Tag Archives: contractions

Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 37

381194_10150528381458902_1457799743_nOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 37 – Partying Her Way to Full Term

Jessica informed me of something this week that made me do a double take. She is now full term in the pregnancy. That means that if our son came out now he would essentially be fine. I know I’ve said it before, but this really means that he can come out at any time. He wouldn’t even be considered a premie. All that due date nonsense is just an educated guess. I was three weeks early when I was born. That’s now. Time to get our stuff together.

In addition to that little bit of information, Halloween is here and Jessica will be damned if she doesn’t  organize and decorate a Halloween party despite the fact that she could go into labor as I’m typing this sentence. She’s mentioned starting her maternity leave early because she’s having a harder time getting through each day. Any extended amount of activity causes her to swell up like Violet in Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory. Nothing however will stop her from having this party.

Throwing even more fuel on the fire, Hurricane Sandy is approaching. The storm is expected to hit us sometime Sunday or Monday, and last a couple of days. This is very similar to how my cousin’s daughter was born. It was Hurricane Irene in August of 2011. My cousin was at the same point in her pregnancy that Jessica is now. There is something about the change in barometric pressure that just pushes babies out of their homes. I’m now convinced that he will be showing up by Halloween, which is the day my Aunt predicted it would be several weeks ago.

The only way that Jess convinced me to let her have the party is to promise me that she would make it more low key than any of the other ones. Somehow I believed her (although it’s not like she would have not had a party anyway). By the day of the party I looked around and realized that she decorated every bit as much as she had every other year, if not more. The only difference is that she didn’t have as many bigger decoration ideas that she did not have time to accomplish. The one concession that did pay off was having the party catered instead of cooking everything herself. This kept her seated while I took care of all the decorating on the ceiling (changing lights, putting up bats etc). Her lack of mobility also put me in the role of maintaining the party. Keeping the cooler filled, stocking the snacks, all of the things she used to do while I was busy being the life of the party. Not a role reversal I was thrilled with. She would later say that she had more fun at this party than almost any of the other. So at least that is something good to take out of this.

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Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 36

47a3dc06b3127cce98548cbf068000000035108AaMnDFm1YudOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 36 – Going Solo At A Wedding

This week was very much about nesting. Jess wanted the apartment cleaned up and organized. This also had to do with her wanting to have people over for a Halloween party next week but still, this had been coming for a long time now. The most important part of this was rearranging the bedroom to order to have somewhere to put the pack n’ play so that when Alex decides to show up he has somewhere to sleep.

There was also of course another doctors appointment (they are weekly now) where she was tested for strep b. She doesn’t have it, which is good. Jess made sure to ask about added swelling she is experiencing, specifically in her feet. Whenever she undergoes any physical activity at all, her feet blow up like balloons. They tend to go back down if she puts them up for a while, even more so if she uses ice. The doctor said that it is okay for now. Just like everything else she has felt so far. Somehow everything is normal. Except seizures of course.

The biggest drawback of all this swelling is that I am a groomsman in a wedding this weekend, and sadly she can’t go. It’s one thing to find a dress that fits and to not be able to actually be next to me during the ceremony. However it also means that she would have to get up at 7am in order to get her hair and nails done and then get dressed to be ready to leave at noon. That just isn’t going to happen in the 9th month of pregnancy.

So I’m off to the wedding by myself. It’s an hour away, which makes me a little uneasy when my wife can go into labor any second. We nearly had a scare the other day when she had a very intense Braxton Hicks contraction. For a second we thought we might have to go to the hospital but it ended up being nothing. Anyway now I’m an hour away with the dreaded George Washington Bridge between us and I’m a bit anxious. Before I left I spoke into my wife’s stomach, telling Alex to behave and not come out today. To make absolutely sure that I can get back as soon as possible if something happens, I opt not to go in the limo with the rest of the bridal party. Instead I follow them in my car to the church, then to the park for pictures, and finally to the reception.

Jess had me text her when I got to the church just to assure her than I got in okay. I comply, but she doesn’t reply back to me. She’s probably just sleeping. After the pictures I call her just to check in. She doesn’t answer. I’m still sure she’s sleeping but I really want to make sure. She mentioned she might see her mother so I called her to check if maybe she spoke to Jess. This was my mistake. She knew I was going to the wedding and that Jess was nervous about something happening while I wasn’t around. So now I am calling her and she immediately thinks that Jessica went into labor and I need her to pick her up. Completely freaked her out. She hadn’t spoken to her either but sent a text message as well. Eventually Jess did respond to both of us but my mother-in-law got a pretty good scare.

Fortunately, Jess was not in labor, I had a great time at the wedding, and my son listened to me.

Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 35

249433_10151204049884697_1970564811_nOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 35 – One Last Wife Day

After all of the researching and shopping and buying things it was time for our family and friends to help us out a little with this whole baby thing. The baby shower is upon us.

My cousin and sister-in-law basically took the whole thing over, which is good because we’ve been too busy to even remember it was coming up. They took Jess out to register, and planned everything. A fantastic job. Normally Jessica wouldn’t be that into a shower. She doesn’t like having all eyes on her and specifically finds it awkward opening one gift after another while everyone watched (I know, boo-hoo). She also hasn’t been feeling up to going anywhere lately, so just the idea of waking up early and having to be somewhere before 8:00 pm can be downright cringe-worthy. However by the time we got close to the day of the shower, Jessica was actually pretty excited about the whole thing. I’m sure part of it was getting to see her friends and getting all of the things she wants for the baby, but she said she was really looking forward to the party because she knows that this will be the last big event that is all about her. The games, the gifts, everything is for her. Once the baby comes it will all be either about him, or about the family. Birthdays will come, but they won’t get nearly the same attention as any event for the baby (same goes for me of course). Everything was catered specifically to her liking and she seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

Speaking of birthdays, two days later Jessica turned 30. I know how this milestone birthday felt for me, so I can only imagine it bringing a bigger sense of change for Jess. Imagine seeing your twenties end, and knowing that you have never felt worse at that time. That has to be a bit of a bummer. Since she can’t drink and can’t really do much of anything right now, she made the call a while ago that we would put off properly celebrating her birthday until she is not pregnant and feeling better. However there is no way I was going to let her birthday completely slide without doing anything. She took a week to figure it out but she finally decided on attempting to see a couple of movies she had been meaning to see for a while. We barely get a chance to make it to the movies so this was as good of a time as we’ll ever have. This also guarantees that we’ll be sitting most of the time. Perfect for her. I surprised her with flowers (seriously, if you have a woman you should be getting flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, and any other important day. It takes hardly any effort and it always leaves an impact), took her to the movies and she managed to make it through both films. No small accomplishment there.

Most importantly, Jessica got yet another day that was just for her. Everything she wanted on her birthday, she got. She seemed extremely grateful and had about as good of a day as you could ask for.  I sincerely hope that among the first birthday’s and graduations and little league games that we find ways to make things occasionally about just one of us before our son graduates high school. I’ll concede the first year though.

Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 34

we_can_do_it___remastered_by_thedrifterwithin-d56rqh1On November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 34 – Turning the Tables

We’re back at the doctor’s office and there is little new to report. Everything is as it should be. Our little boy is currently weighing in at approximately five pounds. That’s one fewer than my cousin’s kid when she was born. At this point if he was born today he would not be considered premature. Ain’t that a kick in the head.

A couple of days later Jessica is feeling a little worse than what we have been considering normal. To save you some of the details, she alerts me that she thinks she might have a urinary tract infection. This wouldn’t be good news regardless of her condition, but it is a big no-no when pregnant. Apparently if you have a UTI while pregnant it can induce labor and cause damage to the baby and it just isn’t good at all. Now being at a point where he could technically be born any day now anyway this is a red alert situation. Before she goes to bed, she tells me to not be surprised if we have to make a sudden trip to the emergency room in the middle of the night because if she does have a UTI we need to get her the proper antibiotics immediately. A couple of hours later I go to bed ready for the worst. That’s just what I get.

When I went to bed I felt achy. Specifically in my legs. This is nothing I haven’t felt before. After maybe sleeping for an hour I woke up shaking. Freezing cold, I pulled an extra blanket over myself. My face was completely flush, yet I still couldn’t stop shaking. Eventually my breathing got so heavy that I woke up Jessica. She gave me some water, secured the blanket around me and I eventually went back to sleep. A few hours later I woke up again. I wasn’t shaking anymore but I still didn’t feel good at all. Added to the aches and pains I felt nausea as well. Jess gave me some more water which I drank. Big mistake. Needing to leave for work in an hour, I got in the shower. After about one minute later I was throwing up, a lot. I was constantly heaving yet only water was coming out. When everything was out I finished my shower and got back into bed. Work was not going to happen today.

Now it was Jessica, who I have been taking care of all this time, worrying about and stressing over her, who had to care for me. She made me breakfast and dinner, she made sure I had everything I needed. When she heard something from the bedroom, she rushed in to make sure I was okay. She went above and beyond considering how poorly she has felt recently. In the end, I had just come down with a bad 24 hour flu bug. My thoughts were that it was stress related and all of the worrying and working had finally caught up to me. Meanwhile Jessica felt what I had figured in the back of my mind already. This is how she is going to react when our son gets sick for the first (and second, and third etc) time. She is going to jump into action, regardless of how she is feeling, and do everything in her power to make sure he is okay. She began to understand why her own mother would get the way she does when she or her brother got sick. Today Jessica turned into supermom. We then realized I’ve been acting as superdad for the last month or so. If this is any indication, we’re going to be good parents. At least when our child is sick anyway.

Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 33

27guido_bats-superJumboOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 33 – A Walking Sausage

Summer is officially over and that is officially bad news for Jessica. Not just because she doesn’t want the summer to end, but also because she now needs an entirely new wardrobe. All summer she was rocking capris with flowy shirts while wearing flip flops. Sure things were getting tighter but she had a good amount of things that she can wear on a regular basis. Well now it’s too cold for her current array of clothes and all she has for cold weather are pre-pregnant clothes. I think it goes without saying that those items are no longer an option. Before going to her mother’s she squeezed into the only pair of jeans that she could button. These things were so tight on her that the baby was pushed up into her ribcage and her ass was pushed out as far as possible (her words not mine). She looked like a sausage, and Jessica hates sausage, making this even more difficult on her.

Footware is an even trickier situation. Jessica has cruised through the last 6 months on little more than flip flops. She hates closed shoes and sandals don’t get tighter if your feet swell up. Well now it is too cold for flip flops and Jessica’s feet have ballooned to a point where they are (dare I say) sausage-like. So here I am, putting Jessica’s shoes on her feet (she has a hard time reaching), opening up the laces on her biggest pair of sneakers, and squeezing them on her so that we can head out. I rarely say this, but I hope we are going shopping soon.

Physically Jess just doesn’t feel good very often. She is achy a lot and gets dizzy more than I’d like. She knows she needs sleep but her body, and sometimes the baby’s, just won’t let her. It is as if her internal clock is against her sleeping at night, which means she is exhausted during the day. It makes it very difficult for her to get things accomplished. I’ll never say this to her before the baby comes out, but her physical issues are taking a toll on me as well. I’m constantly worried that she is going to have another episode and am getting more and more paranoid about getting calls with bad news. I’m not sleeping, I’m feeling achy myself and I’m starting to gain weight. As my uncle (a father of three and grandfather of 8) told me, stress impacts everything. I’m certainly stressed and I don’t feel good. Yes, the weight gain is due to eating more and can be pushed aside as sympathy weight, but I have developed some bad habits and I need to take control of them soon. After fighting it for a while I have to give in and agree with my wife. It is time for the baby to come out.

Tales Of An Expectant Dad: Week 32

Screen shot 2013-06-22 at 11.50.53 AMOn November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.

Week 32 – Practice Contractions and Real Throwing Up

A little over a week after the incident and Jess has actually been doing better. She is eating more regularly. Actually, she is just eating more, period. It’s kind of like she scared her appetite into overdrive. When she actually sits down to eat I’m barely even making enough for her. She finishes a plate of food and then starts looking for more to eat. This is a big change for me. We also got her thyroid prescription filled (yeah, she has an underactive thyroid too), and that has also helped. So with all the scary stuff out of the way we should have no problem going to our doctor’s appointment this week right?

Wrong. Just as she is getting ready to leave Jessica starts getting that old familiar feeling again. Not the fainting part, just the throwing up part. She feels it coming and knows she only has a small window to find a receptacle to make her oral deposit into. She can’t find the barf bags we have and should wouldn’t dare put her face near a toilet. So with no other options she spots a big black garbage bag that we had been putting things in the apartment we weren’t going to take to the new house. My poor pregnant wife somehow gets on her hands and knees, sticks her face in that bag and throws up like she just swallowed poison. I hear her from across the hall and run in to find her midway through. She can’t stop vomiting, but despite eating a roll less than an hour earlier, only water comes out. She has been constantly thirsty and could be suffering from dehydration. She began feeling better once she was done, and obviously we were a little late to our appointment.

Thankfully once we get to the doctor she lets us know that everything is perfectly normal with the baby. At this point it is toward the end of her work day, the latest we had seen her by far, and it shows. I can only imagine having to sit through pregnant woman after pregnant woman all day, each with their own issues that are freaking them out. She wasn’t mean or anything, but you can tell that she has been through a long day.

After we leave the doctor’s office we get some food but that only helps a little. Jessica is basically achy all over. She’s slightly dizzy (but assures me she’s not seizure dizzy) and his hurting in some way from head to toe. The sonogram shows that our child is getting pretty cramped in there, and Jess is just about ready to give him an eviction notice. While I can sympathize with how she is feeling, I can’t share the same opinion. While I can’t wait to meet him, I’m also not nearly ready to meet him now. I’ve been comfortable with the idea of him coming out specifically in the middle of November. It works for me. My job will have more down time and I can combine my paternity leave with the Thanksgiving break. It works for me. However I know now that we are at a point where he can basically come out at any time. It’s still likely that he’ll be on time, but I was a month early so who’s to say he won’t be?

To freak me out a little bit more, I am now aware of practice contractions. This is when Jessica basically has a contraction, only without the baby part. It sure does freak me out though when she has stronger and stronger ones. Tilting the panic level even more is the fact that Jessica thinks the baby has dropped. That means the he is lower in her stomach (duh!), which is a sign that he is getting ready to make his great escape. This ultimately doesn’t really mean anything. My sister-in-law’s second baby dropped three months before giving birth. That doesn’t matter in our heads though. With Jessica’s internet reading and being absolutely convinced that he is coming early combined with my paranoia that he is coming early, the damn kid might as well be born tomorrow. We’ve got two months to go. Can he just hold on for two months without causing my wife any more damage?