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 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. 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?