Archive for November, 2010

I Didn’t Catch The Bus Either

November 16, 2010

I’m also frequently asked how I’m doing, and the long answer is “Pretty good for the day to day stuff, but in a pinch I don’t have much by way of reserves to pull from.”

I’d liken it to the time I moved directly from the “highlands” of Florida (some 5 meters above sea level) to Salt Lake City (some 1200 meters above sea level).  I’d been warned about the effects of the change in altitude, but wasn’t really feeling any discomfort, so it was only a matter of days until I forgot about it . . . right up until the time I tried to run half a block to catch a bus.  Take it from me, nothing says you need to take it easy quite like the letters forming themselves from the black spots obscuring your vision after you’ve tried running a few meters in air too thin for you.  You can adapt, but it takes time.

So the short answer to how I’m doing right now is “adapting.”

Me In Need Of More Sleep, Admittedly

November 15, 2010

So people keep asking me how I feel now that I’m a father.  Though the question has some variations, my answer doesn’t:

I feel the same.  I’m still me, so why would I feel any way else?

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part Six)

November 13, 2010

My temper flared over the issue of me picking up my son.  The issue was pressed by the person I mentioned earlier, the one we brought with us to see to L’s Mother’s needs and generally help us navigate the hospital bureaucracy.  She had helped Mom find the nursery, and was positively scandalized that I wasn’t holding L. when she arrived.  (Because he was  asleep . . . asleep and content, and I wasn’t going to disturb that no matter what.)

First she tried an (ignored) order for me to pick him up, then an appeal to the need to “bond” (L. and I were already bonded, thanks.), then an (ignored) personal request, then a laughable attempt to flank by getting Mom to “make” me do it (Not a chance.).

Having finally made my point, I had just enough time to feel smug, because, after all, she was the one that kept hammering “He’s your son, don’t let anyone in the hospital push you around” . . . when L. woke up.  He was still some time away from being able to be fed (His mother was going to be required for that), and he was going to need comforting until that could happen.

With a smirk I picked him up, whispering “There’s a lesson in all this, kiddo” as I did so, and held him . . . for two hours until his mother’s room was ready and we were all properly reunited again.  Once that happened, I felt like L. had now officially “arrived.”

And it’s a good thing L. and I had “bonded,” because frankly, it felt like he was breaking my elbow off after about fifteen minutes, and those hours were long for me . . .

. . . but it was worth it.

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part Five)

November 12, 2010

I quickly discovered something upon our arrival to the hospital’s nursery:

While I had the right to be there, it seemed to surprise just about everyone there that I had chosen to exercise that right in any serious manner (you know . . . kind of like voting).  At first I tried to explain I was just there to keep L. company per his mother’s wishes, and not to interfere or be in the way, but no one seemed terribly interested, so after a while I just talked to L.

Hour one:  While L. was being tested and monitored, we talked about miscellaneous things like how how weird this all was and about red velvet cake (he saw some on a tray on the elevator ride to the nursery).

Hour two:  I started running out of topics at this point, so we talked about the space program (such as it is) and politics.  Eventually his tests were done, and he was bundled up and promptly went to sleep.  Talking politics has a tendency to bore me to sleep as well, so I understood.

Top of hour three:  L’s grandmother arrived and got to see him for the first time.  I was finally informed that L’s mother was doing well (which was welcome news), but that no room was available for her (which was less welcome news).

And here is where my temper became displayed (and not about the room situation either).

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part Four)

November 11, 2010

Now at this point my duties changed.  Per a prior agreement, my focus shifted to L. and away from his mother (we had someone else with us to see to her needs) since she wouldn’t be able to be with him again for a while as she recovered.  It seemed to particularly perplex the nurses when I declined the honor of cutting the cord though.

Partially this was from the feeling that something like that should be left to professionals no matter how remote the chance of me screwing something up was . . . but mostly this was from my feelings on the symbology of the matter.  You see, the cord needed to be cut, this is simply not in question, and had there been no one else available, then I most certainly would have done it.

But the way I see it, so long as I have another option, I should never be the one to interfere with any sort of connection between L. and his mother.  Literally, that’s between the two of them, and I feel I should always approach that subject with reluctance even if necessity should ever require it.

So with the cord cut by another, L., his mother and I shared a few family moments together, then L. and I were on our way together toward the hospital’s nursery.

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part Three)

November 10, 2010

Now I don’t want to give the impression that at any time I was panicked by any of this, because that was never the case.  But by the time we reached the hospital I was distinctly feeling the effects of weeks of being on some level of “alert.”  Fortunately, this had yet to lead to any displays of temper on my part.  (Yet.)

So we endured all the preparatory requirements physical, informative, and paper-work that were necessary, and heard the litany of assurances that the chances of complications in the procedure were remote (“but present”), chances of complications with the primary method of anesthesia were remote (“but present”), chances of complications with the secondary method of anesthesia were remote (“but present”), etc. etc. ad nauseum.

But soon enough all that was done, and I was sitting with L’s Mom in the operating room while the doctor worked behind a drape so as not to upset either of us.  Let me tell you, that man was fast!  The only reason I knew L. was out was because I heard the nurse’s professional chatter change, and L’s Mom didn’t realize it at all until L. was lifted into view over the top of the drape as the doctor chuckled, “Look what I found!”

L’s Mom’s response was a simple “Hey there, L,” while I remained in stunned silence as I beheld L’s scowling face, and his body covered in streams of (completely normal and healthy for a birth) blood.  Frankly, I was unable to speak because all else was crowded away by this sight and the single thought it evoked in me:

“This would have been so perfect for Halloween!”

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part Two)

November 9, 2010

Halloween came (the date I’d felt/joked from the beginning was L.’s “target date” for his birth), and nobody (from L, his mother, the birth center staff, etc.) felt we were cutting this close . . . nobody but me that is.  At first I told myself I was just being overly influenced by the “cool” factor of a Halloween baby, but after Halloween was over I still felt like this was going to be close.  As much as I disliked the idea of a C-section, I found myself starting to get antsy for it to happen, but these things have to be scheduled (even in a “just in case” situation like this one), so I resigned myself to waiting patiently and repeating my routine for 911 in case I had to make the call.  Having been told it wasn’t uncommon for a pregnant woman to feel a “burst of energy” in the days immediately prior to going into labor, it became a standing joke between me and L’s mother for me to ask during this time, “Still feeling wretchedly tired?  Yes?  Good.”

This got me through the final days, but by the time of the night before the scheduled day, the Braxton Hicks (i.e., “false labor”) contractions seemed to be going out of their way to taunt me, and by the time of the drive to the hospital the next day the real contraction had started.  Now, we’re not talking anywhere near the fabled five minutes apart . . . more like thirty to forty, which in my mind was close enough.

Not close in the “stopping the countdown at one,” sense, of course.  More like being in Nagasaki on August 8, 1945.

Like I said . . . close enough.

It was a long drive to the hospital for me. 

The Saga Of L’s Arrival (Part One)

November 8, 2010

As much as I dislike even the hint of appearing to be one of “those parents” that can’t talk of anything other than their children once they are born, I have so many tales to tell regarding L’s entry into the world that I am morally obligated to at least hit the highlights before resuming other topics.  You, for your part, reader, are, of course, under no such obligation to read the tales, and if you feel the need for my permission to do so, consider yourself excused with my compliments.  But if it has any bearing on your decision, please accept my assurances that these tales will not be chock full of syrupy “magic of birth” platitudes, nor overly graphic or technical details only of interest to the morbid or medical professionals.  While my energy level right now is good, it is not excessive enough to either gush or provide exacting levels of details for much of anything right now.

Trust me.

Starting off, thanks to ultrasound, a talented midwife, and an intuitive mother on L’s part, I knew for some time that L. was breech.  The hope was that he’d eventually turn into proper position, but as the days of the calendar flipped by and he proved immune to any and all forms of persuasion, that hope dwindled.  While there was never any true emergency, it was made clear to me that were there to be a “water break” scenario, we were potentially looking at a literal 911 situation.  I was constantly assured this possibility was “remote” . . . to which I always thought to myself, “but present.”

Those last few weeks were long for me.

Plans Verses Preparation

November 6, 2010

(This is a special Saturday entry since circumstances forced me to miss my Thursday entry.)

Plan for L’s birth:  Natural delivery, water birth in the most comfortable room the birth center had available.

Preparation:  Access to hospital facilities in the event of a word I particularly dread when paired with the word “pregnancy,”:  “complications.”

Let us all take a moment and recognize the importance of making the distinction between plans and preparation.

L. was breech.  More than that, he was insistent on remaining breech (there was a reason I felt the need to include the word “willful” in his blessing).

Which is why he entered the world on Wednesday via C-section (and why I used the phrasing that I did on my announcement on that day).

That wasn’t the plan, but because of the preparation, mother and son (and father, come to think) are doing well.

And that’s all that matters to me right now.

So Little To Say, So Much Energy To Say It With

November 5, 2010

Scratch that . . . reverse it.

Thank you.

(L. has arrived and is home; he saw the sun for the first time today.  I saw the sun for the first time in two days.  I’m not sure which of us was more surprised.

It might have been the sun.)