Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm a daddy!



I'm a daddy....


It has been a little over a month since tboff and Willis brought a new member into the world... Honestly I cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  Every day just seems to fly by...  I have been asked a few times for my perspective on the whole matter.........

You know already that up until the birth of baby Rowyn that Whit had to be on bed rest and see a multitude of doctors to ensure our baby girl was going to be ready for her big day.  As inconvenient as three doctor appointments were a week, it honestly came to be pretty routine.  If anything, I liked them as we got two ultrasounds a week and I got to see baby Ro growing before she was even born.

May 26, 2011.  It may seem odd to some that we got to pick our baby's birthday, but to Whit and I, it was perfect.  We arrived at Seton Northwest Hospital bright an early at 0700 to get the induction process started...

From here on out, the rest of the day was one huge blur...
'

I started the day with a nap... nothing wrong with that when your wife is getting induced is there? So up goes the Pitocin

Easy breezy from there right???  Ha!  Poor Willis was pacing back and forth around the bed as the contractions got stronger and stronger... it was getting more difficult to nap, so I turned to homework.  Some of you many or may not know that I am currently attending Loyola University New Orleans Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a focus in Healthcare Systems Management.

So needless to say, I didn't get much homework done that day.  

I must say that I do not think that anyone could have done as good of a job as Willis did throughout this whole process.  She is not one to sit still, so the whole 6 weeks of bed rest was pretty tough for her.  The moment she stepped into the hospital though, it was all worth it.  From the start of the pitocin to the birth of baby Ro, it was less than 7 hours without an epidural!!!  Whit is an amazing mother.  She fought through the whole labor and only grabbed my collar once!  Truly though, there are just those people that you look at and can tell that they are meant to be mothers... Whit is one of them.  I could not be more proud of my beautiful wife and how amazing she is with baby Ro.  I was in awe of the entire day and how amazing Whit did.

I was expectantly nervous going into the morning of baby Ro's birth.  Most of you know how awesome my bowels are... When you add a nervous stomach to my already poopy butt hole, you have a recipe for disaster... So I was nervous going into the day because I was going to be a new daddy, and that nervousness made me nervous that I was also going to have to poo uncontrollably. As luck would have it, I made it through just fine.  In fact, I had started a new medication that has allowed me to live my life again.  Over the last few months I have only had a few bad days, versus having a bad day three or four times a week.  I have gained about 7-8 lbs back and have really never felt better since I was diagnosed...

So onto my whole perspective... it was all a blur, a true surreal moment.  Watching my wife push, pouring olive oil, seeing our baby come to life, and cutting the cord... really doesn't get much better.  Of course I also listened intently to hear our APGAR scores were 8 and 9, which are good.  Whit did amazing and baby Ro made her first appearance at 1459, just under an hour of pushing.  Although it was a blur, the whole day seemed to be going in slow motion.  Although we had been pregnant for months, this was real... WE HAVE A KID!


It was all worth it.  Every moment of every day I live for this precious girl, my amazing wife, and Miller (who still isn't sure what to think)




It was great to get home... of course most of the initial thoughts going through my brain are "Don't screw this up!"  Lets face it, she has my genes, there is a possibility its too late... ha ha ha, but people were quick to point out things I shouldn't do... such as this

So yeah, we took a little nap together.  Miller was there to catch her if she fell. Its all good right?  To all the worried people out there, obviously someone was taking the picture, so we were being carefully monitored and no babies were harmed in this picture.  So now that I got the first mistake out of my way, I decided to start making a list of things I needed to remember in order to avoid any further issues...


Two biggest issues out of the way... do not fall asleep with the baby on top of you and do not microwave the baby.  Now I'm good to go...

The first few days were filled with little sleep for mom, dad, or baby.  Of course there is a degree of helplessness I felt because my medications to stop the poos makes me REALLY drowsy....  Plus I do not have the fortunate pleasure of breast feeding...
However, the helplessness was short lived...  a lot of the books say that dads can feel that way early on.  I just felt bad because I could barely wake up on my meds to even help Whit out...  Over the first few days I did get a little bit better about helping change diapers despite the drowsiness.  Luckily none of them went on backwards...  Over the following days Whit and I started to get a little bit of a routine down.  Eat, sleep, poop, pee...  and that was the both of us, ha ha!  The routine pretty much remains the same today, although now I get to feed every so often too!  Whit does some pumping and I get to give baby Ro some bottles here and there if mom is out shopping or if we are trying to let her get a little bit more sleep.  It is an amazing feeling to have that connection with your child.  She is already a daddy's girl and has me wrapped around her finger...

So Whit gets a little sleep here and there... I had to force myself back to work after two weeks at home with the family.  Those three twelve hour shifts a week are very very difficult.  Being away from home and then being exhausted when I arrive home are very difficult for me.  I have absolutely no room to complain about being tired, believe me, Whit gets to be the tired one... I just wish I could win the lottery and be home much more often.  We do try to cherish the hours at home together... we have naps together, tummy time, I get to feed and change diapers... building as much a father-daughter connection as I can.  The short time I have is just never enough though... I could stare at her all day and kiss that little head of hers...  Between work, keeping up with the house stuff (mowing, laundry, cleaning, etc), and homework for school, it makes doing the baby thing tough time wise... so every moment with my girls is fantastic.

It really is hard to describe how truly happy I am these days.  I am lucky to have found my best friend and wife when I had almost moved back to Minnesota back in 2008.  Long story short, I had flown back to MN to look into getting my graduate degree from the University of Minnesota (where I got my undergrad).  When I was back there and interviewing for jobs, something just didn't feel quite right... all the pieces just didn't seem to add up, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it... so I decided to stay in Texas...  shortly there after, I managed to wear Whitney down enough (or gave her enough drinks) that we started dating...  never in my life did I see her coming, and she turned out to be my best friend, my companion, my other half that constantly balances me out, and the love of my life.  It is unbelievable to me that in the last three years I found the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with and we are going to raise this beautiful baby together... and we have a dog!  This is the healthiest I have been since I was diagnosed with IBS, I am strategically positioned in my job for opportunities after I finish my MSN, Whit and I have a house that we have made into a home, and I have the best girls anyone could ever ask for.  I feel truly blessed and humbled that this is what life is... I am amazingly happy.

None of this would be possible, of course, without the loving support of my parents and family.  I have an amazing example of love to live up to... they have been a true example of what love is and how love stands the test of time...  Over thirty years together and they are still going strong...

I also could not have married into a better family... Whits parents, Nini and Pops, as well as her sister and their family have welcomed me into their home after drunkenly eating almost an entire pie the first time I spent Thanksgiving in Texarkana.
Yes Nini and Pops are represented by a picture of the pie I drunkenly enjoyed.. ha ha :)

I have been told that I have the best in-laws ever... I tend to agree, no offense to anyone else.  Whit's parents have also been together through thick and thin... another amazing example of how love can empower people to live for each other.  I am very grateful for their support and, of course, that Pop's gave me the okay to marry his daughter!
Texarkana sunset from Nini and Pop's house... something tells me everything in life will work out just fine...

So yeah, things are pretty good right now...  Willis and Rowyn are enjoying some family time this week while I work the next 4 out of 5 days...  I miss them already.  I kinda like our little family...

All for now...

tboff

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