I’ve been singing to my daughters for the past 18 months to help them get to sleep. So today I finally got around to recording it on a CD so we can just press play at 3am when they wake up and need attention. Not a bad recording, but I don’t think the Mamas and the Papas need to worry about losing their day job.
Wow, I was just looking back at my latest posts, and I realized that I haven’t posted any real updates about my personal life in a very long time. So here goes.
Having never done this before, I am very much learning how to be a father as I go. Of course pretty much everyone has to start out from scratch, so I’m not really special in my situation. The easiest way to categorize activities in this area is “things I was reasonably expecting to happen” and “what? did that really just happen? You must be kidding me!”
So in the first category I put things like changing diapers, feeding, and playing with my children. To a large degree I’ve had experience with this by having taken care of my dog Maury for several years now. The key here, as much as I understand things, is to understand the desire of the dog/child and things will go smoothly. If someone is making an unpleasant sound, or error code as I like to say, then resolving the situation is just a matter of finding the cause of the error code and fixing the underlying problem. To start out, babies generally have a small set of error codes– my diaper’s full, my stomach is empty, and someone isn’t giving me their full attention. So debugging small children is a pretty simple process.
The only situations to look out for are false positives and false negatives. For example, my oldest child Isabel doesn’t seem to mind running around with a diaper full of poop. And to make things more fun she likes to run and hide when we try and change her diaper. Don’t forget that kids can just start crying for no known reason. This is the most frustrating of all the error codes since there is no corresponding resolution action. The key to this situation is to identify it as a “Kobayashi Maru.” For anyone not intimately familiar with Star Trek terminology, this is a no win situation used to train Star Fleet officers. So just think, “What would Captain Kirk do?” And the correct answer isn’t “make more cheesy Priceline commercials.”
So now we come to the next group of activities. These are things that you will in no way be able to see coming. My personal favorite example of this is having Isabel on my chest fall asleep. Since I can’t really do anything else without waking up, I soon fell asleep myself. Then, for really no reason I could understand, Isabel emptied the entire contents of her stomach onto my face and chest. Very unpleasant I must say. But my point here is that I couldn’t have seen it coming.
So this is all I’ve learned in my two years or so of being a father. That, and if you want to get anything done on the computer your kids better be asleep or at grandmas for the weekend.
After the first trip to the hospital that turned out to be a false alarm, we came back a week later determined to have a baby. It must have been very comfortable inside Katherine because Isabel was determined not to leave the womb. After several more hours of trying to induce labor, the doctors decided to perform a C-section. I did what I could to be useful by doing thing like rubbing Katherine’s back, eating the complementary food in the kitchen area, and almost passing out on top of the anesthesiologist when he was performing the epidural. Apparently I’m a bit more squeamish than I thought.
So, a long story short– the C-section went fine, and Isabel had to make a few adjustments like breathing air, receiving nutrition through her mouth, and not being allowed to lounge around all day in that warm soft jacuzzi of a uterus.
Here she is after thirty-two hours of laying in bed receiving drugs designed to induce contractions in her uterus. I think between the drugs, uncomfortable bed, and half a dozen sensors pressed up against her abdomen Katherine’s overall mood suffered a noticeable decline. Also, the doctor coming into the room to tell us to come back in a week or so to try again didn’t help anything.
OK, so I’m not exactly posting all this stuff in chronological order. In fact, as I write this, Isabel is celebrating her 30th birthday and I’m a crazy old man in a retirement home yelling at my cats and repeatedly showing the staff members the litter box. But I digress.
So here is Isabel’s second ultrasound taken in August 2009. We decided against the three dimensional ultrasound. Apparently the procedure uses high energy nutrino beams which scientists believe led to the creation of Magnito, high fructose corn syrup, and Sarah Palin. Maybe not, but in the end we decided that we would be able to wait for the three dimensional version that was planning on squirming out in a few months. This high tech image of Katherine’s insides confirmed what we suspected all along: her belly is getting bigger.
One thing that has been surprising is my wife’s mood. It really hasn’t changed at all– she is as happy as a clam. I don’t know why we think clams are all that happy to begin with, but, hey, that’s the expression. Too late to change it now.
So stay tuned for more retroactive baby updates aged in a bath of sarcasm, powdered with a touch of nostalgia, and dressed up in a cute onesie of experience.
I put off talking about this topic because there seemed to be so much wedding stuff to blog about, but here is the official news: Katherine is pregnant and due to deliver in mid December. Here is our first ultrasound, taken May 6, 2009. I was going to scan this into my computer, but it was already quite blurry so I just used my cell phone camera.
I have no idea what is in the picture, but Katherine explained to me that the big dark blob is her womanly parts, the small gray blob inside that is the baby, and the pink object on the right is my thumb. At the time the ultrasound was taken it was roughly the size of a gummy bear, which is what led us to the nickname “Walter.”
No word yet on the gender. Everyone seems to have an opinion this topic, but I’ll just be happy if it comes out one or the other and not both. We should have more information on the boy/girl issue after our August appointment. We may even get a three dimensional ultrasound even though it is more expensive than the regular two dimensional version. Most of the extra cost involves hiring an artist to be present in the exam room during the procedure to create a clay model based on a compilation of various two dimensional views. Once the model is air dried it gets fired in a kiln after which time we can apply color glazes as we see fit. It will look great on the mantle above the fireplace.
So until next time– happy gestating Katherine!