Daycare

When you have a baby, you forget about things. Mostly, you forget about your sophisticated and oh so important television watching regime. Your DVR surpasses to a billion percent compacity simply because you’d rather watch your kid and make sure she’s 1. Breathing. 2. Breathing effortlessly. (The NICU really does a number on you.) You also forget about things. You forget that things that you should figure out ahead of time. Namely, the daycare situation. It was a given that we would keep her home throughout the RSV flu season which was to end in April or May. When you have a few months before sending your kid to live with strangers weekly, you forget that you’re on the waiting list to one daycare. One. Then life starts pushing you around and you get a call from that one daycare telling you that any chance of an open spot is highly unlikely. And then they shut their door in your face. But before that, they did give you a recommendation of a place we should inquire about. “It’s a great place, blah, blah, blah” SHUT. This was not good news. That next week would be the start of us taking turns being off work until we found a place. The stress was thick.

We called the place to set up a tour that day which was a Friday. We go tour a daycare center at 5:30pm on a Friday. That’s good and bad. Good because you see the place at the most hectic time. Bad because that’s a lot of kidsinoneplace. For me. We talked with the owner and teachers and they instantly fell for our baby because she decided to bring the smile machine. I was hoping it would help secure a spot.

The owner went to grab the waiting list for newborns and the list was gone. Turns out, the other owner had taken the list home with her because she was going to be calling on the waiting list for new kiddos. We were filling out paperwork when we hear “there’s a spot open?” We started watching her like a hawk. Less paperwork, more hawk.

I couldn’t get the checkbook out fast enough. We paid for our first and last week. We walked out extremely relieved and thankful. And terrified. We realized much like her entrance into the world, we weren’t ready. Our baby was going to start daycare that next Monday.

I knew Monday would be difficult. You could see it on both of our faces. But not on our baby’s face. From the second we arrived to the room and even as we were walking out, her smile could not be big enough. It didn’t seem fair. She’s in there giggling and we’re doing dead man walking back to our cars. Dejected.

One good thing is that they will text you pics throughout the day. We both knew she likes to smile but we did not know she likes to laugh. On video. For strangers. Laughing.

It’s a process of getting through these initial steps of letting some control go. The whole thing about it all going by so fast is dead on fact. She JUST learned to grab at things. She JUST learned to roll over. Now she’s laughing.

But she’s happy. A very happy baby. And that will never get old. For us or for our new trusted strangers.

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6 months

We are closing in on 6 months with this kid. Just a few days away. Crazy. To bring a 28 week old baby into the world, 6 months is a pretty big sigh of relief moment. I wanted to write a lot about these first months of her life. I wanted to.

Here’s the thing: every time I would start to write, I was reminded of how it all began. It would bring be back to that place. How nervous and anxious we both were. How with every step forward she took in the hospital, we were waiting for that setback to come. And it never did.

For some reason, with this 6 month marker, I finally feel okay to take a deep breath and smile when she’s grinning at me ear to ear. To not panic when she’s tired and has seemingly placed her finger in her eyeball. I can shorten the number of times I go in to make sure her belly is moving up and done as she breathes but something feels me I’ll still do that for many many years. I get to continue to watch her learn new things like rolling over twice in a row and then when she has an audience of three, acts like she’s never even heard of rolling over in her life and bawls her eyes out. I’m loving the fact that the day my wife went back to work, she started sleeping through the night. How she really isn’t happy in her swing as much since she now loves to reach for things. Or how attaching a small mirror to the top of her floor play mat will allow her to smile at herself and coo for over an hour at a time.

And at the same time, while we are completely basking in this child’s glow, we still feel the stories of little ones we hear and read about in the NICU. I believe that once you’ve experienced it, you never want to again…but your heart is forever changed. All those fighting babies. And to be completely honest, I’ve struggled with this. I’ve struggled with thinking why our baby was in the hospital for over 6 weeks and never had a setback. What made her the lucky one when so many others simply don’t make it out of the hospital. It will make you resent yourself when you question those kinds of things. And I still haven’t come to terms with a definite answer. But you won’t find a more thankful father. You won’t find a father who wants the absolute best for his baby. She has completely changed many outlooks on life for me. I see it every morning that I pick her up to change her and she won’t stop grinning.

So, 6 months in. Can you imagine how I’ll be when she turns one?

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First Visit

Anytime I’m sitting in a waiting room, I’m usually sick or hurt. Something is usually wrong with me. Making sure that our baby-to-be is breathing and in the right spot is a whole other kind of thing. The week before this first appointment was stressful with just not knowing for sure that what you want to happen is actually happening.

Court had a good solid list of initial questions for the doctor. Grown up stuff. Things you actually ask a baby doctor like, “What can and can’t I eat?” “What about Zertec?” You know, normal things. I on the other hand, wondered if she would be okay to keep weed-eating the yard throughout the summer. Because that’s our thing. She weed-eats and I mow…(doctor looking at me, judging me)…hey, it’s a big lawn. It’s like mowing Kansas. Would you like to mow Kansas? Okay, it’s OUR agreement.

We received a lot of info about what to expect. What can help now, like drinking 200 glasses of water every day. Maybe not that much but the doctor did say that she wanted her pee to be clear by noon. Every day. I think that’s about 200 glasses. We went over the list of the OTC drugs that are okay and those that aren’t. Court is an iced tea junkie and the doc has her down to one a day. I’m pretty sure this will affect me more than her.

Count one for mood swings.

I also got to sit there while she got a Pap smear. I say that like I was next to the doctor eating a sandwich. I was in the guest chair frantically looking at Facebook while the smearing occurred. So there’s that.

It all still seemed surreal, even during the visit, right up until she jellied up Court’s belly and the rushed sound of a tiny heartbeat came through. Our next visit we find out the sex, but in that moment, everything became real and directly in front of me. I’m really going to be a dad and whatever is breathing in there, I’ll love and protect until I die.

Finding Out

So as you all know by now, we decided to make one of those baby things. We’ve always sort of talked about it but after 2013 rolled in, we really talked about it. We thought that maybe the summer might be a good time. That turned into the spring. Sometime in the spring turned into as fast as we could possibly get to the bed. Okay not really like that but we did feel ready. We knew it was what we both wanted and neither of us were drunk. Good start.

She was under the assumption that it might take months for this to work. First try was a miss. We were both kind of sad about it. Which I’m glad since it kind of confirmed that it’s what we wanted. She was more sad of disappointing me. Crazy girl.

Second try was different. I knew it was the one that got through. Hiyo! For some reason, I just knew. And let me tell you, waiting weeks for an answer isn’t the greatest use of my time.

It finally came time for her to start her period. It didn’t the first day. Or the second. Third day came and went. We had one test at home that was the +- type. We read that it’s better to take in the morning when the pee is more…concentrated. Gross. It was 5 in the morning and she had to go.

“Hey.”
“Huh?”
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Well, it’s in this room, right over there and it’s 5:00 in the morning. On a Sunday.”
“…do you want me to pee on the stick?”
“Get it.”

She goes and closes the door. Enough time elapsed that I was back sleeping soundly. She comes out, turned on the light and rushed to my side.

“I can’t tell, the line is faint. But it’s a plus. I think you can see the plus.”

I sit up to look at it. I’ll be honest. I have no idea what I’m looking at. Good thing that it had a diagram of what I should be looking for. A minus that’s always a minus. And then a minus for no and a plus for yes. I turned it upside down and back around.

We had a faint yes.

We confirmed it later that afternoon after purchasing a fancy digital number that told me in English that she was in fact knocked up.

So looking back, we dated for approximately 6 months. Planned a wedding for 6 months after that. Became pregnant about 4 months after that. That’s a lot of firsts and a lot of moments for a year and a half. But I found her. And we did it all at the right time.

And now I get to learn about breast pumps and something essential called a changing table, which I thought could be any table. Or couch. Or the floor.

Seriously, it could be any of those things. Yuppies.

It’s All Different Now

Well, here it is.

After a few months of sitting on my hands with news, I finally get to turn this barely functioning blog into a productive member of blog society. I have a new venture that will be a huge feat on a couple levels. Level One- I’m inconsistent here. No, really. Level Two- I’ll probably be busier now trying to find writing time than before when I had all. kinds. of. time.

I’m going to be a dad. On purpose. Bam.

We found out the Sunday before our last few days with Bailey, so you could say the emotions surrounding everything had been at threat level midnight.

I’m excited, terrified and overflowing with emotions that would probably rival most mental patients. Not the same emotions of mental patients mind you, just…overflowing. And good thing for the kid is that he or she will have this online journal to use as reference material when they visit their shrink in 30 years. I’m nothing if not here to help.

I never thought that when I changed my blog to Never Had One Lesson, that it would become the perfect definition for this journey. I have plans to contribute many a post about becoming a dad. What to expect, what naive expectations I already have. I mean I don’t even know why it shouldn’t just take a week or so to potty train a newborn. And just a tip, a baby can cry in a garage just as much as they can cry in a closer nursery room. Fact.

I’m beyond excited and more in love with the wife than ever before. It’s only a few months in and I have no idea how she does it. I get bloated after good pizza so I just can’t even imagine all of that.

So, here’s to Never Had One Lesson as an expectant dad.

I pray for us all.