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Archive for the ‘Babies’ Category

It’s been a couple of weeks, but I finally found time to blog. Well, only for the next few minutes since already had her 2 hour nap… lying on top of me. I am sure everyone has gone through that. You want them to sleep so you stay still, but you have things you need to get done and you calculate the probability of getting up and baby doesn’t wake up. The odds were not in my favor so for two hours I lay watching TV with my 18 pound bundle of snoring stayed on my chest sleeping and for most of that time I was thankful that I didn’t have to go to the bathroom – until I HAD to.

Anyway, for this weeks’ Writer’s Workshop I chose to write about what I like the most about my baby’s room.


Now I love just about everything about my daughter’s room. If you ask my wife she is going to say she loves the wall decorations best!

I agree that they came out amazing, but I am a guy and we like different things. I like the changing table and crib the best.

OK, I MAINLY like these the best because I put them together myself and I think they are really good looking as well as the fact that I picked out the crib! We were at BuyBuyBaby I think and we were looking at all the cribs. We were astonished at how expensive these things were and we didn’t even like them that much. The one crib we did like we did not purchase.

The crib was nice and well-made but now, 9 months later, I am glad we didn’t buy it because it would not have worked for us. It was a crib with an attached changing table next to it. I thought it was great and it was less expensive than the other ones we were looking at which we didn’t even like that much. Now that it’s 9 months later, I know that it would have been WAY too small and we would have needed to buy a changing table anyway. But while walking through the store we happened across their clearance section. They had TONS of things and they were so much less expensive than the other ones we didn’t even like. We couldn’t even find any real problems with any of the pieces.

We found 2 cribs we really liked and they were both the same price, which was over $150 less than anything we had seen. My wife liked one and I liked this one better. After talking to the sales person, we found that the one Erica wanted was discontinued so finding parts for it, such as the side rails to make it a full bed, or the side to make it a toddler bed, would not be easy to find.

The one I liked was current, so buying the parts would not be a problem at all when the time came.

After we talked about it for a while, she ultimately agreed with me and this is the crib we picked and it’s been AWESOME.

It’s made by a company called Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, which is a furniture company based in Canada. When we bought the crib, it did not have a box or instructions on how to assemble it after they disassembled it and gave it to us. I put together 80% of it, but then I was a little stuck for the rest so I emailed the company. To my surprise they called me back a few hours later and even emailed me a copy of the instructions in .pdf form.

This crib has been with our little MJ since she was 3 months old and now she is getting so big so fast that we had to lower the mattress level.

I think it’s my favorite piece because it looks amazing but also because it was the first thing I essentially built for my little girl.

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There are certain things about having a child that we know, as parents, we will have to endure and deal with. We will do our best when that happens but we still have to endure it. Things like our kid falling off a swing or their bicycle. Bringing them to the hospital and help them through the experience, sometimes somewhat traumatic, of having to become the receiver of shots, stitches or even a cast.

But how do we get past when our babies don’t even have the opportunity to be born? It’s hard on every level.

If you are a good parent, you want the best for your child so you stop doing things once you learn you are pregnant. You stop eating cold cuts, certain cheeses, coffee (and for most people no coffee is a sacrilege!) We did it all perfectly correct… or I should say my amazing wife did. She stopped drinking coffee, she hasn’t had anything from her favorite place Quiznos since we found out, and she took prenatal vitamins immediately. Everything was being done as they say it should be done.

I didn’t go to the first sonogram of our 2nd child because I had to work and we didn’t expect any complications. Neither did our doctor. Our daughter was conceived and born without incident. There weren’t any issues which came about in all of the testing.

This time, there was a problem. When I found out I felt I had failed as a husband to my wife because, well, I wasn’t there with her when she found out.

I should have been, regardless of having a perfect happy and healthy baby girl the first time, who currently only has 2 lower teeth and blows raspberries everywhere until EVERYTHING is covered in her spittle. I can assure you, that won’t happen again.

She was 8 weeks along at the time and the doctor was concerned about a finding that we may be looking at a child with Down’s syndrome. There isn’t a history of it on either side of our family, so it came as a shock. We went in for consultation with our doctor and we decided on an amniocentesis. It was less dangerous to possible issues that the alternative. At this point we were around 11 weeks or so along.

The earliest they told us it could be done is 15 weeks and so we scheduled it for February 20th, president’s day. That made us around 15 ½ weeks along and they were hoping it could be done. If not, we would just reschedule.

We went in and our hearts just broke.

During the initial sonogram to set things up and see what was going on we received the horrible news. I will never forget those 2 horrible words or how they were said.

No. heartbeat.

It was said matter of factly. Sort of like, sorry but we are out of that kind of bread. It was worse each time she said it and she must have said it like 7 or 8 times. Being a nursing student, I was looking at the sonogram and looking for the nachal transparency and nose bones, which are both initial signs of possible Downs’. I wasn’t looking for the heart.

I knew my wife would be upset and very distraught about it, as any parent would be. But out of the 2 of us I knew it would affect her more. She has more public composure than I do, but it did affect her harder.

Obviously we didn’t have to do the amnio which we went in for. I thought I was nervous about doing this and then having to wait for the results to see if we were going to have a child with special needs, this news hit me like a punch to the gut.

Our doctor was empathetic and told us to call with any questions after he explained everything. I was still very concerned about my wife

You see, she is AMAZING! She does everything for others first. When it was thought there was a possibility of our baby having downs’, she thought it was her fault because we were having 2 children less than 1 ½ years apart. No matter how much I and the doctor told her it would not have any bearing on it. She said she understood but I know her and I know she still felt it was her fault because we had 2 children very close together.

With this news, she thought it was her fault because we just recently moved and she felt she did too much. She didn’t do too much. The heaviest thing she lifted was maybe 4 lbs which was a toaster oven. I did all the heavy lifting. And, even though the doctor and I did everything to convince her that it would not affect this, I am sure she still thinks that’s why… but it isn’t.

I explained to her that sometimes, when there are too many issues or an issue that is just too severe that nature just takes over and does what it thinks is appropriate. Some people think its god, but since we are not religious and – since my mother’s death – I am MUCH more atheist then some others, I go with nature.

We left and she totally broke down in the car. I consoled her but it is impossible, under these circumstances, to console her completely. I did my best as her husband and hope I did enough for that moment for her. To let her know I understood as best I could and that I was there with her and for her and that we would deal with this together.

I immediately went to work and told them I wouldn’t be working that day as I needed to be there for her. I work across the street for our doctor’s office so it was within 10 minutes of finding out. The reaction the director had when I told her was absolutely disgusting as both a nurse and even more so as a human being. She just flipped over to her schedule, marked me off, acted like I was causing her a major inconvenience and then said “I guess you are going to do what you have to.” With a sigh.

I thought it was just me overly sensitive in the moment… but my friend from work came with me to assist and said he wanted to punch her for that reaction and how can she show absolutely no empathy or sympathy and she supposed to be a nurse.

We went and picked up our daughter from the sitters. She started crying at a point, which she never does. I am sure she knew mom and dad were upset. Babies pick up on that kind of thing.

We went home and I consoled Erica each time she broke down.

I waited until she was asleep and I was alone and broke down hard. I mean I did break down a little at the doctor’s office and again at work when all my co workers were asking what was wrong, but it was small. I was upset and I let some tears flow but I didn’t break down until nearly midnight after everyone was asleep and I was in a different room. It felt horrible but also needed.

How do we move on from here? Like I stated earlier, we are not religious people, but if we are wrong and there is a heaven… are we going to meet our son or daughter as they would have been had they not died?

We feel guilty. We feel like we took this pregnancy for granted and didn’t really think too much about it until there were problems. I remember with MJ, when she was still cooking I used to put my hand on Erica’s belly all the time and talk to her and make jokes and stuff. I remember saying things like “Hurry up and cook already! We want to meet you!” I feel REALLY bad because this pregnancy I think I only did that once maybe twice.

All I really want to say is this:

Our little Baby, we never were able to meet you… but we really WERE looking forward to it. We were looking forward to being there and watching you grow and helping you in every way we could. Even had you been born with Downs’ we still want you to know, we would have loved you more and more every day. You still would have been our perfect second child. I am sorry I seemed so non-chalant about our pregnancy with you… but I was SO excited when Erica (your mom) told me you were coming! I wanted you to meet your sister and for all the outings and family gatherings you would have seen. You are going to be missed and we are sorry we didn’t seem to celebrate your coming as much as we should have… but all that was coming. We love you and we will miss you every day!

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This week I chose option 2 – when you couldn’t think things could go wrong… they did. The reason for this is because, well, I am pretty tired of hearing about Whitney Houston, I could only come up woth 1 thing that I NEVER want to do, and the last two I think I will save for posts for later this week… maybe.

Usually when I post, I use the first thing which jumps into my mind about the topic and the first thing that jumps into my mind was October 29th, 2004. I remember this day because its when EVERYTHING fell apart all at once, but lets start at the beginning of the day.

I started out the day as normal. I went to work, and just kept busy. At the time my mother was sick so I was immersing myself in work. I had talked to my boss earlier about taking some vacation time and he told me he just needed to check what was going on that week because he had this tendency of putting his vacation in like 8 months ahead of time. So around lunchtime he called me into his office and he and our other boss were there and apparently they were doing cutbacks and eliminated my position. So I was laid off. The good thing is they told me I didn’t have to work through the end of the day… oh whoopee! I had bills to pay!

So after being mopey and heading home, that is when I broke down. I was sort of having a mental break down because I was not unemployed, had a HUGE amount of debt to pay which I worried about how I was going to pay off every day and I felt guilty because my mother was going through chemo at home and I wasn’t there to help.

I remember pacing back and forth in my apartment and my phone rang. It was my sister. Now my sister and I have a great relationship and I started to tell her what was going on with me and then she broke down. Apparently my mother was in the hospital again and the nurses told her and my father to call me and get me down to Long Island. I remember hearing my sister break down and cry and through her tears all she could say is that she wanted her mother back. It broke my heart that I could not console my sister and I felt guilty for feeling sorry for myself after being laid off. So I told her I would be home in a couple of hours.

I immediately called my cousin whom I have been super close with since we were little and told him what happened. He was supposed to meet me on Long Island the next afternoon just as I had done when his father passed away and I was there for him. Well I arrived on Long Island a few hours later and went to the hospital the next day and for the rest of the week after that.

My cousin never showed until close to the last second and then he left the next morning. I have never heard from him since.

My mother died 5 days later.

It was definitely the most difficult time in my life but we all dealt with it and have been able to move on.

I helped my dad go through his grieving process and started on the path for me to do what I really want to do.

I met the love of my life, married her and have an awesome and gorgeous baby girl with a second baby on the way.

It took some time but I found the silver lining. My dad and I have a REALLY close relationship now. Before this I was good with him but not where I should be as a father/son relationship… but now we are. And losing my job helped me go back to school and start on the path to do a job I really want to do.

Just goes to show there is a lesson to be learned in everything and that everything happens for a reason… even if we do not see it at the time. Do you agree?

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I have friends who became parents at a young age as well as friends who are older than I am and still do not have kids. You can see the difference between the two… but only if you are a parent. If you are not a parent, you probably won’t see it.

My wife and I married when I was 1 day into being 39 years old. For me I felt I was older to get married as my best friend was 22 when he was married. I moved off Long Island when I was 29 and the people I dated were usually close to my age. I stayed off Long Island until I was 35 and the last 2 years, from 33-35, the women I dated usually had kids. I thought because I was dating someone who had kids and I was around them 2 maybe 3 times a week, that I could consider myself a father-type figure and I knew a few things about kids and being a “parent”

I was SOOO wrong!

I had no idea what I was doing and looking back now, I know I was just a kid myself in the parenting aspect.

I always felt to truly be a parent you really needed to start from their birth and go through ALL of it. This is not always true… but it was true for me.

Quite a bit has changed for me since we had out little boopah. It’s these changes which make me feel like a parent as before, I didn’t feel like one. I felt that I was in a relationship where I was expected to be a “father” figure but without any of the real responsibilities. It was more reading when the single mother I was dating wanted me to be a father figure and all other times I needed to keep quiet.

There are a few ways that are different:

As a non-parent, the kid(s) referred to me by my name which made the distinction very well known.

As a parent, I refer to myself as Dad or Daddy, since she is not old enough to talk yet. I always thought it was weird how people men would refer to themselves that way when talking to their kids. But once you become a parent… you get it. (I sometimes even refer to myself as daddy even when I am not around my daughter and then correct myself.)

As a non-parent, if I was having an off day I could very easily go home and not deal with the girlfriend and her son/daughter.

As a parent, there aren’t any days off. You are there 24/7. If you are off from work one weekend and decide to sleep in? Great! As long as “sleep in” means 6am because that’s when boopah wakes up and decides she wants you to come play. Or if your wife feeds the baby in bed, usually around 5-6ish, and the baby decides she wants to see what happens if she squishes a sleeping Daddy’s nose. Usually you wake up and GREAT, she has someone to play with because that’s when you are tagged in so she can sleep. And you want to be annoyed but babies are built in with their own trouble radar, so the second you start becoming upset… they smile that awesome, toothless smile and you just… melt!

As a non-parent, there are things you think you will do differently when you have kids. This is usually not what is going to happen.

As a parent, you learn to savor in the small victories. For me, being able to use the bathroom at my pace is a HUGE victory as boopah usually decides that when I need to use the bathroom is not convenient for her. Or that she needs to finish the rest of her bottle RIGHT NOW! Being able to take a shower and not leave the door open and one ear listening for my baby is a HUGE luxury to us!

 

There are so many ways being a parent differs from being in a father-type role. I was thinking about this lately because Erica and I were discussing things we would and would not do regarding our boopah as she grew up which we had to from our parents. This made me think of some of the things I said or did when I was dating people with kids and I wish I had done things better. There were things I know I definitely handled perfectly with the right amount of discipline as well as not overdoing the lecture or what not. But then there were things that should not have bothered me, but did and I wish I handled it better.

In all this, however, it made me the person I am today and I think I did ok. I think I am an ok father and husband and that I accept that I am learning this all as we go. But having the best wife and mother for our baby makes it so much easier for both of us… as long as she LETS me help.

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It’s been a while since I posted anything. I always WANT to post, but life seems to get in the way, or the baby decides I need less computer time and more baby time and then it’s time to head to work. So this week I decided I am ABSOLUTELY posting, and here it is.

For this week’s writer’s workshop I chose You know you’re a mother when except since I am not a mother I am inserting father and going with it!

For me, it’s the little things which make me know I am a father.

… I want to rush home and check on my daughter after a long, stressful day at work and just seeing her sleeping soundly and safe makes the whole day better.

… waking up and looking forward to morning baby smiles. Ok it may take a little coaxing on my part for her to smile but most days she sees me walk in when my wife is about to run out to work and she looks up at me and just smiles!

… being nervous when she is sick. Even though I work in an ER and know babies catch colds and it passes, just hearing that congestion in her nose and there is nothing I can do to really help it go away makes me know what it is like to be a dad.

… I find it hilarious that she is covered in oatmeal because she is learning how to eat solid foods.

… I can’t wait for the day she can hold the darn bottle for herself so I can give it to her and go about my own things to do!

… Not looking forward to the day she can actually crawl because that means I will have to REALLY baby-proof the house.

There are so many things that happen which makes me know I am a dad. It’s scary but it’s also awesome and gratifying at the same time.

What is the top thing that makes you know you’re the Dad… or Mom!

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It’s been a while since I wrote last… and I missed it. I missed expressing what’s on my mind, so I am back.

Life has been busy but this weekends Writing prompts were a bit of a challenge. I chose my favorite ornament, but I don’t have just one so here are my favorite ones:

This was the ornament I gave my wife the Christmas after our wedding. It means a lot to me because I waited to find the right person to marry and I found the perfect one!

This was our ornament from last year. It was only a few weeks after we found out she was pregnant and we were having our first baby. It definitely means a lot because now she is 5 ½ months old and makes every day so amazing!

This was an ornament I bought my wife before we were married. She was not big on Christmas and I, of course, and VERY big on Christmas so I setup a Christmas tree in her apartment and gave her this ornament for Christmas. It was from a local Irish store and she loved it! She has been very pro-christmas as well as pro-Irish since this and more so since we have been married. I am sure with our little one, her love for Christmas will only grow and that is awesome!!

What is YOUR favorite ornament!

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Dear Mom,

It’s been 7 years now. So much has changed in those 7 years… and I REALLY wish you were here to talk to and share everything.

Both myself and Erica wish you were here to talk to. There have been times she has told me she wished she could have met you and talked to you especially at times before our wedding and, with her parents being so far away in Maine, to help with the wedding plans. But that was over 2 years ago.

You now have another grandchild. We had our first baby, a girl, on June 22nd. Believe it or not, Erica came up with the perfect name for her. Probably because when we were thinking of names for her all I could think of is that I wished I could have talked to you and received your input. But Erica came through, as always, and we named her Megan. Remember you wanted to make Kelly’s name Megan but dad and Aunt Joanie convinced you otherwise. Well, this was our tribute to you. We also named her after Aunt Joanie and I think you would really happy since you and Aunt Joanie were so close.

I never told you this when you were alive but I thank you for being the mother you were to me when you were alive. I know I made things difficult at times, but that’s what middle children do J! I know we had many differences and issues along the way, but I am glad things came together when they did and that we did become close many years before the end.

I am REALLY sorry Mom. I almost forgot today was the 7th year of you being gone. Erica reminded me and I am VERY glad she did. I don’t ever want to forget you, but I am starting to and it makes me a little upset. It’s difficult and I really wish you were here to show Megan what it’s like to have a Grandmother like you were to Katie and Kenneth. I know Erica and I are doing things right because she is a snugger and is ALWAYS smiling… except when she is in the sleepy zone and then she just sort of stares at you, and then a few seconds later she is asleep.

Kelly also had another boy who is 2 months older than Megan. He is such a cutie and her and Rob are doing well. They are happy and I talk to her weekly, sometimes daily. I am sure she is getting sick of hearing from me, but she is the closest thing we have to you and some things she says when I need advice – I have to stop for a second to realize I am not talking to you because her advice sounds a lot like something you would say at times.

Kenny is still an idiot. Ha ha. I am not going to get into everything that has happened to him this year, but now he is doing better. He always seems to land on his feet, and this was no exception.

I am getting worried about Dad. He is starting to sound more and more distant and, well, sad. He was doing very well for a long time and lately it’s changed. Kelly and I noticed it as did Erica, but when I talked to him he said all was ok. He misses you, but you know that as he stops up at your grave every day. Except when the weather is too bad, but otherwise he is there every day.

School did not work out as I planned, but I am not giving up. I hope I am doing the right thing that would make you happy, but right now I REALLY wish I could hear your voice and receive your input because I really need it. I am making this last effort and if this doesn’t work out, well, then we will have to rethink what I want to do… but I know I want to be in this field. I know I want to be a Nurse VERY much. I want to help people and fell like I actually make a difference.

I am sorry that I forget sometimes what your voice sounds like and what you look like, except when I look at the few pictures we have of you. I wish you didn’t hide yourself whenever we took pictures when you were here. But the few I have I am glad we have. I have these to show our daughter when she is old enough and tell her about her grandmother. I hope its ok, but I won’t draw you as a Saint to you like some people do with people who have passed. I will honest about everything, but teach her how great a mother you were and that you were an even better grandmother. She will know you did the best you could and were a great mother/wife/grandmother/friend and everything else.

I miss you, Mom. And, although there are now some days I don’t think of you, I do miss you a LOT and try to make sure to not do anything that will make you proud of me.

Now if only Kenny would feel the same maybe he wouldn’t be such a moron! LOL.

Rest in Peace mom. We love you!

Your Baby Boy,

Jimmy


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