Archive for February, 2011

36 Weeks and We Made It!

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Well, we finally made it to 36 weeks and now we’re ready for you to be born! Mommy is off bed rest, so we spent most of the day out enjoying the perfect weather. It was her first time outside the apartment in five or six weeks (aside from walking out the front door, hopping in a cab, going to a doctors appointment, getting back in a cab and coming home), so we took advantage of it. First, we slept in for what might be the last time (if you’re born before next weekend) and I made some killer blueberry cornmeal pancakes. The recipe is on the new food page on the dropdown menu up above. I can’t wait for mornings with you in a couple years when I can make you pancakes.

After we ate, we went for a nice long walk in Ft. Tryon Park with Buddy, up and around the Cloisters. We came home and relaxed for a couple hours, watched some basketball and golf and then went out to dinner. I surprised mommy by taking her to one of her favorite restaurants, Ivo & Lulu (thanks to Restaurants.com for the awesome $25 off gift certificate). Ivo & Lulu is a great little French Caribbean restaurant down in Tribeca, right near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. I’m talking maybe 20 people can fit in this place, but the food is fantastic. We had an appetizer of a baked avocado stuffed with spinach and mushroom vinaigrette. Mommy (and you) had the roast duck leg confit and I had the boar and sage sausages in blueberry sauce. It’s all amazing.

Enjoying her first day off bed rest...we've always wanted to get a picture by this mural around the corner from our apartment

After dinner, we went to church for the first time in a few weeks. The great thing about our church, Redeemer, is that it has five services every Sunday at three different locations, so if you aren’t able to make it to one, you can catch another one. There, we just so happened to run into a former classmate from Taylor who I didn’t know very well, but had some classes with (small world), and we also ran into the guy who married us three years ago, John Bowen. I lived with him and his wife on Roosevelt Island when I first moved to the city, and he served as a great mentor for us throughout our engagement. He did our marriage counseling and married us, so it was great to see him again.

It was a good day all around, although mommy’s back and legs are pretty sore from all the walking, which she hasn’t done in a few weeks. She’s going back to work tomorrow, though she probably won’t work a full day. We’ll see how it goes because she’s been used to taking naps throughout the day and just taking it easy. Luckily, she’ll just be sitting down doing research, so it’s not like she’ll be walking around in court all day.

We have our next doctor appointment on Thursday afternoon. This will be our sit-down meeting with the doctor to go over our birth plan and ask any remaining questions. We’re pretty much ready to go. I plan to install the car seat tomorrow, and we have our “go-bag” packed and ready for when we have to go to the hospital.

Can’t wait to meet you soon!

Love,

Dad

35 Weeks and No More Meds!

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Well we finally had an uneventful week as far as you are concerned. After the craziness of last week, it was nice to have a normal week with no problems.

The highlight of this week was your Pappy coming to visit. He was a tremendous help, allowing me to go back into the office for work, and just taking care of mommy. The contractions settled down and while she’s still having them, they haven’t been as bad. Tonight is the last day she has to take the meds to slow down the contractions. The doctor said she could stop taking them today so it doesn’t slow them down too much since this is the last week of bed rest.

I must admit, she’s been handling the bed rest really well considering how hard it is to just sit/lay around all day. It helps that the weather hasn’t been great so there’s no real incentive for going outside, but Friday was in the mid-60s. It was an early dose of spring and that was really hard for her to not be outside. We have one week left though and tonight we’re supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow, so she won’t want to go out tomorrow at least.

Pappy was such a great help when he was here this past week. He ran Buddy ragged with a few walks a day so mommy could rest and work from home all day without distractions. It was also great for her to spend some quality time with someone other than me…a rarity in the past few weeks.

Since I was able to go back to work for a few days, I was able to participate in the 8th Annual Marketing Werks Chili Cookoff. It’s one of the best traditions at my company and every year about 25 teams compete. This year was the first year that the New York office participated (since it just opened last March) and I’m proud to say that I won. This year’s theme was superheroes, so my team name was Chili Pepper Potts and now I get my name on a plaque in the office. I can’t wait to introduce you to my famous chili someday.

The winner of the Golden Crock Pot from the 8th Annual Marketing Werks Chili Cookoff

I also took a quick day trip to Chicago last Wednesday for some training meetings. The training was supposed to last Wednesday through Friday, but because of the “baby situation” as I have dubbed it, I only went for one day. It was good to meet the new people on my team at work and get together with everybody to get ramped up for the rest of this year.

This morning, I went to a Father’s class at the hospital. It’s one of the optional classes that the hospital offers and I found out that it’s the only class for expectant fathers in all of New York City. That’s pretty amazing that in a city with 8 million people, there’s only one class for expectant fathers that meets once a month, and on this Saturday I was one of only five men in the class. That really goes to show that society still views fathers as second-rate parents, which is something the teach of the class harped on. We aren’t the on-call parent; we’re the other parent, he said. We talked about a lot of topics and he said his favorite acronym is:
Dependability
Availability
Dedication
If you have those three things, you’ll succeed as a father. He wasn’t the greatest teacher in the world (he went off on tangents off of tangents off of tangents), but I definitely got some useful information and it was good being around other soon-to-be dads who had some of the same questions/thoughts I have.

This week is back to working from home, but it’s the last week we have to do that. Next Sunday, mommy will be able to go back to doing pretty much whatever she wants. We have another doctor checkup on Tuesday afternoon, so hopefully everything will check out well.

Stay in there for a couple more weeks and then we can’t wait to meet you!

Keep growing!

Love,

Dad

34 Weeks and Hanging in There

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Well, we’re 34 weeks along and things are really starting to heat up. We had another trip to the hospital last week because you apparently decided to rebel against our grounding you. Late Tuesday night, mommy started feeling more painful and intense contractions. She waited a couple of hours, trying to fall asleep and hoping they would subside, but they didn’t. So around 3:30 a.m. she woke me up out of a dead sleep by saying, “We need to go to the hospital.”

When you’re not ready for it, that’s probably one of the worst ways to wake up. I mean, if it were a few weeks later and we knew you were about to come, then I’d be more ready for it. But at 33 weeks, we had gone to bed just like any other night, expecting to wake up like normal.

We called the doctor and she said to come to the hospital right away. I admit that during those few minutes of calling for a car and throwing a few clothes in a bag, I was thinking, “is this it?”. We got to the hospital and they put her in triage where she’s already been twice before. They performed some tests, hooked her up to the fetal monitor, and gave her a couple of IVs and basically said our doctor would be in between 8 and 9 to let us know where things stood and whether we could go home or whether she would have to be admitted to labor and delivery.

Finally, the doctor came in around 8:30 and said she was about one centimeter dilated and that they would need to admit her for 24-48 hours and give her some medicine to slow the contractions, as well as some steroids for you to help your lungs develop. I guess that disqualifies you from professional sports in the future.

We then had to wait a couple of hours more for a bed to come available, so the doctor told me to go out and get mommy some breakfast since she hadn’t slept all night. I went to Starbucks for coffee and a diner for breakfast and brought it back and we ate in the little room in triage. Finally, a room opened up and we were taken down the hall.

At first, she had her own room, and was able to pick out the bed closest to the window, where she at least had a good view of the Upper West Side.

The view from our hospital room (day)

The view from our hospital room (night)

They put her back on the fetal monitor and she had to take the medicine every six hours. At that time, with mommy in good hands and sleeping, I went home to take care of Buddy and get things taken care of at home for a couple hours. Her contractions weren’t getting better, so they switched the dose to every four hours. I came back and brought dinner and at that time, she had a roommate who was in for a scheduled c-section. It was pretty awkward walking in with food from our favorite Thai restaurant and eating it while this other girl was in early labor awaiting a c-section and unable to eat or drink anything. But it was delicious. I stayed there with her for a few hours until she was ready to go to sleep for the night and then I went home to sleep since I couldn’t sleep there.

The next morning, I got up and went back to the hospital, and shortly after that, we found out that they were letting her go home because the contractions weren’t getting any worse and weren’t causing her to dilate any more. We were very relieved. By that time, the first roommate was gone and there was a second who was on full hospital bed rest and only 23 weeks along. She was pretty young and by herself, so we definitely felt bad for her, but we were ready to go home for a few more weeks.

Mommy is still on bed rest for two more weeks until we reach 36 and you’re considered full term. She still has to take the meds every four hours day and night, and has strict orders to come back to the hospital if things get any worse. We have a little system through the night where she sets her alarm for 2 a.m. and I set mine for 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. so she doesn’t forget to take her pill. It’s pretty annoying that we can’t just sleep through the night, but I guess it’s getting us ready for when you are born and we have to feed and change you at all hours.

In the past couple of days, the contractions seem to have slowed down a little bit, so that’s a good thing. They’re still a little more intense than they used to be though. Mom is getting really bored and restless from being confined to the bed or couch non-stop, and I certainly can’t blame her. I’m trying to do my best to take care of her, cook for her, clean the apartment, and keep her occupied. Yesterday, she was lamenting the fact that she hasn’t even changed out of sweatpants the past three weeks, and I tried to point out that she had in fact changed into a hospital gown for a couple days, but that didn’t seem to help. We just need to make it through the next two weeks and then she can go out and do whatever she wants because if she goes into labor then, you’ll be full term.

While mommy's on bed rest, Buddy watches the Westminster Dog Show

We had another doctor appointment today and she checked the cervix and everything looks great. She said to keep taking the meds until next Sunday (week 35), and stay on bed rest until the following Sunday (Feb. 27), which will be week 36, but otherwise, she was very optimistic about you making it to full term! She said you might be a little on the smaller side, but that’s certainly nothing to worry about. You’re healthy and that’s the biggest thing. Last week when they checked, you were about 4 pounds, 11 ounces, so you will probably put on at least another pound before you’re born.

Another thing we have been worried about is not being able to deliver in theĀ  birthing center, which is one of the main reasons we switched to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. That has been our hope and goal all along since we’re going natural, but our doula told us that only about 30 percent of people who want to actually end up getting in. We were supposed to take a birthing center class yesterday that’s a prerequisite for getting in, but since mom’s on bed rest, we couldn’t go. She even called the doctor on Saturday to ask if she could make an exception for her bed rest so we could go, but she said absolutely not. But today, our doctor said that if she makes it to 37 weeks (they don’t accept anyone before 37), she will get us in and won’t tell them that we didn’t take the class. So that’s what we’re shooting for now – 37 weeks, which will be March 6, one day after my mom (your grandma)’s birthday.

Mommy’s dad (your pappy) is coming to visit and help out this week from Tuesday to Saturday, so we’re thankful for that. His help and his company will be very much appreciated…she’s probably getting tired of just seeing me and nobody else every day. I’m going to Chicago on Wednesday for some work meetings, but I’m just making it a day trip instead of the three days that it was supposed to be. I’m thankful that my boss is understanding enough to let me participate in the other two days by conference call.

We are trying to remain positive about everything and just pray that God has everything under control. I think today’s appointment really helped for some good news. If anything, this whole situation has really reminded us that it’s not in our control, no matter how good she eats or how much we prepare. Sure, we can do things to prepare ourselves, but your birth is truly a miracle of life that is fully in God’s hands.

The contractions seem to build up and then die down (compared to previously, when they were just sort of uncomfortable). In finding the positive side of it, mommy says this could help when she’s in real labor, since this time has allowed her to practice her breathing techniques and feel what it’s like when the contractions are coming (obviously on a much lighter scale right now).

She’s really doing a great job of handling it all and preparing for motherhood. I think you’re pretty lucky because you get to be born to a great mom who really loves you and has worked really hard to give birth to you fully healthy and fully developed.

Should be only a few more weeks!

Keep growing!

Love,

Dad

33 Weeks and You’re Grounded

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Well, you’re 33 weeks now and your immune system should be developed and you have rapid brain growth going on right about now. I can tell that by the way you’ve been kicking. We’ve even started playing a little game where I try to follow your foot or hand as it’s pushing against mommy’s belly. I push down a little bit and then you move somewhere else and I follow…our first game of hide and seek. You’re pretty good at getting away from me and hiding.

Mommy has been on bed rest for two weeks now. She’s about to go crazy and I don’t blame her. She has barely left the house (except to go downstairs to get some fresh air) and all she’s been able to do is sit/lay around all day. My work has been nice enough to let me work from home last week and this week, and it’s nice to be here to keep her company. Thankfully, the contractions aren’t doing anything and we have placed you under strict orders not to come out yet. In other words, you’re grounded for at least three more weeks. I hate to do it to ya since, you know, I haven’t even had the pleasure of meeting you yet, but we need you to be healthy and have fully developed lungs.

On Saturday, we met our doula, Tonya. Mommy had already met her when she hired her, but it was the first time I had. She came over to our apartment to meet with us and talk about our hopes and plans for the birth. She seemed really nice and knows what she’s doing, so she should be a great asset for the birth.

How she feels about bed rest

Last night was the Super Bowl. Our last one without you. It was a good game and the Packers beat the Steelers. Your grandparents aren’t happy about it because they’re Steelers fans, but I was rooting for Green Bay because of Charles Woodson. He played for Michigan in the mid-90s and is one of my favorite players. By the time you’re able to realize what football is, he’ll probably be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Since mommy is on bed rest, I have become a cooking and cleaning machine. For our Super Bowl party (which consisted if just us), I made pulled pork, which brined and slow cooked for 24 hours, as well as bourbon and brown sugar baked beans. It was amazing, and the best part was that the smallest pork shoulder I could find was 8 lbs, so we have leftover pulled pork to eat all week. I also made chocolate chip blondies for dessert. I can’t wait to cook for you!

It’s sad that football season is officially over, but now we can look forward to March Madness. College basketball season is winding down and this will be the last sporting events we get to watch without you.

This Friday, we have another ultrasound to see how everything is progressing and make sure you’re still doing well. Every appointment we’ve had so far has shown that you’re growing and developing perfectly! I can’t wait to get another ultrasound picture of you to see what you look like!

Well, it’s time for me to go to bed, so until next time. Keep growing!

Love,

Dad

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