Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

I'll be the first to admit that the first few entries to this site have leaned a little on the sappy side. So, for this time, I thought I'd post something a little less serious. A couple of weeks ago Becca and I got our first opportunity to babysit since we found out that we'll be having a baby of our own. When you're not pregnant they say that watching an infant is good birth control, but since we're way beyond that point I'd call this a practice run.

Our friends, Jordan and Laura, had plans to go to a concert and asked us if we would want to watch their 3 month old baby, Ella. We agreed and so a few nights later the two stopped by to drop off Ella on their way out. As we all sat around discussing all the various details that have to be mentioned when entrusting your baby in the care of someone else, Ella lay peacefully on the floor playing with her mobile. All the instructions were handed over and after their last goodbyes Laura and Jordan walked out the door. Literally the instant the door shut behind them Ella began to cry. So we jumped into action doing everything we knew to try to pacify her including holding her, rocker her, checking her diaper, laying her back down, and even making funny noises to try to entertain her. Nothing seemed to work, so after about fifteen minutes of an upset baby we decided to try and feed her despite the fact that the schedule we were given showed that she wasn't supposed to eat for another twenty minutes. I heated up the bottle, handed it to Becca, and the instant the bottle touched Ella's lips the crying subsided and she acted as if nothing had ever been wrong.

Ella downed the bottle pretty quickly and afterword was back to being a perfectly content baby. For the remainder of the night things were pretty uneventful with just a few more outbursts that we were able to remedy relatively quickly. That is until it came time to change the diaper. At this point I was standing in the living room playing a game when Becca noticed that Ella's diaper probably needed to be changed. She laid Ella's changing pad on the couch and removed the dirty diaper. Suddenly, I hear Becca from behind me shout out a frightened "Oh No!" as she scoots back on the couch. I turn around to find out that Ella was apparently not finished with making a mess of her diaper, except the diaper was no longer on and she had pee'd on the changing pad. Worse than that is the fact that a changing pad doesn't work real well on a soft, uneven surface like a couch, and so we now had baby pee that had runn off the pad on our couch. Worse still is that the clean diaper Becca had laid out for changing was in the path of the small river of urine and therefore had to be tossed out with the dirty one. Becca did manage to get a diaper on and I had the privledge of cleaning the whole mess up. They always say practice makes perfect and I think we learned to only attempt changing on a flat, firm surface.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thump thump

Several weeks ago I heard a story on the radio discussing the various onomatopoeias used across the world to describe a heartbeat. For those of you, like me, who don't remember much of high school english, an onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it is describing. So some common examples would be "bzzzz" for the sound a bee makes, "crash" for the sound of something breaking, and "ruff ruff" for the sound of a dog. In English we generally use the word "thump thump" for the sound of a beating heart, but strangely enough this isn't how all cultures think a heart sounds. In Spain and Germany they hear "bum bum." If you're in Russia you hear "tuk tuk" and in Denmark you hear "boenk boenk." Or if you speak Arabic you say "bom bom." The idea that such a common thread throughout the world could be perceived so differently I think speaks a lot about the uniqueness of humans. We all, more or less, share a common structure in the heart. The functionality is the same regardless of race, religion, gender, or socio-economic standing. But because of the individuality of our cultures and ourselves everyone sees the same organ a little bit differently.

Now fast forward to last week when Becca and I got to go in for our second doctor's appointment and for the first time we got to hear the baby's heartbeat. To me, the sound came across as more of a "whish whoosh" than a "thump thum," "tuk tuk" or however else you want to say it. But regardless to how I perceived the 155 beats per minute it was something unique to this world. It's mind-boggling to think that some day that little whish whoosh will have its own outlook on things that will be different than anything I have ever considered. It will see the world through its own eyes, live its own experiences, and probably have its own version of what a heart sounds like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our First Appointment

I think it's safe to assume that over the next few years the word "first" is going to appear frequently on the pages of this blog. First steps, first word, first Christmas, first tooth, etc. A parent's ability to boast of his child's achievements and major milestones has to be one of those human characteristics shared across cultures. With that thought in mind I wanted to talk today about one of our fist firsts: the first doctor's appointment.

Around Becca's tenth week (she's in her twelfth now for those who are curious) we had scheduled her first doctor's appointment where we got to meet the physician, get a basic checkup, and ask the doctor any questions we might have about pregnancy. I arrived virtually right on time for the appoitment and supprisingly Becca, who had arrived just a few minutes earlier, had already been checked in and sent back into the doctor's office. I walked back to the office to find a slightly panicked Becca who had been afraid I was going to miss the entire appointment. Just a few minutes later we got to meet our doctor for the first time, Dr. Lehnert. He sat down and talked to us for a while and did a great job at answering all of our questions and alleviating some of Becca's concerns. With all the hormones Becca tends to cry a lot right now, but the doctor did a great job of calming her down and making her feel at ease. I would highly recommend him to anyone.

After the Q&A Dr. Lehnert informed us that he was going to bring in an ultrasound machine and let us see the baby. This was a huge suprise for me because everybody I had talked to acted as though you didn't get to see the baby until several months in. The doctor wheeled in the machine, squirted a little bit of that clear goop on Becca's stomach, placed the probe, and there it was. Our baby! Up until that point it was pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Becca had a living being growing inside of her. And while the image appeared to be a small amorphous blob more than anything else it was very clear that I was looking at our baby.

The moment of awe was suddenly broken when Becca began to laugh uncontrollably. As she laughed her tummy shaked and the image was gone. Both the doctor and I looked at her as she tried to regain her composure and explained that she really didn't know why she was laughing. We had now gone through the whole gamut of emotions in this one appointment, but the doctor wanted to show us one more thing before we left. Becca regained control and he brought up our little blob back onto the screen and pointed to a small flicker right in the middle: the heartbeat. For those of you that aren't parents I'm sure your initial reaction is probably similar to how mine was when people talked about getting to hear and see a heartbeat for the first time. Every person I have ever met and that I ever will meet has a heartbeat, so shouldn't it just be assumed that the baby would have one also and why would it be a big deal to see it. But seeing that little flicker changed that blob into a living thing. Something I was going to have to take care of, raise up, teach, protect, and provide for. Something I'm understanding more and more is going to change my life forever. That little flicker made a world of difference and had Becca and I leave overjoyed at what June 11 was going to bring.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scared Sick and Excited!

Wow! I'm having a baby-can you believe that. I always knew I would have kids but it's so surreal since the time is here!!

Scared: Anyone having a baby has to be scared, scared of the unknown, scared to screw up as a parent, scared to eat the wrong thing and change the baby's life forever. Scared to over do myself during this time, scared to be stressed-come on, what's there not to be scared of when you are carrying another human being in your body.

Sick: boy am I sick. It's funny all the things I love to eat…I'm not lovin' right now. My repulsions: grilled or baked chicken, wheat and pumpkin. I love pumpkin! Love pumpkin…and it's Thanksgiving :( I really love a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbuck but the thought of getting one makes me want to throw-up. Blah! My favorite puking story to this day is my smoothie story so here it goes…

I wasn't feeling so hot one night (surprise, surprise) and I wanted something cold on my throat because of the soreness that vomit leaves I needed something soothing. So I made myself a strawberry smoothie…ummmm. All I put in it was frozen strawberries, a few frozen pineapples and a splash of OJ to make it liquidy. I sat on the couch, watching Grays and drank my smoothie. Not five minutes later my head was over the bowl and my amazing smoothie was in the water. The crazy thing was…IT WAS STILL COLD. I've never had cold throw-up before! Oh to the joys of the first trimester!

Excited: I can't wait till June 11. I know there is so much to do and prepare for, but we will have an addition to the family. The puppies will no longer be the only babies in the house. We will have a real, crying, screaming, cooing child living with us. I can't wait! I think Jarrod is even more excited then I am. You thought he was sweet to me before. You should see him now. There are definitely perks to having Jarrod's baby-he's amazing :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Test

On October 11, 2008 Becca and I decided to take a pregnancy. In reality, I had a feeling that the test wouldn't result in anything, so in the few minutes between when she took the test and when she walked into the kitchen with the test in her hand I had kind of lost track as to what we were doing. As I was standing next to the island, sorting through the mail, Becca approached me and without saying a word handed me the test. For those that don't know me well, as smart as I can act most of the time I'm a little slow on the uptake, so as I stood there and stared at the big plus sign I didn't quite comprehend what was looking back at me. I looked up at Becca, looked back down and suddenly it hit: we were having a baby!

For all of our friends, family, and those who have just stumbled across this site my goal for this blog is to present an ongoing view into the lives of our new family. For the next seven months there will be a lot of focus on Becca's pregnancy, including some of the major milestones and comments from both Becca and me on the preperation of becoming parents. However even after June 11 (the due date) I want to continue to use this site to update those who are interested in how things are going for us and the new baby. Ideally, this is something that will have a long life and not only provide you with a window in, but also provide us with something that we can look back on. I highly encourage comments, feedback, and questions, and while I can't make any guarantees, I plan to provide regular updates. Thanks for taking the time to check in on us. I hope you enjoy our lives as much as we do.