Getting Ready For Maisie or Preparing Thyself For Birth

June 10, 2010

It’s been a few weeks since we found out about our little bolt of lightning.  And according to my wife, she is now not only eating for two, but also cooking for two, sleeping for two, vacuuming for two, washing the dishes for two, pulling the weeds for two, lifting heavy objects for two, replacing the roof for two, mowing the lawn for two, rewiring the kitchen for two.

Me, I’m laying on the couch drinking beer for one, but have offered to help with light dusting.

June 14, 2010

I find myself now paying a little closer attention to baby conversations around the office.  Especially the melt down that Sydney Eichner had when her mother Jessica left the house this morning.  Or how Drew Lochmiller went into meltdown mode when Leslie decided it was time to change his sheets.  Or how Riley Nolan had a meltdown for basically no reason other then the fact that it was Wednesday.

June 19, 2010

Aimee has been comparing the size of the kid to pieces of fruit.  So I think the baby started out the size of a gnat (which actually isn’t a fruit but is still pretty small), then went to raisin, cherry, avocado, kumquat, plum, Kiwifruit, cantaloupe, and will ultimately arrive at watermelon or one of those huge tomatoes that James Whitmore used to grow with the radioactive fertilizer.

And here are the names we have settled on once the watermelon is born…

  • BOY:  Finn Jacob
  • GIRL:  Maisie Melissa
  • BOTH:  Trouble

July 1, 2010

IT’S A BOY.  NO, WAIT IT’S A GIRL.

There were about three people who were sure it was going to be a girl.  Aimee’s dad, my friend Annmarie and somebody from the dark side of Aimee’s family.  Everyone else was sure it was a boy…Aimee, Aimee’s friends, the psychic (lot of masculine energy she said), Aimee’s mom, and quite a few other people who shall go unnamed.

So it really wasn’t all that surprising at the ultrasound when we heard those seven magic words from the technician…

“That looks like a labia to me.”

We were both surprised and obviously elated.  But nothing compared to the one-man melee that erupted when Aimee’s dad found out–there was nobody in the Home Depot in Jupiter Beach Florida who didn’t know Art was getting a granddaughter.  I heard him screaming over the phone from about a hundred feet away, couldn’t help but hear him, it was wonderful.

This whole time of course Aimee had been calling the kid Finn.  As in “Finn, what are you doing to me?”  “This is all your fault Finn.”  “Finn, your father is not listening to us.”   Now I understand why Maisie always laid face down in the womb whenever the technician was trying to get a profile picture.

“Well, it’s no wonder.”  I said.  “You’ve been calling her a he all this time.  I would be pissed too.”

This still doesn’t change my plans.  I’m still going to make our little Maisie wear Barcelona soccer jerseys and AC/DC t-shirts.  I just have to gradually direct my hopes and dreams away from my kid becoming a global soccer star and point her in the direction of global music diva.  I really don’t care as long as she can buy her parents a huge house somewhere by a lake.

July 17, 2010

Aimee now speaks to her stomach more than she talks to any other living human being.  This is not in any way out of the ordinary, of course.  Except for the fact that I could have sworn her stomach answered her back one time.  There was, in fact, a point where I had suggested “Stomach” as a name for the kid but that was meant with about as much enthusiasm as my other suggested name, “Caligula.”  Anyway, about a week ago Aimee said in the direction of her stomach, “You kept me awake all night last night.”  And a small voice yelled back, “Oh yeah, just wait until I’m out of here.”

July 31, 2010

Kicking things is something that Maisie appears to do very well.   Once born, I may have to hone that skill and direct Maisie’s kicking talent towards people or vending machines that decide to cross me.  “This is my kid, Maisie,” I hear myself saying to lawyer Larry Sanderson, “Prepare to die.”  Maisie’s personality already seems to be leaning toward the not-to-be-messed-with side when she tried to kick the previously-mentioned lab technician through the womb.  That’s my kid.

August 4, 2010

Aimee is having second thoughts about her doctor.  I like him, he throws things around, makes me copy documents for him and has to constantly check his file because he can’t remember what he said the last appointment.  Plus he was once an astronaut.  This alone is sufficient reason to trust him as an obstetrician.  But he makes Aimee nervous, mainly by saying things like she should probably get her gall bladder out during one visit, then just kind of forgetting about it the next.  Or telling her it’s OK to fly to New York, then after returning from NY asking her “Who said it was OK for you to fly to New York?”  But he has delivered over 40,000 babies and has only misplaced like 15 or 20 of them.  That’s a pretty good percentage.  Did I tell you he’s an astronaut?

August 8, 2010

I asked one of the girls at the office if there was such a thing as In-the-womb pottee training.  They laughed.

August 18, 2010

I had thought that Aimee, not liking pain and being from the East Coast and all, would be a shoe-in for the epidural treatment.  But she has decided on the more natural and from what I can gather more-immense-pain way.  She has been meeting with mid-wives which when younger used to call to mind covens of cackling witches casting spells and spreading evil magic.  I don’t know why that image is still in my head but I’m sure it has something to do with a movie from my childhood.

BRAIN EATING MIDWIVES FROM HELL
Delivering Newborn Bundles of Evil.

September 10, 2010

Aimee said today that she thinks Maisie is going to be hairy like a gorilla when she’s born.  This little comment may come in handy later on when Maisie runs to her mother because daddy was mean or accidentally dropped a 40 oz. can of malt liquor on her foot.

October 2, 2010

Hypnobirthing. I have to admit the theory behind this does make sense.  It seems that dogs, horses, sheep, even certain “uncivilized” tribes deliver babies as easily as dropping off laundry.  You don’t hear screams of pain from a filly delivery a foal (or steady streams of obscenities damning horse spouses to lives spent in hell), and dogs seem to be able to give birth to six or seven pups while licking furniture.  So this woman in New England hypothesized that maybe we’re the ones responsible for the pain…all in the mind so to speak.  OK, I can buy into this.  So Hypnobirthing basically takes the principles of breathing from yoga, and relaxation from hypnotherapy and applies them to the ordeal of birth in order to relax the expectant mother and deliver a baby more along the lines of her Ubangi sisters.  So Aimee’s job is to learn to relax herself.  My job is much harder…to read lines like the following to calm her while she’s trying not to panic and verbally send me to the nether world:

“Picture a magnificent rainbow with each of the colors vibrating in harmony.”

“See yourself on a mist of soft almost peach like orange.  You and your body are in harmony with the orange.”

“You see warm light coming into your body and filling you up, giving you positive, loving energy, you are filled with joy.”

To these I’ve added one of my own.

“Picture a large can of beer that has been in an ice chest for an extended amount of time.  See yourself at the top of that beer peering into the liquid vastness before you.  You and your body are in harmony with the beer.  You dive in.  You feel the beer washing over you, filling you with energy and joy.  Then thirteen topless Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models show up and rub oil all over your body inviting…”

October 11, 2010

Aimee is now convinced our child will be black.  Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with this except both of us are white.  It did make for interesting conversation the other night over Bourbon Street Steak at Applebee’s.

  • ME:  So how can our child be black?
  • AIMEE:  Immaculate Conception.
  • ME:  By who?
  • AIMEE:  Shaft.

October 14, 2010

Today was movie day at Hypnobirthing Class–a quadruple feature of various couples utilizing the Hypnobirthing process.  The main goal in showing these short features was to illustrate how natural and painless and even peaceful the Hypnobirthing process can be.  So what you have is about five minute of woman lying in hospital bed, man stroking woman’s arm, woman resting peacefully.  Then there’s an edit and all hell breaks loose.  In 1931 when Frankenstein premiered in theatres, patrons were so horrified by what was on the screen, they ran out of theatres.  This was ten thousand times worse than Frankenstein.  This was The Exorcist with legs up.  To see a little baby, and various other items come tumbling into the world so matter of factly was just jarring.  And I know that birth is a beautiful thing, but I’m sorry, seeing it in newsreel form with zoom lens and Swedish Porn film quality, it’s more Ridley Scott, then gift from God.  Nonetheless by Hypnobirth #4, I had become used to the editing-for-shock-effect method and had almost come to take seeing a little head popping out an impossibly small opening in stride.  The best part about the whole thing, though, was Aimee was more grossed out then I was.  Oh well, she won’t have to worry, she’ll be on the pushing end.  And me, I’ll be operating from the part of the bed where I’ll have a birds eye view of the hand sanitizer.

THINGS THAT COME OUT THE BIRTH CANAL DURING BIRTH:

  1. Baby
  2. Amniotic Fluid
  3. Umbilical Cord
  4. Green Beans
  5. Placenta
  6. Toaster
  7. Roger Staubach

October 15, 2010

SUGGESTION FOR MAISIE MIDDLE NAME STRUCK DOWN BY WIFE:

“Of Arc”

October 18, 2010

IDEA OF THE DAY

There should be a World’s Strongest Baby competition where infants throw empty soda cans over walls instead of beer kegs, and lift grapefruits instead of drive trains.  Hosted by Baby Magnus Ver Magnuson.

November 15, 2010

Aimee is now showing to her relief.  Before she was worried that it looked as if she had only ate too many donuts.  And my friend Denise’s kid asked her if she got her clothes from the Pilgrims.

December 1, 2011

I am taking the holiday season off from writing or talking or thinking about the baby in order to concentrate on other things I need to panic about.

January 6. 2011

This Saturday we are going to the first of two day-long classes on childbirth and what to do when you bring the child home.  I’m sure that there will be some vital information imparted (which there had better be vital information imparted since the Seahawks-Saints playoff game is that afternoon.)  But I’m pretty sure when all is said and done, everything learned can be condensed to one conclusion:

  • Do whatever your wife tells you to do.

January 9, 2011

I had a few ideas on baby products that will make me rich.  Here they are…

BABY T-SHIRTS (according to age):

  • AGE 0-1:  University of Milk
  • AGE 1-2:  University of Strained Peas.
  • AGE 2-3:  University of Macaroni and Cheese.
  • AGE 3-?:  University of Talk Back To Your Parents.

    BABY MOOD RINGS.

    • If ring is Blue, it means baby is…                  Hungry
    • If ring is Black, it means baby is…                Hungry
    • If ring is White, it means baby is…               Hungry
    • If ring is Yellow, it means baby is…              Needs to shit

    January 11, 2011

    Well, Aimee is back in the OB camp again after the Midwives threw her out.  Appears her blood pressure is up, and the bile/enzyme readings from her liver are worrisome.  It is a precaution (more against malpractice lawyers than anything else), but it still means the pregnancy has been officially transferred over to the High Risk category.  The worry being that if bile gets into the amniotic fluid and into the baby, it could have dire consequences (the official name of the condition is Cholestasis, or Cholerastatsis, or Cocacolastasis).  Just writing this fills me with dread because as expectant fathers, we’re taught to play out the worst-case scenario and dwell on that for hours (at least that’s what the “Expectant Fathers Worst Case Scenario Class” taught us).  Of course the risk is “minimal” but where pregnant dads are concerned there is no such thing as risk that is “minimal”.  It’s just plain risk.  In other words, welcome to Obsession Central.

    But even as I’m lying awake at night doing my best obsessing, I have come to a realization.  That I am so in love and adore my daughter and I haven’t even met her yet.

    But that cholestasis thing, not so much.

    January 15, 2011.

    Took the class that teaches how to hold a baby, burp a baby, change diapers, swaddle, clothe, bathe, rock, not drop, etc.  So now I know how to hold, burp, change diapers, swaddle, clothe, bathe, rock, not drop a little black doll baby.

    January 16, 2011

    It was another school day on Sunday.  Basically the Bonehead Newborn Basics For Fathers Who Would Rather Be Watching The NFL Championships on CBS.  Once again hauling my sarcastic ass into a hospital conference room filled with couples 20 years my junior, I let ‘em have it.

    “Now what are the four things you have to have before bringing your baby home from the hospital?” the instructor asks the class.

    “Soccer Ball,” I shoot out before anyone else can answer.

    Aimee just stares at me.

    “OK, DVR.”

    More staring.

    I did find out the main thing you actually really truly under all circumstances on penalty of death need was a car seat.  Otherwise the hospital wouldn’t let you take your newborn home and instead keep him or her as a wall decoration.

    Actually I probably am as prepared as I ever will be for this.  I know that a baby crying can signal a number of things:  hungry, tired, overstimulated, lonely, in pain.  That breast milk is more healthy than formula, that you should wet a kid’s head before putting them in the bath so they can pee on your arm instead of in the tub.  That we will use somewhere between 70 to 80 diapers a week (and that’s on a good week), and if you want to calm a crying child hold them like a football and bounce them up and down.

    Or just find your wife.

    See, I’m all ready for fatherhood.

    January 20, 2011

    BABIES R US.

    I have spent more time in that store in the last week then I have in my whole lifetime.  Or any previous lifetimes.

    January 21, 2011

    Aimee is set to be induced on Wednesday.  It’s the Friday before.  It’s a bit strange to think that by this time next week, I’m going to be a father.  And that this major life-changing watershed paradigm universe-shifting event has a specific date and time and is scheduled like an appointment with the cable installer or the basement waterproofer (don’t ask).

    I keep thinking that it will work like this.  We leave the house on Wednesday morning and come back that evening with a kid.  Like a trip to Costco.  I’m sure I’ll get blindsided by all that fatherhood entails later, but for the moment I am so excited to meet my daughter.

    “Hello Maisie.  I’m your father.  Do what your mother says.”

    That will be our mantra in the years to come, I’m certain.  And it seems appropriate to start that long road of parenthood and friendship in cahoots with a wink and a half smile.  I love you already Maisie Melissa, safe travels.

     

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