June 13, 2012

Future CEO

Every so often, Jackson's "teachers" at daycare text me photos of the boy. I LOVE seeing what he's doing when he's away from me during the day.

Yesterday, apparently, he was leading a board meeting.


Glen, I'm glad I caught you. We really need to discuss the third-quarter earnings.


(By the way: The boy is now three months old, has been rolling over for a month, sits in his Bumbo and talks INCESSANTLY. [Not that I have any idea where he got that last one from.] In other words: STOP GROWING SO FAST, BABY. However, I'm OK with you doing our taxes.)

June 1, 2012

An angel in a gray hoodie

I've been trying to take pictures of Jackson every morning before he goes to "school" (which is what I call his daycare -- whatever, it makes me feel better). I don't know how long I'll keep it up, but it's just a fun little tradition, along with singing songs on our drive to school (most of the time, it puts him to sleep. Success? Insult?).

It was chilly this morning, so he was rocking an especially cute gray hoodie. And as he was particularly chatty and perky this morning, my little daily pic ended up being one of my favorites so far, even if it's a tad blurry:


He's either trying to flip me off or contemplating the future of the universe.
Either way, it's pretty impressive for three months old.

And here, more blurs -- the boy never.stops.moving these days:


I love his hands on the one above. :)


Can I count this as his first wave?


At some point, I'll find time (somehow?) to blog about how amazing he is, how the last three months have been the best ever, how he's talking and cooing and laughing and, I swear, singing.

For now, just know: He is nothing short of a genius. Because of course he is.

:)



May 31, 2012

They can't all be winners.




Heehee.

May 30, 2012

I MEAN. COME ON.

He is, quite simply, my favorite person ever.

May 29, 2012

I'm sorry, were you addressing me?

May 24, 2012

Hey, girl. What's the haps?


Casual baby prepares for a hectic day at "school" (aka: daycare) this morning.


May 4, 2012

Please allow me to sing you to sleep

I am a singer.

Not by trade (although if you'd like to pay me to sing, I will gladly take you up on it). But it's that little part of me that's just SO ME -- it's in every part of me. Growing up, I was always singing at home, at school, in traveling choirs, in weddings -- it was just WHO I WAS.

Since I didn't make it on Broadway (nor did I try, if we're being honest), I've been relegated to singing to my husband and dogs for the last 15 years. The dogs do listen attentively, but only because they think I might be about to feed them. And while my husband appreciates my voice, I can only keep his interest for so long unless I make up new words that make him laugh. (And it's really hard to work the word "poop" into an aria.)

So when we found out we were having a baby, one of the first thoughts that sprang to mind (besides "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!") was, "Hooray! Someone to sing lullabyes to!"

Now, my parents both sing, too, and apparently I was a hard-to-get-to-sleep baby, so I heard a TON of lullabyes growing up. One of my favorites, "A Tiny Turned-Up Nose," is basically a family heirloom that gets passed down at this point:

A tiny turned-up nose,
Two cheeks just like a rose,
So sweet from head to toe,
This little boy of mine.

Two eyes that shine so bright,
Two lips that kiss goodnight,
Two arms that hold me tight,
This little boy of mine.

No one will ever know
Just what his coming has meant.
Because I love him so;
he's something heaven has sent.

He's all the world to me!
He climbs upon my knee.
 To me he'll always be
This little boy of mine.

I sang this to Jackson the first week we brought him home, alone in the nursery, rocking in our rocking chair, with tears streaming down my face, so incredibly thankful for this little bundle of boy in my arms.

It's one of my favorite memories as a mama so far.

But a few nights later, at 4 a.m., after two hours of singing to a wide-awake baby...it happened.

I ran out of lullabyes.

I'd run through "Hush Little Baby," "Baby of Mine," "Little Redbird," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and countless others. And there we sat, him looking at me expectantly, eyes wide and curious, waiting to be entertained.

And that is how it came to pass that my son will someday have a distant memory of being lulled to sleep by '80s power ballads.

(For the record, he prefers "Every Rose Has Its Thorn.")

May 3, 2012

THE GREEN HAT IS POISON!

May 2, 2012

Where have you been, young lady?!

So, I keep getting a lot of questions about why -- WHYYYYYYY -- I'm not blogging more while I'm on maternity leave.

"Why do you only post updates and pictures on Twitter? And even then it's not very often?"

If I could do a live feed from the baby video monitor right now, you'd know.

"Waaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! Come get meeeeeeeee!!" :)

Here's my dilemma:

1. When I don't get sleep, I get weepy and crazy. I know, I know -- no one gets a lot of sleep with a newborn. But the first few weeks, before I started pumping, I was nursing at least every two hours (and therefore was awake for at least an hour every two hours) and I.Was.A.Giant.Mess. I don't know if it's because I'm old, or because I'm extra hormonal, or just crazy (or a combination of all three), but OMG. At one point, I was worried that I had serious PPD. And then one good night of sleep showed me that, no, I apparently just LOSE MY MIND if I don't get at least five hours of sleep every couple of days. *The More You Know.*

2. Because of #1, I started pumping when Jackson hit the four-week mark, and now T gives Jackson a bottle every night while I'm sleeping. Since he can now go up to 4.5 hours without eating (not that we starve the child -- if he's hungry, we feed him), that means I can go to bed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., with T giving him a bottle around 2:30 a.m., and have BLESSED CONTINUOUS SLEEP. Does it always work out like that? Nope. T goes to bed at 3 a.m., so if Jackson wakes up at 4, I'm still getting up to nurse him. Thems the breaks. But that's still a good chunk of sleep, any way you look at it.

3. Because of #2, the blessed blessedness of sleep, I am much more selfish with the time I have to spend with Jackson during the day. I mean, if we don't get to see each other all night, we extra EXTRA need that time during the day. Know what I'm saying?

I know what you're saying. Jackson DOES take naps during the day. Of course he does -- he's only two months old. But generally, he doesn't sleep for more than an hour at a time during the day. Truth. Right now he's taking about three or four 1-hour naps per day. I know this will eventually even out to two longer naps, but we aren't there yet. And, he has some mild reflux, so after he eats (which is usually when he immediately falls asleep), we try to keep him upright for at least 20 minutes to let his tummy settle. This means I have 40 minutes to swaddle him and put him down (and sometimes this takes several attempts), pump so he'll have a bottle for that night, wash all my pump parts, grab a quick breakfast and pee before he's yelling to get up again. Right now? I'm typing furiously because he's about to wake up ANY MINUTE, and I haven't even gotten to eat breakfast yet. So, you know. I'm sacrificing for YOU. :)

And during his other naps? I'm trying to grab some lunch, filling up his humidifier, doing a load of laundry so I won't have a naked baby and yes, occasionally, taking an hour to watch an episode of Breaking Bad because Mama needs a mental break. SOMETIMES I EVEN -- gasp!-- LEAVE THE HOUSE.

T helps a LOT, but you know -- he can't do everything, either.

Does it sound like I'm making excuses? OK, maybe I am. But here's the bottom line: I go back to work on May 22. And as much as I am currently fantasizing about being a stay-at-home mom, the reality is that A) we can't afford it, B) there's no way to do my job part time, and C) in the end, I don't think I'd truly be happy staying home. There's a part of me that needs the deadlines and the (gross) conference calls and the particular type of mental stimulation that comes with my job. For me, for us, it's what's right.

But I'm not missing it right now. And that's why I've been so quiet. I'm holding my baby every possible second I can. If he's awake for four hours in a row in the afternoon, I don't want to hand him off or park him in a swing all the time (even though I do both sometimes out of necessity) because, soon, I won't have the option of doing what we did last night: Spending an hour and a half staring into my son's eyes, singing songs, making him smile and listening to him try to talk.

I've gotta soak up this time while I can.

To make things up to you, please enjoy a few pictures of my sweet boy:






PS: Those of you who post from your iPhones? HOW DO I DO THIS?! I have tried the texting method. It is crap. This is a blogger blog; is that the problem? Any advice is welcome, as I am generally operating with a maximum of one free hand, and therefore could blog much more (and post more pictures here!) if I knew how to do it from my phone. Please email me if you can help and have a sec...

April 13, 2012

Oh, just kickin' back. Watchin' the tube.

NBD.



Have a good weekend, y'all. :)

April 12, 2012

The many faces of Jackson















March 27, 2012

One. Month. Old.

Yes. You read that headline correctly. My son? He's a month old today.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

It really doesn't seem like four weeks have gone by since T and I headed for the hospital for the induction, and yet...it seems like he's always been here.

I really can't remember getting a full night of sleep.

I can't remember not smelling at least a LITTLE bit like spit-up all the time.

I can't remember NOT singing songs to help make diaper changes go faster.

And speaking of diapers, I can't remember when A) neither T nor I were slightly fazed by mass quantities of poo, and B) when we didn't have multiple conversations ABOUT poo every day.

And I can't remember when I couldn't wake up in the morning to see this face looking back at me:

In short: Our lives have become both unrecognizable and really incredibly awesome.

*************

It's no secret that, when my life gets busy, one of the first things to go is this blog. For most of last year, it was my job and my pregnancy. Now we have a newborn. It's just the way of things, and I know everyone reading this understands that. I don't have the dedication to forgo precious sleep in favor of posting here, and while I mourn the fact that I'm not doing a better job of documenting his first weeks...eh. I'm getting sleep, which is helping me function better for him, and people, I'm almost 35. Mama is old, and she needs her sleep. :)

So now that I've absolved myself for not posting here more often, let me get to the point: There are some milestones that just can't go by without proper documentation. I couldn't let my baby pass his one-month mark without a little recap-slash-State of the Union.

Here we go:

How much has he grown in the last month?
Um. A TON. He was 6 lbs, 12 oz at birth, and down to 6 lbs, 3 oz when we left the hospital. Less than a week later, at his one-week doctor's appointment, he was already almost back to his birth weight. As of his two-week appointment (March 12), he was 7 lbs, 8 oz. We did an unofficial weigh-in at home last week (I weighed myself, then again holding him), and our unofficial results showed that the boy is now about 8.5 lbs. The boy LOVES TO EAT.

So, how is he eating?
Did you not just hear what I said? THE BOY LOVES TO EAT. We were incredibly lucky with breastfeeding; he took to it immediately in the hospital. (I was really thankful for this, since I wasn't able to even try feeding him until almost 10 hours after he was born. More on this when I post his birth story, which I swear I'm actually working on.)

He's been a champion nurser ever since, and eats CONSTANTLY. Do I always appreciate this when he wants to eat at 2, 3:30 and 4 in the morning? Uh, no. :) But then I see the awesome baby chub he's gaining and it's really all worth it. I mean:



And how is he sleeping?
Pretty much like a newborn. And what I mean by that is: He's sleeping a LOT, just not in very long intervals. The boy eats constantly, have I mentioned this? At this point, the longest naps he'll take are about 3 or 3.5 hours in length; every once in awhile he'll sleep for more than 4 hours, but that's happened MAYBE twice. Most often he'll sleep for 1.5 to 2 hours, and then he's ready to eat again.

His awake periods are getting longer (and thankfully most of them AREN'T between 3-6 a.m., although we've had our days), which is really fun, because we get to see these eyes:



(We were having a moment.)

So far our biggest conundrum has been figuring out HOW he wants to sleep. We decided we weren't going to have him in our room (and definitely not in our bed), and from very early on he was cool with sleeping in his crib. He was always swaddled in the hospital (and loved it), so we started using a Halo Swaddle, which kept him warm and swaddled him tight AND was easy for us to figure out. (The Miracle Blanket, I'm sad to say, rather stumped me and T.)

Then, about two weeks in, the boy switched things up on us (babies -- honestly) and started struggling mightily against his swaddle. Rather than sleeping peacefully the whole time he was down, he'd squeak and squawk and kick and grunt and REALLY try to escape the swaddle. So, we thought, maybe the swaddle has run its course; let's put him down with his arms free. That lasted about 30 seconds before he flailed, smacked himself in the face and FREAKED OUT. :)

So we're still trying the swaddle thing and experimenting with lighter materials and different configurations (the Swaddle Pod, for one). We'll see how it goes. At this point, Jackson's absolute favorite way to sleep is on one of our chests, on his stomach. Oh, would that I could duplicate that arrangement in his crib, so we could all sleep better! Sigh.





So...what is Jackson like?
He is such a cool baby. I don't know how else to say it. He's pretty laid back, fusses when he's hungry or tired or bored, but...most of the time he just likes hanging out, checking out the light coming through the curtains and the designs in the ceiling, listening to music and...oh yes...raising his head up and trying to stand and jump when we're holding him. I think we're going to be in trouble later on with this one -- something tells me that, once he's mobile, it's all over but the trips to the emergency room. :)

Likes: Eating (um, duh), the living room curtains, his mobile, staring at his mama and daddy, riding in the car and, well, eating. Again. Some more.

Dislikes: Tummy time (does ANY baby like this?), having to wait EVEN A SECOND before eating, socks (he thinks they're stupid; I kind of can't blame him) and gas. I mean, who likes gas?

How are YOU feeling?
I'm doing great! I ended up having a rather complicated C-section, so it took a while until I could do simple things like go up and down stairs, get on and off the floor, etc. And while I can't run around just yet, I'm feeling much more like my old self this week.

And!! I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I am rather proud that I've been able to lose all my baby weight (which, granted, was only about 17 pounds) plus almost 12 more in the last month. Since I'm a big girl to start with, I'm exceptionally proud of this, and I'm excited to keep going. T and I both want to be healthier and more active so we can keep up with our little man!

Now if we could just get a little more sleep...

How are things going with the dogs?
He's still sort of indifferent about them (he's carrying on an ongoing flirtation with our curtains -- weirdo -- so there isn't much room for doggie love just yet), but the dogs absolutely adore him. Ozzie in particular always wants to sniff his head, give him tiny, gentle kisses and make sure he's OK. He continues to bring Jackson his gross dog toys whenever he cries, which is simultaneously sweet and, well, gross. But we appreciate the sentiment.

He also yearns to be Jackson's permanent nap buddy:



What's your favorite thing so far?
It has been SO MUCH FUN watching how he's changed just over the course of the last four weeks. I would never have thought it possible. His facial expressions alone have been worth the price of admission:







By far my favorite thing, though? We have become total besties.



Happy one-month, baby. Mama loves you.

March 19, 2012

Baby Photo Party!

OK. So. It has been brought to my attention that, although I am sleep-deprived as are all newly-minted mamas, the very LEAST I can do is post some pictures of the wee bonny babe while I'm still desperately trying to find time to write out his birth story (and/or ANYTHING AT ALL).

(If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these already, but be honest: Does it really matter? Hopefully not.)

**********


Sleeping on mama



Look at the baby chub! Sigh. Love.

**********


"MAMA. A HORSE IS KISSING ME."




Lots of folks have asked me how the dogs have been with Jackson since we brought him home. This pretty much sums it up. They adore him. They LOVE to sniff him and give him tiny, gentle baby kisses, and they're very curious every time he makes a noise. (The baby monitor is of endless fascination.) Once, when Jackson was crying, Ozzie brought him his favorite toy: a battered old duck slipper. Shockingly this was not what Jackson was crying for, so it didn't stop the fussing, but we all agreed it was the thought that counted.

**********


"Tummy time is hard-ass work, peoples."




I'd be lying if I said Jackson was super-jazzed about tummy time. But he's a trooper. And he is WAY into raising his head if he thinks it might get him fed faster.

**********


"Mama's post-breakfast banter is B-O-R-I-N-G."




**********


We call this "milk drunk."




He does this EVERY time he finishes eating. It makes me laugh EVERY time.

**********


Our very own monkey man.




Probably the best picture we have of him with his eyes open. Do you not just want to eat him?

**********


Favorite.




I mean. Is it any wonder I don't get anything done?

Sigh.

March 6, 2012

World, I would like for you to finally meet...




Jackson Bradley Goad


Born Feb. 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

6 pounds, 12 ounces

21.25 inches long


Making his debut via surprise C-section:



And instantly making us fall completely head-over-heels in love with him:


Because, um, how could we not?


(He pulled his hat down like this himself. The kid is obviously cooler than most.)

I'm working on his birth story -- and, of course, a lot more photos -- but please cut me a little slack as I'm...oh, just a little sleep-deprived. :) More to come!

February 20, 2012

So, here's the thing about plans...


That's me up there. Well, it's my belly. With my son in it.

(Whoa. There's a baby in my belly. Even at 38 weeks, it still feels a little surreal.)

Anyway: If you go by the floating-baby-countdown-thingie over there to the right, you'll see we have 14 days left. Two full weeks to go! Yay!

Except that floating baby is a big old liar head.

***

If you're one of the 12 people who read this blog "regularly," then you'll have noticed I haven't blogged much during this pregnancy. This is primarily because my day job, while thoroughly enjoyable, has been especially demanding during the entire run of the pregnancy. In fact, while in utero, this child has been on more trips than he likely will ever take again in the course of a year. (Seattle twice, Delaware twice, zip zap zip, plus he attended an NKOTB concert in there, too; don't ever say I don't expose my children to high culture).

And, I'll confess: Part of why these baby update blogs have been so few and far between is that there...hasn't been that much to report. I have been blessed with an extremely easy and uneventful pregnancy, and I've been reluctant to jinx it by giving voice to it. "Why, no, I'm not feeling nauseated, my feet aren't swollen, I haven't gained 60 pounds, I don't have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure and the baby is flourishing. Please, STRIKE ME, LIGHTNING!"

In fact, the only wrinkle came in the form of an ultrasound that one of my OBs scheduled as an afterthought. I'd asked if she thought it was strange that I'd only gained about 10 pounds in the first eight months of pregnancy, and while they only wanted me to gain 15 to begin with (I'm a curvy girl), she thought it best we just check on the baby's weight.

Thankfully, the baby's weight came in exactly at the 50th percentile, meaning he was exactly average for eight months in utero, and all seemed well. The doctors were a little concerned, however, that my amniotic fluid was a bit on the low side. "It's not so low that we're panicking," the doctor told us hastily, since I'm sure our faces read, "WE! ARE! PANICKING! OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR BABY?!" "But it's low enough that we just want to keep an eye on it."

Which is how we've found ourselves in the doctor's office twice a week for the last three weeks, having non-stress tests (where a fetal heart monitor does its monitor-y best to determine that our baby's heart is strong and responding appropriately when he moves) and ultrasounds (where, depending on the ultrasound tech, the levels are either low or high and we either freak out or feel reassured).

(Note to ultrasound techs everywhere: TELL THE PARENTS WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS YOU'RE DOING IT. And if you see something that concerns you, either tell them flat out or don't let the concern show on your face. I was about ready to drop-kick the tech one week who flew through the measurements but said nothing except, "When are you going over the results with the doctor? Because...you know...the sooner the better." WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?)

Anyway.

The upshot of three weeks of testing is this: Everything looks normal. The non-stress tests were all fine. The fluid level results from the ultrasounds are mixed -- they go up and down -- but never so low that the doctors were freaking out. Cervical exams showed I'm not dilated or effaced. We were well on our way to reaching our March 5 due date, and we were relieved that no one was talking induction anymore (we really wanted to let this baby come in his own time, unless there was a real medical reason to induce).

Then, on Friday, the doctor marched in and nonchalantly shot all that to hell.

"I've scheduled you for induction on Feb. 28th!" she said, with a smile, in lieu of "hello" or any other kind of normal greeting. "Your fluid levels are OK, but if they go down any more we might start to worry, so I decided that 39 weeks is far enough. Let's get this baby out of you!"

And then she left the room, leaving us holding an appointment card that said, "Induction: 2/28" and, hilariously, "If you're unable to keep this appointment, please cancel within 48 hours."

Yes, thank you, I'd like to cancel this induction and just keep my baby nice and toasty in my womb for another month or so. Laters!

So we gaped at each other and tried to come to terms with the fact that A) our baby was going to have a February birthday, B) anything we'd been planning to get accomplished in that last week before my due date was going to happen NOW or not at all, and, oh yes, C) OUR SON WAS GOING TO COME OUT OF ME IN ELEVEN DAYS.

(Well, now it's eight days. Oh my God.)

***

Things that are bumming me out about this turn of events:


  1. First and foremost: I really wanted this baby to be born in his own time. I hate the idea of "forcing" nature's hand. If he's meant to be "overdue," then so be it. Let him pick his own birthday.


  2. I'm sad that we'll miss the excitement of "Contractions! Is it time? Let's time them out. MY WATER BROKE! Where's the bag?! Where's the camera? Aahhhhhhhh!" and all those other things that movies have assured me are part of all births.


  3. We have one less week to finish a few minor home improvement projects, and I have one less week to train my maternity leave coverage at work. I'm someone who needs to know things are done and done right before I relinquish control. (This never annoys my husband or co-workers, EVER.)

Things that, to my surprise, I'm actually liking about this whole scheduled induction thing:


  1. It greatly appeals to the planner in me. Instead of telling family and friends to expect a call "sometime" that the time has come, everyone is well-informed and knows just where to be and when.


  2. My husband's parents, who are coming in from out of town, won't have to camp out potentially for weeks, waiting for the baby's impending arrival.


  3. T has gotten the necessary kick in the pants to finish the last touches to our humble little nursery so I can finally share some pictures with you all this week.


  4. More than anything else, I know precisely when I'm going to get to hold my son for the first time, and watch his daddy stare at him in awe, and finally share his name with everyone who already loves him.
Eight days from now, our lives will change, ready or not, floating-baby-countdown-thingie be damned.

Don't ask me if we're ready. It's a silly question, the answer to which is "no" and "yes" and "maybe" and "DUH."

The nursery is done, the clothes are washed and put away, the bag is packed, the childbirth classes have been had (more on those later), the house is ready, the grandparents are alerted and the dogs...well, they're oblivious, but they've been informed of their new little brother's arrival, too.

Our lives are ready, by all outward appearances.

Let's do this thing.

***

One last plea from a first-time about-to-give-birther: If you were induced, how was your experience? I'd love to hear about it. How long did it take, how did you react to the Pitocin, etc. Lay it on me.

February 9, 2012

T speaks: "I thought 'gestate' was what a Southern boy said after a meal."

“Lawdy, Lawdy, Miss Bunny. I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies.”

Seriously, no stork?

So Shannon’s pregnant, you got that much, and it’s all magical, blah, blah, blah. But there’s a not so magical side to it as well. It’s the actual childbirth. You know how they say people don’t want to see how sausage is made? I’ve watched those videos and Jimmy Dean can be found on my breakfast plate every weekend. I’ve now been privy to birthing videos, thank you Science Channel. The Exorcist is no longer my scariest movie to watch; I laugh at it now.

I thought I had dutifully prepared myself for this by watching Mr. Mom 17 times and thought parenthood would be a comically satisfying experience, much like Michael Keaton’s performance. But they skipped the whole horrifying genesis of their wonderful family romps, the actual passage of a slimy, bluish, reddish, let’s say creature, through an obviously pained woman’s birth canal. And that’s NOT all. Seemingly needed body parts and other liquids also follow acting as the parsley and au jus sauce in our freshly made, Frankensteinian main course.

Apparently being a baby is akin to being a stuntman because the freshly squeezed child has a safety line to keep from actually falling. At least this is my understanding of gestation. Presumably after the safety line has failed in its attempt to keep the child entombed in the mother’s womb one of the educated throng of degreed persons will ask the father to cut said safety line. What good is the line at this point anyway and why would you keep faulty equipment? It’s a newborn for Pete’s sake.

Now, at this point, the video skips ahead and here is the newly proud mother and father and baby in tow. All laughing and smiling, happy. I can only assume they skip ahead to conceal the real horror show. The clean-up. Don’t think we can handle that Sci Channel? Thank you, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure the preceding horror show has prepared us. I just want to see the poor guy cursing and muttering that gets stuck with that job.

Oddly enough, none of these “pictures” are censored or blurred, but yet the bleeps come fast and furious. Momma’s got a potty mouth. This rite of passage might be fun for me because Shannon has such a large vocabulary and can unite words that would never seem to fit together. Ooh and she knows some German, I’m sure cursing at me in German will bring the nightmare altogether. My plan is to only reply in Spanish, Italian or French just for my own amusement.

The point I am trying to make here is that the Mrs. wants me in the delivery room to share in the aforementioned miracle of birth. My plan of handing out cigars to complete strangers has been thwarted. Smoking and newborn babies are sadly only in my dreams now. Being with her in spirit won’t be enough. I’m the designated hand holder and have been told that a small curtain will shield my eyes from the “miracle” that is occurring. C’mon, the curtain didn’t stop Dorothy. Well, a better analogy would be the curtain not stopping Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Dorothy got to meet a nice guy to help her get home; Vivian Leigh did a performance art version of woman giving birth while taking a shower.

There are also rules for my being there:
  1. Take any and all abuse that is hurled my way with a smile on my face. No problem, I’m a Mets fan.

  2. Don’t be funny. As this post shows, also not a problem. Honestly, let’s face facts: Childbirth has to be funny. Who hasn’t wanted to give a “Push em out, push em out, wwaaaayyy out?” “C’mon, it can’t feel THAT bad.” “What about me? My feet hurt, you at least get to lie down.” “Wow, you really need to do something with your hair.” “I bet my mom didn’t whine this much.” “Are these stirrups regulation size?” “I think you’re PULLING.” “Honey, I lost my ruler. How else I am supposed to measure how far apart the contractions are?” “Episioto-ME? No, episioto-YOU.” “No, I thought you said you DIDN’T want the epidural.” “C- section? Can’t we upgrade to a B?” And so on and so forth.

  3. Don’t pass out. That’s a rule. Do my best, honey. Just have to make sure I don’t peek in the baby theatre.

  4. Have her mom on deck in case I cannot fulfill the above duties. Not a big request, but I put it here because there’s a caveat. Part two of this rule is to explain to her mother that she will hear all sorts of new and exciting words that she has never heard her daughter utter. So I get to walk out and forewarn her mother that Shannon has been replaced by Joe Pesci. Ironically, they’re both Italian and 5’3”.

**Mushy part warning**

Obviously, I’m joking about all of this. I’m beyond excited for what’s next and can’t wait for the experience. I joke about all the preceding because it will lead to my favorite part. Of course, I cannot wait to see my child for the first time—well, more so second time, after they’ve cleaned him up.

The moment I cannot wait for, though, is after the whole “ordeal” is over and it’s just Shannon and myself. I lean forward and place my forehead to hers and say “You done good, kiddo."
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