Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Babies are like...

I've started a new series of graphics comparing babies to various pop culture figures. It's my way of coping with the unexpected discoveries of new fatherhood.
Babies are like...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post Partum (Dad)

Okay, so we're a little late in posting to the blog since Lucas Franklin was born on December 17th, 2009. I could write about any number of things, and perhaps, if the little guy gives us a breather once in a while, we'll try to do so. For now, I thought it would be appropriate to simply state that mother and child are doing quite well and daddy couldn't be happier. Danielle's spending this week home alone with Lucas, and I can tell it's a little stressful. Still, Lucas is adorable (no bias!) and I hate being away from him all day. Fortunately, there are photos of him hanging on all the bulletin boards at work so I get to see him whenever I go back for coffee (which is quite frequent now that I don't sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time!).

One thing I'd like to note is that I don't recognize Lucas. For the longest time, I had no idea what to expect when he finally arrived, yet somehow, I always thought I'd recognize him. Not the case. Some say he's got my eyes or nose, but I just don't see it. He seems like a completely unique and different human being from either of us. And this is a good thing! Just unexpected. It's amazing to me that from Danielle's and my combined DNA, a completely new person has been created. I can't wait to get to know him better! I already wonder if he'll be good at sports or math or singing or writing. I want to hear his voice and experience his sense of humor. I wonder if he'll be good with girls or public speaking or science or art. I just don't know! And that makes it hard to be a father because I want to nurture whatever innate skills and predispositions he has, but I don't know what they are! What if he wants to be an actor?! Or a dancer?!?

Still, I've got some time to think about it. Meanwhile, I love experiencing each new baby milestone like when he tries out a new sound or flails his arms in a slightly more coordinated manner. Already he follows us pretty closely with his eyes, and when I hold up his pacifier at the right distance, he opens his mouth... sort of. Could just be coincidence ;-)

This week's big ordeal is he's got a little baby acne breakout. As someone who STILL deals with the affliction on a regular basis, I hope my greatest genetic contribution is not his oily skin, but the doctor says he should regain his baby soft face soon enough. On the other hand, the doctor says he has quite a great looking butt. I wasn't exactly sure how to take this, but let's just say I'll keep a very close eye on the doctor for a while...

Parental life is exhausting, surprising, and wonderful. There's nothing more satisfying than to have a sleeping baby on your chest or to feed him a bottle while he gazes up at you with his bottomless blue eyes.

The adventure has just begun!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creating Memories (Dad)

Lately I've been considering all the ways I can document our son's birth along with all the firsts that will occur over the next year. We've purchased a camcorder so that we can easily carry it along to holiday gatherings and other places, so at least we'll capture all the milestones. We even started a video journal for little Wendell, taking some footage of his nursery room and recording a message before he arrives.

But it's so easy to get carried away with this stuff. For example, I considered buying a really nice still camera to take lots of high-quality photos; Danielle has the materials to start scrapbook, to knit scarves, and to create photo montages; and I've even thought about writing short stories from the point of view of an expecting father. There's just no limit to the amount of creative memory-keeping projects you can do! As a self-proclaimed writer, blogger, and movie maker, I feel sort of obligated to use these talents for the sake of my future son... and yet I wonder if it's not possible to go a little overboard.

Perhaps a little scarcity in the photo-taking and movie-making might be healthy. After all, how much more do I cherish the few movies that exist of my childhood because of the paucity of materials! Would I get the same nostalgic chills watching old movies if I had hundreds of hours of it, perfectly preserved? And the end goal is not to commit EVERY moment to film so that nothing is forgotten. Forgetfulness can be a blessing, too!

I suppose, like all things, there's a balance between capturing too many moments on film and too few. It'll be nice to be able to put together collages and montages for special events over the years, but perhaps it removes some of the fun if it's ALWAYS expected. Perhaps childhood is best preserved in our memories where details are provided not through celluoid or other storage media, but through fuzzy, imperfect neural connections which fill in the blanks with magic and wonder.

Things to consider moving forward. After all, the idea is to prepare our son for the future; not to create an immersive past he's afraid of leaving behind.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Appointment and H1N1 vaccine

My appointment last night went pretty well. I met with the final doctor in the practice and he was of the same opinion as the last two... that we can wait this out and should be able to deliver naturally. This made me feel a lot more relaxed. After measuring and feeling my belly, this doctor thinks our boy is just approaching the 9 pound mark now. This is both a relief (I've been afraid that he was already 10 pounds) and also terrifying (for obvious reasons). I still have no progress, of course, but we all know that can change at any time. Our next appointment is scheduled for Monday, when they will also do a stress test since I'll be past my due date at that point, just to make sure baby is doing okay.

Ah the H1N1 flu shot. For a long time I was set against getting it because I was afraid of side effects and because it hadn't been tested very well. But after knowing several people that have had this flu and were miserable, Paul and I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to go ahead and get it. Besides the shot being recommended for pregnant women, it has been pushed towards caretakers and guardians of infants under the age of 6 months. So I found a Walgreen's out by our house that was distributing them today and Paul and I took early lunches and met there at 11:15. Turns out, we were just in time. We got two of the last four vaccines that they had. Whew! We were there for over an hour, but at least they had a place to sit and nice people working there. I think we're both relieved to have that taken care of.

I love the holidays. So many yummy cookies and goodies around the office! I think I'll go have another sugar cookie (because this baby isn't already big enough)! :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

39 and a half weeks (Mom)

We never thought I’d still be pregnant at this point, but here I am, still pregnant and still at work. I’m doing alright though. I’m a little uncomfortable and it’s hard to move around, but other than that I feel really good! But the waiting is taking its toll on me because of the concern over complications. The more time that goes by, the larger the baby gets and the more worried I become about being able to deliver him naturally. The doctors have been great at letting us play it by ear up till this point, and encouraging us to try to do things the way we would prefer to. But even I am starting to get anxious about it now. I just don’t want to make a bad decision that could affect the wellbeing of my son’s life, and the fear increases with each day that passes with no sign of his arrival. I would much rather deal with recovering from a c-section than living with making a bad decision. I go back to the doctor again tonight and am meeting with the last doctor in the practice that I have not seen before. I’m hoping that he will offer us some guidance, or better yet miraculously tell us that we have some progress and can go to the hospital right away to induce!

Work has gotten very boring for me this last week or so. Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY appreciative of the low stress levels that I have these days. Everyone has been absolutely wonderful at letting me ease my way out of doing my regular duties here. Not to mention that they have all been very encouraging and sympathetic as well. But I do feel a little strange being here and not really doing much. I would use vacation time and just go home and work on stuff around the house, but I really need to save all the time I have for my maternity leave. So here I am!

Paul and I have been quite the anti-socialites lately. We have opted to stick with activities that keep us within 30 minutes of the hospital. We have also made sure to do LOTS of relaxing. We have been going to bed early, waking up late and taking lots of naps on the weekends. I think this is something we will greatly appreciate having done once the baby arrives. Paul has also put a new plan in place to keep me cheerful, where every third day that the baby hasn’t come, then Paul and I get to have a date night of some sort. This weekend we went to see the new Disney movie The Princess and the Frog at the theater. It’s been a fun way to take some of the anxiety off of us. And it keeps Paul and I very close which will be a great way to start our life as a family.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Doctor's Update

Hello Again!

I had another doctor's appointment this morning. Baby Bishop still appears to be in no hurry to enter the world. I met with a completely new doctor and he seemed to be of the same mindset as the last one. He said shoulder dystocia is very hard to predict so he doesn't see it being a huge concern at this point. He believes the baby is big, but not so big that we need to be worried. He did say that if we are concerned and want a c-section, then we can go ahead and schedule one, but he also thought that if we'd prefer a natural birth that there should be no problem with that.

I go back to the doctor again on Monday. At that point we will just reassess again to see what the best option is.

Again, I'm just hoping to go into labor on my own and as soon as possible.

Danielle & Paul

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Waiting Game (Mom)

The whole "nesting" thing is absolutely not a myth. The funny thing is, it seems to have hit Paul as much as it has hit me. The two of us just keep coming up with one project after another to work on around the house. The house is getting very organized and very clean. I think it makes us both feel happy to be at home when things are in such nice order! Plus, we put some very nice finishing touches up in the nursery! :)

Paul had a great idea to do a little video journal for our son before he arrives. So yesterday we set up the camera in the nursery and talked to our baby boy. It was pretty cool, and I'm very glad that we did it! Good idea Dada! :)

I'm getting extremely anxious for our boy to arrive. Less out of discomfort (although it's true that is a factor as well) than concern though. Since they were worried that he was going to be a big baby two weeks ago, every day that goes by means he has had a chance to get bigger, increasing the risks of problems trying to give birth naturally. It just makes it harder knowing that we might have to make a decision about how to handle this best. I go back to the doctor on Wednesday and I'm really hoping that they will green light inducing me on Thursday if the baby hasn't come by then. We shall see I guess.

Come on baby boy, you're making your mommy worry!