Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bad Dad's Don't Sleep

Eve sits just behind my wife on the list of people I love in this world. I dote on her and miss the two of them every day at work. It kills me to be apart from her for 8+ hours a day.

But when she's awake and fussing from 1am until 5am there is no place I would rather be than anywhere except home. There are few noises that tear through you faster and more harshly than the sound of your crying baby. Quite literally your spine twists into knots and you turn into a whithered (and weathered) old man.

Eve is normally quite good at night. Wakes up to be fed a few times but generally takes it easy. But every once in a while something gets into her and she becomes a beast that we can call the Nocturn.

Some facts on the Nocturn:

The Nocturn doesn't sleep, it just makes a lot of noise, cries, and stares at you blankly when not crying.

The Nocturn is mysterious. It doesn't let you know what it wants it just lets you know it wants SOMETHING and it's your duty to figure out what. OR ELSE.

The Nocturn can not be satiated. Even if you give it everything it could possibly want: new diaper, boob keg-stands, burping, walking, rocking, singing, cooing, weird faces, bad singing, tears, begs, sobs, frustration, more tears, whiskey.

The Nocturn is a brainwasher. You will immediately fall in love with the Nocturn as soon as it sleeps. It becomes the most perfect creature you could possibly imagine and you forget that it almost killed your will to live a scant 4 hours ago.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Dumb Shit We Do As Dads pt. 1

Dads are dumb.

Maybe not all dads but I definitely fall into the "dumb" category. I do dumb stuff and the worst part is that I know it's stupid and can't stop myself.

For instance, my (nearly) 3 week old daughter has the same reflexes all babies have; when you lift them up they kick their legs a bit. So lately I've been trying to get her to "work out". Basically this consists of me picking her up, putting her down on her feet (supported), and "spotting" her as she "stands" up. Repeat for 4 sets of 8 (kidding).

She's a strong little baby but for god's sake man! She's a baby not a power-lifter! And the last thing I need is to get her on her feet and walking extra early. We're tired enough as it is carrying her around and cleaning her diapers let alone chasing her as she hunts for freedom from the wretched grip of her evil parents.

It's really exciting to see her develop. She's moving more, her eyes are more alert, and she still craps like a champ. Trying to accelerate the process may just bite me in the ass.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Holy Spit Up Baby

Eve gained roughly a pound and a half in her first two weeks on this planet. She was 6 pounds 4 ounces at birth (which is more than big enough if you ask my wife) and at her latest weigh-in was 7 pounds 10 ounces. These mundane details are no doubt boring for most folks but for me they're proof that babies have magical ways of absorbing calories.
Eve is a chugger. If you could do a keg-stand on a boob she would be all over it. If I (still) drank like she drank I'd be passed out and drunk until next year. Watching her consume so much milk you might think it gluttonous and you'd certainly wonder how the shit it all fits inside of her.

Here's the thing: she is and it doesn't.

For a while I wondered if she actually kept anything down. I've seen some unholy moments in her short life and one of the greatest was when she "spat up" what seemed like a litre of food from her mouth, nose, and it sure as shit would have come out of her tear ducts if they were fully functional (thank god they're not). Every meal is basically a spit-up, but here she is, a perfectly healthy, pot-bellied, glowing baby.
Bulimics would be really pissed off if this happened to them.

Whoa Belly!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

holy shit, baby bjorn!

The sum of the parts! Good god, the sum of the parts is what makes babies so expensive. How we're fooled into saying, "oh it's not that much, let's just buy it" and "this might work, it might help her sleep, it might help us sleep, it might make her a happy and healthy baby".

I should amend that. Some of the the parts that we're summing are bloody expensive.

We now have 3 baby carriers for all kind of different occasions. These carriers range in price from $40 - $180. When Eve is in the most expensive one I feel like she's a heartbeat away from suffocating but my back feels fantastic. When she's in the cheapest I feel like her neck is one reach-for-the-remote away from breaking .

We have spent money to help Eve sleep safer only to discontinue using items 2 days later as the only reason they keep Eve safe is because she doesn't sleep in them and instead stays up until all hours being angry at us and spitting up on whatever is within 50 yards.

What I'm learning is what I really knew before hand. Eve doesn't give a shit. Most of this stuff does nothing to help her. We buy it in hopes of it helping us and instead we go crazy trying to make it work (it never works).

All she really needs is some clothes, stuff to mop up her spit up, and diapers. Oh, and that expensive carrier is pretty fucking fantastic.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"It's Totally Worth It" - The New Parent's Mantra

Can you find the bags under my eyes?

When we started letting people know about the pregnancy there was a ton of excitement; Ours, our families, our friends, and particularly our friends that were already parents.

Everyone and their sister has something to tell you about pregnancy, labour, and raising a child but parents always add that little something to the end of it: "it's totally worth it". They say this because they're telling you how hard or shitty or insane or maddening something is. An example, " You forget to floss for a week and get old-man breath because you're so tired, but it's totally worth it." And one of the worst parts about pregnancy (outside of the hell a woman goes through) is how incredibly OFTEN you hear things of this nature.

Before the baby got here I thought to myself, "These guys are real wimps. How bad could it be? They just need to relax a little." Now that the baby is here I've learned that they were god damned right. This shit IS hard and it DOES suck sometimes. Between the lack of sleep, the endless diapers, and the fury the damned Rubic's Cube of a sling has unleashed on me it's a wonder I'm not in diapers myself (and I don't even have to breastfeed the baby. My poor wife!).

"It's totally worth it" isn't something said in passing to expectant parents. It's a mantra that all new parents must learn in order to make it through their first days with the baby. I love my daughter more than almost anything on this planet (wife first!) but sometimes I rock myself to sleep gently whispering, "it's totally worth it" while crying.

I cry a single salty tear and then it's time to get up and rock the baby back to sleep.

* side note: men who read this, please understand we have it VERY easy. We don't have any of the hard shit to do so never complain about ANYTHING in front of your wife (if you value your life).
**side, side note: when I wake up to rock the baby back to sleep my wife has already been up for a half hour feeding the ravenous devil. Again, men have it easy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Surprise! It's your baby's first poo.

There are a lot of things about babies that you hear and assume it's an exaggeration. Sleeping patterns, screaming, coming out covered in hair, coming out looking like Benjamin Button, falling out of your wife's vagina and stepping out her dreams (Louis CK quote), etc.

One thing you must not ignore is the tales of meconium. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's baby's first poo. And second poo. And god help you if there's a third as it's the most unholy thing to every come out of a living creature (except for another screaming, living creature). It is comprised off all the stuff baby ingests while in the womb, including hair and skin. Awesome.

Meconium is black. Meconium is sticky. While it doesn't smell it will peel 8 layers of your newborn's flesh from their bones as you try to clean it off them. Refer to wikipedia's entry for some delightful pictures.

It isn't actually that gross but it's one of the most bizarre and alien things about your baby. I wish I had video taped the first diaper change to provide step-by-step cleaning, but my digital camera only has so much memory and that shit took forever to clean.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby Faces

I videotaped some of the faces the young 'un makes. Best 2 minutes of your life. Don't fight it.


Our baby was born on Jan 1. My wife went through hell and high-water having a natural birth. Tried to do it all at home but there was a little "glitch" in the plans.

Here's the thing about glitches. Glitches are only cool when you're not already scared shitless; and even then it's a bit of a stretch to to say they're "cool". Tolerable, a big-ass nuisance, not life-threatening, these are all ok terms, "cool" definitely not.

For those of you sans baby or labour-smarts, labour is the most insane thing a man will never have to go through. NEVER will you feel more useless then when your wife/girlfriend/whatever is experiencing the most excruciating pain known to humans and there is absolutely nothing you can do. All you can say or do is support your wife. Do EVERYTHING she asks of you. Re-assure her that she's doing well. Get the fuck out of the way when she doesn't want you there. Do anything she says. That's it. You're her bitch. Deal with it.

Back to the glitch!

When contractions occur, particularly in the "pushing stage" (please refer to your texts for the stages of labour), the baby's heart rate drops. There is a range of "normal" that midwives and doctors like to see it stick to. If it deviates from that, all hell breaks loose.

When you're already feeling like a useless tit and don't think you're supporting your wife all that well and EMS workers come in to get her to the hospital quickly and you have no idea what's going on and you're trying to remain supportive, positive, and not shit your pants, nothing feels like a "glitch".

The short of it is that baby is fine. We got to the hospital and heart rate immediately went into the "normal" range, we laughed, chuckled, my wife told me "we're never doing this again", and now I've got a cute baby that does terrible things to diapers (more on this later).

3:30 am on the 31st early labour started.
9:49 on the 1st baby was born.