Posted tagged ‘pregnancy’

Becoming a Dad – Third Trimester Here We Come!

August 31, 2009

There are only 92 days left until our boy’s due date and we are racing fast and furiously to get ready.

Mom-to-be and I arrive for the last three months of pregnancy battle-tested and intact after having gone through some interesting experiences the past six months including: a) moving to our place after having roommates b) her car being totaled due to flooding c) mom-to-be being in a car accident… d) …which totaled dad-to-be’s car e) unexpected medical bills f) etc. etc.

I think all those challenges were put in front of us to help us get ready for what’s coming. I really think that all those hardships helped us toughen up from being kids ourselves to grow into our roles as parents-to-be.

In the last six months we’ve made progress to to get ready for our boy’s arrival.

bellyheartTo begin with, we’ve began the nesting phase! The rocking chair and changing table are all set up  and ready to go. The crib is not far behind after I got it in the door this past weekend. Now we just have to worry about registering at Target and Babies-R-Us for the whole baby shower thing and it should take care of itself for awhile.

Lately it has been all about cars for us also. We managed to survive with only one vehicle for the majority of this pregnancy and survived the last month without one at all after the wreck! Now, after shopping and negotiating with car dealers (Not fun), we finally got two in the garage as of this past weekend. And they are a mid-sized sedan and an SUV just like we wanted in the first place! Special Thanks from Meg and I to my mom & dad for loaning us one of theirs in the interim. We would have never managed otherwise so bless our luck for having such awesome parents.

Most importantly for us as an impending family, we’ve finally got budgets have been put together and (most) unnecessary spending has been curbed. For example, I used to order food twice every day not thinking it was a big deal. Now I realize that’s about $400 a month for nothing but calories and a growing belly. So now, this daddy eats breakfast at home and packs a lunch for work or he doesn’t eat at all. Same with mom-to-be on being smart with food costs. We figured out that once we got used to it, our lifestyle didn’t really change very much minus wasted money and bad-for-you calories. It’s going that way for a lot of things. Tracking where the money is going… Such a novel concept that I could never understand as a bachelor.

All in all, I think we’re going to be as prepared as can be. Of course I think we can do more to get ready every single day, but that’s just me being neurotic and paranoid. I feel my baby kick at night and just want us to make the best world for him. Megan says I fall asleep with my hard on her belly and start snoring, only to pause and giggle like a kid myself every time the baby kicks hard.  I just love him so much already and I know his momma does too so we’re trying to do the best we can.

Some Questions I Have for you parents out there…

  1. sepia-handsBanking the Umbilical Cord – This costs lots of money. I’ve read the pros and cons. Now I want to hear from some actual parents… Is this worth the cost?
  2. Daycare Search – I need some advice in terms of how to search for the best daycare possible, like – What should we be watching out for? What questions do we need to ask? And what should we avoid?
  3. Birthing Classes – I don’t think we’ll do this. They cost so much money and I heard the epidural is the only thing Megan will need. Does anyone has any reasons to go to these classes besides the ‘experience’ factor?
  4. Packing the Hospital Bag – When should we make sure we have a bag packed for the hospital? And what should go in it?
  5. Everything Else – What should I be worried about in the third trimester? Any words of wisdom or warnings welcome.

For the rest of the ‘Becoming a Dad’ Series – click here.

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Becoming a Dad – Painful Lesson Learned

July 1, 2009
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I was told by a great many people that my last post on Becoming a Dad was very sweet. That was the overall reaction.  But to be fair, I’d like to give a full summation of both extremes in terms of reactions before I share another anecdote with you guys.

Most of the women, especially the more experienced ones (I won’t say “older” for fear of revenge), remarked that it was good for me that I was “finally getting it” when they talked about my desire to be home with mother-to-be. In fact, many close friends told me they were very proud of the fact that I’ve not only embraced this pregnancy with open-arms but also seem to be growing into the role of eventual father.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, calls came flooding in from the DNC Ninja support team (mainly Steve aka “Lightweight”) to rescue me from estrogen before my man-card was lost into the torrential abyss for all of eternity.

For those of you that don’t know, the DNC, on whose website this series is housed, was founded on two basic tenets: 1) personal accountability and 2) balance between professional goals and enjoyment of life aka partying. So my friends like Steve know a thing or two about being trying to maintain equilibrium in life. Well last Saturday, I was reminded of how far I still have to go in terms of mastering that balance.

The DNC crew was celebrating for two ninjas this past weekend in Rice Village. For our Houston crew, Jino, our little prodigical son, had his going-away prior to leaving for grad school at Johns Hopkins. Meanwhile, our ninjas in Baytown were also in the village bar-area to celebrate Julian’s birthday.

So there you have it,  a convergence of about twenty people, a roving band of ninjas, if you will, on a “boys night out” and hell bent on getting obliterated. Keep in mind we had none of the wives or girlfriends around to police us except for poor Katie, who tried her hardest. So what the heck happened? Well I won’t get into the details… (this  is a family-friendly site after all) but let me tell you, whatever you are thinking, the evening ended up 100x crazier than most of you responsible adults would expect. I didn’t fare the worst out of all the ninjas but I definitely made a total a$$ out of myself by the time it was all said and done. We were all hurting the next day. I still am. And its the Wednesday after.

My point to this story that I learned the hard way – Mother-to-be wasn’t the type of partner to make me stay home. Again, she encouraged me to go out with the boys. This time, I absolutely did. Balls-to-the-wall, you might say! I didn’t expect the price I ultimately had to pay and I paid it dearly the next day and beyond. Mentally, physically, emotionally, the whole nine yards. And while Megan wasn’t the type to make me stay home, she also impressed upon me that she is the type to let me hang myself without any sympathy from her. Basically, as I whimpered around the house limping in pain and wrecked mentally, all I got was snickering and I-told-you-so’s. I’m never drinking again. (for the 10,000th time but I had to throw that in there.)

I guess this might be a little glimpse into the future of raising a child with rebellious genese like his/her parents. I mean, I acted like a child myself and paid for it dearly. So I learned my own lesson. And the lesson was even more effective than any “nagging” from mother-to-be could possibly have done. I wonder, is that how it truly is? Do you have to let them fall so they learn to pick themselves up or not fall the same way again?

Just a thought…

Mike

PS –  We find out the sex of the baby next Tuesday. I am so #&$*% nervous.

Becoming a Dad – Coming Home

June 26, 2009

baby

Currently Week 18.

So it’s Friday night a little past 10pm in Houston and I’m already home. Earlier this evening after I had cooked her dinner, mother-to-be was actually urging me to go out with the guys. Although she certainly demands a good deal of attention, I’m also told that I need time with the boys and that she really only cares about me being home early on weekdays. Now I definitely appreciate that. I agree that a little balance is healthy for both me and her. So tonight I went to Loggia in Sugar Land with my brother and a few of the boys. It’s always nice catching up with them and being a guy doing what guys do. (drink beer, talk sports, etc.) On top of that, my friends can be real goofs so its usually hilarious when we sit around no matter where we are, much less in a bar environment with lots of ammo for discussion. Good times indeed.

“Stay out as long as you want,” she says. I had every intention of having a drunken good time tonight like the old days…. or five months ago, depending on how you look at it. But after a few hours, what I came to realize though was that I wanted to be home. I couldn’t quite explain it to myself but I felt the urge to just break off and take it to the house. It’s like that more and more every passing day. I’m feeling so madly in love with everything that is coming in my life to be. And I’m excited to make it all happen starting now. I’ve even let go of a lot of what I would call “crutches” lately.

The baby books say that sometimes it takes awhile to fully realize what having a baby truly means and how it will impact your life. In my case, I’ve embraces this thing since day one but around a month ago it became very real to me, mentally. I think it was that way for both of us. Early on, your mind gets so caught up in the impending responsibility, sacrifice, and life change that you don’t really get a chance to truly reflect and just, well, breathe, until it fully sinks in. I guess for me that time is now.

So what are my thoughts during this moment of reflection?

Well, for one, I feel corny as hell writing this. LOL. I can almost hear the Doogie Howser music playing in my head. I’m fighting the urge to hit delete for fear that my man card will get taken away and I know I’ll get made fun of by my boys who read this blog so lets just go ahead and throw that out there.

On the other hand, everything I’m saying and feeling is real. I’m being absolutely true to myself and I think its important for my kid to know how I felt at this moment during some intermittent moment in the future. Also, I want to relay these thoughts completely if I’m truly going to be transparent about my experience as a man during this pregnancy. Those of you who haven’t gone through this will truly not know the joys of it until you’re there yourself. Then you’ll know.

Lastly, I just want to share… Megan is actually on the other couch next to me quietly watching this retarded chick flick on TV. She’s doing her own thing and I’m doing mine writing. She doesn’t even know what I’m thinking about/working on but I think she looks so adorable just sitting there. I keep stealing glances. Ha! I guess I don’t mind being home at all. Nowhere else I’d rather be. 🙂

Mike

P.S. – I felt the baby moving in her belly for the first time ever this week!

Becoming a Dad – Running to Make It

June 16, 2009

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I got my first taste of rushing to delivery yesterday. Now granted, we are only 16 weeks in so it wasn’t “the real deal” but it was enough to fool the poor nurse in the random hospital parking lot! Guess I have to explain this one…

Without going into too much detail, Mom-to-be had been experiencing some slightly discomforting pregnancy pains over this last weekend. It was nothing too highly unusual but something to be paid attention to. Realizing this, we emailed Doctor Ramos and asked him his opinion. He wanted us to make an appointment for the same day so we did.

Now being as I work downtown and Megan works in the southwest side of town, we had quite the challenge on our hands because we’re still sharing one vehicle. (see part 2) Megan said I didn’t have to go but I’d never forgive myself if bad news came so I was determined to figure the logistics out. Then it came to me. I needed to take the Houston Metro train!

The office at Houston Center is but a brisk 3-block walk away from Main Street metro rail. I thought, I’ve had to take this train before (Houston Rodeo, etc.) so I really expected nothing worse than sitting next to some dubiously-stinky people or having to stand up the whole way. But whoa, I was totally wrong.

After boarding, the train passed through downtown, midtown, and Rice University with no issues until it stopped abruptly in the Med Center area. It was there that the conductor announced over the loudspeaker that there had been an accident ahead and the train was turning around to go back downtown. At this point, I’m just short of a full-scale panic given that our appointment time at the OB was no less than 20 minutes away. So what’s a guy to do?

Well, in this situation, the decision was simple. Despite the satin shirt, the already-uncomfortable dress shoes, and the ten-pound laptop bag slung across my shoulder, I ran. Yep. You heard correctly. I ran probably just short of two miles in sweltering 95 degree Texas heat, cutting across parking lots and hospital upon hospital until I got to where Megan was. Like I said in the beginning, I even managed to freak out a nurse in one of the parking garages along the way. Asking her for directions in all my sweaty, frantic, out-of-breath glory (I don’t even run that much at the gym with workout clothes and sneakers on), she got the impression that my wife was in labor so she started panicking as well! Fear not though, after a little clarification I got directions on how to cut through where and made it just a few minutes short of actually seeing the doctor. Found out the baby is okay and I even got my brownie points from mom-to-be to boot!

Baby, if you’re listening, Daddy says you better be worth it! 😛

Becoming a Dad – Sympathy Emotions

June 8, 2009
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It’s the fourth installment of my Becoming a Dad series and we’re now entering our 15th week en route to the baby’s due date. As far as the pregnancy goes, I’m happy to report that everything is going smoothly and mother-to-be’s belly bump is becoming a little more prominent. She still has some issue with ‘feeling fat’ and that sort of thing but I think she’s the most adorable pregnant woman in the world. That exact thought came to my mind as I saw her for the first time yesterday since she spent the weekend visiting her family. I thought she looked SO beautiful appearing in her long colorful skirt and shirt that showed off her little bump. Just sometimes I wish she could see herself through my eyes….
Anyways, as far as where I am in this whole impending fatherhood thing, well what I’m going through must be the exact opposite of what the woman is supposed to be feeling right around this time. For the mother-to-be, its supposed to be a time where the nauseating pregnancy symptoms go away a little and she can enjoy her pregnancy a little more. For me, its like my own pregnancy symptoms just showed up like an uninvited house guest without warning! Like… why have I been worrying and cleaning all weekend? And why am I more emotional than usual? I mean it’s all good but if my nipples start getting sensitive or my butt gets any bigger and I’m fighting somebody!
PS – The discussion continues but we’ve narrowed down some baby names already. Also, we’ve been talking about potential godparents and that decision is going to be a challenge indeed. Besides that, everyone still thinks the baby going to be a girl except for the loyal Filipino Titos. (Go Team Philippines!)  We find out the sex in July…

Becoming a Dad – The First Ultrasound

May 27, 2009
13 weeks and 1 day passed. 26 weekss and 6 days left.

13 weeks and 1 day passed. 26 weekss and 6 days left.

Yesterday we hit 13 weeks! It was also our second OB Visit with Dr. Ramos and we got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time! The little’s ones heart is definitely going strong at 160 beats per minute, which they say is very good! An old wives’ tale says that the faster the baby’s heartbeat is, the more likely it is to be a girl. Truthfully, I’d be happy with whatever sex our child ends up being. Yet still there is a part of me that is dreadfully scared of having a daughter.

I’m not sure how other men in my situation feel but I’ve got plenty of questions swirling in my mind. How will I raise a girl? What is the difference in how I treat her versus how I would treat a boy? After all, I have a little better knowledge on that since I grew up a guy my whole life. Will I worry too much all the time for my daughter? I can’t even fathom how I’d react when she starts dating… And will I be wrapped around her little finger like everyone says I will be? All these thoughts have been racing through my head but I’m proud to say I’ve managed to avoid the obligatory panic attack… so far.

Guess the suspense will continue until we find out the sex on our July 7th visit. Until then, I’m happy to report that mom and baby continue to be healthy and the nest is finally a little more settled after the move. As for me, everything is still my fault but I’m charging ahead. Ha.

Becoming a Dad – Ninja Dagger Hormones

May 18, 2009

11 weeks and 6 days complete.

28 weeks and 1 day left.

filipinomix

Becoming a Dad – Part One

Tomorrow marks the 12th week of mommy-to-be’s pregnancy which I believe is the beginning of the 2nd trimester!

I’m excited because everything I’ve read so far has told me that the second trimester will be a little easier on us that the first. Now I don’t know if it’s true that the nausea goes away or any of the other pregnancy pains will leave but I sure hope so if it’ll make things easier. I’m also looking forward to a little bit of calming down as far as external stresses go. From settling into the pregnancy to going through a flood disaster that claimed her car, we’ve gone through some tests in the past few months. And did I mention we spent all of this past weekend hard at work moving into our townhome? All this activity and adversity has done nothing to lessen our stress levels in the least!

Speaking of which, I’ve noticed in the past two months we’ve argued more than we ever did. Despite trying really hard, sometimes I just feel like I can’t get anything right. I asked other couples that have gone through the first-time experience about this and everyone says  this feeling is normal. Well what the heck is normal? “Pregnancy hormones” they said.  So there, I had something to blame and blame I have. BUT after the same issues kept coming up I realized that I better stop being stubborn and start paying attention and listening to the content of the messages and not just how they are thrown at me like ninja daggers from Shinobi. We still go through this but I think I’m growing as a person and she’s making an effort to be less assassin-like with her words. Ha! It’s not THAT bad but I am making a point here.

Now that we’re entering the second trimester, my main concern is less about hormones and my  personal needs, still about taking care of business, and more about making the future-wife happy. After all, happy mommy makes for happy baby right? And happy mommy and happy baby will make for a happy daddy! I’m sure that’s all I’ll need. Now if I could only get through these damn sympathy pains…. Aww geez, why do I have to be the super-sensitive one?!?!