Saturday, August 21, 2004

Musing of a Perplexed Father.

People say, "Oh, you have a beautiful girl," and oh, you're such a pretty little princess. But you know, to be perfectly and utterly honest, newborns don't look like anything other than newborns. They're like these miniature, twitchy, unisex human beings who look like puppets when they cry because their heads are thrown back, the tougue curls, and there's no teeth. Like a little Muppet. Don't get me wrong, I think she's cute and all that, but newborns have this look that's so foreign and alien. Just tiny and frail and unusually loud.

The other thing that's throwing me off is her Boo-Boo. I call it a Boo-Boo on this blog because some pervert will Google word combinations like baby and the medical term for Boo-Boo for some gratification and find this site. I'm not comfortable with that. I want people to read my blog with both hands on the keyboard.


Her Boo-Boo is perplexing mainly because I don't have one. With Alex, his Wee-Wee was not that foreign, just smaller than usual. But with Zoe, her Boo-Boo is only the second real-life Boo-Boo I've had to handle, though the first one is handled wayyy different than the second. It's just a strange sight to change a diaper, and it's not there. No, something else is there. And it's not external, but internal. Look, God. I don't know how to clean that, dude. So, I'll just wipe it gently, and that's that. But I asked my wife, who said that that's fine, that we I have to wipe in-between Alex's butt cheeks for offending material, wouldn't that get lodged in her Boo-Boo as well? I dunno. Girl parts are weird.

Zoe's legs are still pretty cocked in her fetal position, like she's been on sitting on a chair for far too long and her legs are stuck that way. I'm not worried about it, I just forget babies do that. I forgot Alex did that. It's like refreshing my memories. Sigh. I'll be up till 2am, and then my wife will be on baby watch. I don't mind really, I'm more of a night person anyhow.

I promise I won't blog anymore tonight though.

The Good Life of having two babies.

It only took a few minutes before leaving the hospital before we were overwhelmed by the plural offspring. Because we had to rush home before my father-in-law came over, we were sort of rushed to get outta there. We realized that the baby carseat had not been realigned for Zoe, just for Alex when he outgrew it, so we were attempting to realign the carseat, which is a feat for the gods with the big brains and smallest hands. If you've ever had to realign or resize a car seat, you would know the frustration that comes with it - It's like trying to stick a rope through a needlepoint. So we were trying to do that, and then Alex decided to explode. Then Zoe decided, hey, I'll explode as well. And so it began.

Luckily, Zoe is pretty easy on the bilibed. The bilibed is like a tanning bed for babies with jaundice, the flourescent lights help to lower the levels of jaundice but the baby ends up having to lay in there for hours at end. Zoe sleeps most of the time, or just lays there staring into space and her new home. Which is a vast improvement from Alex, who wiggled and cried through that experience. It's still a little tough for us, because she spend the majority of her first few days in the nursery in the company of nurses, and now that she's home, she's slow-baking on the bili-bed.

Alex has adapted as well as we can tell. Whenever he sees her, he gets a smile on his face and he's curious to meet her. We try to let him check her out, but he gets excited and starts battering her or grabbing her. So we grab his hand, and mock pat her, saying incredibly silly things like, "Be nice to the baby. Be gentle." and he complies by assaulting her some more. So it might be a while before he's allowed to touch her. He's not being malicious by any means, but things are only classified in two ways to him - things to play with, and thing to put in his mouth. Zoe's far too big to fit in his mouth.

As for my wife, she's still suffering from headaches, which may be a result from her surgery from getting her tubes tied, and nausea, which is a side effect from the Percocet for that pain. On top of that, she's tired, and the area around the insertion from the surgery is turing a faint red, which is worrisome. As for me, I have transformed into the domesticated father/cook/husband/maid. I'm doing almost everything I can to help out everyone else. It's a tremendous job and a stressful undertaking. As long as I'm only watch for one baby, I do okay. Two babies - not so great. I'm naturally more patient with Zoe because she's younger, but also because she actually needs me on a basic level. Alex just needs me because he wants to swallow steakknives and I'm not letting him. Or he's just trying to play on the freeway and I stand in his path.

I'm taking three weeks off for paternity leave, and for anyone who might accuse me of being a slacker, well, don't be that envious. It'll be a busy, busy three weeks of trying to keep Alex occupied, letting my wife recover and adapt to the newer, busier schedule, and caving to Zoe's every need. I take the time to take a few pictures and video now and then to preserve the moment - that way I'll know what I was actually going on later, in a less busier time!

But I'm still very happy to be a father to a handsome young lad and a little baby girl.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Viva La Update

My wife has improved 101 percent since yesterday - most of the pain is gone, and she can feel her legs! Apparently they gave her a lot of anesthetic, but the pain still came through. She's taking Percocet now, which leaves her a little oblivious, but at least she's not experiencing that searing pain. I felt utterly hopeless and useless, but she said that she was glad that I was around to help her get stuff, and also to keep her company through all of this.

Zoe, our little girl... We actually haven't seen much of her, because she's been hanging out in the nursery more than our room. Because Mom isn't feeling great and requires the rest, the nurses and my wife have opted to have her in the nursery about half, if not most of the time. I got to hold her a few times and she's got the sweetest little face. Just a combination of the roundest features and the littlest slits that make up her closed eyelids and her closed mouth. Her lips are a little rosy and red, and she's got the faintest eyebrows. Her limbs are something to behold as well. Just tiny little things that wiggle from time to time.

Hopefully the wife and baby gets out of the hospital today. From here on out, we'll be having family visit almost every day through the weekend, and I'll be on Alex watch indefinitely. He's far too heavy and active for my wife to be chasing and picking him up, so I've got my stun gun and lasso for fatherly duties.

On a completely unrelated topic, I've started reading again! No, not the flaky blurbs from magazines with lots of photos to distract me from the words, but an actual book. The last one I read was a few years ago, and since my Double Day book fiasco, I finally caved and opened the box of books that I got from them. My first book - Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." I wouldn't say it was terribly religious, but certainly spiritual in tone. Very good book to to reintroduce reading to. Short chapters, almost built like a movie. Since we've checked into the hospital, I've read over half already, most of it in the dark. Woohoo! Pursuing intellectual pursuits is refreshing.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Alex is sleeping right now, and my wife is in surgery. I feel bad that I can't be there with her, after all, she is getting her tubes tied and it's pretty much my fault that she has to. Hopefully it's not too much pain for her - once Alex wakes up, I'll get him fed and go see how Mom's doing.

Her tubes getting tied is just the beginning of it. Because it's somewhat major, she'll have to stay for another night, and this time she would have to do it alone because I couldn't possibly ask anyone to watch Alex for another night. Brendon and Maralise did it for two, and Maralise has to work from now on. It's pure luck that she was off when she was. Also, we found out that Zoe does indeed have jaudice like her older brother, and they'll be testing her levels again tomorrow to see if it requires treatment. The last time Alex had the bililights treatment, my wife and I had a really tough time. She wanted to kick my ass for sleeping through my shift.

Zoe is still having a bit of a tough time adapting to this world - she often seeks the comfort of someone holding her or just being breastfed. This is a little tough for my wife, because she definitely needs the rest now more than ever. Now that she won't be able to come home for another night, I'm starting to be a little worried.

My wife, on the other hand, is worried to death about how we're going to handle 2 babies. One is kinda rough already, but 2 is going to be just plain murder. She worries even more when my 3 weeks of paternal leave is up, and when JL goes back to school. Then it's 2 babies all by herself. I suppose my video game binges is officially over, until Zoe gets to be Alex's age and is a little more independent.

Well, that's all for now. Gotta go make some bottles!


So, no drugs for the lady, and although my wife was in a lot of pain due to the contractions, she still had to make a crack about the guy. The contractions got to be more severe, and one of the nurses suggested forced labor or some such thing, whereby two nurses are supposed to hold back her legs during her contractions and my wife was supposed to push like a crazy person. I decided to abandon my PG rating and go right for the R rating, because I know my wife wouldn't be able to see something like that ever. In fact, during Alex's birth, I was so focused on my wife that I didn't actually see Alex come out, I just saw him shoot out and slide across the bed.

About 16 minutes of pushing, I started to see Zoe's head. She had hair, and I also marveled in utter fear about how her body, let alone her tiny little head, was going to fit through there. It's a cliche saying, but damnit all to hell, it looks like it bloody hurts. When Zoe's head finally popped out, the good doctor had to move the cord, which was slightly around her neck. The doctor was starting to suction out her nose when Zoe just began to slip out on her own.

Then the cleaning, suctioning, shots, wiping, sewing, injecting, probing and everything took place, and while my wife was being taken care of, I stayed with Zoe, videotaping her first goop, her first shots, and all that good stuff. I called immediate family at around midnight to let them know about Zoe's birth (everyone was sleeping.) and about an hour later, I stopped home to post those pictures on the blog.

My first impressions? Zoe looks a lot different than Alex. She's got a slightly longer face, and her cheeks are a little chubbier. She hasn't opened her eyes quite as much, and she's definitely a little more needy than her brother. She wants to be breastfed constantly, even if she's not hungry. She didn't cry a lot the first day, but she's crying more now. She's spent more time in the nursery than her brother because of that reason, because Mom needs a few hours of good sleep.

Needless to say, our sleeping pattern has already been altered. We went to sleep last night after Zoe went to the nursery at 9pm - which is a rarity for the both of us. The only time we'd do that would be if we traveled to a different time zone, and was drugged and knocked unconciousness. We slept till 3am, when the nurse bought the baby back in to nurse. She was taken to the nursery again at around 4:30, and then I woke up to a terrible dream - a parent's nightmare - at 6:30 am and headed home, so that I could watch Alex after Maralise went to work. Brendon's still here, but he hasn't got a lot of experience with babies. Which most guys don't unless they have significantly younger siblings.

So, hopefully she'll be released from the hospital today. She is scheduled to have her tubes tied this afternoon, but hopefully she'll be out of there after that. It's harder with this delivery also because we didn't have a 11-month old to worry about last time. Again, special thanks to Brendon and Maralise who spent the last two days taking care of Alex. It would've been really difficult if he was there at the hospital with us. He's such a busy little boy.

That should get me caught up for a while. I'll post a link to more photos later!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Just a quick update. The day of the false alarm, we went into the childbirth center at midnight, and got all hooked up to the machines. Well, she was only 3 cm dilated, so they made her walk around in order to induce labor. We hung out at the hospital till 3 in the morning before they sent us home, because there weren't any changes.

That of course, is a precursor to last night. Because of the night before, both of us didn't get that much sleep, about 5 to 6 hours at best before I had to go to work and she had to get up for Alex. So yesterday night, we were hanging out with Brendon and Maralise, walking about Boulevard Park, and were just about to settle down for a movie, "13 going on 30". My wife suddenly said that "We're going to have to eat crow" which means something foreign to me, and said that her contractions were really starting to hurt. I got the hint it was starting to get serious when she walked out the door before I could finish a joke.

We were admitted, and the epideral guy was sent packing again because she was already on her way. I'll finish this next part of the story later. Basically, Zoe is fine, my wife is beautiful and fine. We're still at the hospital because she's going to have her tubes tied, so I'm going to be spending the night there again. Thanks to Brendon and Maralise for watching Alex through this, and thanks to everyone for their well wishes. I'll be heading back to the hospital!

Welcome Little Girl!

Zoe Madison was born August 17, at around 11:40pm. The labor was relatively quick, but painful, no time for drugs. Mom and Dad are very happy, Zoe is healthy and doing great. Full story later!!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

False alarm, nevermind. Details tomorrow when it's not 3am.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I'm going to post this, take a shower, and then we're going to the hospital. The contractions are starting to hurt. Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Feeling sorry for my wonderful Wife

Because that's the very least I can do. It think she's been a little bit down today, and I don't blame her at all. She feels like an elephant not because of its proportions, but because elephants are pregnant for 22 months and my wife's pregnancy with Alex and now with Zoe back to back is beginning to take its toll. She actually wants to have the baby soon because it's becoming a hassle. She suffers from frequent heartburn, cramps, spasms - and probably a whole lot more but I don't remember all of it. Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing her belly button, which is now popped out, and I couldn't imagine having all that weight on your tummy, putting so much strain on her back. On top of all that, she's pretty emotional all the time, crying a few times over "50 First Dates" tonight. But it was a sweet movie, so it's okay.

Sorry I'm writing like I'm 5. It's 2:30 in the morning and my brain is shutting down. I should shut down soon too.