Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ny's Birth Story - Daddy's Perspective

This is a special "From the Vault" post. I wrote this on Novmeber 1, 2010. Being that today our precious Ny turns four. I thought it very appropriate to post this recollection of the day our lives changed forever. Enjoy...

File this post away as "the one that got away" - or that I have been meaning to write for a long time but never got around to it. I would normally blame procrastination but actually have a much better reason.

Fatherhood is one of those things that, at least for me, you can prepare for but in the back of your mind know that you're not even remotely ready for. We found out a year ago that we were going to be parents. We found out 8 months ago that we were having a girl. Then in the middle of July, our little girl entered the world.

So how did that day go? I'm glad you asked, because you're about to get an inside look at what was going through this guy's mind.

The best place to start would be back in June, when G and I made two "trial runs" to the hospital because she had intense back pain which we thought could be back labor. I'll direct you here to get all the details. That experience helped us better prepare for the real thing - what to pack, where to go, layout of the hospital, and, for me, how much wi-fi there would be. A word of advice for fathers-to-be: take a comfortable pillow and blanket, because the hospital sofa is anything but.

Fast forward a few weeks later to a Sunday night/Monday morning. I was having some trouble sleeping, got up, and checked out the weather (shocker), which showed a line of thunderstorms approaching our area. After I finally fell back asleep, I awoke at 6 to get ready for work. There was one hiccup though. G was already awake and told me, "Babe, I'm having contractions." "Um.. what?!?" "I've been having them since 3:45 this morning." At that point, plans to go to work were abandoned (which turned out to be a good thing, because it rained ridiculously hard that morning), and I opted to work from home in the event of, well, you know. The day went on; the contractions continued every 15-30 minutes; and both of us went about our day as best as possible. Needing to get out of the house, both of us decided to head out to Sam's - just to walk around and enjoy what could very well be our last night with only two of us. We got back, ate dinner, and were going to play Mario Party 8 on the Wii... when we decided to go to Target. Again, another nice time for both of us to (slowly) meander around one of our favorite places.

By the time we got home, it was getting late. We were getting ready for bed when G expressed concern that her water may have been leaking. Not wanting to take any chances, we got our things together - calmly I might add - and made the 15-minute drive to the hospital. Another bit of advice for fathers-to-be: they're going to take your wife back for 5 hours 20 minutes to ask her some questions and make sure she feels safe with you; just be prepared to wait and be nervous. When they let me back to see her, she had progressed nicely, but the water had not broken, and our little girl was still not ready to arrive. After an hour, the nurse told us that, while we would have a baby in the next 24 hours, it was ok to go home, as nothing was really happening. We made the drive home, left all of our things packed, and climbed back into bed.

2:00 AM. I had been asleep for about an hour. My wife wakes me. "Babe, my water broke." Ok, time to go again. Now before I go any further, let me say that break does not even begin to describe it. It was a flood that soaked the sheets on her side of the bed. So again, we climb in the car (bags still in the trunk) and arrive back at the hospital. One of the nurses that saw us earlier happened to be walking by as we were checking in again. G was showing me more water that was leaking. Said nurse saw said water running down G's pants and uttered, "Oh yeah, her pants are soaked. Admit her now." More waiting on my part. Phone call to both of our moms. Update facebook status to "Water break does not even begin to describe what just happened." Come back to room to see my wife.

The morning went on. The contractions got stronger. G was in more pain. The epidural was given. G was not in pain anymore. Our moms both arrived within 30 minutes of each other, claiming they couldn't sleep. That was ok with us. Their being there helped pass the time quicker. They also rocked the cafeteria and scored me some bacon and chocolate milk. Yes, I am 11 years old. Around 9:00, the nurse checked G and said it was time to start pushing. The moms left. And I tried my best to avoid passing out for 30 minutes while G started pushing. More advice to dads-to-be: be ready to use a cold washcloth for your wife... and yourself. Of course, you probably do hospitals better than me.

The pushing passed the one-hour mark. At that point, G's doctor came in to assist. G continued to push, but that little girl just would not move past one tight spot. The doctor laid out our options: keep pushing for an hour and hope she moves OR have a C-section. Neither one of us wanted option 2. But at this point, with little progress made in 2 hours, we both agreed that the C-section was best. I notified our moms of the situation, got dressed up in some scrubs, hat, and mask, and walked with my wife to the surgery room...

Or not. It turns out I had to wait out in a hallway before being let in to see her. Longest. 15. Minutes. Ever. The thoughts are running through my head a mile a minute. Is everything ok? Is Ginny ok? Is our baby ok? Why am I waiting out here? I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and looked up to see one of the doctors coming to get me. Once in there, I sat by Ginny as they had the sheet up, working to get Ny out. One of the doctors told me to get the camera ready. I stood up, watched as they struggled to yank Ny out, and then smiled as we heard the most beautiful cry ever. She was finally here!

I walked over to the nurse's station while they cleaned Ny up, gave her a vitamin K shot, and cleaned up the poo that Ny took all over the equipment. That's my girl! She was still upset, as one would expect when being yanked into a cold room. I started talking to her, and, in an effort to secure an early pony promise, she immediately stopped crying and actually turned her head toward me. (There's a picture a nurse took of me with my hands in a position that shows how much I wanted to hold her.) Oh, man. She had me from that point on. They checked her length - 21 inches. They checked her weight - 9 pounds, 8 ounces! Then they swaddled her up tight and gave her to me. Let me tell you this - nothing will EVER prepare you for the moment you hold a new life that you created for the first time. I think I spent the next 10 minutes just staring at her. I brought her over to a now-sobbing G, who was getting sewn up. Little Ny just laid there in my arms and looked up. Once G was patched up, off we went to recovery.

That was the first time G got to hold Ny, who was still alert and looking up at us. I took pictures with the camera and cell phone, preparing for the exclusive facebook photos. We both sat there, exhausted from a long night but in awe that our baby girl was finally here. This little life that grew in G's tummy finally entered the world in all of her beauty and innocence. Even today, I am still blown away by holding her or rocking her or feeding her or just staring at her. From one single cell to a now 15-week old, healthy girl. What a blessing she is.

Daddy loves you, Ny.

-D

Monday, June 9, 2014

At Our Home: May

May proved to be a busy month in our homes. I guess all months are like that when you have kids! Here's what our month looked like.



Muffins with Mom for Mother's Day at our church

Naomi decided to open up the bean bag chair and play with the beans. Not fun!

We read lots of books... as usual!

These girls love each other. So blessed!

We went strawberry picking and the girls had a blast. They insisted on carrying
and filling their own buckets.

Our haul!

I baked a lot with our strawberries and froze all of it. I've been able to take our baked
goods to different functions without having to do anything.

We played with our puzzles

Nyla loves these puzzles

We are always dressing up!

I got an Amazon gift card for Mother's Day and bought a cookbook. Shocker! :)

We said, "goodbye" to our teachers and friends at KDO.



Nyla finished AWANA at a local church. She got a book award for finishing her book and learning
all her verses. We are so proud of her! 

Nyla's little imagination has taken off in the last few months. This is Mr. Glenn, her puppy. :)

We got a new kiddie pool to enjoy!

Daddy fond a bunch of worms over by our compost and he and the girls talked about
them and dug them up and put them in our vegetable garden.

The girls are definitely little mommy's. They are going to be great big sisters to Natalie in a few months!

We enjoyed ice cream one night

Naomi, as usual, had us cracking up with her silly faces!

We treated Naomi for a fairly serious staph infection on her booty. We had to bathe her 2-3 times a day with an antibacterial soap, put a cream on her booty after that, spray everything with bleach, wash all her clothes and sheets in hot water, she was on a strong antibiotic and we had to watch for bad breakouts that come along with staph. It was a long 10 days with all that. I'm glad she's better. We have no idea how she got it but I'm glad we got it treated when we did. They swabbed and ran tests on it and called about 4 days later. MRSA staph is what it's called and can be deadly if not treated. Eek! Thankful for our Pediatrician! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fun at Putt Putt

Nyla and Daddy had a great date night Monday. She really enjoyed our time together.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Beignets



Y'all, these are SO good and really easy. I was surprised at how easy they were to make. The longest part is waiting for them to rise in the fridge for an hour before I could fry them.

My husband and a few members of his family love board games and, when possible, we like to host at our home. It gives me an excuse to try new recipes on them and spoil them with yummy food. I enjoy having people in our home since we go days with just seeing each other. :)

Without further ado, here's the newest recipe in our collection. I will be making these again. I was able to roll them out and fry them up in under 30 minutes. Try them and enjoy!

Beignets- from Cook’s Country
Yield: 24 beignets, all different sizes

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs

Instructions:

Mix first 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Whisk next three ingredients in a large bowl.
Mix last 2 ingredients together, add to flour mixture. Add yeast mixture when ready.
Mix all together with a rubber spatula and cover with plastic wrap. (The dough will be very sticky)
Refrigerate 1 hour to rise.

In a dutch oven, add 2 quarts (8 cups) of vegetable oil. Heat to 350 degrees F.

Working with half of the dough roll out into 9x12 rectangle. (Use lots of flour to roll out dough because it’s very sticky)
Cut into 12 pieces.
Place cut pieces on well-floured cookie sheet.
Fry 4-6 beignets at a time. Let oil come back to 350 degrees F before adding each batch of beignets to fry. Fry 2-3 minutes or until brown, flip and fry until brown.
Place fried beignets on cookie sheet topped with cooling rack to let excess oil drain.
Coat well with powdered sugar.
Repeat with other half of dough.
Serve warm and add extra powdered sugar if desired.

*Note: If you don’t have a candy thermometer to test your oil temperature, start heating the oil at medium heat. Lower or raise heat as needed. I found that on my stove a little lower than medium heat was the desired temperature, otherwise the beignets browned too quickly and I felt like they looked a little too brown. And tasted it, too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Interview with Natalie

Long-time readers of this blog - all 2 of you - may remember that I have mastered telekinetic abilities and inside-the-womb communication. I was fortunate enough to interview both Nyla and Naomi prior to their grand entrance. Now that we are less than 4 months away from Natalie's arrival, I decided to dust off the skills and see what the sweet girl is up to these days...

DCG: Natalie, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I know you have a lot going on.
NGG: No problem, Daddy. Anything for you.
DCG: I'll remember that in 13 years when you pretend as though I don't exist. First question, how have you been feeling?
NGG: It's nice in here. I can feel myself growing stronger every day. Mommy eats good stuff for me to try.
DCG: I'm glad. No doubt you've had a chance to hear your older sisters the last 24 weeks. What are your impressions of them?
NGG: Most of the time they seem to be well-behaved. Nyla really likes coloring and crafting. Naomi really likes being loud.
DCG: I'd say that's a fairly accurate description. How do you think you'll fit into the family dynamic?
NGG: As long as everyone knows that I'm the baby, we'll all be good.
DCG: Hmmm. Naomi will beg to differ on that one...
NGG: She'll just get over it...
DCG: I think you underestimate her powers. But anyway, do you have any questions for me?
NGG: Yeah. Why did you almost know name me Erin Harrison?
DCG: I'm sorry. What?
NGG: You told Mommy that boy or girl, you wanted to name me Aaron/Erin Harrison. Why?
DCG: This.
NGG: Yeah you got loud during that.
DCG: You will learn the ways of the Wildcat, little one.
NGG: I look forward to it.
DCG: Ok, let's play a little word association. Tell me the first word that pops into your head when I say these things.
NGG: Got it.
DCG: Honest Toddler.
NGG: Role model. I hear what you and Mommy read each other.
DCG: Unfortunately, that's probably true. Next. March Madness.
NGG: You stay home from work and are loud.
DCG: Favorite activity with Nyla and Natalie in a few years.
NGG: Beating you at Ticket to Ride.
DCG: Unlikely.
NGG: Carcassonne.
DCG: Doubt it.
NGG: And Agricola.
DCG: Awfully confident I see.
NGG: Well, yeah.
DCG: Well, Natalie, my head is starting to hurt from all the brain power I'm using. Any final thoughts?
NGG: Yes, Daddy. I'm glad you asked. When I turn 16, I do not want a hand-me-down car that Nyla and Naomi drove. Let's work on that, ok?
DCG: ... you're dreaming... but I love you.

And with that, the interview was over. As always, it is great to hear from the baby before birth to prepare myself for her little personality. Have a great weekend!

-D