because of resale and reliability. And yes, the minivans are still out of the question. We may have started a family, but we'll never be ready for the family-mobile (please feel free to remind me of this 10 years from now when I'm bragging about the gas mileage on my Odyssey or Caravan).
Friday, October 27, 2006
"Honey. Honey! I think my water just broke?!?!"
I responded with a resounding, "what?" Not the kind of "what" like you didn't hear someone, or a "what"where you don't understand. It was kind of like somebody saying "Happy New Year" on Thanksgiving. It's a holiday you knew was coming, but didn't know could be celebrated so early.
We weren't quite sure what to make of it. The baby had a tendency to push on the bladder a bit, so we both assumed it was just an unexpected bathroom break. Rachel ran off to the loo, only to find out on the way that this, was in fact, real. "What?"
The doctor's office was called. We knew what we had to do from the birthing classes and I'm not really sure why we made the call, but I think it was just to confirm in both of our minds that this was real. I was still waiting for Abraham Lincoln to pop out from behind the door and offer me a beer (a wonderful dream I have encountered many times before. He's an angry drunk, though). The operator came on and confirmed what we knew. "Sir, you need to get to the hospital." OK, I'm awake now.
Thanks to Rachel's coworker Harriet, we had been persuaded a week earlier to get our butts in motion and get a hospital bag together. Rachel had gathered some things in the days prior, but we didn't quite get it to the place it should be. Some onesies, some jammies, a couple of books, and so on.
I set into motion by gathering the necessary things a husband thinks he will need at the hospital (when confronted with such a daunting task at 1:30 in the morning). I had some jumper cables, a bottle of Clorox, and a monkey wrench. Ready to go.
After taking a bunch (three) deep breaths, I finally came to my senses a grabbed the necessary items needed for our stay. Rachel and I paused in the bedroom, hugged, and told each other "We're not ready for this," then assured each other "You're going to do great." No confidence in our own abilities as parents, but all the confidence in the world in each other. I guess that's what marriage is all about.
We arrived at the hospital at 1:30 am. It's easy to drive carefully when you only live six blocks away. We valeted the car (a wonderful free service at the hospital for expectant parents) and walked up the to the entrance with our bags. We couldn't remember any of the directions given to us during our hospital tour two months ago, but arrived at the maternity level on instinct alone. We checked in and Rachel changed into her hospital gown (only confirming my opinion that she can look gorgeous in absolutely anything she wears). The nurse checked her undercarriage (sans monkey wrench), then confirmed that we were, indeed, having a baby. A few minor (joyous) tears were shed, and we were hustled off to our labor room to start the adventure.
I know "badass" is not the most eloquent word I could use to describe Rachel during this time, but that's all I can think of. This girl was truly amazing. A badass. I had anticipated thrown punches, swear words, screaming accusations of, "YOU DID THIS TO ME!!!" None of that. She handled the initial contractions like a pro.
About an hour into labor she moved from the bed to the workout ball and the contractions began to intensify. I was told during birthing classes that you needed to encourage your partner and tell them what a good job they were doing. I feel so sorry for the husbands that have to lie to their spouses. This was my little badass in all her badass glory. I sat there in complete awe at the job she was doing. Rachel was already at five centimeters, no epidural, and still going strong. The encouragement was not only easy, it was natural. I can only liken it to the way I'll probably feel when I see Tenzin take his first steps. It's the woman you love preparing to welcome your child into the world. Sheer wonder.
Approaching six centimeters, she decided it was time for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and prepped his supplies. I am now sorry that we didn't send this man an invitation to the wedding. He was a miracle worker, and our new best friend. The drugs kicked in and Rachel's pain subsided. I could still read her printouts on the computer and watched as the contractions ebbed and flowed, raising and intensifying, but fortunately, she was now able to handle them much easier.
After another hour, the nurse checked her out and informed us that it was time to push. Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the seatbelt sign. Please put your tray tables up as we prepare to land. It was time.
Rachel pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I had jokingly said to friends and family before now that I was a "keep-north-of-the-curtain" kind of guy, but this was truly amazing. The nurse let me be a part of every aspect of the labor. I had always known what my role was going to be in the ice chip department, but had no idea that I would be right there in the thick of things. We twisted, turned, held legs, rubbed backs, moistened foreheads, and crushed hands, and she pushed with everything she had for the next three and a half hours. My little badass.
The doctor came in to check up on the progress and had some bad news. Try as she might, the baby just wasn't turning. We knew what came next, but needed a moment to collect ourselves. We had always anticipated any and all possible outcomes, but I could see the disappointment on Rachel's face. She had tried so hard. A brief kiss, and she was off to the O.R. for a C-section. Before leaving, Rachel quickly noted that if the surgery was done in time, we could still catch the six o'clock Simpson's. I love this girl.
There is no greater feeling of helplessness than seeing your wife on an operating table. I knew that the procedure is fairly routine, but your mind still gets the best of you. When you walk in, the lighting is surreal. Almost foggy. Everyone is shrouded behind green and blue masks and scrubs. The eyes all look familiar, but you still wonder who everyone is and how long they went to school. I remember seeing our OBGYN and wondering what her postgraduate grades looked like. Completely random thoughts you never pondered until now. Everyone slacks off a little bit in school...just please God, don't let it be any of these people. The procedure began and we were a couple of moments away from seeing our child.
I realized then, as the surgeons were doing their work just feet away, that the whole experience had come full circle. We were behind the sterile curtain, hand in hand, giving each other the exact same nervous look we had given each other in the bedroom. Neither of us were certain about ourselves, but both had so much faith in the other person. I watched most of the surgery, but only remember looking into her eyes as she laid on the table. We just stared at one another, pressing our foreheads together. She has no idea how brave she was.
What felt like hours was in reality 30 minutes. The doctors were shuffling a bit more and I felt her body move forward and back. I looked over the curtain and there he was. Our boy. South to North: 10 toes, 1 penis, 10 fingers, and a beautiful face. He was finally here. As he made his first sound, we lost it. 15 hours was definitely worth it.
So here we are. It's now day two at the hospital and everything is going great. Rachel is recovering like the true badass she is, and baby is exploring his brand new world. Both are healthy and well. He's finally taken to breastfeeding (contrary to popular belief, they don't know how to do it when they pop out), and has officially peed on his dad for the first time. I apparently need to learn how to tighten my diapers. He loves to lay on his mama's chest and nap for hours on end. The two of them together are too much to handle. And he looks up at his mom with most amazing eyes. They can't stop staring at each other.
I'll try to give more updates whenever I can. I'm sorry that I kind of rambled a bit, but it's not easy to summarize the last two days. Everything has been so crazy, but I'm sure it gets easier from here. Right?
More to come...
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
We’re down to the weekly doctor visits from now on. They started last Wednesday and as of right now, everything is right on schedule. At two centimeters (already!), the November 13th due date could be a little closer than first thought. Our OBGYN said that this is perfectly normal, but Rachel and I have already started betting. I’m going with an October 31st date (wouldn’t a Halloween baby be EXTREMELY appropriate?), whereas Rachel says November 5th (Correction: the full moon, not the new moon)) . She heard that hospital births actually increase during the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Anybody care to chime in?
It was another busy weekend in Columbus. Rachel’s friends from work threw her a fabulous shower at Jaime’s house ("fabulous" is the proper word to describe a feminine event, yes?). Good food, excellent gifts, and plenty of games. Everybody’s been so generous. It’s all a bit overwhelming. We’ve got baby accessories we don’t even know how to use.
Some things I’ve learned:
1. A changing table is not a Transformer/GoBot-style table that morphs into a cool car/super hero when you’re done with it.
2. Butt paste is for baby, not Rachel’s butt.
3. Companies will not make adult-size onesies, no matter how much you write and beg.
4. Just because it’s called a “crib,” doesn’t mean your wife will let you “pimp it” ala MTV.
5. Golf was a sport I once, long ago, enjoyed. I’ve been told I’ll miss it.
6. A side car on a 1948 Indian Motorcycle is not suitable for a baby seat.
7. A “stroller” is for strolling. A “jogger” is for jogging. A “sprinter” has not been invented.
8. “Las Vegas” is not a suitable answer to the question, “Where do you want to invest for your child’s college fund?” Same goes for “Reno” and “Atlantic City.”
9. It is less gross to say “Cervical Sandbag,” than it is to say “Mucus Plug.”
10. It is not appropriate to talk to the doctor while she is examining your wife. It is even less appropriate to say “Let me know if you feel a penis” during said examination.
Next appointment is on Wednesday. We’ll let you know if anything else comes up!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
This week, my new obsession is with Inchworm Shoes. They're shoes that grow (up to three sizes) with your children's feet. When I think of how quickly my nephew is growing, I'm scared to buy our baby anything that fits.
The Inchworm Shoe:
In other news, Rachel and I celebrated our first anniversary last night at a wonderful steakhouse, eating steaks, smelling steak smells, gorging ourselves on steak (and chocolate mouse...with steak). It was a great evening.
An amusing sidenote for those outside of Ohio...the All American Quarter Horse Congress is in town for the next week or so. It's the world's largest single breed horse show (what that actually means in size-terms, I'm not quite certain...It's been never since I've cowboyed). Anyway, the cowboys have been given a temporary home, but there isn't a place for the buffalo to roam; because they ate them all. Upon arrival, our waitress informed us that they were out of Top Sirloin, Kansas City Strips, Cowboy Ribeyes, and Porterhouse steaks. Apparently, the vegetarian dishes are not that popular this time of year.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
You're at the Ohio State/Michigan game with your baby. He/She has a diaper full of Michigan and there's not a changing table in sight. Do you rest him/her comfortably in a urinal? Hand him/her off to a complete stranger? So many decisions...
Ladies and gentleman! Boys and girls!
I give you...THE BABY KEEPER!!!
The Babykeeper is a patent pending infant carrier style seat, that hangs from the stall wall in most public restrooms, and can also be used in many public fitting rooms.
Almost as cool as the Giordani Bambino Carriage. For $2200, it's kind of like buying your baby an Airstream!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
The Columbus baby shower pictures are also now available at Ofoto. This link should be able to take you straight to the site. Just click HERE.
The mural in the nursery is finally finished. I think I might have bit off a little more than I could chew with this one. It’s a “block-print” style mural depicting an ocean pier at night. I had borrowed an overhead projector from work to help me stencil the painting onto the wall. After about 25% of it was painted, the bulb blew and I had to change it. After the new bulb was in, I couldn’t (for the life of me) get the picture to line up again and had to freehand the rest of it. Not fun. All in all it took about 7 coats of paint and touch-ups to get the desired effect.
Please ignore the burro piñata in the crib. Now, all we have left is to get a couple of plants, some curtains, and the camcorder and we should be good to go.
We’re also super excited for the Thomas family to make their voyage out Ohio. Rachel’s mom and sister should be here on November 10th, with her brother and dad arriving soon after on the 16th. I hope baby will hold out until then. I still believe we’re going to have a Halloween baby, just because of all the recent movement. A couple of days ago Rachel had her belly exposed and I could actually see the judo chops from all the way across the house. The baby dojo is out of control. He/She has got to be a black belt by now. The Thomas family trip will also be interesting for another reason…it’s going to be OSU/Michigan week. We were scared that they wouldn’t be able to get a hotel room, but it looks like things are going to work out. 100,000+ at the stadium, with another million tailgaters outside, will definitely be a site to see. You can’t really prepare for Michigan week when you’ve never seen it before. My buddy Jared is also trying to acquire tickets for the game, but last time I checked they were going for $2000+ on Ebay. Insanity!
Speaking of which, I’m not sure how many people know the story or not, but this is a good one. After the wedding in Mexico, Jared (my best man) informed us that we needed to give him a nephew, but we had to wait until Thanksgiving. He would be in town in November and it would be perfect timing. Well, after trying for 5 months, it looks everything was panned out just right. Not only can he predict stock prices to a tee, but he can also plan humans! So the Sweitzer’s will be in from Phoenix right around the delivery, as well. Visitors from all over, family, friends and a new baby. What more could we ask for?
And last but not least, congratulations to Chris and Deena on their new daughter. Some of you might remember Chris as a groomsman in Mexico, and Deena as the Universal Life Church-ordained minister of the ceremony. Her name is Lauren Olivia, weighing in at 8 lbs. 3 oz, and 20 inches in length, with 20 hours of labor! What a beautiful baby. We couldn’t be happier for them. Now, on to getting them a playmate…
Thursday, October 05, 2006
If you want to know why I'm worried about raising a technologically savvy child, click here.
And the worst part is, not only did their son buy it, but he bought the Barbie version.
Side Note: I promise to have the Columbus baby shower pictures up soon. With no internet at the house, blogging isn't as easy as it used to be. Sorry :(