Sunday, March 22, 2009

Are We Ready for This?

So we are close to being 33 weeks pregnant...less than 2 months from becoming real live parents and we are starting to wonder, "Are we really ready for this?"

This is the start of our "nursery"... look at the organization. I think any baby would love to come home from the hospital and have this for a bedroom!

This is Kathi, the mother-to-be, with a screaming niece. She looks like she has things completely under control!

But...when we have moments like these we know we can't wait to become parents (ready or not).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Someone's 30 Today!

Our sister Kim is reaching a rather large milestone stone in her life today. She is kissing her 20's (and her youth) goodbye and saying "hello" to the 30's!!

To put this into perspective, we just wanted to give you a few examples of what this means:

1 - Kim has been driving for 14 years now. Grant, her 2 1/2 year old, will get his drivers license in less time than that.

2 - President Ronald Reagan (now deceased) was not even on the campaign trail yet for the executive office.
3 - Magic Johnson and Larry Bird squared off in the 1979 NCAA finals during the week of Kim's birth. Both of them are now members of AARP.

The best news is that she will place higher in the six mile run in April because she gets to check the 30 - 39 year old box on her registration!

We love ya Kim and we hope we can hit 30 as youthfully and energetically as you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Owe Me ... Big Time!!

Most of the time when people say that parents sacrifice more for their kids than the kids'll ever know, they are speaking the truth. This is the case already with you, my child, and you're not even born yet. I'm going to let you know right now that the sacrifices have begun.

Last Monday night, I had to miss my Intramural basketball game to go to our first Birthing Class. On our ride to class, your mom convinced me that I made the right decision (I agreed with her once I found out that my team won and clinched a playoff spot in my absence) by opting for two hours of instruction on the labor and birthing process.
I went in to the first class with an open mind because I want to be a supportive husband and father. I want to know how I can be of the most help to your mom and you as you enter this world. However, I also went in to the first class as somewhat of a know-it-all. So after 15 minutes of listening to our Chilean instructor, Paulina (pronounced pow-LEE-na), give an overview of the course in her broken English, my mind wandered away from the instruction and towards trying to get a read on the six other dads (sorry, support persons is the more politically correct term for the husbands, mothers, boyfriends, fiancees, and baby's daddies that accompany the future mother) in our class. After the introductions, I easily pegged the others into Norman Rockwell's categories of expectant fathers.
Jason is the frightened-novice, Mark is the distraught-executive, Jeremy is the earnest-parent, John is the hearty-salesman, Becky's mom is the pacer, and Din Bien is the believer-in-the-worst. I, on the other hand, defied Normy's caricaturizations. By doing so, however, I realized that I was the guy-who-thinks-he's-better-than-this-and-will-be-ill-equipped-during-the-birth, so I decided to keep focused on Paulina, our instrucionadora.

I learned a lot by listening to her, even though she told too many stories about her own birth and often admitted that she "make so many bad joke." I learned about oxytocins and endorphins during labor, and about the active and transition phases of the birthing process. Your mom already knew all this stuff, but I was cramming my gray cells with new data that was going to make me Father of the Year before you get potty-trained.

But then Paulina pulled the rug out from under me. "We will finish today with movie that has some NEW-thi-thee in it." "What did she say?" I asked your mom. "Nudity, Chad, do you think you can handle it?" she replied condescendingly. Paulina put in a DVD that was more horrifying than Silence of the Lambs and Scream 2 combined. It was called David and Melanie, Jamal and Tanaya, and Jorge and Roberta Give Birth, but it really should have been called TMI: The Natural Birthing Process with Unnecessary Camera Angles, Parts 1, 2, and 3. I immediately took on a new persona as the dad who looks-around-the-room-to-see-if-anyone-else-is-appalled-by-what-they're-watching. Paulina's evil glare at my goosenecking around made me think that she sees me as the immature-and-insecure dad. Lo siento.

Last night, at our second class, we practiced handling contractions. Paulina requested silence and told the "support person" to stand behind the standing mother, reach around her and gently massage the tummy while we rhythmically sway back and forth. Your mom didn't quite understand this last part. Instead of swaying side to side, she viciously and rhythmically thrusted her pelvis back and forth into my groin area, saying, "this doesn't feel right." When I pointed to other couples that were doing it correctly, we broke the silence by erupting in laughter. Paulina gave me another glare that made it clear that she thought of me as the dad who is disruptive-and-is-not-taking-the-class-seriously. Maybe I would take it more seriously if we weren't practicing pain-free contractions (which are actually not contractions at all). Really the expectant mothers were just dancing with their "support people" (freak dancing in our case).

The class ended with Paulina showing another horror film. This one was simply titled Chris and Paula. Again, though, the editors mis-named the film. This one should have been titled Dom DeLouise and Pat from Saturday Night Live and could also be categorized as a mystery because we didn't know which of the two parents-to-be was in labor and which was simply there for support. Your mom kept elbowing me and telling me that I was making strange noises while trying to stifle my laughter.

We debriefed after the flick, as Paulina asked us what we noticed during the film. I wanted to say that I figured out which one would give birth before anyone else did, but instead I listened to responses from a woman - who said that she didn't realize that there were so many positions a woman could be in to push during labor - and a man - who said that he was impressed by all the positive thinking from the nurse, midwife, father, and mother in the film. Paulina agreed, emphasizing the importance of positive thinking even during this most painful of times. This discussion had become my most painful of times.

Your birth will be painful, too, but your mom doesn't seem to worry too much about this. She has been a trooper so far and I'm sure that your delivery will be no different - as long as we get the rhythmic swaying during contractions part down. You'll be lucky to have her as a mom. She has so many wonderful qualities, not the least of which is that she'll never hang over your head all the sacrifices she makes for you (like I am doing right now). You can take my complaining with a grain of salt, but just know that I wouldn't miss an Intramural basketball game to watch disgusting and appalling movies of childbirths for anyone. I'm sure you'll be worth it.