Full term

Elise is officially, as they say in the world of obstetrics, full term.  That means that she is 37 weeks pregnant and our child could be born healthy, minus a few ounces, at any moment.  Any time except during The Apprentice.

It’s scary that 37 weeks has passed in the blink of an eye.  It’s scary that life as I know it will suddenly change.  It’s scary that in less than a month I will be a dad.

I spent this past weekend at my parents’ house.  My mom said, “Remember, the baby will cry because it needs something.  It’s not lashing out at you.  Yet.”

I think the baby will cry because I’ll be constantly yelling, “Why wasn’t your biological disposition programmed to allow you to wipe your own butt?!?!”

I don’t like messes, interupted sleep, chaotic schedules, unorganization or feces.

I’m screwed.

Vaginyl spectrum

Every Thursday in March from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. we have been belted down in straight jackets and our eyes pried open with levers and pulleys in a classroom at the hospital to watch videos of placenta delivery and a husband (aka “Birth Partner”) in a horrid blue dress shirt with a white collar and suspenders say, “Awww, baby, you doin’ real good” as he coaches and supports his grunting baby mama.

It’s very difficult for me to sit through anything for three hours even if it does include close up photography of a vagina. Last night’s class began with each couple outlining their birth plan by means of flash cards. The cards had opposite labor and delivery options printed on each side. For example: Vaginal Delivery or Cesarean Section.

Our instructor then told us that the birth plan might not go just as we had intended, so we needed to flip over four cards. Then further issues might arrise so we needed to flip over four more cards. Further circumstances required us to flip over four more cards.

We were then left with six of our original birth plan preferences. The instructor then asked the class to offer some of our birth plan options that we just couldn’t let go.

“Vaginyl delivery!” boasted the woman who, during the first class, proudly made it known to everyone of her “graduate studies in New York.” The entire class, instructor included, snickered and desparately attempted to maintain straight faces upon hearing the word “vaginyl”.

Even those of us who are not fortunate enough to have a post-baccalaureate education might use an incorrect term when the focus of the conversation is the vagina. I won’t mention any names but, during our third class, Elise asked if a spectrum is used for an internal exam during labor.

The instructor asked, “Do you mean a speculum?”

“Well, it says here in the brochure that “We proudly deliver babies through the vaginyl opening by using gentle, dancing beams of rainbow-colored lights while you enjoy the soothing sounds of Enya’s “Caribbean Blue” and our 30-foot lobster buffet.”

Nesting: Guts ‘n’ bones

Zombie Eater's dresserElise and I have begun nesting. We haven’t verbally acknowledged this to one another, but I’ve seen it setting in.

I’ve tested all of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the house. I’ve refinished the Zombie Eater’s dresser and attached the refinished mirror that I personally shopped. Yesterday I bought a 110 pack of little Pampers. I’ve begun massaging my perineal so I don’t need an episiotome and I’ve found myself screaming to the cat, “No. NO! NOOOO!! DO NOT PUT THAT IN YOUR MOUTH!!!”

Elise has been listening to New Age music non-stop in preparation for a calm, natural newborn delivery. If I hear one more Enya song I’m going to stick a fork in my ear and I swear her “hypnobirthing” CD is narrated by Betty White. The neighborhood association has already contacted us twice due to the Nag Champa billowing from our house and the neighbors are complaining about the constant sitar playing and chanting.

A month out

Our baby’s due date is a month from today.  I know this because I looked at the calendar this morning.  I am a human who is fully capable of aggregating and analyzing complex data from a wall calendar and am also capable of sticking a booger in my eye.

April 21st.  This date marks the 170th anniversary of The Battle of San Jacinto where Texas secured its independence from Mexico.  To commemorate this battle which is considered, by many historians, as one of the most important in world history, I have decided to consider naming our first-born after one of the lesser-known heros of the Battle of San Jacinto:

Bob “G-Thang” Martin
Michael “Pistol Whip” Weinstein
Hong “Arms” Nguyen
Alberto “Hopper” Rodriquez
Stanley “The Steele” Simmons
Francine “Mean Eye” Blauvelt
Chuck Norris
Giosue “Cookie” Laurentiis
Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Everyone keeps asking, “Are you excited?  Is Elise excited?  Do you know what you’re having?  Do you have ‘everything’?  Are you ready?  Is the nursery done?  Can I borrow $20?”

Fifteen years ago I learned while training for the Preliminary Standard Aptitude Test to use the answer “C” if ever uncertain.  By the way, “C” is never to be confused with “si” thanks to Pistol Whip Weinstein and his staff of dachshunds.

I am excited.  Elise is more so excited that she’s been known to high-knee around the house naked while practicing her “Hee hee hee, whooooooo” breathing techniques.

I’m not nervous, scared or anxious.  Tens of thousands of people become parents everyday.  Elise and I are happy and healthy and if I had to put money on it, I’d bet our baby will be the same.

I don’t know if we have ‘everything’ or if we’re ready.  There’s never really a time when you’re ready because you don’t know what you’re getting ready to be ready for.  What if the kid is born with an extra armpit?  How do you ready yourself for that?  And would Three Pit Baby Bjorn be a cool name for a band or what?  This is one of those life adventures that I’ve been taking in stride.

Elise wants to try to deliver naturally (no anesthetic).  She has been employing many resources such as books, videos and consultations from other moms.  She finally bought a book on hypnobirthing.

I, myself, am having a natural childbirth in that I’ve opted to not subject myself to informatation overload and to take in the whole experience as is comes.

In my last month as a childless human I plan on embracing sleep and my rarely employed gag reflex.

“Is this your new hobby?”

I jumped out of an airplane on Saturday evening. Since then I’ve found it very hard to think of anything other than jumping out of airplanes. Oh yeah, and a baby due in a month. But back to jumping out of airplanes…

Since then I’ve been checking out websites, photos, videos and have subscribed to a great skydiving Podcast. I keep yapping at Elise about skydiving to which she responded tonight, “I bought you that tandem jump because you said you wanted to jump out of an airplane. I didn’t think you would get this excited about it! Is this your new hobby?”

White knuckle desireIt wasn’t until hearing her response that it dawned on me: This is my new hobby.

Since we found out that Elise was pregnant her dad has boasted twice that he took up a new hobby with the birth of his two children. With Eric it was cars. With Elise it was photography. I consider Steve very well versed in both subjects.

Up until now I have felt somewhat disappointed that I hadn’t yet found my new hobby. In the past six months I’ve felt like I’ve been missing out on some sort of rite of passage.

I’ve found my rite of passage.

4-Wheeling Riley

I think if you ask most people who know me they’d agree I’m pretty attentive to detail. However, pregnancy has done a number on my mind. I’ll boil water to make tea and then forget to pour the water into the tea pot. The other night John and Christine came over for dinner and I threw whole potatoes with their skins still on in cold water thinking we’d have mashed potatoes in minutes. I’ve walked out of stores with other people’s bags (innocently I might add), but none of these compare to Sunday’s events. I kissed Josh goodbye and headed to the store to run an errand. As I was backing out of the garage in my Jeep I noticed our neighbors Stacy, Brandon and Ray waving at me from across the street. At first I thought they were just giving me a neighborly wave, but as I backed into the street I noticed Stacy running in my direction waving her arms and franticly motioning me to stop. I pulled over to the curb and rolled my window down. She held her hands up and said, “Don’t move. Riley is on top of your Jeep.” As she said this I turned back to see Riley jump to the ground and run towards the driveway. “Oh my gosh!,” I exclaimed. I thanked Stacy for the warning and sheepishly waved to Ray and Brandon. Before I pulled away I leaned out my window and yelled to all three, “Riley isn’t the sharpest tack in the drawer, but I guess I should be more observant.” We all laughed and I drove away. I called Josh immediately to tell him of Riley’s adventure. Although I couldn’t stop laughing I also felt a little like crying. What would poor Riley have done if our neighbors hadn’t been there to stop me? Josh’s response to my question was, “You have a canvas top. He could have dug his claws in.” Yikes! From now on I’ll be more careful.

I did have a talk with Riley when I got home. I reminded him that although Jeeps can be fun they are also to be taken seriously and if he really wants to go 4-wheeling he should learn the right way. I have him signed up for classes with Gus.

High speed dirt

Watch Josh skydive and smile like you’ve never seen him smile!

Mom always told me I was an “air sign”.

On Saturday afternoon I was thrusted out of an airplane while traveling at 120mph and at 10,500 ft. and it was THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE EVER!!!

Two days later and I still can’t put the experience and my feelings into words. I can’t stop thinking about it and my heart is still pounding as my body and mind beg for more, more, more!

I’m hooked. I want to do it again right now. Freefalling 7,000 ft. in 45-seconds – there’s nothing like it. It’s an individual rush, the flight is an enlightening and spiritual experience. It’s one of my childhood dreams that has come true: to fly.

I know it will mean so much more when I can jump alone.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of–wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew–
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (June 9, 1922 — December 11, 1941)

Pillowy Uterus for Members Only

Today we went to the Sam’s Club after work because Donald Trump says it’s THE BEST place to shop. He shops there. He says it’s a great place for small business owners to purchase consumables and we really needed either 1) Tommy Bahama XXXL factory rejected shirts or 2) a new battery for the Jeep.

We bought the battery and two slices of greasy gourmet pizza.

While attempting to leave the Sam’s Club we were approached by the the Exit Door Nazi. She didn’t bother checking my receipt or the one item in the cart. Instead she took my receipt, dragged the tip of her highlighter pen across the folded piece of paper, onto her palm and engaged 1.5 of us in a conversation that was prefaced with “I was a labor and delivery nurse for twenty years…”

I was half-way out the door and recollect her speaking of “a uterus that was as hard as a rock” after a cesarean section birth and nanoseconds later hearing of a uterus that was “as soft as a pillow” after vaginal birth.

Without engaging in actual physical contact she told Elise that her uterus was as soft as a pillow and that we will have a beautiful baby.

I’m wholeheartedly confident that we’ll have a beautiful baby but damn, if I could predict a pillowy uterus, just think of the money I could make with branding.

“Bob likes a firm uterus, that’s why he sets his to 48. I like a soft uterus that forms to my bladder and will promote healthy effacement, that’s why I set my uterus at 93.”

Pillowy Uterus would be a great name for a rock band. Or a small business looking to buy in bulk and sell at a 52.4% margin with promotional factory rejected XXXL Tommy Bahama shirts.

Zombie Eater Sand Eater budget

Friends and strangers alike always offer unsolicited advice for first-time parents. A great tidbit I recently picked up from John was, “Don’t call EVERYONE while you’re on the way to the hospital to have the baby. That means EVERYONE will be there when you don’t want them there. Wait until after the baby is born and call those who you need.”

Marc called on Monday to dispense not so much advice, but more of a “how it’s going to be”:

“We was poor. And when we wuz hungry, we ate crawfish. When thuh wuz no mo crawfish, we ate fowl. When thuh wuz no mo fowl, we ate sand.”

“Yuh ate SAND?!?!”

“We ate sand…”

Hear the parent prophet here.

Tearjerking lava lamp

Setting your first born’s sonogram video to the Forrest Gump theme song is about as smart as drinking boxed wine while chopping onions and staring at a lava lamp.

Click here to watch the sonogram video.