Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't Worry - I'm Not This Delinquent At Fatherhood

Ladies (and a very small number of gentlemen),

So much to fill you in on. I'll begin with an apology for my laxity. I've been on the receiving end of a fair amount of flak lately - "Jason, are you going to update the blog? I check it all the time." Frankly, I've become much like the Michael Buble of the baby world. He sings more than me, and I probably paint more than he does, but otherwise, we both have our legions of lady fans and our staggering good looks to deal with.

Anyhoo, there have certainly been many developments since the last post. The two biggest were discovering that (a) there is only one child in there and (b) he is another man-child.

This is very handy from my perspective. Allison wins enough conflicts in this house as it is, so she certainly doesn't need anymore female allies.

The Big Day

February 11th, 2010. Allison and a dark, mysterious stranger are spotted entering the Janeway Children's Hospital.

The day of the ultrasound was a very exciting day for me. During the preceding weeks I flip-flopped daily. Some days I thought that a sweet little girl would be nice. But then I thought about the hysterical pre-teen and teen years, not to mention all of the horny teenage boys sniffing around the house.

Then there were days when I pondered another boy. I thought it would be neat to live in a house of men, and as already mentioned, to diminish to power of the female vote, if nothing else. Of course, boys often tend to be a little more "energetic" than girls, so my daily gender preferences tended to be rather temperamental.

Allison's sister Heather came home to spend a week with Allison, so she, along with my mother, accompanied Allison and I into the ultrasound room. When we saw all that all of the working parts were in good order, Heather and Mom were kicked out of the room so that Al and I could discover the sex of the baby.

"Well, you're having another boy," proclaimed the technician as soon as the door was closed. In case we had any doubts, she showed us the male equipment." All seemed well; two arms, two legs, one bird, and one brain. I think this family was finally due a brain-toting member.

When all was said and done, we left the hospital and proceeded to our favourite breakfast haunt and broke the news to close friends and family by unveiling the cake shown above. We were given many nice presents, including this stylin' outfit by the well-travelled and dedicated Aunt Heather.

We made it home just minutes before Ben came home for lunch and broke the news.

He was very excited to hear that a new brother was on the way. If there was a girl-child, I believe he had plans of a trade-in, so at least we avoided that awkwardness.

Life Since the Ultrasound

During the month or so since the ultrasound, the entire situation seems more "real." I guess knowing that there's an actual boy in there makes everything less abstract. He's also getting more active now and kicking his mother regularly. In fact, Just this weekend past I felt the kicks myself for the first time. Very exciting stuff.

Allison made the baby's quilt recently. She went with a monkey pattern. At first, I had imagined something more "manly" (i.e. machine guns, car engines, knights on horseback, etc..), but when I thought about it I realized that monkeys spend most of their days hanging around in trees while flinging poo at each other. It doesn't get any manlier than that.

We are still pondering the name issue. We were pretty much in 100% agreement on girls names right from the beginning. Boys names, on the other hand, have been another story. Opinions about baby names, as the saying goes, are much like assholes - everyone has one and most of them stink. I can only guess that in time we'll come up with something that stokes our fires.

In the meantime, I'll try not to be quite as slack in the blogging department, and as the big day gets closer, I'm sure I'll have much more to say. I'll leave you with this sharp outfit that Allison picked out (for baby, not me... just to be clear)

Until next time, I remain most faithfully yours,

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Uterus... They don't even know us?"

Today was the day we had been waiting for. All three of us hopped into the Big Daddy-mobile and headed for the doctor's office. It was time for Allison's 11-12 week check-up, and we were hoping to hear a heartbeat. We had borrowed a heart monitor from one of my co-workers and I was doing my best to find a heartbeat all week long. In the end, all I found was disappointment and possibly gas. I had hoped that the well-honed radar skills of the Dr. would return more satisfactory results, but apparantly, we are still at the early stages when it comes to heartbeat detection.

However, in spite of the inaudible heartbeat let-down, the appointment wasn't entirely without excitement. It turns out that Allison is "showing" more than is normal for a woman at eleven weeks, and furthermore, the uterus is riding higher than one would expect at this stage. When the doc considered these facts, as well as the high frequency of multiple births in Allison's family, it was off to the doc-phone to book an earlier ultrasound appointment.

Here's how I look at it - if there's one or two children floating around in there, we'll handle it no problem. If there's three or more, we'll be looking for a nanny. Perks of the position will include luxurious accommodations (a.k.a. laundry room floor), convenient transportation (metrobus stop just a minute's walk away), and a competive hourly wage (in Zimbabwe dollars). Time to brush up that resume Frank ;)

I remain most Sincerely (and Curiously) Yours;
Big Daddy J

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Fetal Fact #1

So... my bathroom reading has changed in the past month. I used to spend my time on the throne reading wargames magazines, rulebooks, and history books. Since Allison now has every bathroom stocked with a respectable-sized pregnancy and pre-natal literary section, I've started reading bits and pieces out of many books. In the not-to-distant past, pregnancy and childbearing were considered a woman's domain, and I'm beginning to see why. I've learned things about the female body (particularly the nipples) that I would have been fine never learning for the rest of my life.

However, there is one book in particular that I really like called In the Womb, which takes the reader through each week of the pregnancy and shows what's happening on a biological level. During my bathroom reading before work this morning I learned something very interesting.

Have you ever noticed the surprisingly strong and tight grip of a newborn? Did you know that most scientists believe the tight grip to be a genetic survival instinct that human babies share with their other primate cousins? In short, most other primate species (chimps, monkeys, gorillas, etc...) are covered in fur (c'mon everyone... this is kindergarten-level biology here...) When a chimpanzee baby is born, it must immediately be able to hold on to its mother's fur to prevent itself from falling on the ground, as the mother will continue on with her foraging, leaving her baby without any physical support. I found that very interesting. In fact, if I was endowed with a thick, lustrous man-rug on my chest, I would test the theory out when Baby Tilley arrives. Sadly, although I was blessed with charm, wit, intelligence, and humility, I was out sick on the day they were handing out chest hair. Maybe my brother would be willing to take part in a little experiment...

Until next time, I remain most sincerely yours,
Big Daddy J

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fatherhood: From the Beginning

I became Ben's stepfather when he had just turned four-years old. Now in his 10th year, I've been "Dad" for longer than either he or I can remember. Although we live life together like any other father and son, I missed out on all the "baby stuff." So when you find out that your wife is pregnant (like I did around a month or so ago), you realize that as a stepfather, it all happens in reverse order for you. I've already dealt with behaviour issues, homework, bullies, and dinner battles, but I'm a complete virgin when it comes to burping (baby's, not mine), farting (see burping), feeding (see burping and farting), and infant feces-handling (often referred to as "diaper-changing.)

Blogging about my miniature painting and wargaming hobby has brought me great satisfaction and enjoyment. In fact, I've improved in all aspects of my geekly pursuits since I started blogging about them. Who knows... maybe blogging about fatherhood will help me improve as a parent, or even help me prepare mentally for the forthcoming bundle of joy.

The due date is July 9th. I"m counting the days.

Big Daddy J