Friday, May 28, 2010

An Incredible Day Followed by Some of the Worst of My Life

My baby boy is here! He was born last Wednesday at a whopping 10 pounds and 3 ounces, for my international readers I think that translates to about 4.6 million kilograms.

Thankfully there was no bumping of anybody’s head. Through a strange series of events, my daughter brought home a mean stomach bug virus from preschool, which then passed to my wife and then me. Well, that stomach bug got the party started and induced my wife into labor that morning.
So for those full-term pregnant looking for some advice on how to induce labor, go hang out at a preschool.

I was actually surprised at how much faster the whole second experience took place. Labor was about 7 hours and the real “active” labor was less than two hours.
A woman we ran into today told us “That’s FAST! I was in labor for 7 days and 98 hours.” Somehow I didn’t believe her because she was pushing a dog in a stroller. People that push animal’s in strollers need serious help.

One very important fact I have to mention about the birth center we chose – it’s 1 block away from a KFC. YES! Can you believe it? Talk about convenience.

When my wife was in labor (regular, not “active”) we walked down there to get some popcorn chicken for lunch. I initially ordered one box, but then I told the woman that my wife was in labor right now so we’ll take two boxes. At first she didn’t believe me and then she looked at my wife breathing heavily, holding her back, etc.
While we were waiting I told my wife jokingly “Hey! Wouldn’t it be funny if you had the baby right now… in the KFC!”

She didn’t think that was funny. I think it was because she was in labor.

I won’t go into details about the actual birth except that we had him at a birthing center, not a hospital, with two midwives and a doula. He was initially going to be born in a tub, just like our daughter was, but because of his size he was delivered on some crazy thing called a birthing stool. I’m not even going to describe this thing, just use your imagination about how women gave birth maybe pre-1800’s. I would have much preferred the tub because birth is really messy business.
My bit of advice for those choosing a midwife or home birth – have the baby in the tub or bring some extra clothes.

Something I have to mention before moving on here about the whole events and something only parents that have gone through the experience will fully understand:
There’s nothing in this world that comes even close to meeting your child for the very first time. Feeling the bumps, the kicks, and talking to this mysterious little creature that grows in just 40 short weeks into a full-fledge baby is just something that is truly remarkable. The first time my son, and daughter nearly 5 years ago, looked back at me with their eyes and examined my face are some of moments that I’ll always remember.

So imagine my reaction 4 days later when his pediatrician told us that we needed to immediately rush our newborn son to the pediatric hospital because something call bilirubin had nearly doubled in his body in 12 hours. When we arrived they were waiting for us and put him in one of these hooked up in it for the next 3 days--

What even worse was staring at him in there while the doctor was telling us all kinds of information about it. I zoned out the entire time. The paperwork in our hands said something about a blood transfusion if they couldn’t stop it.

We didn’t tell most about what was going on, only a few close friends and family that had happen to call at the time by coincidence. But those who did helped us considerably during what had to be the worse days of our lives. To them we’ll always be forever grateful.

Thankfully he was finally able to come home this week. His numbers improved considerably and we had a little celebration with our daughter, unfortunately with no KFC present. We go in once again tomorrow for what we’re hoping to be his clean bill of health and then we can go on with our lives watching him grow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Inducing Labor. Because 40 Weeks is a Long, Long Time.

My wife is now 39 weeks pregnant and we’re told she’s ready to deliver at any time.

I forgot how stressful this “final stretch” was last time around nearly 5 years ago with our daughter.
Not being able to leave my wife for long or sleep at night as every move, ache, or whatever move she makes has me jumping up like an earthquake just struck. The uneasy feeling I get when she uses the bathroom for more than 3 minutes (“Is she having the baby in the bathroom; I think that can happen?”)
The stories I hear from random women at the gym or work that say things like, “I have this friend who went into labor and delivered a baby all within 5 minutes!”
And to top it all off, my 4-year old asked me today “Daddy, how is my baby brother getting out of mommy’s belly?” To which I answered matter-of-factly “Why, the birth canal, silly kid!” (ruffled her hair) followed by an uncomfortable laugh and then changed the subject quickly by asking her if she wanted ice cream.

We’ve had lots of ice cream this weekend.

Of course our midwife has given us a list of things that help induce labor naturally like: eating spicy food, go for a long walk, use primrose oil, stimulate the “nickels”, and having sex. All sound like a pretty good date night, doesn’t it?

Except the part knowing that there’s your baby’s head right down there!!

Tomorrow we’re going to a restaurant out here in L.A. (Caioti Pizza CafĂ©) that’s famous for having a special salad that makes women into labor. We tried it first time around years ago and it didn’t work. But we did get to write a funny letter in one of their pregnancy journals – something of a tradition they have there. We’re going to look at what we wrote years ago, write something again, and then try out the “The Salad” one more time.

In the journal maybe I’ll write something like, “your big sister had lots of ice cream this weekend and if this salad doesn't work I’m REALLY sorry if I bumped your head.”

Friday, May 07, 2010

Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas!

I asked my daughter what she wanted do for my wife this year for Mother’s Day and she immediately answered with:

“Go shopping to buy me an Ariel dress! And maybe mommy can get one too.”

We did something a little different this year; she’s been practicing her “Pegasus unicorn running into a rainbow” art for a few weeks, maybe months, now so I had one of the better ones put on a shirt from this place (

It's pretty awesome. (What’s even more awesome is a discount code “dads25”.)
When we got it in the mail my daughter instantly requested one for herself and her friends at school as they've starting a Pegasus Unicorn Team now - it's an alternative to the Dragon Team the boys at school have started.

We’ve also been contemplating what else my daughter wants to make for Mother's Day. Maybe some cool and funny Mother’s Day themed snack from a recipe off this site (link), or one of these interesting cards (link.) I’m sure we’ll come up with something once I suspiciously tell my wife to go get a pedicure or go on a trip to the nearby KFC on Saturday so we can make anything.

We'll see...

But for those looking for a last-minute idea on what to get your wife or mom on Sunday AND really impress her, there’s always my famous flower bunch toting Lionel Richie printable with complementary Lionel Richie paper craft sculpture:

"You're once, Twice, Three Times A Lady. Happy Mother's Day!"

Lionel Richie Paper craft toy

Because really, nothing says Happy Mother’s Day quite like “You’re Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady” from Lionel.