I feel like I didn’t talk to enough people or do enough research about what having a baby is like. When it was harder than I had anticipated, frustration set in and made it that much more difficult mentally. So I’m here to share with you the healthy respect you should have for the job of parenting.
Having a baby is like having an alarm clock that goes off every one to two hours. You will never know exactly when it will go off, so you’re constantly anxious about whether the alarm is about to sound. Turning off the alarm involves a 45-60 minute task that involves poop, so you definitely don’t want to sleep walk through the task. If you don’t complete the task properly, you are likely to see the alarm go off sooner than you expect. Once the alarm is off, the waiting begins again for the next round.
I wish I had known more about the routine before getting thrown into the thick of things. It’s so much more difficult being defeated into the reality rather than understanding beforehand. Every book or article is going to tell you parenting is hard and tiring, but they don’t really give you any details on what it’s really like. I encourage you to talk to friends and family that have had kids in the past few years to really get a feel for what you’re getting into before you’re elbow deep in poop, wishing you had a time machine to go back to spay or neuter your past self.
Here’s another lesson that will go into my book.
This morning I spilled a whole bottle of milk onto myself and the baby. I think the bottle wasn’t screwed on all the way. I didn’t even realize I had done it until I looked down after only half a minute and thought, “Holy crap! She shotgunned the whole thing!” I told Michelle and she let out an exasperated sigh as if to tell me, “Stop wasting my milk!”
The good: The baby didn’t cry while I made up another bottle. She just sucked the milk out of her clothes and my clothes until I had another bottle ready. What a little piggy.
The bad: I think the baby thinks I have milk now. She keeps looking at me out of the corner of her eye while Michelle is feeding her as if to say, “You’re next.”
Although it seems ridiculously obvious, rest as much as possible. It’s hardest to sleep when the sun is up, because you’re so used to being up and about during the day. Having some time to unwind is nice, but it’s more important you’re on top of your game when the baby needs you. Use at least one of her sleep periods during the day to get some rest or you will be running on zombie mode and make dumb mistakes like me.
So the book title is a work in progress. In my very short experience (less than two weeks) as a father, there have been a lot of questions. Most of the questions are mine, asked to medical professionals and other parents while freaking out over how not to permanently damage my child. There is a lot to learn about parenting, but the amount of knowledge needed is overwhelming, and even if you learn a lot, someone will always disagree with you and say there’s a different and better way. I’ve decided to take these things I’ve learned and share them with the world in bite-sized chunks based on my experiences and what other people have taught me. Just remember one key thing when reading my advice.
Parents’ opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and no one thinks theirs stinks.
Kids grow super fast so don’t buy a lot of clothes in newborn size and definitely don’t buy winter newborn clothes if you’re expecting your child in the summer or vice versa.
Diaper changing is a constant task. Having to wrestle a onesie off in the middle of the night is a pain in the butt. Clothes with buttons from top to bottom are so much easier to get kids in and out of for diaper time.
That’s it for this time! Stay tuned for more!
The baby is still baking away inside Michelle’s belly. She is on bed rest still, and I have been doing my best to take care of her while also taking care of work. It’s been hard because I pinched a nerve in my back about three weeks ago. Right up until the doctor put Michelle on bed rest, I was the immobile one in bed and she was the one taking care of me. Unfortunately we can’t both be on bed rest, but I don’t think I’m getting enough rest to heal up properly.
During our maternity ward tour yesterday, my back started hurting. While we were in one of the labor and delivery rooms, I took a seat in a chair to rest my back for a bit as the tour guide continued to answer questions. Michelle looked down at me, shaking her head in disappointment as if to say, “It’s sad this baby will grow up with no man in the household.” A room full of pregnant women, and I was the one sitting down. Still, I regret nothing.
Hopefully I can get enough rest before the baby actually arrives, because it’s not going to get any easier when the baby is on the outside. Bending over to change diapers is definitely out of the question in my current condition.
If you haven’t read Michelle latest blog post about the status of her pregnancy, you can check it out here.
Today marks week 33 of our journey to parenthood. Michelle is on bed rest, and we’re telling Maggie to stay inside for at least a little while longer. The good news is that one of our test results has a correlation of giving us a less than .5% chance of having the baby within the next week. That takes us into week 34, and the doctors said by that milestone they don’t actively try to stop labor, because the baby has a very good chance of survival.
Michelle and I have been in very good spirits. We know we’re not in control of the situation. I’m doing what I can to take care of Michelle and the house. Here are some of my thoughts and lessons learned from this whole situation.
- We have great friends and family that have poured out well wishes and offers to help out any way they can. I told Michelle this was our chance to get the outside of the house painted.
- I know more about female anatomy than Michelle does when it comes to looking at a chart. I will chalk this up to being a thorough but gentle lover.
- Every doctor and nurse has told us, “No more sex.” It’s a little bit annoying after the sixth time you hear it, like they’re looking at me and saying, “I know your type. Keep in the pants! This is what got you here in the first place.”
- At one point we paused and looked at our baby date guessing game. We kind of wish more people played. That money is all ours!
- I guess now would be a good time to learn how to change a diaper and install a car seat.
- While we definitely don’t want to see our baby too early, all these hospital visits and focus on the baby got me pretty excited to see her.
Thanks for all the support and well wishes, everyone. We will cash in all the offers for help when the baby arrives and we need a nap.
Posted in Baby
Doctor: You are underweight.
My Brain: I knew it! Michelle’s been telling me to exercise for nothing! I’m sexy and I know it! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle! Wiggle!
Doctor: *looks at me* Wait, how tall are you?
Me: *Brought out of my sexy dance routine daydream.* Huh? Oh, 5’7″.
Doctor: The nurse wrote down you’re 6’6″. Still, I wouldn’t say you’re overweight though…well…maybe five pounds.
I knew I shouldn’t have worn my steel toed work shoes to the doctor’s office!
Always make sure you have all your ingredients before you start the brewing process. If you don’t do the pre-brew check, you will find yourself without a key ingredient and have to send your pregnant wife to the brew store to pick up the missing items. Later you will have to take her shopping, resulting in the most expensive batch of beer you have ever made.
Lately I’ve been getting horror stories about diapers leaking or poop explosions. Why aren’t we using technology to make baby waste removal easier? It’s ridiculous to think that the best way to see if my baby has soiled her diaper is to take a big whiff of her bottom.
I started looking into it. The technology already exists! It just needs to be reapplied.
This is the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensor. It’s a probe that is tied to your wireless network and can be read via browser or iPhone. It checks your plants for sunlight, temperature, moisture, and fertilizer. If we can monitor these things, it’s just a matter of reversing the reporting. We can get the sensor to tell us when the diaper has been watered or fertilized. Temperature is another double check for a soiled diaper. If the light sensor goes off, it means your baby has torn off the diaper and is running around naked. Sure we’d have to reengineer the design to make it less like an anal probe, but isn’t this more important than monitoring plants?
I’m also currently thinking up ways to handle the removal of waste. It involves a shop vac modification and a giant garbage bag. Once you suck away the poop, you can take the shop vac outside, put it in reverse, and you’ll have a lush garden blooming in no time.
I just need an engineer and programmer, and then it’s time to hit up Kickstarter for some funding. Who wants in on this project?
Today marks two years since I perfected my hypnotism technique and married Michelle. Things really haven’t changed in our house very much. We’re still the same as always.
Me: Happy anniversary!
Michelle: Happy anniversary!
Me: Were we supposed to get each other anything? I didn’t get you anything.
Michelle: Oh. I didn’t get you anything either.
Me: Oh, wait! I did get you something. I got you pregnant!
What can I say? I’m a giver.
At least I’m pretty sure the baby’s a girl. I know what I saw. For whatever reason, the doctor and the ultrasound technician will only say that’s what they think they saw. They won’t say definitively that it’s a girl. Regardless, we will be referring to our baby as she and her. If we are wrong, Michelle and I will have a great story to tell to our son when he has all his high school friends over. It’s this story all over again.