Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Pigeon Story

Here's a little story for you:

So, I'm doing laundry about a month ago, and I'm trying to get the huge, heavy sack of clothes into the front door. Next thing I know, BLAMMO, something smacks my head. Slowly, I raise my hand to my cranium. BIRD SHIT!!

Then I notice it's everywhere. On my head, around my shoulder and down the back of my sweatshirt. This is the biggest, sonofabitch bird dropping I've ever seen, and it's all over me.

Grumbling, I drag the laundry into the front door and down the hall to our apartment.  My wife asks me what's wrong.  "A pigeon just shit on me!" I exclaimed in my crybaby, whiny voice that I only use on special occasions.

I go into the bathroom and gag at the sight in the mirror. I mean gag.  And, I have to say, I have a pretty solid stomach.  I do okay out there.  The shit was in the form of fiber cereal, and big, and grey, and nasty. 

My wife comes in. "Can I help you?"

Let's pause right here, because this is the whole point of this thing.  If your morning sickness having, White Diet eating, sensitive to every sight and smell, pregnant wife asks you if she can help you clean the biggest bird shit since pterodactyl roamed the skies off of your shoulder, you say NO!

"Yes, please, help!" I cry.

And let the puking begin!  My wife doesn't get one more step with her paper towel square (it wouldn't have been big enough anyway) before she's off running down the hall to our other bathroom.  Now I'm gagging, cleaning the hideous pile off my shoulder, yelling at the dog at my feet who is sniffing the chunk of crap that just thudded to the floor, while the sounds of my wife's upheaval resonate through the air.  It was a symphony of epic proportions.

Looking back, we laugh.  We laugh hard.  But only for a moment, as we cannot go into too much detail before my wife's face ashes over at the thought.

God, that pigeon was such a dick.

So, take it from me, if this situation should arise for you, do the right thing...  call a laundry delivery service (Click to finish story).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Miscarriage. It's Going To Be Okay.

We were pregnant once before.  We started telling loved ones before our first sonogram.  We were so excited we couldn't contain ourselves.

Somewhere between 7 weeks and 12 weeks, we lost our baby.  We found out during our 2nd trimester sonogram that the pregnancy just didn't take.  We lost our shit in the room once we found out.  The technician looked as though she never saw people crying before.  It was all so surreal.  We couldn't believe it.  We exited the hospital and and sat in the car crying, and calling the people we prematurely told.  "This is why you wait to tell people until you know for sure, because calling everyone to let them know totally blows," I said.  It was like we were the only ones on earth who ever lost a baby.  We had no idea.  No one ever really talks about it...

...Until you do, and you find out how common it is.

I was shocked at how many people I know that had lost a baby or two, or three, or more before they had their kids.  Like I said, no one talks about it, and why would they want to?  It sucks so bad.  What seemed so bleak turned to a great awareness.  One friend congratulated me on the miscarriage, "Hey man, that's great, now you KNOW you can have kids.  This is a really good thing!"  That one turned me around. 

My wife had to have surgery to have the fetus removed since it didn't come out on it's own.  It was hard, and weird.  That day at home, while recovering, a bird flew into the sliding glass door and died instantly in front of my wife.  Then when we went for a walk later that day, a dead cat was laying at the foot of our stoop stairs.  What a weird, fucking thing!  Deaths really do come in threes (a bad joke, but I mean...) We thought it was either a sign that we would never have kids, or that we were going to have tons!  Isn't that nuts though?  What the fuck?!

Anyway, I just want to tell you, if you're experiencing this, that it's going to be okay.  Yes, you're going to feel like you're in a vacuum for a month or so, and no, you'll never forget the grief, and you'll always wonder, but seriously, it's going to be okay.  Just be there for your wife, and talk about it as much as you can.  Let her tell you how she feels as much as possible, and you do the same. You'll find solace when talking to friends with kids.  You'll hear their horror stories and you'll realize how common a thing this is.  You'll come out on top.  And it's true, like my friend said, you now know that you guys can have babies.  And you will.

After having to wait after my wife's second period, we tried again.  It was two days after her birthday, and the ovulation was on, y'all! My wife is now in her 5th month, and she and the baby are healthy.  It's so awesome.

I think back a lot to that little trailblazer.  I never knew it, I only heard its heartbeat once, but that little guy paved the way for the baby we are due to have in June.  And I'll love that little ranger's uterus recon forever for that.  Maybe you have two, or three, or more, just know that's it's okay.  Sometimes it takes longer for your wife's body to accept your trashy little jizz.  Just keep trying, just keep loving, and stay positive.  It's hard, but you guys will do it.

There's An Explanation For That

Okay, maybe there isn't, but if you finding yourself scrambling for answers online because your wife's breasts don't hurt, or she has cramps, chances are you're overreacting.

And that's great, it means your into this thing 100%. 

It's easy for me to type about overreacting, but I know that at any moment I could be doing the same thing as you.

Your lady is going to go through so many feelings, pangs, aches, worries about the aches going away, tender breasts, cramps, you name it.  Every time my wife worried about something new, I was on the computer searching for a sign that everything was normal.  And usually I found the answer, sometimes I didn't. 

What I did find as a whole, through online searching and talking with friends and family, was that every pregnancy is different. One woman may feel great, while another is puking her brains out.  My wife had sore breasts all through the first trimester, her friend never did at all.  I know a woman who had three kids, all boys, and each pregnancy was different. 

After a while you'll stop the online searches, or the tearing-through of your copy of "What To Expect When You're Expecting." Normally, the problem will subside, and if it doesn't, chances are this is a new thing she's going to have to deal with for a week or two.  

Just always try remain calm and attentive. Monitor your lady and make sure she's comfortable. If she's panicked it's probably a good idea if you don't. Even if you are a wreck inside.  And hey, if you are really that worried you can call your doctor, or continue your online research, for piece of mind.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to forget everything I just told you and go surf the internet about ankle-swelling relief.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The White Diet

Our dear friends had a baby.  They lived close to us, so we got to see them go through all of the pregnancy changes.  They have been a great source of information for us, and one tidbit (that we all laugh about now) is something they called, "The White Diet."

My wife had terrible morning sickness in her first trimester, maybe your lady doesn't, and if so, kudos!  By the second month, everything that was once delicious to her made her want to vomit.  I felt so bad for her, because I have always admired her sophisticated palate. Now she was reduced to the things she never had a taste for.  Mostly, these things don't even have any taste.  Here is a look at a day on The White Diet:

Breakfast- Egg sandwich on a white roll with American cheese.  Touch of ketchup.
Lunch- American cheese sandwich on white bread. A little mayo.
Dinner- Pasta with the slightest touch of tomato sauce or just a little butter and parmesean.
Snack- Usually a little dish of vanilla frozen yogurt.
And a prenatal vitamin in a pear tree.

And there you have it!  After a week of this, I realized I was eating these things too, and had to stop.  I started to make square meals for myself, and I would always make extra just in case.  This is a good thing for you to do.  Your lady needs nutrients, but she just can't stomach most flavors.  Her prenatal vitamins are key here, but any chance of her taking a bite of broccoli off your plate is a good thing.  I would research the best food for her to eat and make myself a meal with those ingredients just in case she felt daring.  Sometimes she would, and would eat all of my avocado.  Sometimes she would just turn her nose up at my plate.  But at least the options were there.

One thing that we used as a fun treat was a 2 cheeseburger extra value meal.  Something about those terribly, unhealthy burgers just sat so right with my wife's tummy.  A few times during that month I ran out to McD's.  We limited that intake strongly, but if the craving was through the roof, we went for it!  I would have dared you to try and stop me, and if you have anything to say to me about it now, keep it to yourself.

Once we hit the 2nd trimester everything subsided.  My wife began to crave all the things she once loved, and we were back on healthy meals.  Now I'm cooking up a storm and loving it.  It's fun to pack a plate with things that are good for her and the baby.  After she eats, (and you better have dinner ready, bro), you can totally see all those nutrients kicking in as she falls asleep, during the movie it took you guys a half hour to decide on, with a smile on her face.  It's worth it, and now you can stop the movie, turn the volume down, and find the game on TV.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Her Hormones and What YOU Should Do About It

After the initial feeling of bliss/fear, things will settle, but only for a moment.  You'll start to notice your lady develop mood swings that you've never seen before.  Sure, you've both been moody before, and you have your normal ways of dealing with those types of things as a couple.  I just want you to know that you need to forget everything you know, and develop what I like to call "Emotional Flip."

One afternoon, about 6 weeks into pregnancy, my wife and I were grocery shopping.  She immediately started to hate everyone in the grocery store.  I kind of laughed to myself because she was tearing through the aisles and commenting toward people who were socially inept, like people hogging the aisle.  "Yeah you tell 'em," I thought. Then I made a comment about someone too, joining in on the game that I so love.  She fell silent.  She was silent all the way home, silent through unpacking groceries.  "Are you mad at me?" I foolishly asked.  "NO!  ARE YOU MAD AT ME?!  BECAUSE IT SEEMS THAT WAY!  YOU WERE A JERK THE WHOLE TIME IN THE GROCERY STORE!"  She stormed off, leaving me with my jaw agape.  This was my first real hormone swing.  Needless to say, I did not handle it well.  I yelled back, like I normally would when being attacked like that.  It did not help.

I had been told time and time again that my wife's hormones would shoot through the roof unexpectedly.  I just never thought that I couldn't handle it.  I reacted hurt and angry which only made her more hurt and angry.  There was a misunderstanding because, you see, she is living with a succubus in her ever-expanding uturus.  This beautiful, little creature is tossing her body and emotions all over the place.  You just can't see it.  If this were The Exorcist, she would be climbing the walls and you would say, "oh, I understand, I see how terrible that must feel." But you can't see it, and you still have to understand.

Emotional Flip.  This is what you need to acquire for when you are suddenly the subject of her swing.  Sometimes you'll ask her what you think is a simple question, and she will bite your head off with a sharp, "I DON'T KNOW!"  And you'll want to say, "What the fuck?  God!"  But instead you need to stop.  Count to 10 (I mean it).  Remember The Exorcist.  Do the Emotional Flip.  And say, "OK, no problem, I'll figure it out."  You need to immediately realize that none of this is personal.  You are the one she is around the most, so you're going to have to deal with these moments more than anyone.  It's as simple as that.  Sometimes you'll be tired too, and you'll snap back, you're human.  Just make sure you apologize, even if you aren't wrong.  It's a tough pill to swallow at first, but if you can stop before lashing back and remember what SHE is going through, you'll do just fine.

Be her rock.  That doesn't just mean carrying every bag of groceries, or doing every chore in the house (both of which you should try to do as much as possible).  It means emotionally too.  She needs that more than ever, especially in the beginning.  Emotional Flip is the difference between a snuggle and sleeping on the couch.

The Stick

I'm going to be a Dad!  Wheeeeeee!

That's how I immediately felt when my wife came out of the bathroom with the pee stick and told me she was pregnant.  10 seconds later I swallowed a hard pit into my stomach when I realized that I was unemployed, out of shape, and hadn't held a baby in years.  Not to mention that we had plans on Saturday to drink with our friends and smoke cigarettes and stuff... what about that?  Is that happening still?  I really NEED IT!

How will I possibly survive this?!

Are you having those feelings?  Need a boost?

Ok, first thing's first, chill.  Take a deep breath and chill.  Now, remind yourself immediately that your life is no longer about you.  That is DONE, my friend.  Don't hyperventilate over this, I'm not saying it to scare you.  I want you to find the little nugget of pride that's hidden among the fear.  Because it's there.  And when you hold onto it, it's awesome.  You can ride that shit like a golden fucking tiger, man.  It's the little thought-nugget that pats you on the back.  It reminds you things like, "You did it, man, you fucking did it.  Go ahead, think about that sperm of yours and smile.  You got some champs there, brother.  Good work."

I'll give you a moment to realize that YOU are the MAN!

(Pause to grab hold of the nugget).

How are you doing now?  Better, right?  Good.  Hold onto that feeling because you're going to need it.  It gets hard for you in the next few months.  But you are going to be okay because you have the nugget.  It will help right now.