Want to hear about one of the coolest things in the world? Okay, I’m probably exaggerating just a bit, but it is pretty darn cool, and for a parent, it’s a been a pretty big lifesaver. What I’m talking about is sleep-training, and while it wasn’t easy, now that we’ve done it, it’s pretty great.
So, for a long time, we had issues getting Emmy to sleep—like, it was a big pain in the butt and we knew that something had to change. We would spend anywhere from ten minutes to an hour and a half trying to get the girl to go down without having a bit of a freakout and we didn’t really know what we were going to do.
Early on, I got into the habit of patting her back to get her to relax and sleep and once that habit was established, it was all but impossible to get her to go down unless she was being touched. It became a big nuisance having to carry her around for forever every night, patting and patting her back, then laying her down and continuing to pat until she was out. Then we would have to creep out of her room, and if she woke up at all, go back and pat her until she was safely asleep yet again. This became the nightly thing and it would take extended periods of time and it started to wear on us, beeeeeg time.
I guess today I’ve got a little ode to or a little shoutout to stay-at-home parents. I am not one myself but I know that being one has got to be incredibly tough.
I once found myself a part-time stay at home dad when we were still living in Vancouver, Washington and I worked full-time, four days a week, and Kayleigh worked full-time, three days a week. So I spent three full days with Emmy, from like 7am to 9pm, just the two of us, kickin’ it. Keep in mind, Kayleigh was doing it four days, from 9am to 10pm or later. This is all after she already had to (as if she minded) stay at home for something like seven weeks after Emmy was born for her maternity leave, which was unpaid, by the way.
I’ve got to say, in the months that I did the whole all-day parenting thing—it was hard, like, it whooped my ass. I’m surprised we both even made it back then, like, we’re both here and in one piece and I think that’s impressive. But I did have really hard days being with Emmy all by myself, and I mean ALL by myself. We lived in the PNW all alone, with no family near or anything. Okay, so Kayleigh’s cousin Tiffany lived in downtown Portland but she’s a doctor and we rarely saw her so that doesn’t count. And yes, she did have a great aunt and uncle that lived at the coast 2.5 hours away, but hey, they lived on the coast, 2.5 hours away…
Have any of you ever had a ferret? You know, those long tube-like, semi-crazy little mustelids (not rodents, I checked. Google it!) that scurry around and have no chill? The ones that steal all of your stuff and have ALL the energy and sometimes bite you if they feel like it?
Well, I hate to have to inform you all, but Emmy has become a ferret.
Recently—like sometime in the last couple of weeks—she’s decided that one of the greatest things in the world is taking other peoples things and putting them in places that they would never think to look.
The other day Kayleigh and I were making dinner and Emerson was running around, doing what she does—being a nutcase and attacking the animals—what else? She then proceeded to grab Kayleigh’s stepdad’s flip-flops and made her way into the kitchen where we were slaving over the counter and stove, working hard to get food ready for her. She walked over to the oven, opened the drawer underneath, threw the flip-flops in, and walked away.
Here’s a little story about an umbilical cord situation. Don’t know what I mean by that? Get to reading then, silly!
Are we ready for some more blood? Not nearly as much as in the last post—the bloody, gory, unexpected c-section—but just a little. I foresee lots blood, booboo’s, butts, and beers* (just kidding) in my future considering I now have a small child to care for—a tiny, uncoordinated, little drunk of a child—so you’re going to have to bear with me from here on out.
It was approximately six days after Emmy was born; my mother, sister, her boyfriend, and my brother were still in town, as were Kayleigh’s mother and stepfather. So, Emerson and I were in the living room, everyone else was kinda just dilly-dallying around, probably bored out of their minds because it was raining outside and we couldn’t really take a new baby anywhere. I’m sure they were eating and talking away as well because my family be hungry and they never shut up. I love you guys.
Where we are: the home stretch and almost with a baby in hand.
Warning: this is the graphic one, the final piece of the parental puzzle, the blood, guts, and gore of the story. Prepare yourself.
Resuming in 3…2…1…
So there we were, sitting stunned at the words that the doctor had just muttered. C-section? Why? How? I wanted to ask if we maybe hadn’t tried something, had forgotten a special way to get a baby out when they seem to be being stubborn. I knew the answer, though. I knew that it shouldn’t take two-and-a-half hours of pushing to get a baby out; I knew that the baby was probably stuck and I couldn’t help but be scared half out of my mind for her and for Kayleigh. That wasn’t how things were supposed to go, yet there we were.
Kayleigh cried. I tried my best not to cry myself but I believe that I probably betrayed a few tears at the time. I was scared to death and I couldn’t help but show it just a little. At the moment you’re told your girlfriend needs a c-section to get your baby out, a lot of things flash through your head: Is the baby going to be okay? Is Kayleigh going to be okay? What would I do if something were to happen to either of them? I know, I know, a little paranoid, right? Not really, though, not if you’ve ever read one of those terrible, depressing stories about the semi-rare accident or the unforeseen complications that have happened to couples just like you…
WARNING: Part two of this here series is a little more, uh, let’s call it risqué. So if you’re uncomfortable with a slightly immature man-child describing exactly what he sees while watching his woman give birth: stop reading now.
Picking up where we left off:
With the continued screams coming from the room next door, I watched as Kayleigh’s face filled with more and more fear and what looked like an intense dread, all mixed with nausea that I myself will never know. Let me regress and backtrack a little bit…
The Vomit Files:
So my poor, beautiful, amazing girlfriend was plagued with nausea throughout her entire pregnancy. The stomach-churning, toilet-feeding, car-wrecking stomach sickness came on fairly early on; like five-ish weeks along early. I’m just going to describe to you her first experience with what they call “morning sickness” and then probably fast-forward back to the Day of the Daughter.
Alright, so I guess I should start, well, at the beginning and we can just work our way forward.
The day my daughter was born was the most magical, most incredible, most eye-opening day of my life in more ways than one:
First– my girlfriend and I lived through something we never pictured we would live through together when we first started dating four-and-a-half years prior.
Second– I got to meet the love of my life literally seconds after she was born.
Third– I was suddenly thrust into fatherhood and realized that I was now responsible for a tiny little life and it scared the hell out of me.
Fourth– I got to see what my girlfriend’s insides look like.
Seriously. Now enough with the overview; let’s get to the good stuff: