I'm starting a new blog segment called Lessons from Dad, an incredible learning tool for A.D. (and any other babies out there that might be surfing the web) that will help him get through life.
This lesson is titled How to be Photogenic...
As you will soon find out, people will randomly take pictures of you without your prior knowledge. To be able to handle such conditions, you need to make sure you are always prepared. In order to do so, you need to become familiar with the Smug-Goofy-Cheesy-Grin (SGCG) look.
In order to properly execute the SGCG, you must properly do the following:
Note: I wrote this blog last week, but for some reason didn't post it. Since today is Tiff's original due date, I decided to dig it up...
One of the first things I learned about expecting a kid is that everyone wants to share their pregnancy and labor horror stories with you. They tell you how horrible every facet of the pregnancy was for them, how long and grueling the labor was, or how incredibly long their pregnancy went... Well I'm not going to do that. Instead, since A.D. came about a week and a half early and I didn't really share how everything went, you'll get our (fairly easy to stomach) story.
On the evening of August 3rd, Tiff and I went to dinner with Ben & Becky at Chicora Alley in downtown Greenville. After plowing down some good food, and some ice cream for dessert, we headed home. Both of us were tired, so we crashed early.
At about midnight, Tiff woke up and waddled to my side of the bed to announce that her water broke. I think I said "Really?" I don't really remember.
So we gathered up the previously mentioned HCWHTHTTH bag, fed the cat, grabbed the iPod, watered a couple plants, vacuumed the house, churned some butter, reenacted the Battle of Gettysburg, and finally headed to the hospital.
There were two older (I used "older" loosely) triage nurses (I use "nurse" loosely) waiting for us in the labor and delivery area of the hospital. I'll call them Gladys and Mabel. Gladys was my favorite. (Note: Some glaciers move at an average speed of 3 feet per day... Gladys moved slower.)
Gladys: "What happened?"
Tiffany: "I think my water broke."
(cue akward pause and crickets chirping in the background)
Gladys: "Are you sure?"
Tiffany: "Pretty sure."
Gladys blinks and walks out of the room.
Gladys comes back in the room. "Was it clear?"
Gladys: "Did it have an odor"
Tim gags a little bit at the thought of bending over and smelling it...
Gladys lumbers back out of the room, and sends in Mabel for reinforcements...
Apparently Gladys and Mabel don't talk amongst each other, because Mabel asked us all the same questions. Then, Mabel got some magical litmus-like paper and confirmed that Tiff's water had in fact broke. They admitted us into the Labor & Delivery room at about 1:30 AM. It turns out she was having contractions for a while before that, but didn't feel them much.
We sat around in the room until about 6 AM or so until they finally decided to hook Tiff up to Pitocin to speed things along. Prior to going to the hospital, Tiff decided that she would try to go through the whole thing naturally. By naturally, she was hoping not to need an epidural or any other pain medicine. (Any of you ladies out there with kids can stop laughing now...)
We played a couple hands of Gin.
Once the Pitocin kicked in Tiff started to feel the contractions, her head spun around like Linda Blair's, and I think she squeezed (squoze?) my hand so hard that she might have broke a couple of my bones... At this point, we decided an epidural was probably a good idea.
The epidural guy (that's his official name, I think) rolled in and started working on Tiff's back. I was standing up in front of her, holding on to her hands, and translating Tiff's grunts into when she was having contractions for the doctor. It took him about an hour and 15 mins to get the epidural right. Tiff was exhausted with the whole thing, and I was about to pass out from standing up the whole time and from lack of food.
I went down to the Cafeteria and grabbed luke-warm chicken (cat?) fingers. By the time I got back upstairs, they were doing the leg-into-stirrups thing and telling Tiff she was about ready to push. I made sure to stay above the equator the whole time.
After about 30 tiring mins of pushing, and about 15 1/2 hours after arriving at the hospital, little A.D. was born at 2:01 PM. Just to piss off his mom, he came out with his arm up above his head (and his head was cone-shaped... I was told that was normal).
Tiffany did great. We were both tired, but secretly I was really concerned about having a little conehead kid running around out there.
Overall, it's not a horror story at all. The epidural could have taken about an hour shorter, but that's it. So any of you out there who are getting really freaked out about the whole process, just think of Baird...Cubed.
Now that A.D. is a week old, and we're parenting experts, there are quite a few things we have learned that we'd like to share with you future first-time parents.
1) Newborn poop is weird... very weird. In the early days, it is a mix of black-green silly-putty slime-tar fudge-goo (I'm proud of that description) that pretty much doesn't wipe off. Ever. The good thing is that is doesn't stink, which (unfortunately for me) means I get to spare you more fun adjectives. But then you learn that in the next few days it is no longer black, and the stink is there to stay.
2) You think, going in to the whole having a baby thing, that you have a general idea of how to change a diaper. People tell you all about lifting up the legs so you can wipe the previously mentioned impossible-to-remove tar from said butt. Then they tell you all about putting the diaper back on so it fits. And they even tell you about little tricks so that the kid doesn't pee everywhere (that you learn later will happen anyways) while you are changing them. What they don't tell you is that as soon as you lay them on their back and the cold air hits their baby skin, they turn into a flailing, screaming, completely pissed-off spider-monkey.
3) Sleep is AWESOME.
4) Every once in a while, if you're paying attention, you'll see a newborn smile. And it really is the cutest thing ever. But then you learn that they don't smile randomly, but they smile when they are passing gas or filling their diaper... if you know what I mean. I haven't figured out if they smile because it feels good, or because they know how hilarious it is that you have to change them.
These are just a few things we have learned, but we have loved every minute of it. Here's the famous week-old baby.