Here’s the story, of a girl named Kayleigh

A year ago, at this moment, I was either calling my Mom, waiting for the epidural to be placed, or asking one of the doctors/interns floating around how many centimeters dilated the mother-to-be was. Or maybe I was quickly eating a McDonald’s snack wrap hoping to get another energy boost as my body started to fade…

As I already mentioned, it started last night. Well, 1 year ago last night. That’s when Lisa, The Woman, started feeling contractions. Not too surprisingly, they kept us up. We were only a few days shy of her actual due date, so this was expected. Of course that didn’t stop me from feeling completely unprepared – but at least I was ready to be unprepared…

Anyway, in case you couldn’t guess, nothing happened that night. We finally went to bed sometime after midnight, only to be woken by impending contractions around 4 in the morning. These ones kept us up for a couple of hours. After many failed attempts to properly count them, it was determined that they were not getting closer. But while the little lady decided to go back to sleep and rest up, I gave into the dawning day and headed into work early. If we were going to make a list of mistakes made that day, this would probably be listed #1.

Regardless, work went smoothly. Billy (my tech) was even nice enough to grab some lunch for me at McDonald’s. This is important to note, since I wouldn’t get to eat outside of the hospital for another 3 days – and can you guess what fast food place was located in said hospital? Yeah, anyway, work managed to slightly distract me long enough for the inevitable phone call to come.

Now you may hear a different version of this story. One in which I take my sweet time getting home. But the important part is that Lisa’s water broke, she called me and I eventually made my way to her with 2 slices of pizza. Nothing else in that part of the story matters, so let’s just move along…

As much as I’d like to finish this tonight, some really strange typos might start creeping in, so we’ll pick up tomorrow morning with us arriving at the hospital.

Kayleigh Sarah

Amazing. Really, it’s just amazing. Having now witnessed the birth of my own daughter I still can’t get over the fact that this process works. Lisa was incredible and pushed through a long labor to produce the most beautiful baby there ever was. Am I bit biased? Perhaps. But judge for yourself – introducing Kayleigh Sarah Slattery:

Close-up of a swaddled baby's face (Kayleigh Sarah) with her mouth open and tongue sticking out.
Kayleigh Sarah

That’s right, only a few hours old and already sticking her tongue out at the world. That’s my baby girl. She made her grand entrance at 11:25 this morning weighing 7 lbs and 13 oz even though she’s only 19 inches long! I love her with all of my heart even though we’ve just met, and I certainly am enjoying the “proud newborn dad” feeling. Lisa is still recovering from a rather long and difficult 20+ hours of work. Fortunately her bonding with Kayleigh is making that recovery a good process.

The full story, and lots more photos, will follow once I am truly back home. In the meantime, thank you for all of the congratulations that have already come in and will continue to come in.

From there to here

I have to admit, I’m really going to miss the belly. I know that may seem weird – honestly, I really look forward to being able to hug my wife closely once our baby girl comes along. But it truly is beautiful to see and hold:

39 weeks later...

As I sit here in bed wondering if today is the day I’ll meet my new daughter, I realize that it is time to begin shedding my inhibitions toward posting photos. I have several projects that are in the works, but it’s time that I at least start sharing. So while some more editing is necessary, here is a view of The Woman’s belly from about 4 weeks to 39 weeks. Just click on the right arrow and watch her grow!

Soon I’ll add music and dancing hamsters – you know, to class it up…

Now I know sumthin’ ’bout birthin’ babies

Tonight was our last birthing class. Apparently our spawn will not remain inside The Woman forever, and will indeed come out in a somewhat disturbing… uh… I mean beautiful way. Alright, let’s face it. These days we have unlimited access to TV shows covering every conceivable scenario when it comes to giving birth – and in rather graphic detail. So by the time you make it to these classes, you should have a pretty darn good idea of what lay ahead.

Nevertheless, when going through this information – especially in video form – along with total strangers, many glances and nervous laughs will be exchanged. Sooner or later all of the men will hone in on the same thought, “Thank god it’s not me.” We just do not have the natural fortitude to handle childbirth. That’s not just me trying to score points with the misses – it’s an honest assessment. The human race would have died off long ago if the genders switched childbearing rolls.

Humorously, after watching the explicit video during the first class, it was one of the expectant mothers than turned around and said, “Did that freak you guys out?” But, to be fair, her husband might have simply been in shock.

Tonight may have been the most traumatizing personally. We covered the epidural and – holy crap – that thing looks worse than the pain. I mean, let’s get one thing straight: I’m the man. The extent of my discomfort will be lack of sleep and maybe a sore hand if she squeezes too hard. So I have absolutely no say about medication. The Woman gets what The Woman wants. But I have to admit that after seeing the epidural and hearing about the drawbacks *shudder* attempting to keep it natural has so much more appeal. Especially when it was pointed out that the husband is often kicked out of the room for it partially because he might PASS OUT… W!T!F! Are you serious? At least the videos of cesareans took my mind off that…

In all honesty, the class was pretty useful in evening out the expectations. The teacher was a birthing doula and presented all of the options in a very straightforward and unbiased way. Unfortunately that still doesn’t change the fact that… HOLY CRAP!… I’m going to be a DAD in under TWO MONTHS…

Maybe that means it’s time for me to stop posting to my blog at midnight… the again, when else will I be able to?

I felt her move

I think there’s something incredibly awesome about the fact that I never felt a baby move until it was my own. Well, you know, while it was still not quite finished. Undoubtedly my dear readers are clamoring for some updates on this whole baby-making project, so here’s a little view for y’all:

The Woman's expanding abdomen

Maybe I’m just the sappiest guy around, but that’s beautiful. It’s amazing just how much delight I get out of rubbing her belly and talking to our unborn child. And the fact that I’ve actually felt her move… wow. Doesn’t it weird anyone else out that we grow our children this way? I mean, it seems natural and unnatural at the same time. Does that make any sense?

Regardless, The Woman is wearing this pregnancy quite wonderfully:

The Woman in all of her pregnant glory

Ain’t she beautiful?

In honor of this relationshippy post, I’m going to toss in that relationship meme that was floating around – after the break:
Continue reading “I felt her move”

Life of late

Hmm, so, what’s been going on with me lately? I watched a lot of movies… We bought some appliances… I tried to rewire the lights and outlets in our bedroom… I’ve been busy at work getting our new facility ready… Oh, and we found out that the little bump in The Woman’s belly is a little girl. She’s currently about the size of a banana. I’m now picturing a fetus in a banana suit – it’s kind of cute, if not a little creepy. I was ready to share ultrasound to show the proof, but I’m not about to flash my baby girl’s privates all over the Internet.

I also found out that this is the year of the rat. That means I get to call our little bundle of joy a rugrat for real. There will certainly be a bunch of rodent jokes in the coming months.

P.S. We’re starting to think of names. Sloane and Shauna are in the running, but we’re not completely sold on a Ferris Bueller reference…

Alien baby attacks… news at 11

Ultrasounds aren’t always that cute when taken out of context. As far as I can tell from this one, we’re having an alien:

Alien baby in the womb

At least he has my eye sockets. The Woman says I have to stop making fun of the baby so much – especially once he or she is out in the world. We disagree on how important sarcasm is in a child’s upbringing – how else are they supposed to learn what a screwed up world they’re coming into?

But to remind me of the cuteness, I’ve also got this one above my desk at work:

He's already sucking his thumb!

Oh yeah, he’s already got the total thumb suck action going on – are fetuses eligible for Cute Overload or what?

In reality, these shots just don’t do the experience justice. Watching the little guy do somersaults when they first started was amazing. It brought the reality of the “this is a real, living being in her stomach” situation to us. He’s only the size of a lemon or orange or some other small fruit, but he’s so real and alive. Seriously, when they use the word “miracle”, they aren’t exaggerating.

I’m not going to post every ultrasound picture here, but if you’re interested in keeping up the rest are available over here.

You could say that Santa Fe was a success

It all starts as a little bump. Nothing more than a lima bean – but even smaller.

The Lima Bean

What is that even supposed to be? There’s a whole lot of stuff going on there – 171 beats per minute – but it really just looks like a blob. How do you even begin to think about it as something real. And then, only a few weeks later, it grows things like a head and feet and whatnot and suddenly you realize that you’re really going to have to name it and wipe its nose and change its diapers and drive it to friends’ houses and pay for college and explain to lots of teachers where its sarcasm came from.

The Little One

Oh, and you’ll also have to stop saying it. For the record I’ve been switching between he and she – mainly he in the old fashioned “gender neutral” sense.

The movement was just crazy. I expected a little wriggling or something – but the big thrusts and sudden jumps were almost unreal. He’s a powerful little guy.

Fetus Power!

I think he’s flashing gang signs or something. We’ll have to work on that.

I guess I should have something more profound to say, but I’m just wondering who in the world could possibly think that I should be in charge of another life? The Woman does – and her opinion matters more than mine.

So, let the countdown begin – one week left of the first trimester. How’s that for pressure?