Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fatherhood- past and present

I have the most incredible husband in the whole wide world. He is truly an amazing husband and father. He handles his new role like he handles everything else in life- with an incredible amount of love, dedication, and support. He has always been like this. I am his first priority. He has always supportive- from the first day we were married. He is the kind of guy who refills your glass before you even knew it was empty. He always anticipates my needs. When I was pregnant, he knew what Iwas craving and kept the house stocked with it before I knew I noticed that I was craving it.

As a father, he is no different. My last day at the hospital, the doctor asked me about the color of Ian's poop. I had no idea. I had only changed like two at that point. Dave had been taking care of them because it was really hard for me to sit up. Now that Ian is at home, he holds Ian and changes diapers at least as much as me. He is constantly looking out for my welfare as well as Ian's needs. He adores our little boy and takes good care of him. He looses lots of sleep- just like I do.

Dave has quite a full plate... the guy works full time, goes to school full-time, is Elders quorum president, and now is a new Father. It stands to reason that he might have a hard time juggling all of these things sometimes. Work stays- he has to keep his job, School is crutial (He's a computer programmer. The only job security any programmer has is to cross train in another field. He's working towards his masters in accounting.), Family is most important to him. It stands to reason that church responsibilities would fall through at a major transition period like this.

The men at church are clueless however.... You know the one's who were perfectly acceptable in their time, but would be considered to be deadbeats by today's standards. (95% of men over 40). They make statements to Dave such proudly proclaiming that they never changed a diaper because, "I didn't know anything about babies so I let her do it" or "How is APRIL adjusting to everything?" (If they ever did anything they would recognize the difficulty for both of us.) and "I just slept through the baby crying because I didn't know what to do anyway." All they had to do was bring home the bacon and arrive back home at the end of the day to be considered competent.

Fatherhood requires much more out of this generation of fathers. I think these guys deserve credit. Becoming a new father is HUGE- when you actually participate in your child's life. My point is- I am SO grateful that Dave chooses to be an involved husband and father. He is an incredible support to me. I really don't know how I would handle life without the kind of support he offers. He can't imagine being any other way- the likes being involved- and I love him for all that he does and is. I do wish others would resognize and offer him the support he needs/ deserves as a father in this generation.


I think there's probably no time in a person's life when they need parents than when they become one. My mom came for 10 days after Ian was born. She truly saved my life- on a milliion levels. First, I was in serious need of recovery. I pretty much just slept and fed Ian fed Ian for the first two weeks. I slept 7-8 hours during the day. My mom andDave took care of Ian and woke me up when he needed to eat. I desperately needed the rest.

She took care of me so that I could take care of Ian. She made sure I ate and slept. Thank goodness. I think exhaustion and pain are the primary causes of depression. She helped me take care of myself to keep these under wraps.

Also- she was there to teach us what we needed to survive. The first nght Ian was home, Dave stayed up with him the first half of the night and I stayed up the second half. The next night my mom slept with him on the couch until like 4:30 am. I was so relieved. She basically figured out what he needed in order to sleep and passed on the tips. The next night she got him to sleep and the swaddled him in for the night- he slept again and I was able to get him back to sleep after he woke up to sleep. I have been grateful for that woman a million times, but never so much as then! She understood the importance of swaddling when helping an infant sleep. I had read about swaddling, but wasn't going to understand on my own.

That was one of a million things that she modeled for us that we just weren't going to get on our own. There are a million questions... is this normal? Is this going to change or stay the same? etc.

And support. We don't know how to be parents. My mom and dad (my dad came for about 5 days) were an incredible source of support. We just needed to know that we were doing ok. My dad especially always expresses his pride in us- in our lives, who we are, and what we have accomplished. Sometimes you just need to know that you are doing ok. His vote of confidence brings strength to my soul.

The torpedo fairy

Ok. So I'm home one, maybe two days from the hospital (It's all really a blur.) when I woke up in the morning with my first of several visits from the torpedo fairy. Suddenly my chest was composed of two, hard-as-rock torpedos. This was fine the first day, but by the second day they were insistent on unloading cargo at will. Ian was now 4 or 5 days old- still just figuring out this feeding thing. He didn't quite understand how all of this works. You see, he seemed to feel that each torpedo was a long lost trusted friend. When it was time to eat, he would stare at his old friend, pat it, and smile- aparently thankful to have such a good friend. The only problem with this was at the same time, the torpedo was insistent on unloading. The result was a huge mess!!! He also had problems deciding which of these two friends he wanted and would spend a good 5-10 minuites switching between each before the moon and the stars aligned correctly and he decided to eat. In the meantime, I was drenched.

To compound this problem. No one had told me how desperately I would need a nursing bra. I was soaked! It was quite embarrasing. I had nursing pads, but had NO IDEA that a nursing bra and nursing pads would become a constant part of my day and night wardrobe- and that even with them, I would get used to waking up drenched. (This must be what guys feel like when they first get nocturnal emissions, "What the heck?" Only this wasn't so enjoyable. ) I had these thin pads at first. They did not work. Nursing pads with plastic backing to protect your clothes are essential. Must be changed a good 4-5 times a day.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

He's here! He's here!

Ok. I have been quite anti-social the past few days. I'm feeling a bit better so I thought I should write some.

First, Isn't he beautiful!!! He really is just a sweetie. If you go to look at the pictures- you should know- the first set are typical birth pictures- complete with blood and guts. If you don't have a strong stomach- skip to the second set.

Anyway- I feel I should write about Ian's birth and everything- so here we go.

Ok. So the night before Ian was born, we stayed up and cleaned. My friend good Janine came over and helped. Thank goodness- she is an angel. Not that things were pitiful before, but I was just not going to feel prepared until everything was in order. I went to bed and slept about the same as usual. Dave stayed up 'til midnight and then attempted to sleep until wakeup time- failing miserably.

We were scheduled for the C-section at 7:45 so we had to be there at 5:45. The hospital was 45 min from the house, so we were up at 4 am and gone at 5 am. Bright and early. We got up and dressed, Dave gave me a blessing, and we went to the hospital.

When we got there, the nurse who was assigned us met us and took us back to the room. I don't remember her name, but she was really quite nice. We took some pictures (she encouraged us to get a belly shot) and then I got changed. I was trying hard to calmly deal with the prospects at hand. I had never been in the hospital before and the prospect of being sliced open was incredibly scarey. I accepted all that was happening by simply staying as realistic as possible. Realizing that there was no easy way out of the situation and that to be honest- there was going to be a knife involved- either an episiotomy (If I had chosen to go natural) after labor and lots of other trauma or a C-section. Either option wasn't exactly pleasant. I was just going to have to deal with this.

Well, all of that realism worked until she put in the IV. OUCH!!!! Those IVs hurt!!! No one ever told me that IVs hurt. She put it in about 1.5 hours before the surgery. This was BY FAR the worst part of the process. After that, I just sat there- In pain-with anxiety mounting. IF this was just the IV, what was I really in for... I didn't know. AHHHHH! You know with fear- it's always "fight or flight". Well, the problem is... there was no "flight" option. That baby was going to have to come out- one way or the other. I was just going to have to face my fears. I was terrified!

Of course, had I known that that would be the worst part, I would have been fine. The epidural was the next step. It was nothing. They gave me some anti-anxiety meds with it... good choice. After that I was just fine. I went straight to sleep. I woke up for the nurse to ask if I had felt the catheder go in.... Nope. (One more thing I was dreading resolved.) Then Dave came in all dressed in scrubs. He looked so cute. He held my hand. I think I went back to sleep. I remember Dr. Ramos saying, "Well, get the camera ready." And then a baby scream. The perfect baby scream- a loud, clear, healthy scream. (The Speech Pathologist in me, of course, had to evaluate this early sign of healthiness/ lack thereof.) I was a proud mommy. I think Dave went to help the nurse clean him up while they stiched me up- not that I had a clue- I was back in la-la land. I wasn't feeling a thing. Next I knew, they put little Ian in my arms. He was all wrapped up in a blanket with this cute little t-shirt and a hat on his head. He was beautiful! I just stared at him. What a beautiful little baby. What a nice, healthy scream!!! Way to go little boy. I just couldn't believe he came out of me.

They took Ian to the nursery. I went to the recovery room and back to sleep- feelin' no pain. (At least 'till day 2 when the epidural starting running out and I didn't know that I should have been asking for a pain shot.) I slept on and off for the next several hours in the recovery room. Dave walked back and forth between me and the nursery. He said he just stared at Ian for hours between checking on me. Just couldn't help but stare. I was happy to sleep. Ian was healthy and being taken care of. He sure had a nice, clear scream.

Dave found an internet connection in the hospital and put up that first set of pictures by 10 am, beside me in the recovery holding area. Couldn't be happier. What a cute little boy!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

More Photos

Here's more Ian! Once again, click on the picture above. He is now all cleaned up and looks a lot more lively.

Home at Last

Well, we made it home today. April was ready to leave. As soon as she got here, she went to straight to bed. Ian also took his first nap in his Pack-N-Pray. He seemed to be comfortable there.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Here he is!

7lbs 3.8oz 20.5"

Click on the image above for more photos.