Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time to Step Up Dad!!

Week 36? ALREADY? I know, it's hard to believe....trust me, I am having some issues with it myself! As most of you know we were waiting for Baby Kevin to decide what position he was going to enter the world in. Until recently he decided that he was going to slide into the world feet first like a base runner stealing a base in the big leagues. Although that sounds cool, it is not the ultimate way to be when you deliver! The doctors had their doubts that he would "flip" into the correct position (head down), and they told us that if he had not by week 36 that we could go ahead and schedule our C section! Kevin had other thoughts!

Every woman wants to give birth the regular way...you know, TONS of drugs and pushing...haha...But lately it seems that many doctors and patients are going to the C Section as the delivery of choice! Christine was finally warming up to the idea of a C Section and the idea that she would not have to be in labor for 36 hours. She was starting to think that a 45 minute procedure to bring Kevin into the world wasn't a terrible idea! In fact, we were bouncing around dates that we wanted as the birth date. May 19th was my choice because it would give me more time at home with the baby before returning to work...although Christine thought i only liked it because it is my parents anniversary and my grandfather's birthday! I am not going to say she is wrong on this one, but my story sounded good too! Christine liked the 18th or the 20th because she likes EVEN numbers...I can't make this stuff up....that was really her reason!

So the doctor came in and felt around and decided that the baby had not flipped and that we should go ahead and schedule a C Section for one of our dates (which would have definitely been one of Christine's dates, just for the record)! At the last second the doctor decided to get an ultrasound to be SURE of the baby's position. During this exam it was determined that my baby boy had indeed FLIPPED! he was head down and gearing up to enter the world as nature intends (you know, with the drugs and the pushing)...So the doctor said, "Now you have to wait for labor like everyone else!!" Come on doc - you know me by now, and we are not going to do this like ANYONE else! haha

So let me get this straight....for the last 4 weeks I have pretty much convinced myself that the horror stories i heard in baby class about the long labor, and the screaming, and the moaning, and the ice chips, and the leg holding, etc. would not be applying to me!! All of the sudden we are going to have to measure contractions and get our bags packed to do this thing the old-fashioned way! And if you have read my blog and know me....you know that I am loving this! So now I get to be the dad speeding to the hospital with a baby on the way!! YES!!!! We are both excited to welcome our baby boy into the world, but this does add some nerves to the situation. But, we will handle it and all will be OK! Since the due date is May 24th, and Christine has gestational diabetes, we cant go past that date...So if nothing happens by then she will be induced that day!

Did you ever notice that whenever a friend or family member has a baby you always get the same message..either on your phone, your email, or on facebook...it always says the SAME THING! It goes something like this!
"{Insert baby name here} was born on {insert date here} at {insert time here}, weighing {insert weight here} and was {inches} long! MOM AND BABY ARE DOING FINE!"
Now, don't get me wrong...i am not stupid enough to think that the dad did more or even equal to what the mom did to have that baby..so the dad should be fine...but why don't we mention the dads?? I think i know why! Think about it...the cadence in which we all say normal, everyday things is exactly the same day to day...like phone numbers, and birthdays. I think this is the way this Baby message has been passed down! For example...if you ask me when I was born - i say, "May 3rd 1980." If my answer was, "The 3rd day of May in the year 1980," that would screw you up and cause you to look at me funny! Its just the way everyone has ALWAYS said it, so it sticks! A better example is the phone numbers...how many people try to throw you off of the xxx-xxx-xxxx cadence by throwing a "sixteen eighty" in there instead of "1-6-8-0!" Generationally speaking, I think there is a gap between what was and what now is the way of child birth! True, the mom still is the one pushing, and the baby is still the one coming through the smallest opening in creation. But, the dad is doing a lot more than in the past! In the past the dads would not be anywhere near the hospital when their kids were born. They would drop off the wife and pick up the wife and baby! Now, if the woman is in labor for 46 hours, her partner is there with her...wiping her head, coaching, feeding ice chips, and getting called awful names and taking shots to the head!! The dad is also sleeping at the hospital with the mom and baby, and the dad is up doing all the duties since mom is resting from a long and exhausting surgery...Now, I am not saying the dad deserves more credit...because I am not stupid enough to type something like that in a blog when 90% of my readers are women!! I would never suggest that also because its not true. But for recent dads like my brother, most of my friends (i said most!) and definitely ME, that were there (or will be there) for the labor and slept at the hospital on those God-awful window ledges, and put in their time during the whole process, well....I think some credit can be a good thing!

All this being said dads...it's time to step it up and earn some of the credit! It's like anything else...if you don't want to be labeled as a certain type of person, then you need to go out of your way to reverse those feelings! Dads, keep fighting the good fight, and maybe one day we will get a blurb in the "Welcome Baby" notifications....just maybe, but probably not!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Showers, Setbacks, and Update

I feel the need to apologize for the lack of blog activity recently, but to say it was pure laziness is not entirely true! I have had some medical issues and needed to go under the knife to repair a hernia that I got from shoveling, which is why i am about to begin raising a snow shoveler/grass cutter! All is well now and I am recovering just fine! I can not lift anything over 10 pounds for another 4 weeks or so, and Christine can not lift anything over 20...So we make quite the pair!

I have had surgery before, and i usually handle it very well - I mean, come on - you are in the best hands and professionals are in charge...what can go wrong! For some reason I turned into an emotion sap this time. Now, I know what you are all thinking - "Anthony, you are ALWAYS an emotional sap!" But, this time it was different! I was worried about going into surgery because there was a chance that if something went wrong that I would not be able to meet my son, and that had me completely bent out of shape! Now, hernia repair surgery is not open heart surgery - but things can happen! Anyway - I made it through, and now I am back to being a normal emotional sap!! Things are getting back to normal! I have to say that Christine was a trooper through the entire "Anthony is stealing my Spot light" moment! She was there to take care of me when i should have been taking care of her, and she was fantastic!

Since the last blog we have had 2 out of 3 Baby Showers! In our NY shower I didn't think we were going to be able to get everything home...in fact, we didn't! We needed my in-laws to drive some of it to MD when they came for the MD Family shower! After the MD Family shower we could not sit in our living room or dining room anymore...and then it hit me - I wont be sitting for a LONG TIME! I used to hear new parents complain that the kids' stuff was taking over their house, and i always thought to myself - "Then don't let it get to that point!!" i now know that you can't help it! You need the swing, the stroller, the travel system, the pack-n-play, the high chair, the glider, 750 bibs, 647 burp cloths, 234 stuffed animals, walkers, bouncy seats, and pacifiers to successfully have a kid! Thanks to help from both sets of parents, we are now able to live in the same space as our future child! i found that the main barrier to space is the boxes that all this stuff come in! I am pretty sure that we are going to have a cardboard and Styrofoam shortage in America if Babies R Us and friends keep packing baby things in boxes that are 45 times bigger than the actual item it contains! It took us longer to break down the boxes than it did to put everything together!

The nursery is complete!!! All of the crib accessories are set up, the monitors are in place, the rug is on the floor, the changing table is on the dresser, the letters and pictures are on the wall, and all it seems now that we need is Baby Kevin! I will attempt to put the video on here later.

Christine is doing great...33 weeks pregnant today and has not gained a single pound during the pregnancy! We found out that she has gestational diabetes and needs to follow a special diet. She has done so well with it and I could not be prouder! We have both recently lost weight because of all the diet stuff in the house! I think I am brushing my teeth with 100% wheat toothpaste, and using fat free toilet paper....that's how much is diet in the house!! The baby is now 4 pounds and 10 ounces, and is right on track. He is in the 56 percentile for weight, and appears to be a long one! They cant get an accurate reading on the length because he is all curled up! The doctor did say that he has "Scholarship Arms!" I am just hoping that the scholarship is a FULL ONE!

We are very excited, and also getting a little nervous. We had a child care class the other day where they successfully explained the top 15 ways your kid will choke, suffocate, or drown and the ways to "bring them back!" I lost about 5 years of my life watching the videos of these people talking about their kids choking, biting power cords, and falling in various water holes! I think I will actually be paying attention my child so I can rule a bunch of those video scenarios out! For example, "I was curling my hair, and the phone rang, so I looked at my 2 year old and said, Mommy will be right back - don't touch that!" Guess what?? He touched it! Shocker! Seriously though, it was good to get the CPR training, and i am glad that i know what to do in an emergency!

We also found out this passed week that Kevin is breached. He has until week 36 to flip into proper alignment or we will need to schedule a C-Section. We hope he flips, but either way we are comfortable with any decision that needs to be made! All in all things are going extremely well with the pregnancy and my wife has shown me that she is stronger than I ever imagined! We are counting down the days!! We are also still counting the people that tell us how tough having a baby is...I don't need the negativity folks - i am sure it will be tough - but I cant wait for the tough times because that means I am a Dad! BRING IT!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3rd trimester!

I have often asked myself..."Anthony, why are you so different than some people?" To be specific, Why am I watching Survivor on Thursday nights instead of hanging at the bar with friends? Why do I watch the Bachelor, 24, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Amazing Race, The Apprentice, Awards Shows and various sitcoms religiously? Well, the honest answer that I have come up with is, "Because I want to!" I have never been the guy that needed to stay at the bar til close. or the guy that had to stay awake past 10:00pm, or the guy that had to do the things that everyone else did just to fit in! When I am tired - I sleep. If I am bored - I mix it up. Most importantly, If I am happy - I leave it alone! Now the question is - "Why am I saying all this??" - Well - because this baby process is the same! I have talked to so many people about the various stages in pregnancy from the guy's point of view. And MOST of the guys have very similar feelings....

1) They are happy about having a kid, but a freaked out by having a "Baby!" They want that kid to pop out with a back-pack on and head to the bus stop for 1st grade! They want the little baseball player from Day 1.

2) They would rather gouge out their eyes with wooden spoons than go and register for shower gifts....or they refuse to be a part of the shopping process all together!

3) They despise baby classes, and think it is an entire waste of time! These are the same guys, by the way, that do not stop and ask for directions on the road!

4) They want the epidural more than the woman! and in some cases - they need it more!

I think its always interesting to ask yourself what you think other people think about you from time to time. To be perfectly honest, most of the time I do not care what people think about me. But i would imagine that if I asked people to say 1 word that best describes me, TYPICAL or NORMAL would not be on the list! I have enjoyed every step so far and I plan to enjoy the rest!

Most of the guys i have talked to have a horror story about the first week when they bring the baby home! Now, let me start by saying that I am in no way saying that I won't have one myself...in fact my main point is that I am PLANNING on having a rough time that first week! I have heard, "I had no idea it would be like this" and "That kid did nothing but scream all night!" My main thought is....What did you think was going to happen?!! It's like a Best Man at a wedding not being prepared to give a speech...it's going to happen...Prepare yourself!! Now, I have also hear that i can't prepare for this sort of change. Well, let me try - I am not going to sleep, and i am going to be rocking and walking the baby all day and night...and when the baby does sleep I will be doing laundry and washing bottles and changing diapers! I cant wait, consider me prepared!

The classes and registering are actually pretty exciting for me. I liked registering for the wedding, and the baby stuff is even better! Getting stuck in the breast pump aisle wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't so bad! The classes are what you make of them. i can not tell you how many guys told me how TERRIBLE they were, and some of the guys in my classes look so miserable that they would sell their souls to get out of it! Well, I like knowing where to go, when to go there, and what to expect. I obviously understand that all the techniques we have learned may not go exactly as planned, and that my sweet, darling wife may grab me by the shirt and say some crazy things...but all in all the classes are pretty good!

I guess I am different, and not the normal guy when it comes to having a baby. That being said - I know a lot of guys that feel the way I do. After going through what Christine and I did to get pregnant I do not like the negativity associated with pregnancy. The truth is that we were blessed to even get pregnant...so when someone tells me the famous lines of "You have no idea what you're getting into...." or (my personal favorite) "You just wait...." I don't want to hear it...because I DON'T care how hard it is...To quote Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own" - "The HARD is what makes it great!!" I can promise you 1 thing....you will never hear me complain about my son Kevin, or my sleepless nights, or ANYTHING...because I am just happy to have the opportunity and the privilege of being a dad....and I think more people should stop complaining and embrace it as well!

**Christine UPDATE - She is doing well and just entered the 3rd trimester! We have the first shower planned with family and friends in NY next week and a 3D ultrasound planned for when her parents come here next! We can't wait for our first glimpse of our little man!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Timber and Snow

Well - here we are...on the cusp of 25 weeks into the pregnancy and things are still rolling along. We had a bit of a scare last week when Christine fell while teaching. She fell on her knees and was not hurt, so we didn't think it was a big issue! Wow - we were wrong...Apparently whenever a pregnant woman slips they should call their doctor to see if it harmed the baby at all. In fact the doctors said that even if you don't fall to the ground (just a slight slip) you should be checked out!

Everything went well when Christine got checked out...In fact she was more into the fact that she got to wear a hospital bracelet! This was her first trip to the hospital since she was 6 years old! My mom went to the hospital with her (thanks Mom) since it wasn't an immediate emergency, and she was excited because she got to hear the baby's heartbeat for 45 minutes! So all in all Christine got her bracelet and mom got to hear the baby and Dad (me) was stuck at work freaking out and waiting to hear some news!

We have signed up for baby classes and I am actually excited about them...well, I am now - I'm sure that will wear off about the first hour or so into it! I am not downplaying the importance of the classes...in fact, I think it will answer some of the questions we have and put us at ease to some point. Its funny what people say based on their experiences during every aspect of this adventure, and as I have said before everyone has an opinion. But, most of the dads i know have been pretty consistent about the grossness of the videos i will be seeing here in the next couple of months! In fact, almost all of them said that the videos were more horrifying than the actual even because you are not tied emotionally to the video...I find this funny because lately Christine is tied emotionally to everything,,,videos included! So, it may be different for her!! Dan Jansen (former Olympian) is featured on a commercial now where he promised his sister he would win a Gold medal for her in the 98 Games...He fell in his pursuit and she dies shortly after. Then it pans to him winning the Gold years later and skating a victory lap with his daughter that is named after his sister...Christine cries at this commercial EVERY time! It is a touching commercial, but normally emotions will die off after some time...not for her!

SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW...One of the biggest snow storms just hit MD and one constant question kept coming up..."what is it going to be like in here with a baby?" Most of the questions Christine asks are not ones that can be answered! I think its sort of like a "Keep Anthony on his Toes" game...but this one really got to me....Because I have no idea!! My friend Matt told me that no one can tell you what to imagine, you just roll with it as it comes...and I think that's what we will have to do. But, I can tell you that no matter how it is with Baby Kevin here, it will be great! As the clothes and toys start piling up and our registry gets smaller we are both getting more and more excited! Stay warm and dry!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What did our Parents do??

This whole pregnancy thing has made me wonder what it was like when our parents were in our shoes!! I mean, think about it...there was no Internet, no parent books, less restrictions and we all turned out just fine!! well...most of us! As far I know our moms walked around pregnant with cigarettes in their mouths and a shot of Jack in their hand!! Ok, that is a little over-reaction...but, today if a pregnant woman is within 100 miles of a lit cigarette people dive on her like the secret service does on the President if shots are fired!

On the flip-side I do like the baby books. I think its good to be prepared for certain situations, but seriously some of these chapters could be left out!! If you are pregnant and you think it's ok to drink and smoke and snort lines of cocaine you have bigger issues than worrying about your baby's health! Where do these people come from! Who is getting ready to drink a lemon-drop shot and is suddenly stopped by the future baby daddy because he just "read" that its not cool!

The Internet is something that I could go either way on when it comes to baby stuff...I say its cool to google about what is going on with your child during pregnancy...like what it weighs at week 22, or that it starts to urinate inside the mom at week 12...some of that stuff is cool! However, the fact that you can easily google: "EVERYTHING that can go wrong with pregnancy" is a bit much!! The hormones are crazy enough Mr. Internet...Thanks a lot!!

Another thing that has changed in this generation are registries for the baby! I mean, I am pretty sure that most of us drank from a bottle that was warmed by it being placed in a pan of boiling water!! Not my baby though! No, our little guy will be sipping on a bottle warmed by a "bottle warmer!" I refused to buy the "wipe warmer" because we are not raising a pre-Madonna here, and he can deal with a cold wipe now and again...besides it is very refreshing! Re-calls makes registering as difficult as figuring out who killed Kennedy! If you REALLY REALLY like something, there is a good chance it will be re-called! its a good way to keep us on our toes!!

So, after a blog like this I guess I need to give you all my opinions. Whether you were one of our parents or living in this generation, you have all you need to be a good parent inside you! I think all the technology and resources we have around us now are good, but not necessary. I believe that we all have instincts and a parental knowledge that will leak out when the time is right! Everyone has an opinion on how a child should be raised....but ultimately, your own way is probably the best!

ps...I can not imagine how many stroller options there will be once our kids start having kids...Babies R Us will have to be as big BJ's! I mean, the breast pump section already takes up an aisle and a half!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Mount Trend Continues

It has now been a little over a week since Christine and I had our 20 week appointment and sonogram! Each time I have sat down to write this blog entry I have stopped because I wanted to capture everything on 1 entry...since this is big news!! As for the title of this entry...All of Christine's friends from Mount Saint Mary's have had boys....5 Boys...and we make #6!!!

I'm not quite sure if I have ever had a stranger day in all my life. The anticipation of finding out whether we were having a son or daughter was nerve racking! Not only were we curious of the gender, we were waiting to hear that our baby was healthy! Prior to this appointment we had not heard the heartbeat for 8 weeks...and if that doesn't seem like a long time - it felt like an eternity! Luckily, the first thing they did when we went into the back was let us hear the beat of the heart...This appointment is a lot different than the rest...they go through and show you every part of the baby. The heart was so cool to see. We could see all 4 chambers and that everything was functioning properly. Our baby was actually looking like a baby. 8 weeks before this I swear it looked like a sea creature! A cute sea creature, but a sea creature none the less!!

Of course, as a guy, I was really focused one 1 thing after I saw the heart...and I bet I don't need to elaborate!! Of course, the tech went to every other area of the baby first, and made me sweat it out! I mean, I'm glad my child has functioning kidneys and a good brain...but COME ON ALREADY!!! When we finally got to "the area" I began to get really nervous...and of course the baby's legs were crosses and pinned together...so, we had to go count the toes before coming back - and YES, there were 10!

When the tech ventured back up to check the gender it was "obvious" to the tech that it was a BOY! I am not really sure what happened after this, except that I cried like a little girl...and so did Christine!! I would have been more than happy with a girl, but I'm not going to lie - I was going for a boy all the way!!

The name is going to Kevin James Davis (after our fathers), and truthfully this is probably the main reason for my tears. Not to be extremely mushy or redundant on this blog, but I feel extremely bless to honor my father this way. I have always said that my Dad is my hero in life (along with my mother). I have never known a better man, and I probably never will. I am so ready to be a father to my baby boy because of my relationship with my dad. I cant wait to play catch with him, take him to ball games, watch reality TV with him (haha), and just be there for him like my dad was there for me! I can not wait to be involved in his life...being a father, and a coach in life!

During my rehearsal dinner for our wedding, I told my parents - "You didn't always give me everything I ever wanted...but you always gave me everything I ever needed..." And, Kevin - I promise to be there for you always and give you all the love and guidance you require just like my parents did for me. I will try to live up to this motto during your life and never take 1 day for granted. You will truly be a gift to your mom and I and am so looking forward to meeting you...and looking forward to being a Dad! The day you are born will be the day that I can honestly say that I am living my dream...because all I have ever wanted was to be a dad, and I have been waiting all my life to meet you!