Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Daddy club is moving

I'm not sure that I ever had any readers other than my wife (and one person from work that I know of!), so this won't be that big of a deal.  However I am moving this blog over to WordPress and it will be a little more generic in nature.  I'm moving my blog to http://randombantering.wordpress.com/

I still plan on talking a lot about baby boy, even though it's been over a month since I've posted here!  But I also want to post about a few other things as well.  Explore my writing a bit more if you will.  I have been doing a bit more writing and I'm really enjoying it. Trying to keep it up instead of frittering away time on games and other stuff that's really worthless.

So come and join me at my new address: http://randombantering.wordpress.com/

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making dad jealous

This is going to sound like a yo moma joke, but it's not meant that way.  Baby boy (BB) now has some fat on him and it's given him the appearance of having some muscular shoulders and I'm jealous!  Yeah he looks like he's got a couple of cannon balls sitting on his shoulders!  I know it's vain, but not once have I had a semblance of look like that.

Which I suppose is why I'm trying to get to the gym more often.  We now a have a membership to the local YMCA which is nice.  However yesterday I felt like I shouldn't be lifting weights because I didn't have any tattoos.  I really just try and go about my routine and get out (I'm actually looking for some sort of routine right now) of the tattoo boys ways!

I think I said it in a previous post, that one of the reason's I wanted to work out was so that when BB is old enough that I can play on the field with him. Be that "cool" dad who can be out on the soccer field or whatever.  I'll admit it's a struggle at times to get to the gym. In the end I hope it's going to pay off in my health but also so that I can give BB a good example to follow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Been to long

It's been a few weeks since I've posted anything here.  Not excuses really.  Just life getting in the way and letting other things be more important or seem more important.

Baby boy (BB) is doing quite well.  He's quickly approaching 11 lbs at three months.  Doesn't sound like much, but from where he was when he was born it's incredible.  He's also a lot more interactive.  He will smile at as now when we smile at him and will coo and giggle (not sure if that's the correct term) when we are playing.  It seems like each day he takes a step forward.  We may not realize it, but he does.

There are a few things that concern us a bit, but we've talked to the doctors and they've said this is normal.  At night time, if he's spit up, he spends a bunch of time clearing his throat and grunting.  Luckily this usually happens in early morning (3:30 or 4:30) and one of us, mostly the wonderful wife, will come upstairs and let him sleep on our chest.  He really loves that and it stops him from clearing his throat.

We did go out for a little hike this weekend, which was BB's first.  He slept while we were hiking!  Nothing to bad, but enough to get out and stretch the legs and see how he did.  Afterwards we had a little picnic and he was awake and looking all around.

We also did take him to Outback for lunch.  I was a bit nervous about it, but he once again slept.  I've been in those restaurants where the parents have their child and they are just screaming their head off and the parents are just ignorning it while the whole restaurant is looking at them.  I don't want to be those parents, but am slowly coming to realize that we've got to live our lives too and BB is now a part of that so he needs to be included.

I'm hoping to be a bit more consistent on writing here (this is the third time I've said this here by the way!).  It feels good to write!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Babies don't come with owners manuals!

This is pretty obvious, however you don't realize it until you have a crying baby on your hands and you just can't figure out why he's crying.  You start going down the list.

Has he eaten?  Yeah he only ate 1.5 hours ago.

Does he have a messy diaper. Sort of, so change the diaper.  That calms him for a few minutes and then he's back to screaming.

Okay now to see if we can soothe him by walking around and doing the baby bounce.  Nope that's not working either.

Maybe he does need to eat.  Lets see. We stick a pinkie in his mouth and he takes after it like a Piranha.

Okay he's hungry but the milks in the fridge and needs to be heated up.

Finally we are able to get him the bottle and he drinks it down like he's never been fed and afterwards he calms down.

I wouldn't trade it for the world because I know I'll look back on this and know it was all for good, however I wish he would have came out with an owners manual titled "What to do for me when I'm crabby dad!".

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A webcam for your baby?

I know the title sounds bad but here me out first.  But let me back track a bit.  For someone who works in the technology field I find myself a bit behind at times. For instance I don't have an iPad or any other tablet/ebook reader. Would I like to have one?  Yes I would.  But do I have the money to just run out and get one on a whim?  Nope (wouldn't it be nice if we all could?).  And until recently I've avoided the webcam stuff.

Now I am webcam enabled...or should I say BB is?  It was lightly "suggested" by my dad, BB's grandfather, as a way for them to see him when they can't make it down (basically 9 months of the year). So I relented and got myself a Skype account and ordered a web cam.  After a few blue screens of death (Logitech webcams and Western Digital Smartwise don't like to play) I got it installed.  And I made my first call to none other than my dad and mom...with BB in hand.  I got to say...it's awesome!  Clarity is pretty good.  We got an issue or two to work out with audio, but overall it works pretty good.  Really good as a matter of fact.  I can get 720p resolution which is just about as good as it can get without being right there.

Well BB has awoken from his slumber and needs a bit of attention!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2 Month checkup

So baby boy, believe it or not, is 2 months old.  Last Friday M took BB into have his 2 month check up.  Prior to the check up we had a gazillion page document (not really that long, but fairly long) to fill out.  It three things that we had to check in reference to some of their questions.  These were developmental questions.  For instance: Does he smile when you smile at him. BB doesn't do this now, but I think it's only a matter of time before he does.  Speaking of smiling.  Last week while I was at work I got this call from M and she was just ecstatic.  She had been out to the mall with BB and while she was putting him back into the car he gave her a big smile!!  Not a gas induced smile but an honest to goodness smile!

Any how the appointment went well, but there were a few things that we learned that I thought I'd pass along.  There are certain things in the development of a premie that you base off of their due date and not their actual born on date.  What those are, I couldn't tell you right now but we were reassured that he's doing just fine, we just needed to realized that although he's 8 weeks old he's still only 3 to 4 weeks past his due date so he's got some catching up to do.

He's weighing in at 8lbs and is 20 inches long. This is from a birth weight of 3lbs 13 ounces and 16.75 inches long.  Everytime I pick him up I think he's put on some more weight.  He does have the double chin going like most babies!

That's about all I got for now.  Hope everyone had a great 4th of July and was safe.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chest Hair and Babies

While my parents were here we discovered that baby boy (BB) really likes to be on his stomach.  Back when I was a baby the nurses and doctors apparently told my parents that I was to sleep on my stomach.  It's a 180 degrees different now.  They now believe that SIDS is caused by babies sleeping on their stomach.  But I digress.

So when he's upset either M or I will pick him up and walk around with him while he's facing our chests. Most of the time this will calm him down, but sometimes it doesn't.

Yesterday I came home from work and I was walking with BB and I had on a polo shirt that I had unbuttoned a bit (finally warmer her in Wyoming!).  While we were walking around BB had a fit of gas which most of the time is a lot of fussing. Little did I know that he was also balling up his hand that was on my chest.  And along with him making a fist a bunch of my chest hair went into his fist and I gave a slight grimace.  I think this is a pleasure that only a baby can give.  I'm pretty sure most chest hairs are to short for adults hands (if your into that kind of thing!).  After I was out of pain and BB had let go I wondered if it was time to shave the chest until BB was old enough to not grab onto anything that he could.  As of now the answer to that question is no, but if it happens to much more then the answer may quickly become yes!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stay at home moms vs working moms

For the foreseeable future M is going to be staying home with baby boy.  For awhile she wanted to go back to work, in August, but I felt that it was just too soon to be sending our boy off to spend 8 hours with someone that we might not know and might not share the same views as us on parenting.  Having said that I don't really have a clear picture of what a working mom is like, but I can tell you that a stay at home mom is a working mom and M is doing a fantastic job.  Our boy couldn't have anyone better.

If you and your spouse decide to nurse (breast feed) guys you will be lucky as you will not be involved in the feeding process much anymore (there will be the occasional hot chocolate calls and help when your not going to work the next morning).  For the mother of the house not so lucky.  This is a full time job and maybe more. Don't fool yourself into thinking it is anything else. Every 2.5 hours to 3 hours your child will need to be fed.  As for a working mom I can only imagine trying to pump enough milk for that period of time that you are at work.  For those that decide formula is the way to go, when then life gets a bit easier, but there's still the whole preparation.  M told me that she had read how much it costs for formula and if memory serves me correctly, it's on the $3,000 to $5,000 dollar range.  Yikes!

For some people it might not be possible to have a parent stay at home, but if it is possible I'd recommend putting your ego aside and having someone stay at home.  I believe that the benefits outweigh the other side of the equation.  M will probably go back to work in a few years, but we'll see.  Perhaps she'll stay home until BB is school age, but I know right now I'm glad with the decision.  M might not agree with me depending on how she's feeling (tired most of the time) but in the long run I think she'll be glad that she did.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time Management for new dads

I would take a wild guess that most dads, like myself, don't really think about this when their baby is on the way. Your time is really cut down to basically nothing.  Used to be able to play your video games? Well it's gone.  Want to get outside and work that spare tire you got hanging around your belly?  Not going to happen.  Now that's probably a slight over exaggeration, but you will find yourself with less time that you used to have.

I realized this yesterday when I had lunch.  M and baby boy we're out to lunch with a friend and I was home alone by myself.  After taking the dog for a walk I was fixing lunch and thought "what should I do with myself?".  I could do some writing (yes I've been writing...just not here!) or I could watch one of the TV shows I recorded or I could get on my computer.  In the end I decided to start watching one of the TV shows I recorded, but it didn't stop there.  By making that decision I was missing out on possible writing time and whatever else I could have been doing.  I'm still in the process of learning when I can and can't do things.  Luckily I can steal an hour away in the morning if all goes well, so that's when I've been doing a lot of the things that I need to or want to.

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't change this experience for anything in the world.  It's an incredible experience, challenging at times, but you'll have to make these decisions when your new son or daughter is brought home.

Baby boy is doing well.  He's gaining weight like there's no tomorrow, which in turn is making M a bit tired at times, but she's an incredible mom and I keep encouraging her.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I have a plan for another post and hope to post that up this weekend sometime.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Zoo!

The grandparents are still here and my little brother (although he's bigger than me now!) arrived on Saturday.  We now have three dogs in the house.  On dog who is senile and bumps into everything and has a hard time holding his movements until he gets outside and one dog who is an uber bitch (pardon the language!).  Jasper, our dog, would just like to play with someone but no one wants to play so he's a bit disappointed, but he's been a trooper through it all.  The cats could really care less as long as they get fed and fed on time.  Even this morning one of them buffaloed my dad into feeding him, so he got fed twice!  Yes out cats love to eat.

With having three extra people in the house, it sometimes feels like a zoo.  We go through coffee at an almost alarming rate (we are using our backup coffee maker because we'd be in the poor house if we were using the 1 cup maker!).  Our fridge is probably wondering when these other people will leave because it's packed to the brim with food and various other items.  And the counters can get quite messy at times. And to think that there is a family that has 19 kids and counting.  I can't imagine what it would be like!

Despite all of this I love having family here with us. This year, I got to be with both my dad and mom for the fathers and mothers day holiday.   M and I have always lived apart from family so it's a special treat when family does come to visit.  There are times when both of us think it would be great to live closer to family, but then there are times when we'd rather not.  With Baby Boy here, I think both of us would like some sort of closer family, but for the moment things are not to be.

The family will be taking off bright and early tomorrow morning and I will be off to work (been working since last Thursday).  M and BB will be home by themselves once again.  If the weather turns nice I'd take a guess that M will take BB down to the park for a walk.  And we will be back to normal...or whatever normal is now days!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grandparents to the rescue!

My parents have been with us since last Saturday evening and it's been great.  I know some families don't get along but we get along pretty well and it's been a blessing to have them around.

Since they've been around the block twice, with my brother and I, we've been able to ask them questions about things we don't or didn't know.  For instance the hospital said we should let baby boy (BB) sleep on his back, which translated into him being on his back for nearly everything.  However we have discovered that he really really likes being on his stomach. So if we are holding him for whatever reason (more on that in a second) he's usually on his stomach.

One downside, and it's not really that much of a downside, is that I think he's getting used to being held and when it's time to go to bed in his bassinet...well it can be a challenge. During the day he's almost like a hot potato going from M to grandma to grandpa and myself if he doesn't need to be fed again.  If he does then it's back to M for more feeding and we repeat the cycle.

Lastly one of the best things, or not, is that M and I have been able to get out and do a few things while not having to worry about BB.  Last Sunday morning we went shopping at Walmart and it was kind of strange to be there without him.  And this Saturday night, we have been told we can have a date night.  Dinner and a movie for us!!  We are just having a really hard time figuring out which movie to go to!

He did get weighed again yesterday and he's quickly approaching double his birth weight.  He now weighs in at 6lbs 9.5 ounces.  His birth weight was 3lbs and 13 ounces.  My mom has told me that when he doubles his weight he will be the weight he was when I was born almost 34 years ago!

I hope that other daddy's and families are able to take advantage of their parents/grandparents should they offer to help you with your young one.  It does take the stress off for a bit.  And with that I've got to get ready to go back to work.  I've had the first 3 days of this week off and it's been great, but now I must head back into work!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The 3am wake up call

I suppose I got through the pregnancy pretty good.  M didn't have any 3 AM cravings for something that we didn't have so I should count my blessings.  However just the other night as I was reaquanting myself with my mistress known as sleep I got a wake up to go and get her something.  

For over a week now I have been the lucky one that gets to sleep.  M is now breast feeding baby boy full time which means I get to sleep in and sleep, my mistress has come back.  It's not back to normal, but we'll get there eventually.  

The other night M woke me up at 3 AM.  The conversation and thoughts went something like this.  

M: Honey
Me: Huhhhh...
M: Would you go and get me some hot chocolate.

Not realizing what she was asking I said yes.  I started to get up out of bed and then I sat back down thinking this had to be some sort of dream.  And then I heard BB whimper a bit and I realized that it was not in fact a dream.  At that point I almost said "are you serious?", but didn't.  Instead I got up and got her the hot chocolate like a good husband does.  What I should have done was pounded on the wall and told grandma and grandpa to fix some hot chocolate since they are here now, but I didn't!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

No initiation yet!

While baby boy (BB) was in the hospital one of the nurses kept asking if I'd been initiated as a dad yet.  By initiation she meant if I'd been peed on by BB while changing his diaper.  The answer then and the answer now is no I have not, but there have been a few close calls...but not with pee.  Yeah with the other one. 

BB when he's getting ready to do his business, number 1 or 2, gets a wind up.  By a wind up I mean he starts to fuss and make a lot of noise.  At times it's hard to tell if he's hungry or if he's just getting ready to leave us a present in his diaper.  So when he does this fussiness and I know he's been fed recently I go and change his diaper.  He's let a few things go and I think he's done.  However there's been a couple of times that right before I'm about to undo his diaper he lets it go.  Or right after I've done up his new diaper. 

I know that one of these days I'll be initiated, but for now I'm free.  There is an upside to cleaning a fresh diaper.  It's easy to clean up from his bottom! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Daddy Fit Club...or not!

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that most dads, much like their wifes, gain a few pounds during a pregnancy.  The exception to this might be if your some super duper elite athlete training for a specific event.  Even if you didn't put on a few pounds I'm going to say that you've gotten a bit flabbier during this time.  I fall into this second category.  I didn't put on any weight, but I'm flabbier and weaker!

There was a time in the way past where I was a workout machine.  No I wasn't sporting abs or anything like that, but I was in much better shape than I am now.  Deadlifts, squats and bench press were my bread and butter!  It all went down hill when we moved to Wyoming.  Not sure why that is, but it's just been down hill since then.  I've tried to get back onto some sort of routine, but it just doesn't happen.  I can come up with every excuse in the book but the best one and one most on point is I'm being lazy.

I tried to get going a few weeks ago, but with the lack of sleep it wasn't happening.  Things appear to have taken a change for the better, I'm no longer getting up at all hours of the night to get bottles, so I think now is the time where I can start to workout again.

So I'm putting out a call.  I need some motivation from other dads!  How did you get through this phase?  I don't want to be the dad that's on the sidelines.  I want to be the dad that's out there running with his son.  Hiking to the tops of mountains and just overall being active.

If your a dad that's seeking motivation in return drop me a comment or direct message me on twitter.

So if things go as I want them to you'll probably be seeing a few updates here and there about how workouts are going (and probably some weight loss thrown in for good measure and motivation!). No this won't be a strictly workout blog, I'll still have posts about BB.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ramblin man!

This is going to be a mish mash of various different things.

BB is doing great.  He's almost 6 lbs and today is his official due date. So even though he was 5 weeks early physically, I feel, that he's pretty much caught up to where he should be.  Mentally he may not be there, but we'll see.  He's growing like a weed!

And we got some good news yesterday.  BB no longer needs to feed from the bottle. So this means I get more sleep...or not.  Last night was not that night.  Ever hour and a half BB was up crying for more food.  Apparently when he's getting his food from M he falls asleep.  So he's got some adjusting to do.  During the day he seems to do just fine.

Last week I'd mentioned that I'm trying to make some adjustments.  I'm still trying to do so and things are going okay.  Here's one of the things that I struggle with.  Concentrating on one thing.  For instance I've got a web development project that I really want to get done and see if it's possible to sell.  However last evening after I'd read a few pages of the last Harry Potter book I thought I should drop the web development and throw myself into writing.  So that's where I come from.  I feel that in order to do both well one has to be dropped in favor of another.  Well at least right now with all that's going on.  Anyone else feel like this or is it just me??

I am going to try and post more here, again, so be patient.  At least three times a week if not more!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Change change change!

I knew it was coming.  I really did and I had prepared myself for it.  Despite that I still find myself struggling from time to time with all of the changes that a new child brings into your life.  Let me first say that I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world, but I'd be lying if I told you everything was peachy keen!  There are a ton of changes to your life when you bring a child into this world and some of those changes you just can't prepare for.

I'm still adjusting to waking up whenever BB feels like it.  Usually he needs to be fed or his diaper changed or sometimes he just wants to be held, like this morning.  On the plus side he is growing like a weed.  We've been told he's gaining an ounce of body weight a day (he's up over 5lbs now).  So this reassures me that we are doing everything well.  M's been great in letting me sleep as much as I can since I'm working, but I know she gets exhausted so I try and pick up the slack where I can and I'm not sure I do a good job of that.

To top it all off I'm trying to make some other adjustments as well. I'm trying my hardest to continue my education in my field of work...or the work I do that I enjoy the most!  I once had an interview where they asked me what I did to stay current in my field. Well then and now I have no answer to that question. So I'm trying to remedy that by taking some hours away from a really useless pursuit (Warcraft anyone?) and put it towards educating myself.  Despite the lack of posts here, I'm still trying to write.  I don't have some super secret blog project or something else going on (although I wish I did!).  I just want to write.  I've always wanted to write since I was in my teens.  Specifically I want to write fiction of some sort.

So I'm going to try and make a more concerted effort to get here and write as its something I really want to do.  However until I find a schedule things might be a bit sparse. Oh did I mention that we finally have some sort of  weather here in Wyoming that resembles spring or summer?  Yeah I've got a bunch of yard work that I need to do.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The best appliance that you'll never think of.

I'm here to tell you about an appliance that you can get and will make your life so much easier as a new parent.  It will help you get more sleep and help you stay awake when you need to.  It won't be anything that you think of!  Let me paint a picture for you.


Premies, and probably new borns, need to be fed every couple of hours. Baby boy (BB) is eating every 2.5 hours.  So up the stairs I trudge and grab a bottle out of the fridge.  But it's got to be warm.  Can't microwave it because it will make it to hot in spots.  The bottle we are currently using will not fit into the bottle warmer we have.  Enter the Keurig One Cup Coffee machine!

Despite my dislike for this machine at times, it can be temperamental (needs either stern talking to or lots of encouragement...I got for the stern!), it has saved me some sleep time.  It is ready to brew water in between 30 and 45 seconds.  The bottle warms up in about 2 minutes and I'm stumbling my way back downstairs to pass it off to M or to feed BB myself.  If we didn't have this thing I'd be up there trying to boil water to get the bottle warm.  Who knows how long that would take.

And did I mention it makes a pretty good cup of coffee?  It's usually when I'm pretty tired that the machine needs a good lesson in who is boss!  After that it's good for awhile!

They are a bit pricey, I originally didn't want to get one of these 2+ years ago, but it's trucking right along and saving me some sleep time!

Any other appliances that I should check out for other uses?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tired or Lazy

I haven't posted in a few days and I really have no excuse.  I'm going to lean on the fact that I'm tired but more than anything it's probably the fact that I'm lazy.

Baby boy is doing well.  He's not sleeping much at night so that makes it a bit rough, but with the three day weekend we are making sure to get some extra sleep in when we can.

I thought I had more to say, but right now my mind is flowing with other information.  So this will have to do for now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SwaddleMe Baby to the rescue

I originally wanted to title this post "Baby Straight Jacket to the Rescue" but figured that some people might not share my sense of humor and as a worse case scenario I might have the local police knocking on my door!

My mother told me that a few of my cousins who have recently had children recommended SwaddleMe Baby.  We didn't think much of it.  We would swaddle baby boy (BB) in a receiving blanket and be on with it.  He really liked it.

However the other night he was just throwing a fit with his arms flailing about and a receiving blanket wasn't doing it.  Apparently the arm flailing scares them.  So M went and busted out one of the packages of SwaddleMe's we had and we put him in one.  Literally when it's done it looks like he's in a straight jacket.

To date it has been one of the better nights of sleep I've got.  However last night was a bit challenging.  BB was still in his SwaddleMe, but he managed to get his arms out.  I think this is because the SwaddleMe stuff we are using is for larger babies and he's still less than 5 lbs.  If we had the premie version I think he'd be fine.

Any how I give these things 5 out of 5 stars!  But if money is an issue I'm sure swaddling in a receiving blanket can do just as good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

There is hope!

I was sent out yesterday to get somethings that we needed for BB and M.  At the store I grabbed a cart and headed in the general direction of where I thought the items might be (I don't usually go to this store) and I found what I needed.

As I was getting to the aisle I saw a mom and a dad and a baby.  At the baby section I saw a couple that was expecting and looking at strollers. I really wanted to stop and say something to them, but I wasn't sure what I would say other than "good luck and sleep as you know it will be a distant memory". Probably not the best terms to tell someone who is expecting! As I made my way to the pharmacy section, for a humidifier, I saw a dad alone, with his two children.  I stopped for a half a second to see if mom was around holding some kind of control button because the children were being really well behaved.

And with that I knew there was hope.  It's been a few rough nights here in the house and although I wasn't really concerned, it was nice to see that there are better times ahead.  M and I have joked that this first year is probably going to be one of the toughest and after that it should be more entertaining.  Not that BB is for our entertainment purpose, but we will be able to interact a bit more with him.

So when did your baby make the turn for you?

Friday, May 20, 2011

The feeding schedule of premies

When our baby boy (BB) was in the neonatal ICU the nurses asked us what type of feeding schedule we'd like him on.  Apparently they didn't know that BB was our first and we had no clue. So we settled on feeding him every three hours.  It was an 8, 11, 2 and 5 schedule that repeated two times in a day.

So we brought BB home on Monday and continued on with that schedule.  The first night was brutal, especially for someone like me who likes their sleep.  I can get up early with the best of them, but I need my sleep.  Not with BB in the house.  I knew it was going to be a change, but ugh was the sentiment that morning.

On Wednesday we had our first appointment with the doctor to see how he was doing.  He actually put on some weight, so we are feeding him correctly.  I was kind of wondering there for a bit because he was pooping like there was no tomorrow (this seems to have faded a bit as of today).  And the doctor asked us how often we were feeding him.  We told her that we were on the same schedule as the NICU, but were wondering if we could change it up as he was getting hungrier earlier and the night time was brutal. She said yes we could change it up and the schedule at the NICU is not all that realistic for home.  Especially at night, if BB would go 4 hours we could hold off on feeding him that long, but he still needed to get in 8 meals a day.

We are on the 2nd day of this schedule and things are going well.  Still a lot of getting up and running upstairs like a zombie and heating up a bottle for him, but I seem to be doing okay.  M on the other hand, nature instinct or not, is spending a lot of time up with BB when he makes a groan or a grunt. I think eventually she'll learn what is what and be able to sleep through it, but for now she's awake quite a bit and has made the comment that coffee in the morning feels like a jump start to the system!

So in the end, we basically feed when we see BB rooting around or he starts fusing a lot.  Never going more than 4 hours for a feeding.  Most of the time it's 2.5 hours for him, but he has done a couple longer and shorter than that.  He's really starting to chug the milk down.

The real test of all of this will be next week when I head back to work.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Every newborn should have a police escort on their way home!

On Monday we took our baby boy home.  As I've mentioned before it's a 45 mile trip, one way, to where he was at.  At normal speeds it takes about 30 minutes to get there (or back!). 

So on Monday we drove down with our car seat, just in-case he'd fit, he didn't, and met with the car seat guy for instruction on the one we'd be borrowing.  We spent about an hour learning all of the ins and outs of a car seat and proper installation. Finally the car seat was installed and we had to go and get baby boy.  He'd been moved due to staffing issues, but we found him and we gave him a meal before our venture home. 

I'd read in baby books, leading up to this, that as a guy our driving habits would change as we'd now be responsible for another human being.  We'd be less aggresive as a driver and just more careful as we motored about. I saw none of that leading up to this.  When someone would turn down the wrong way in the parking lot I just parked the car right in the middle hoping that they'd realize that "oh I'm going the wrong way".  But no...we are stupid humans sometimes. 

However when we put baby boy in the car it was different.  It was as if a switch was flipped.  Well maybe not that bad, but turning on a red light now required more thought.  The interstate wasn't quite as bad, but we were surrounded by 18 wheelers who at times are not the best of drivers.  Add the wind, that a couple of weeks ago tipped over a manufactured home in transit, and I was a changed driver.  And I get to do it all over again today!  Possibly even in rush hour traffic.  I know it's something I've got to get used to but I think a police escort for the first year would best for everyone involved!

Anyone else have any stories of bringing your baby home?

Monday, May 16, 2011

And then he came home!

This weekend we received some great news.  Our baby boy is coming home with us today!  We hadn't really expected this for at least another week.  However on Saturday when we visited him the nurse kind of hinted that he might be ready to go home on Monday or Tuesday.  As we were driving down yesterday M received a call from the doctor and he said that he'd be good to go home on Monday.  So today I work half a day and then I'm off for the rest of the week as we begin to get into a routine with our new family member.

There's been a ton of information thrown at us over the last few days preparing for this.  I hope that I'm able to remember everything.  We've done a quick infant CPR class, we've got a infant/premie car seat thing today and more information to go over!  Luckily the hospital we are at is great and they will be sending us home with a few trees worth of papers that we can refer to.

I'm sure I'll have some more posts coming as we make this adjustment but here are a few things we are dealing with.


  • Unless our boy gained 2 ounces last night, we are bringing home a baby that is less than 4 lbs (and only 37 weeks old). 
  • He's still got his umbilical "stump" (not sure what they call that!) attached (We've been advised DO NOT pull it off even if it's loose)!
  • Two cats and a dog that are going to feel put out of place and probably further down on the totem pole (no biggie for the cats, but for the dog it will be an issue)
  • Lastly a mom and dad who have become very used to their sleep schedule. We are now going to be getting up on a feeding schedule of 8, 11, 2 and 5 and repeat for a total of 8 feedings. 
  • Oh and did I mention that M has a few doctors appointments this week which means daddy will be left alone with baby boy for a few hours.  I know I can handle it, but the thought right now is a bit overwhelming!
So ready or not here we go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thank goodness for insurance

I'm still around and kicking.  I haven't keeled over from the hospital bill!  Blogger was down yesterday when I wanted to post something, which is okay because M found out about our hospital stay yesterday.  

Let me first say that I'm more of a fan of insurance than I have been in the past!  I kind of freaked out this last week and got really concerned about our hospital stay.  M took the brunt of it, which I shouldn't have done, but it just hit me at that time.  

Being the great wife that she is M went into the financial office yesterday and asked about our bill.  Had it been me when the numbers were revealed I probably would have wound up in the hospital.  I won't give exact figures here, but lets just say I'd like to make that amount in a year!  But thank goodness for M's wonderful health insurance.  In the end we are going to only pay about $4,000 out of pocket.  If it had been my insurance, which I do have, it would have been significantly more.  Here's a couple of other things that came out of it, that you may or may not want to hear. 

We are middle class.  Because we are middle class we will have to pay the $4,000 deductible.  Had we been super rich, or high class, no big deal.  If we were low class, well then 100% of it would have been paid by the government or grant or something along those lines (M asked about this).  I'm starting to see a pattern here.  You can take this same equation for college education.  If your high class you've got it made and if your low class, you've also got it made with all the grants and such.  It almost makes you wonder if working hard and busting your ass is worth it when you stop and think about it.  

I'll get off my high horse here, but I'd be curious to see what other people think.

We are going to go and spend part of the day with baby boy! Looking forward to it.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Daddy amateur hour

I'm going to take a guess that most dads (and probably some moms) haven't spent a lot of time around infants.  Toddlers perhaps but infants not so much.  This is me and I could add the toddlers to the equation as well (so this is where I'm coming from..I'm sure you'll get a laugh out of my adventures).

Yesterday I took off of work early (after a panic of locking myself out of the house) and headed to the hospital to see baby boy.  I hadn't seen him since Sunday afternoon and was really looking forward to it.  I must have been pretty excited because I got there a bit early, so I sat around and dinked around with my cell phone while waiting to do his duties.  We've been doing the duties (temperature, diaper changed, and move the oxygen meter from one foot to another) for awhile now so I was pretty comfortable with that stuff.  The duties went well and the nurse took a few other measurements.  Then she asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin (also known as kangaroo care I've found out).  I said sure.

So I get all settled in and she hands little boy to me and we begin to get ready to feed.  At first she was going to use a syringe (through the nose) but I questioned it and she remembered that he was bottle feeding (I can't say this enough...speak up if there's something they are doing that you know differently!). And this is where the amateur in me begins to come out.

I'd fed baby boy before but we are learning a new method called pacing.  Pacing allows them to feed on the bottle, but at a slower rate.  And he's in a new position.  This didn't go so bad, but I need more practice.  When things got bad it was with the burping.  She showed me on position for burping and I did okay...I think!  Then he ate some more and she told me to burp him while she went to attend to another baby.  Panic. She told me to put him on my shoulder, but I'd never done it before.  Infants have no control of their head so I wasn't sure what to do other than support his head. Was I supposed to throw him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes?  Long story short he drank all of his milk (he did have to be reminded!) and M tells me that what I did for the shoulder burp was good.

So guys you're going to feel way out of your element with an infant and especially with a premie.  I'm sure there's going to be more times of panic and not knowing what to do, but I'll learn and move on with it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Going back to work after you've had your baby

You ever have that feeling when your done with a vacation that you just don't want to go back?  Well that was my feeling today when I went back, but only about 100 times worse.  I didn't want to be there.  I wanted to be with my baby boy and hold him.  But alas I wasn't able to.  However tomorrow afternoon I plan on driving down to see him for a couple of hours.  

Coming back from the birth is tiring (and this isn't even with the boy being home!).  Chances are you're up at least once a night with your wife for various things. Last night it was to kill a giant spider that was lurking in the bathroom waiting to pounce on M and turn her into Spiderwoman.  But alas her valiant husband got out of bed and killed it with a flip flop!  Most of the time it's for support and help as she's trying to pump.  Yeah guys you will be helping and this goes on every 2 to 3 hours, so just be prepared.  

But in the end I made it through the day.  The boy is fine the wife reports, I'm not as tired as I was at lunch (could have slept the rest of the day) and I will go back to work tomorrow. When he comes home I'll be taking another week off as I suspect that will be as stressful as the last week.  Some people have commented that the lack of sleep continues for the next 18 years.  I hope not, but if that's the case so be it. Only a week in and it's been an incredible journey that I wouldn't trade for anything else!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Emotional

For the first time in almost a week we got to sleep in our bed last night.  It was nice to sleep in our own bed but also bittersweet.  Our baby boy has to stay in the hospital for awhile longer.  How long we aren't sure, but he has to stay here while we are home.  It was a very emotional time leaving him here and also arriving at home without him.

Throughout the week while we were in the hospital I saw other dads and moms leaving with their new one's and it made me jealous. I was happy for them and their new one, but both M and I wanted to take out baby boy home with us and begin that process. 

We know in the end it's better that he's at the hospital getting the best care that he can, but it's still really hard.  So for the next few weeks M will be travelling daily down to see him.  I'll be going back to work and visiting on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When he does come home I'll take another week off of work. 

So posts will probably be here and there while I have a free few minutes.  As many new parents know, even without bringing a baby home, that free time seems to be in short supply. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We have a baby boy!

On my previous post I mentioned that we had a growth scan on Monday.

We had our growth scan ultrasound at 1:20 pm and a follow up doctors appointment at 2 pm.  M knew something wasn't right when the ultrasound tech didn't give her the papers to take over to the doctors visit.  In the past they have done that. 

This was the first time I'd met the doctor so I was kind of curious as to how she was compared to the mid-wives.  She was nice, but it was business.  After our meeting with her, I'll spare you the details, she told us that we needed to get over to the hospital.  The ultrasound showed that our baby was getting blood through the umbilical cord but sometimes the blood was being returned which was not a good sign. 

So we were admitted to the hospital, first time I've been into a hospital and into a room in about 10 minutes flat.  We had brought Jasper our dog with us thinking that we'd be able to go home and put him there.  Nope.  That was not the case.  Luckily we have a great set of friends and they rushed down here to be with us and get Jasper. 

By 4pm, via emergency c-section, we had a new baby boy in our family. That's how quickly it happened.  I actually made it through the c-section, which I'm pretty proud of.  My history with hospitals is not good. There's a combination of smells and temperature that makes me want to pass out, but we've been okay here. 

There are still hurdles for our little guy to get over (he's 5 weeks early, but according to the growth ultrasound he's almost 10 weeks early), but he's doing well and we couldn't have any better care in the region. 

Posting maybe sparse for the next couple of days, but I hope to get something out. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby Growth Scan today

Today is another important day for us...we think!  Today, if we've done our math right and marked our calenders correctly, we will get another growth measurement of our little boy.  Both of us are really hoping that he's reached the four pound mark and we can continue on with our journey.  The goal for us, once things switched around, is to make it to 37 weeks. So every time we talk about it we kind of end it by saying that we will be getting to 37 weeks.  Given this I'm a bit jittery this morning.  Like I've had about 10 cups of coffee in a few minutes!!!

If the doctors do decide that it's time I hope they give us a bit more time so that we can get the dog shuffled off and someone watching the cats.  It's not that we haven't planned for this, it's just that we really are up in the air right now.  Anyone of these trips to the doctors office could be the one where they tell us it's time.  Hopefully we have a few more weeks still!

This will also be the first time that I get to meet the doctor.  Which I'm kind of curious about.  I met with many of the mid-wives and they were very nice.  Almost annoyingly happy.  The one time that I went into the doctors side of things I was less than impressed and instantly thought "huh...there's a big difference in happiness in this side of the building".  But M has told me that things are okay with the doctors.  We probably just caught the nurse by surprise!

So I'm glad to get it out of the way so early in the week, but still very nervous.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and I'll let you know what happens on this afternoon.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby movement

Yesterday M didn't feel baby boy move that much and it really concerned her.  Because of her high blood pressure she was put on a higher dose of medicine and we were wondering if it may have adversely affected him.    We sat down for awhile and talked to him and he fluttered a bit but nothing like the previous day M said.  So to say the least we were both really concerned.

This morning M tells me that he's up moving and groving again.  I'm not sure if it's as much as the previous day, but he's moving quite a bit she said so she's not as concerned now.

She's discovered that there are certain things that will get him moving.


  • Ice Cold Water
  • Juice
  • And of course food!
Guys this is just another instance where there's not a lot that you can do...so get used to it.  I hate not being able to help in some aspect, but it's just the way it is!

And with that, I'm off to see Fast Five this morning!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Babies know what's going on outside of the womb!

A friend of my wifes told us that when she was pregnant with her last child she would put headphones on her belly before she went to bed and when he was born he'd fall asleep to that music.  And I'm sure you've heard of people reading to their baby while they are in the womb.  We did that for awhile, but for some reason have fallen off on doing that.  And lately I've been saying little things to our boy when I can put my hand on my wifes belly.

Dads it sounds strange and you might be embarrassed about it, but I believe it's a good to talk to your baby while he's in the womb. Chances are only you and your wife are going to know about this talking so get over it. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that he knows my angry voice, but M tells me he jumps a little when I yell at the cats for getting us up to early, but he does know my voice (I'm hoping that he will know my regular voice as well!!).  He also knows when our dog Jasper is near to M.  Jasper and M like to snuggle on the bed and Jasper is a bed hog.  There's no other way around it.  He just is. But when he's close to M's belly M tells me that baby gives a few kicks for good measure.  Although I have no way of knowing it, I think Jasper knows that there is something in M's belly as well.  I'm sure there are other things that our baby is aware of that we don't know of just yet, but these are a few of the things we've observed.  

So guys put your ego aside and give your baby a little encouragement or read to them each night or play music to them.  Who knows what will come from it.  As for me I have to get to work and send mom and baby off to their appointment this morning!

What did your baby recognize while they were in the womb?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Post round up from other parenting blogs

I've been following a few parenting blogs in my RSS reader and there were a few that cracked me up this morning so I thought I'd post a few links since I'm kind of taking Wednesday off to just chill!

Whose Children are These - I'd never thought that a child could not like pizza, but apparently they can!!!

Ding Dong - Although we never walked into an occupied house I have been woken up by work at unnamed hours and trying to figure out what they were trying to tell me!

The Bad Student Solution - With M being a teacher and the place I work for going after the teachers for a lot of things this is a discussion M and I have had.  And yet a 12 year old can figure out what's wrong with much of our education system.

On another note, M told me that something's different this morning.  She thinks baby might be dropping, but isn't 100% sure. She also had some contractions last night that she almost woke up me up for.  So I think things are moving, despite being a bit on the early side.  However both of us are bound and determined to make it to 37 weeks so our guy doesn't have to stay in the hospital that long.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How much does a pregnant women pee?

We had another doctors appointment yesterday, which included an ultrasound and meeting with the doctor.  Our little guy passed all of his tests on his ultrasound (8 out of 8), but was apparently close on one of them (practice breathing...didn't know that was possible!).  Everything went well with the doctor until I got a text message M saying that she had to do another pee test.

M did a pee test last week and was okay with it.  It ruled out preeclampsia and anything else that they might look for in it.  But she's been having high blood pressure so they put her on low dose of blood pressure medicine and asked that she do another pee test, which frustrated her.  It's another example of doctors not knowing what bed rest really is, in my opinion.

So the pee test is where she pee's into what looks like an upside down hard hat, except it's plastic and has sort of a spout to pour out of.  For M it goes into these 1 gallon orange containers.  Any man who has been around a pregnant lady knows that they pee a lot.  Oh and did I mention that they want the pee refrigerated?  So last night before we went to bed, M put together a cooler as she said there was no way she was going to be walking up the stairs with the "hat" half full of pee, half asleep and trying to pour it into the orange container.  I of course slept through all of this, but it was a success as I haven't heard anything about it this morning.

So to answer the question about how much a pregnant women pees.  Well last time she nearly filled 2 of these gallon containers in less than 24 hours.  And from the looks of the container next to my coffee creamer, we are on pace for the same this time!

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is not a problem you can solve guys!

Hopefully most of the guys, and women, that read this (which is few) are glad to be expecting a child and had planned on it.  Most guys will probably know much of what I'm going to talk about here, but perhaps your just starting your journey to becoming a dad.

Most men, myself included, like to fix stuff so that it works again.  The sink's food disposal unit is broken so you fix it and when your done you thump your chest and let everyone know what you just did.  Okay maybe that's just me, but I think you get the idea.  With your wife being pregnant there are going to be a lot of things that you'll see that you'll want to fix and the bottom line is that you can't!

Out of habit more than anything I usually ask my wife how she slept.  Well I did this not to long ago when sleep was starting to be an issue.  She was nice about it, but told me that she didn't sleep well and that this would be the way it was until the end.  And she's right.  There's nothing that I can do, or we as guys can do, to help our spouses out with stuff like this.  However there are other things we can do.

Being there is the single best thing, in my opinion, on what we can do.  Not out shooting pool with the guys, or drinking beers. Being home helping cook meals (we've found that we really enjoy cooking meals together), help clean the house and when she asks be willing to give her a massage!

It pains me at times to see her in some much discomfort, but I know that we are another day closer to a new family member.

Guys what other ways have you been there for your spouse?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holiday Traditions

My wife and I always enjoy the holidays, but at times it seems like there's something lacking.  I suppose we get caught up in the commercialization of the holidays like many other people, but I think it goes beyond that. When it's just the two of us it can be a bit on the boring side and I think by adding another member to our family will change that.  I'm not talking about our boy being an entertainment vessel but someone that we can dote on and I suppose spoil.

I've already been through the Toys R' Us Lego section and can see Lego's in the future (loved Legos when I was a kid).  But again it's more than the commercialization. Both of us have holiday memories that we've talked about and how it will be with our baby boy.  I remember at Easter, we'd have the usual egg hunt, but what I remember more than anything was the blowing bubbles we got and how the weather was.  It was usually a nice spring day (we woke up to a skiff of snow this morning!).

Since this is a holiday I'll keep it fairly short.

What holiday traditions do you remember as a kid and what new one's have you created with your children?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fast Friday

My brains a little muddled right now so I don't anticipate this being a long post or really on topic.

We had another appointment yesterday with the doctors (I should say that my wife did).  They have ruled out preeclampsia which we are both really happy.  However her blood pressure is still a bit high and they want us to measure it at home.  She told them yesterday that she gets really nervous going to the doctors office because the last few times all we've received is bad news. So she is taking her blood pressure at home a few times a day to see if it's any less.

And from what M told me if we make it to 37 weeks we are doing really well.  So I'm really hoping and praying that we are able to make it to 37 weeks so our little guy doesn't have to stay in the hospital for a few weeks (if he comes before 37 weeks it sounds like he'll have to stay there because he has not developed the suckling reflex. That is apparently developed at 36 weeks).  Given that he might come early we will both be packing bags  this weekend that we will take to the hospital.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to take, but I've been told I'm in charge of laptop and the video camera.  I'm pretty sure I can handle that.  Clothes and other such stuff I'm not sure, so if any of you have any advice on what else I should be bringing let me know!

That's about all I got right now.  I've got a few topics bouncing about in my head and I hope to get them written up this weekend.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pets and newborns

As I've mentioned in a past post we have two cats and a dog.  The cats have been with us for quite awhile, I think they will be 8 in late June and the dog will be 2 in early May.  Up until this point they have been our babies.  Now that we have another baby coming we've been a bit worried about how they will react to the new addition.

Tonks, our fat and happy cat, we don't think will be any problem with the new boy.  As long as he's fed and has a place to sleep and gets a love every now and then he's good.  If he doesn't get fed at exactly the right time you will know about it.  Quite literally.  Don't ask me how but he knows how to tell time. When it's an hour or so before feeding time he starts letting us know and continues for the next hour until he's fed.

Frodo is our other cat, but he's sometimes known as the devil incarnate.  This cat thinks he rules the house and is the one we worry about the most.  He demands attention.  If he doesn't get it, well then watch out.  Not to long ago he hadn't got the attention from me that he thought he needed or deserved, so he went and peed all over Jasper, the dogs, bed...right in front of me.  What he didn't realize was that he was actually peeing on my clothes.  Well he might have done that on purpose.  We are afraid he might get into the crib at some point when the baby is to young to defend himself and possibly smother him.  The other part, the more endearing part about Frodo, is that he can be quite lovey.  He really enjoys attention from just about anyone and if your sitting down he will end up in your lap.

To combat the cats, we've thought about getting a shock collar system or perhaps a fence type of system to keep them away from the baby for awhile.  Eventually we will have no problems with it, but while he's small, we aren't exactly sure what to do.  And before you say "lock them out of the room" that's a whole different story (see above out Tonks letting us know about being fed...our cats are very vocal and will howl and scratch for kingdom come!)

Jasper, the boxer of the house, can be a brute.  With me he likes to play.  M, my wife, says that he goes to her for loves and comfort and with me it's play and business time.  Which is true.  He doesn't play rough with M, but with me it's time to rumble.  I think it has to do with the alpha male thing.  He knows his place, but he likes to challenge it.  We think he'll be okay with the baby, but my worry is that he'll "box" at the baby.  There is a reason why boxers are named boxers.  Jasper, at least, uses his paws like a boxer and I've been hit with a couple of straight rights and a few left hooks from him.  That's my concern.  I think once he knows he can't be rough with the baby he'll be fine (and understand that he's gone down on the totem pole again!).

So how have you pets been with a newborn?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Un-normal Wednesday

This post will be a little different than the other posts I've put up.  This is one of those get to know me, the author, posts a little better.

Ever since I was in my teens I've wanted to be an author.  Specifically I wanted to be a fiction author and I still do.  However if you were to look at the documents stored on my computer and in the notebooks you'll see that I have a hard time finishing my stories.  Don't ask me why that is, because I haven't figured it out yet (if you have some magic method to get stuff like this finished please leave a comment!).  I did post on a writing forum once and they told me that I needed to come up with the ending of my story and work towards that.  So I tried it and it didn't work for me.  And for various reasons I haven't been writing much of anything lately.  I guess the biggest reason is laziness and life in general.

However I read this post by Michael Hyatt yesterday and I thought about it quite a bit yesterday.  And then I thought about this blog I've been working on for the past few days.  I started the blog to talk about the experiences of being a first time dad and to just write. To many times when I get in my writing mode I'm thinking of all of the bestselling authors out there and how nice it must be to wake up in the morning and have a cup of coffee and sit down for three or four hours and write.  My intention of this blog, like I said above, is to just write and to improve upon my writing and talk about the experiences I have as a first time dad.  Where this goes and takes me I'm not entirely sure, but we'll see.

Now off to work where I need to install a new network driver on a server and install some updates on various other servers!

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do doctors know what bed rest means?

As a result of our doctors appointment last week my wife has been put on bed rest.  What came along with that is what makes me question whether or not doctors really know what bed rest means?  Seriously.  Let me explain.

So they told my wife to be on modified bed rest, which meant she had to quit working.  We'd talked a little bit about this and what we should do when school started up next fall (my wife is a teacher).  The baby would only be a few months old and we weren't comfortable with shuffling him off to be raised by someone we might hardly know.  Long story short we are starting that sooner than we had planned, but we had talked about it and although we are still a bit concerned how everything will shake out we are good.  And modified bed rest meant in the AM she was to be in bed for an extra 2 to 3 hours and the same for the PM.

And here's the kicker that makes me think doctors don't know what bed rest means.  They wanted to schedule two times a week doctors appointments. Which doesn't really tell the full story. For example yesterday my wife had an ultrasound and then had another appointment with the doctor to look at the ultrasound and then after that had blood drawn. So there's a total of three appointments.  And as a result of yesterdays doctors appointment they want her to keep all of her urine for 24 hours.  Anyone who's been pregnant or has lived with someone pregnant knows that at this stage of the game (starting week 33!) going to the bathroom happens just about every hour or hour and a half. Plus she's driving 45 miles one way to get to these appointments.

So I'm left wondering if doctors really know what bed rest means?

Monday, April 18, 2011

What about a name

Ever since we knew we were having a boy we did what probably a lot of people do now days and went online looking for a name. We gathered a few and whittled them down over a little bit of time and now we have a note sitting on our fridge that we see whenever we get into the fridge. However we are still trying to figure out what we are going to name our little boy when he comes into this world.

We've got 2 cats and a dog that we've named and haven't had this much trouble coming up with a name before. So why is it that this is taking us so long? For me it's a couple of different things. When I'm thinking of a name I try and say it together with our last name to see if it sounds weird or odd in anyway. As much as I'd like to say our society is above making fun of a child due to their name, they aren't. It's sad honestly. More importantly this is the name he is going to be known by for all time. I suppose there's the chance that when he's 18 he could go and change it, but this will be the name is mom and dad have given him.  One that we haven't considered as much is a family name.  I'm not sure why but neither of us have thought much about passing along a family name.  Perhaps it might be something we do as a middle name, but as a first name we haven't considered it much.

So we continue to look and search for names and try and find the perfect one. I'm not sure we'll find the perfect name, but I'm confident we will find one that we will like and that he will be called by. Now if we can just figure this out before he's born!

Have you had a problem coming up with a name for your child and how did you finally decide on the right name?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dealing with Discouragement

We were both really pumped to go to our doctors appointment yesterday and see our baby and find out how he has been growing. However we left feeling discouraged, but knowing that we had to be optimistic and strong for each other.   

We had our first ultrasound at 20 weeks or 21 weeks.  After that they told us there were some things wrong.  Not bad or anything, but just somethings we should keep an eye on.  The first one was the umbilical cord, which is how the baby is fed and such, only had 2 vessels instead of the normal 3.  Secondly the insertion was a bit odd as well.  So hello ultrasounds every 4 weeks and thank you good health insurance (we are still paying some out of pocket for it...just so you know).

The last ultrasound at 28 weeks was an adventure because the interstate from where we live to where we go for our appointments was closed (due to wind!). So we had to take the back roads which we had never been on. In retrospect it was a good thing because what if they are closed when our baby is coming??

However I'm digressing.  Yesterday's ultrasound started off well enough.  Baby is no longer sitting transverse, he's head down and ready to go.  He was even kind enough to do some posing for us and we got some pictures.  The ultrasound tech told us that he was about two weeks behind on his growth and weighed in at about 3.3 pounds (last ultrasound he was 1 week behind).  I did notice this time that the tech was doing some other tests and my wife asked what she was doing.  She said that she was measuring the blood flow.  Didn't think anything of it.

From the ultrasound room we migrated to the midwives area where they take my wifes weight, blood pressure and all that wonderful stuff.  The midwife came in and as nice as they are, she didn't mince words this time.  She basically told us that my wife had to stop working and go to modified bed rest because the baby wasn't growing as he should be.  Further more they thought it was in our best interests to move from seeing the midwives to seeing the doctors just in case there were more complications.  And make two trips a week for 1 ultrasound and another test.

So both of us are trying to be as strong as we can right now and get through this.  My wife is headed in to work this morning to let them know the news and talk to HR as we have her health insurance.  I'm also headed to work to let a few people know what's going on so that if things do get more complicated they won't be caught of guard.  But more than anything I'm trying to be strong for my wife and baby and be there for everything she needs.

Have you had to deal with discouraging news in a pregnancy and how did you deal with it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review of Baby Furniture by Stork Craft

Future dads, whether you like it or not you will be putting together some sort of baby furniture.  Just this last weekend I finished putting together all of ours.  Let me give you a few tips on what I know now (I've put together my fare share of store bought furniture) and buying online.
  • Some piece of furniture will come with the tools that you need to assemble it.  I've found that over time these tools just make the job take longer.  If you've got a drill your one step ahead.  If you have a ratchet screwdriver you'll also be much further ahead.  These are the basics of what you'll need (possibly a hammer as well).  
  • You won't be able to use the drill on everything.  For the baby furniture I put together the only thing I could use the drill on was putting the backing pieces on.  Everything else I had to use the ratchet screwdriver on which sped up the process.  
  • Lastly read the instructions and be patient.  I know we want to get it done as fast as possible, but if we skip the instructions we'll be making extra work for ourselves.  Having said that, some of the instructions are not the best so you may have to interpret them.  If you need to, consult with your wife, but don't degrade her if you don't think her idea will work.  

Originally we had planned on buying our furniture from Baby's R Us and it was EXPENSIVE.  I knew it would be, but it took my breath away the first time I saw the cost.  And as much as I loathe all of the e-mails I get from Amazon, I do appreciate them a bit more after how much money they saved us on baby furniture.  Originally we planned on getting 2 pieces of furniture from Baby's R Us, but we were able to get 3 pieces from Amazon for about $100 less.

You might be a bit skeptical about buying online, and I can only speak for the Stork Craft stuff that we bought, but it was packaged very well.  Nothing was harmed in the delivery and shipping process despite the fact that the boxes looked like they'd been tossed around by Zeus!

So here's what we got and some thoughts on them.

Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Stages Crib, Espresso - Super easy to setup into the crib.  Instructions reside on the bad support in the crib so you won't be losing those. There are 2 pieces that you will need to store when you transform into it's other stages.  We've put ours under the crib.  I give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

Stork Craft Aspen Combo Dresser Chest, Espresso - So this was the second piece of hardware to arrive.  It's a bit bigger and more complicated to put together, but that should be expected with what it is.  The instructions where pretty good, as good as the crib, however when they don't send the correct piece you are left implementing your interpretation of what they are trying to tell you. So we did get this put together and it works, but it's not the way the instructions direct and I suspect if you looked closely you could tell that we had to improvise.  I give it 3 stars out of 5.  Lastly...you will require another set of hands towards the end. 

Stork Craft Aspen 3 Drawer Chest, Cherry - (we got ours in Espresso to match the other furniture, but apparently that's out of stock now!) - This one was as easy to put together has the crib.  Didn't require my wifes help.  No missing pieces on this one.  5 out of 5 stars.

I'm sure I'll have many more things to review as we get to using them, but for now this is what I can tell you guys about.  Don't be afraid to save money and order online (at least with the 3 things I linked above) and use the free shipping from Amazon. That right there saved us nearly $200!!

So guys what have you had to put together for coming child and do you have any funny stories?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Technology to the pregnancy?!?!?

A few weeks after we found out that we expecting my wife downloaded an application for her iPod that has allowed us to know what is going on with our babies development (link to the app down below).  So for instance today, being the 32nd week (with 7 or 8 weeks to go), that generally our baby has fingernails and toenails and some hair.  He's also gaining his baby fat so that he's ready to survive outside of the womb.

I made the comment to my parents, after we told them we were expecting, that technology has changed so much.  When I was born there was no 15 minute pregnancy test, or so I'm told.  You had to dang near be a chemist to find out if you were pregnant and it took a couple of hours at least.  I believe that there were ultrasounds but not like there is now. After we had our first ultrasound they told us that there were a few complications and that we'd need to have ultrasounds every four weeks so that we could make sure that he's developing as he should be.  Luckily we've got insurance and they are paying for a bunch of it, as are we, but I'm glad that we have the option of ultrasounds so that we know what's going on and can hopefully avoid and complications.  We have another one of these ultrasounds this Thursday and I'm looking forward to seeing him again.  Hopefully he will pose this time and we will get to see his face and not just his foot!

A few weekends ago we took a cram birthing course (we are having our baby at a hospital that is 45 miles away).  I was a bit nervous but I'm glad I did take the course.  Let me first say that me and hospitals don't get along.  However after this course I'm confident that I'll get through it.  One thing they showed us was how to measure the contractions and such.  We've got a nice chart sitting on the fridge that I've looked at and I could use if I needed to but once again technology to the rescue.  Thanks to a relative having a child not to long ago, I'm aware of some contraction applications that will help us.

So technology has changed a lot, but I can see the flip side as well.  Perhaps to much information is not a good thing, but I think in this case the more we know the better.

Has technology helped you and your wife through your pregnancy?

BabyCenter Application for iPhone/iTouch

If you do a search for contraction timers on iTunes you'll come up with about 10 of them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I changed my mind about having kids

No kids!

Those were the words that I said when I told my dad I was going to get married.  From there we ended up in a heated discussion where I remember telling him “it’s not your decision.  It’s our decision.” I know he didn’t like it but it truly was our decision to make.  

Looking back on it I kind of know why I said that (I’ll admit that I could have been better about how I said it).  I have two bachelor uncles.  Not party it up with the ladies uncles, but well off uncles who have never married and don’t have any kids.  We also had a delivery driver who worked for my parents that expounded on not having any kids or getting married.  He eventually did get married and adopted a kid!  But at the time I was dead set against having kids. I was uncomfortable around them and didn't know how to act around them. I suppose to a certain extent I still have those issues, but it's time to change!

Over time things changed and both of our hearts began to change.  My wife and I had a discussion one afternoon in the summer of 2010 and decided that we both were really wanting kids.  My wife wasn’t to keen on the idea of having a baby ourselves, she wanted to adopt, but I wanted to have our own flesh and blood. Someone that could carry on our name and would be of our own creation.  Don’t get me wrong I would have and will love any child that we have, but I wanted to at least try to have our own.  And it didn’t take the long.  We are only a few months away from having our own baby.

I’m excited and nervous all at once.  Probably not an uncommon occurrence with fathers to be.  There’s a lot of questions to be asked and explored and much more to learn.  I just hope in the end that I can be the best husband and father that I can be.  

Did you have any similar discussions from parents or get pressure from parents to have kids?