Grayson, the Boy Wonder


Welcome to yet another triumphant return of Chris Lackie – The Blog!

You’re probably saying “Chris, where did you go?”

Well, I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve just been busy with other little things that I hope one day I’ll be able to share with you, but… only time will tell.

Anyway, how about I tell you what I’ve been up to in the meantime? Here goes…

Just before 3 AM on February 22, my uber-pregnant wife, Sarah, reached across our bed and gently touched my shoulder, waking me from sleep.

“Hun,” she said. “I think my contractions have started.”

We had been waiting for this moment for what seemed like a long time. I leapt out of bed and pulled my pants on, almost falling in the process. Sarah laughed at me. “I don’t think we’re in that big a rush.”

“How far apart are your contractions?” I asked, continuing to put on my clothes.

“A few minutes, I think,” replied my wife, as if it was no big deal.

I, on the other hand, thought it was a very big deal. “‘A few minutes?” I parroted just before rumbling down the stairs to get my watch. I returned to our bedroom and handed it to Sarah. Every second she looked at it seemed to take an eternity.

“So? How far apart are they?” I asked, hoping they were more than five minutes apart so I could eat some breakfast before heading to the hospital.

“About three minutes,” Sarah replied, again, like it was no big deal.

My thoughts? Shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshitshit!

“I guess we should head to the hospital,” I said, trying not to sound as though my nerves were climbing up out of my stomach and out of my mouth.

“Yeah, probably,” said my wife, as if she wasn’t about to have a human being pop out of her.

So off we went.

We arrived at the hospital a little before 4 AM. The place seemed empty, except for the birthing unit where it seemed like every pregnant woman in Ottawa decided that morning was the time to push out a baby. Luckily, we beat the rush and were admitted promptly.

Once admitted, one of the nurses checked Sarah to see how far along she was. When the nurse found that my wife was eight centimetres dilated, the expression on her face was priceless. She couldn’t believe that someone that far along had just walked in and could carry a conversation. Word got around, and everyone was impressed with how well Sarah was handling her labour.

Shortly after the initial exam, we were moved to a birthing room. It was quickly decided that the best course of action would be to break Sarah’s water, the sound of which was… gross. It was like listening to a giant juice box being squeezed without a straw. At this point Sarah started feeling a fair bit of pain, but she handled it like the champion she is.

A few minutes later, our baby’s heart rate began to slow, so it was decided that the delivery should happen as soon as possible.

Listening to nurses and doctors encourage a mother-to-be to push is fascinating. The first time we went through this with our son, Fox, the room was full of women, all of them aggressively telling Sarah push the baby out. This time, there was a male doctor who took a different approach.

Male Doctor: “Okay Sarah, on the next contraction I want you to push as hard as you can.”

Female Doctors/Nurses: “PUUUUUUSH! GET MADDDD!!!!!”

Male Doctor: “Doing great, Sarah, keep doing your best.”


Male Doctor: “Keep breathing, keep pushing.”


It went something like that. I can’t remember exactly.

Once our little guy’s head was out, they found his umbilical cord tied around his neck three times, which they expected to be the reason for the drop in heart rate.

With that bit of drama aside, at 5:36 AM, our son Grayson was born.

I’m not going to lie. When I saw my son for the first time, resting on my wife’s chest (in all his slimy glory), I cried. A lot. I’ve thought about why that is. I was glassy-eyed when my first son was born, but I didn’t actually cry, so why would I completely sob this time around? I was definitely happy to see my son, but I think my excessive tears were due to the fact that I was just so relieved that it was over, and that my wife wasn’t going to have to go through the 36 hour labour (and everything that accompanied it) as she did with our first child.

While our little boy rested on Sarah, someone (a doctor, I believe) asked if I wanted to cut his cord. It is a completely legitimate question. Father’s cut their children’s umbilical cord all the time. My response however, was completely unreasonable.

“I DIDN’T CUT MY FIRST SON’S CORD SO I’M NOT GOING TO CUT THIS ONE!” I screamed for absolutely no reason.

The people in the room must of thought I was crazy, and they were probably right. I have no idea why I reacted the way I did, but I would like to chalk it up to being overwhelmed by the joy of seeing my son for the first time. Or, you know… lack of sleep.

After about a minute of mother/baby cuddle time, our son was taken to a nearby table to clear the gunk out of his lungs and whatnot. This was expected, as they did the same thing to our first son. Unfortunately, they found that Grayson was working too hard to breath, so he was taken away to the intensive care unit.

This, of course, was a little scary. And upsetting. In part because my little guy had a tube shoved down his throat and a breathing mask stuck to his face, but also because the nurses who were there when Grayson was born started asking me if they had done certain things in the delivery room:

“Did he have a delayed cord clamping?”

My response: “I don’t even know what you just said to me, man.”

“Has he had his vitamin K shot yet?”

Another nurse’s response: “Yyyyyyyyyyes?”

Yipes. Just yipes.

After a few minutes of holding the breathing mask on Grayson’s face, they decided to move him to a machine that does the same thing, but doesn’t require anyone to hold anything. This also involved moving him to an incubator. After a few minutes of Grayson’s breathing improving, one of the nurses looked at him quizzically.

“Oh,” she said.

“Oh?” I asked.

“See the tube on your son’s nose?”


“It’s not actually in his nose.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means the improvements your son is making has nothing to do with the machine. It’s all him.”

Oy vay. I know these folks work hard and are very busy, but… c’mon.

Even though he was taken off the machine (which he was never really on), he still had to spend some time in the ICU, which meant it was a while before he could be with us in the mother-baby unit.

But it was totally worth the wait.

Look at how adorable this kid is.


Now, I would like to tell you that everything was hunky-dory from this point on… but… unfortunately… I can’t.

Right after he was born, Grayson had an x-ray of his lungs taken, and before the pediatrician would sign off on our son’s release from the hospital he wanted another lung x-ray taken to see if things had improved. Because it was so late in the day that it was done, that meant we had to spend another night in the hospital. That night, one of the nurses performed a routine check on Grayson’s vitals and found he had an irregular heartbeat, so he was sent back to the ICU.

This was very upsetting. We thought were going to be able to bring our little guy home, but now he was going to have to spend more time in the hospital. Away from us.

This is about the time I cried again. All Sarah and I wanted was for our little guy to be healthy and to bring him home, but things kept popping up that kept this from happening. In my sleep-deprived state, it all seemed really unfair.

I went to feed Grayson in the ICU while Sarah slept in her room (she was even more tired than I was). While I was there the doctors were doing their rounds, going over the other patients in the same room as my little guy, and I couldn’t help overhear while they talked about one baby in particular. It went something like this:

“This is <insert baby’s name here>. They were born at 28 weeks and is currently 2 weeks old. Today we increased baby’s morphine and caffeine, and the social worker tried to get a hold of baby’s parents, but was unable to.”

My heart sank. I thought Grayson was having a rough start, but THAT poor child was having a ROUGH start.

The next time Grayson was due to be fed, both Sarah and I went to the ICU to spend some time with the little guy.

And we were greeted with wonderful news.

“Oh, that was fast,” said the nurse.

“Huh?” I replied in my typical elegant fashion.

The nurse smiled. “You didn’t hear? You guys get to go home today.”

A couple hours later, we did just that.


And now we’re all very happy… and exhausted.

Grayson’s two weeks old at this point, and this is what I’ve learned about him:

  1. He is hungry all the time.
  1. If you change his diaper, he will pee on you.
  1. Have you ever watched a movie where someone lets out a comically loud fart? THAT’S the sound Grayson makes when he poops.
  1. He may have my wife’s eyes, but he has my shoulder hair.

And what about big brother? People have asked how Fox gets along with his little brother.

The truth is Fox didn’t pay much mind to Grayson until we brought out the baby toys. This made his little brother much more interesting.

Also, Grayson’s crying is, according to Fox, “very noisy”. The irony is completely lost on him.

Well, that’s it for now. Now that I’m on parental leave I’d like to think I have more time for writing, but based on the first couple weeks, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Regardless, I hope to write again soon.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this:





Dear Baby: You Need To Sleep Now

Hello friends,

As you know, I am the father of a beautiful baby boy. Being a parent is wonderful, incredible, fun, exciting, fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Except for those times when it isn’t.

Believe me, the tough times are relatively few and far between, but when things go south they go very, very south.

Recently my son decided that sleep was for the weak, and that he wasn’t going to go for something so typical and average. So instead he decided to stay awake, and keep his dear old dad up for company.

He was up for hours.

I wondered to myself, why won’t my baby go to sleep? He’s tired… it’s dark… what’s the problem? Of course, my son couldn’t answer me except to say: “uhhhhhhhhh!”

Why would an exhausted human being (even a little one) do everything in his power to stay awake? He was kicking his legs, stretching his head back, twisting his body around in a hundred different ways. Why? What does he think he’s going to miss?

So once I decided to give up trying to put him back down to sleep (guess 5 AM is as good a time as any to start the day), I went online to figure out why exactly my exhausted kid wouldn’t go back to bed (because if the internet can’t solve a problem, no one can).

I Googled the phrase “I’m exhausted my kid won’t sleep why is this happening to me SRSLY WTF!?!?!?” As expected, this turned out to be a very common Google search term with many results. I clicked on one of the first links which led to a website called Mummyology, with an article called “10 Reasons Why Babies Don’t Sleep”. Perfect! If I can figure out the root cause of the problem, then finding the solution to that problem should be easy-peasy, right?

So here is the list from Mummyology, including my thoughts on whether this particular reason can explain why my special little guy can’t manage to fall asleep, as well as if I can use this information to help my kid fall asleep in the future.

1. He’s hungry – Nope. I offered him formula and he responded by spitting out the bottle and slapping my hands away. Doesn’t sound like the actions of a hungry baby.

2. He’s thirsty – Nope. See above.

3. He’s over-tired (over-stimulated) – Well, he was definitely over-tired. That happens when you’re already exhausted and you refuse to sleep. And over-stimulated? Well, if the small green light on the baby monitor counts as stimulation, I guess that could be a problem as well. It’s amazing when I think about it. Every time I try to get him to sleep, he always manages to find a small source of light to focus on. It could be the light from his baby monitor, the light that creeps into his room from downstairs, or even the light from the neighbour’s house across the street coming through his window. Either way, light somehow manages to help him stay awake. I may have to institute a neighbourhood-wide no light policy in the near future.

4. He needs movement – It never occurred to me, but I guess this explains why babies are more likely to fall asleep when they are being walked around or rocked. However, it is impossible to either walk my kid around or rock him if I am to sleep. So unfortunately, keeping baby mobile in the middle of the night is not an option.

5. He needs to suck – If this refers to my life force, mission accomplished. Just kidding, I know what this means (but seriously, my kid can completely drain the energy from me). Luckily, my son is willing to use a soother, but sometimes it doesn’t have the desired effect of helping him sleep. Instead, using a pacifier can lead to my son waking up if it falls out of his mouth. Either way, sucking wasn’t helping my kid (or me) the other night.

6. He’s learning a new skill – Is keeping me awake a skill?

7. He needs a change in routine – I get that. When your life consists of eating, playing, pooping and (occasionally) sleeping, things can get stale after a while. Well, I can assure you that nothing changes a routine like staying awake all night.

8. He wants to be close to me – Well that’s just adorable. At least it would be if his desire to be close to me didn’t extend into the wee hours of the morning. It can be pretty frustrating. When I hold him, he sleeps like… well… a baby. He can sleep like a rock in my arms, but the moment I put him down he wakes up. If he’s asleep, how does he know I’m not holding him anymore? He’s got some form of superbaby alertness superpower.

9. He’s teething – I think we have a winner here. My little boy already has two teeth popping out of his lower gum and has a couple others starting to show at the top. His cheeks are all red and he’s super drooly. If only there was a magical pill to make teething pain go away. Baby medicine can only do so much.

10. He’s in pain – Yup, having little pieces of bone poking through your gums will cause some pain. Raising a baby would be so much easier if they could tell you what’s bothering them. In this case, I know my kid is teething, so I know that’s where his pain is coming from. If he wasn’t teething however, I would have no idea what the problem is. I guess you just have to do your best in making your baby comfortable. Unfortunately, sometimes that means being awake at all hours of the night. Remember that episode of the Simpson’s where Homer’s brother (did you remember he had a brother?) invents that machine that can translate baby talk into English? Someone needs to get on making that a reality. Now.

Well, I don’t know how helpful this list is, but at least I know there are only 10 reasons why a baby may not be able to sleep (yup).

Having a baby that can’t sleep can be frustrating to say the least, but I guess it’s the price you pay to be a parent. And being a parent is the best job in the world…

…Except for maybe an ice cream taste tester for Ben and Jerry’s. I hear those guys get full health benefits.

What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah…


There’s something lurking in Oshawa… Still!

Welcome to another edition of Chris Lackie – The Blog!  How about that Superbowl, huh?  Did you see when that guy threw the thing and the guy caught it and did that other thing and then he got hit and fell on that other guy’s thing?  Wasn’t that amazing?  I’m really happy that the <winning team> won.  I really hate those <losing team> guys.

Anyway, last week I started telling the story about that time I kicked a blood-sucking vampire in the junk.  If you’re too lazy to go back and read the story so far, here’s the uber-short version:  I met a homeless guy in Oshawa who told me about a bunch of vampires that were causing problems in the neighbourhood.  I didn’t believe him (or care) until he told me that the vampires were looking for a human child to lead them into battle with the human race.  Once I heard that, I realized that the vampires must be looking for my baby (because he is the best thing that has ever existed).

Now, here is the thrilling conclusion of the internet epic:  There’s Something Lurking in Oshawa…  Dun Dun Dun!!!!

     After the homeless guy told me that there was a group of vampires looking for a human child, I came to the obvious conclusion that they were looking for my son (because he is the bestest boy in the whole wide world).  I hurried back to my mother’s house to prepare.  Of course, as with anything I need to get ready for, I prepared by watching television.  After 4 hours of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I learned that all you need to defeat undead suck-faces is a quick wit and a knowledge of pop culture.  Lucky for me I have both in spades (both David and Kate).

     It was late, and my wife and son were already sleeping.  I gave them both a kiss on the forehead, grabbed a flashflight, and then headed out into the darkness of night to face the demons that awaited me.  Although, to be fair, they didn’t know I was coming, so they weren’t exactly ‘awaiting’ me.  But, you know, whatever.

     I made my way towards the beach to meet my enemy, passing random people on the street and wondering if they knew what horrors lurk in their home town.  It didn’t matter if they knew or not.  I was going to make it safe.

     Once there, I walked into the blackness of the cave.  I flipped the switch on the flashlight, only to find the batteries were dead.  I was suddenly very afraid.  I should turn back, I thought to myself.  No, if I don’t go through with this now I may never come back.  And I have to do this.  I have to do this for my son.  The darkness enveloped me further with each step I took.  After walking blind for what seemed like an eternity, I finally saw a glowing red pin prick in the distance.  What a pretty firefly, I thought.  As I continued further into the cave the light split into two.  Heh, the little bug has a buddy.  Suddenly another pair of red lights appeared.  Then another.  Then another.  Then another.  Then another.  Specks of bright red appeared two at a time, all around me.  It was a few moments before I noticed that each red pair moved in unison.  I then realized what I was looking at.  They weren’t little fireflies.  They were eyes.

     A blast of heat hit me from behind.  I wheeled around to see a torch being held by a wrinkled grey hand. Behind the flame was a pair of bright crimson eyes, buried deep in a face of ash leather that came to a point at the chin.  As we locked eyes the creature smiled to reveal a pair of sharp, stained fangs.

     “Well, I guess I found you,” I declared, trying to sound brave.

     “It’s not very often that a meal comes to our doorstep,” said the vampire holding the torch.  “We normally like to hunt for our food, but I shouldn’t complain.”  He nodded towards the shadows, signalling for another vampire to take the torch.  Once he handed the fire to another creature he turned his attention back to me and licked his lips.  “You look delicious.”

     “You’re right, I am delicious,” I replied, “but that’s not why I am here.  I’m here because I know about your prophecy.  I know you are looking for a human child to lead you to glory.  I am the father of that child, and I am here to tell you…“ I stepped closer to the vampire. “You cannot have him.”

     The vampire’s eyes opened wide.  “So you are the father of our chosen one.  How delightful it is to meet you.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Charles.”

     “Charles? That’s a stupid name for a vampire,” I snorted.

     “I must thank you,” he continued, “we’ve been searching for your son for a long time.  We weren’t sure we would ever find him, but now that you’re here, we will.  Minions, restrain this man!”

     “Wait!” I yelled, which seemed to stop the other vampires in their tracks.  I knew I was in over my head.  There was no way I could take all these vamps by myself, no matter how much wit or pop culture knowledge I had.  Perhaps going into a vampire nest alone with no weapons and a faulty flashlight was a bad idea, but there I was.  I knew I had to think of something fast.  The vampires started coming towards me again, and my mind immediately went to an old tactic that I use whenever I’m in serious trouble.

     “I can’t help but notice there are no lady vamps around.  Is this some sort of gay thing?”  I asked.

     “What?  No, of course not,” the leader replied defiantly.

     “It isn’t?” queried a voice from the back.

     “Shut up, Stanley!” demanded Charles.

     “Hehe.  I knew it,” I chuckled out loud to myself, but loud enough so that all the deadheads around me heard.

     “Enough!” Charles was super-pissed now.  “I will end your wretched life right now!”

     Charles came towards me, his eyes full of hate and rage, his mouth eager to bite into my delicious flesh.  Not knowing what else to do, I did what any brave man would do:  I kicked the vampire in the testicles as hard as I could.  I braced myself for a counter attack, but I couldn’t have predicted what happened next.

     “Ahh! My nuts! My only weakness!” squealed a now high-voiced Charles.

     “Only weakness?” I replied. “What about stakes and crosses and garlic and all that stuff?”

     “No,” Charles answered, “few people know our only true weakness is kicks to the balls.”

     “I’ll be sure to remember that,” I said, but then quickly forgot.

     “Now that you know our Achilles heel…” began Charles, before he was interrupted.

     “More like Achilles balls!” shouted the voice from the back.

     “I swear to God, Stanley, if you speak again I will rip out your throat!” yelled Charlie the vampire, still holding his sore nuts.  After rubbing his sore package for a few moments (which was awkward… and… slightly erotic), the vampire returned his focus to me.  “After the events that have transpired here today…”

     “You mean me kicking you in the testicles?”

     The vamp sighed. “Yes, after you kicked me in the testicles, I decided that we will no longer seek the chosen one.  We will leave you and your son, Archibald Davis Matthews, alone.”

     “Uh, Archie who?” I asked.

     “Archibald Davis Matthews,” Charles said slowly, “is he not your son?”


     “Oh. Either way, you have represented the humans well. We will leave you be.”

     “Huh?” I had already started leaving. “Sorry, I  stopped listening.  What are you babbling on about?”

     “We will no longer hunt you or your kind,” said Charles, deflated.

     “Okay sure, whatever.  You guys can do whatever you want.  If you’re not trying to get my son then I don’t give a crap what you do.”  The vampires followed me like sad little puppies as I made my way out of their cave.  The sun was just coming over the horizon as I reached the entrance. I turned for one last look at the vampires. “Peace out, homies.”

And that’s the story of how I kicked a vampire in his nuts. It was pretty awesome. And let this be a lesson to you:  If a homeless person tells you that there are vampires in your neighbourhood, they are probably telling you the truth.  Also, if you live in the Oshawa area, you should be careful. There are vampires about.


Father and Son: A Discussion

Hey folks!  Are you ready for another exciting post that a lot of thought went into and was definitely not written in 15 minutes?  Of course you are!  You read this blog for the insightful discourse and the thought provoking debate that follows.  According to some very reliable sources (that I did not make up in my head), Chris Lackie – The Blog is the most intelligent website on the internet.

On a related note, have you guys ever seen the movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno?  I like the scene where the girl poops in the guy’s face.

Anyway, for this week’s post, I thought I would interview my not quite one-month old son.  Everyone wants to know what children are thinking, so why not ask one of the more handsome ones directly?  What I thought would be a fascinating discussion turned into the most interesting conversation I have ever had.  Without further adieu, here is my interview with my son.

Father:  Well son, you joined this world almost a month ago.  How have you been enjoying life?


Father:  Yes, it’s really hard to put into words, isn’t it?  Life is a most extraordinary thing, with so much adventure and excitement.  How about we focus on your home life?  What do you think of your parents?

Son:  *Blurp*

Father:  That’s a little harsh, isn’t it?  I mean, we’re new at this parenting thing.  You seem to be doing okay.  You appear to be eating enough, and you don’t really need much else.  Is there something you think we could improve on?

Son:  *Gyuk*

Father:  Hrm.  That’s a fair comment.  It’s something that your mother and I discussed before you were born.  I thought we settled on the right answer, but from what you’re saying it sounds like we’ll need to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate our position.  I appreciate your feedback.

Son:  *Gurgle*

Father:  You just experienced your first Christmas and you were given a lot of presents.  Santa Claus even stopped by to give you an exer-saucer for when you’re a little older.  What do you think about your first big holiday?

Son:  *Eh-eh-eh-eh*

Father:  Yes, I agree that Christmas has gotten way too commercial, but it does give people a nice excuse to spend time with family.  For my birthday, your mother gave me the Batman Beyond box set.  You and I have watched about a dozen episodes already.  What do you think?

Son:  *Gah-ya-ya-ya-ya*

Father:  Haha! Yes!  Batman is the best, isn’t he?  Now I know you’re very busy, so how about I ask you one last question?  Do you need Daddy to change your bum?

Son:  That question is demeaning to us both.

Father:  Huh?  Sorry, what did you say?  I was distracted by a bit of lint on my sweater.

Son:  *Hiccup*

Father:  Aw do you have the hiccups, buddy?  Come here.

After I held my son until his hiccups went away and changed his bum, he promptly fell asleep.  Clearly our interview took a toll on him.  *Yawn*  Geez, I guess it took a lot out of me too.  Alright, I guess it’s nap time for everyone.


Giving Birth: A Male Perspective – Part 2: Even More Perspective

Hello Everyone!

In my last post I discussed the birth of my son.  In short, it took a long time and was really gross, but both my wife and I were happy with the end result.  Now I am going to discuss what happened when I officially became a parent.  Like last time, I will start off by saying that everyone who helped us at the hospital was great, and by no means should anything I say be taken as a slight against the hospital or its staff.

Once the little guy came out I was suddenly very aware of how many other people in the room.  There was me and my wife (obviously), the doctor who delivered our baby, another doctor watching our baby be delivered, two nurses (one encouraging Sarah to push, another… doing something I can’t remember), and four people from the critical care unit… or was it intensive care?  My memory is already failing me.  Anyway, when my son was born he was immediately carried over to the critical (or intensive) care people so they could suck the poop out of his mouth and nose before he took a big breath (that’s a thing, apparently).  While they cleaned him up, Sarah and I just looked at him.  I was already enthralled, and I’m sure my wife was too. That, and exhausted.  After a few moments they offered him to me.  I was incredibly nervous.  I walked around my wife and the doctors that were tending to her, and made my way over to him (careful not to look at what the doctors were doing… I know there are some things you can’t unsee).  As I held him for the first time, I was amazed by how alert he was.  His eyes were open and clear, and he seemed to be giving me the “shifty eyes”.  My first thought was that my son was evil, but then he peed on me, which made me realize he’s just a practical joker. 

I walked him back around the doctors who were tending to my wife (still careful not to look at what they were doing) and took extra care not to slip on any of the fluids that were all over the floor (yup… that’s a thing you have to worry about).  I held him for a few moments and then passed him over to his mom, which was awkward because she was still lying on her back.  Even so, she still managed to hold him for a few minutes. 

When they were done with Sarah and baby, we got a chance to relax by ourselves (with the exception of the nurse assigned to us) in the birthing room before heading to the “Mother-Baby Unit”.  After moving to the new unit, I realized we were spoiled in the birthing room.  The birthing room was private and I had a place to sleep.  No such luck in our new room.  The recovery room was semi-private and there was nowhere for yours truly to sleep.  For the first night, we shared the room with another couple with a newborn (who will forever have parents who don’t seem to get along and a father with a face tattoo… poor kid).  Luckily on the first night we had a nurse who didn’t mind bending the rules as I got to sleep on a gurney mat on the floor next to Sarah.  What amazed us was how quiet our son was.  Even with another baby in the room screaming (which was all the time), our guy barely made a peep.  It was actually a bit of a relief on the second night when our son woke up screaming.  It was nice to know that if he was hungry, he’d let us know.

What wasn’t nice was that on the second day our little bundle of joy wasn’t eating enough, which resulted in him having low blood sugar.  This meant the pediatrician and the nurses wanted him to stay in the hospital for another day.  This sucked because it meant we’d have to stay an extra day in the hospital, and, more importantly, I believed I had already failed as a parent.  How could I have done so poorly that my son already had a medical problem?  As it turned out the solution was as simple as supplementing his meals with formula, but for a moment I really thought I was the worst parent ever.  What I learned from this experience is that breast feeding doesn’t exactly come naturally to babies.  I mean, they know that they are hungry and they know that they need to suck to eat, but they don’t necessary know that they need to keep sucking in order to get food from their mom who isn’t producing a ton of milk (or as I also learned, milk-like substance… because women don’t automatically start producing what the average joe would consider milk).  In fact, there were two different “lactation consultants” who gave Sarah advice on how to feed our baby and how to produce more milk.  Who knew such a position existed?

Our stay was pretty uneventful after that. Our poor little guy had to undergo regular tests to check his blood sugar levels, but in the end he was fine.  I didn’t get the gurney mat the second night, so I tried to sleep in a chair.  When that failed, Sarah and I tried to share her bed, which was moderately more successful than the chair, but still terrible.  The next day I went home to grab a camping mat to sleep on the third night.  It wasn’t as good as the gurney mat, but way better than the chair. 

We were finally able to bring our son home on a Wednesday.  For those of you keeping track, we checked into the hospital on a Friday, which means we spent a total of 5 nights in the hospital.  It was a long time, but totally worth it.  I was thrilled to give our little guy a tour of his home.  He is a big fan of my Funko Pop Vinyl Figures.  I know this because it was the only part of the tour he didn’t sleep through.

So that’s how it all went down.  It was a long process (especially for my wife), but I don’t think we would change anything.  Except for the fact that our son likes to sleep during the day and be awake all night.  I really wish we could change that.


Giving Birth: A Male Perspective

Hello Everyone!

As most of you who know me know, my wife Sarah recently gave birth to our first child.  It’s amazing how once you have a child you can suddenly and unconditionally love a tiny ball of fury that screams when you try to wipe the poop off his bum.

In this post, I thought I would document and comment on my experience with the birth of my son, which of course was mostly as an observer (thank Christ).

I will start off by saying that in the end everything worked out perfectly.  Our son is happy and healthy.  Everyone who helped us at the hospital was great, and by no means should anything I say be taken as a slight against the hospital or its staff.

Okay, so here we go…

The whole thing started on a Thursday.  My wife was four days past due and she went to the doctor’s office for her weekly checkup.  While there, the doctor informed her that, for a couple reasons, she would need to go directly to the hospital to either be induced immediately or within the next 24 hours.  This was, of course, a little shocking given the pregnancy had gone great over the previous 40 weeks.  Once at the hospital they gave her a blood test that would determine whether she needed to be induced that night or the next day.  They told her it would take about an hour to get the results.  After waiting about 3 hours or so, I asked my friend to take me to the hospital so I could wait with her.  Also, if they were going to induce her, I wanted to be there.

In total, my wife waited about 5 hours before she got the results.  They told her she could go home, but they would call in the next 24 hours to have her come back to be induced.  So Sarah and I went home and watched the Lady Gaga Muppets Holiday Special.  We both agree that there wasn’t enough Sweetums.  And far too much Lady Gaga.

Anyway, we spent Friday waiting by the phone.  To pass the time, we watched The Other Guys and 21 Jump Street (the Channing Tatum movie).  Those movies are still awesome, even after a dozen views each.  Eventually the hospital called and told my wife to come in at 5 PM to be induced.  Dutifully, we both showed up when we were told and Sarah was then hooked up to a machine that monitored her contractions, the baby’s heartbeat and her own heartbeat.  After (a long) 4 hours of waiting (due to the doctor’s being stuck down in the emergency room), we were told that my wife would be induced and that she was going to be admitted (as opposed to being induced and being sent home, which was apparently an option).

We made our way to the birthing room and waited for them to… do whatever you need to do to essentially force someone to go into labour.  We had some time to kill so we decided to play cards.  After losing 6 games of crazy eights in a row, I finally beat Sarah and then immediately retired as champion.  It was a proud moment.

Ultimately, we had to wait another 3 hours for the induction process to start, which was upsetting, because (as I learned) it takes a really long time for the process to actually induce labour.  It’s upsetting that we had to wait 7 hours before anything really happened, butI guess that’s how the system works.

So once the process began (I won’t get into the dirty details since they can be… unpleasant) we tried to get some rest, but it was hard with someone coming in every few minutes to either give us an update on what was going on or, in many cases, just to introduce themselves.  It’s nice that all the nurses, residents, junior residents, and medical students take the time to introduce themselves, but when it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, it’s probably unnecessary.

Eventually my wife was put on an intravenous drip of oxytocin (which helps the labour process along), and around 1:30 PM on Saturday, one of the many doctors who introduced themselves checked to see how my wife was progressing.  He determined she was 3-centimetres dilated and they could manually break her water.

Up until this point my wife was having contractions, but the only reason we knew this was because the monitor she was on said so.  She couldn’t actually feel them.  But that completely changed when they broke her water.  Once that happened, she could feel every contraction.  And from what I could tell, they hurt like a bitch.  We had actually taken a course that taught us some ways to deal with contractions, but with the monitors and the IV that my wife was attached to it wasn’t possible to use the coping mechanisms we had learned.  This was unfortunate because it wasn’t long before her contractions were 1-minute apart.  When she got to this point, we figured that my wife had been progressing nicely and that it wouldn’t be too long before she had reached the all important 10-centimetre dilation.

Boy, were we wrong.

We (but mostly my wife) were disappointed to learn that she hadn’t made any progress and was still at 3-centimetres.  Going into childbirth, the plan (which I did not contribute to at all) was to try to go through labour without getting an epidural.  After feeling the pain of contractions 1-minute apart and knowing that there was still a long way to go, the plan was thrown out the window and an epidural was requested.  This was probably the only part of the process that went quickly, with an anesthesiologist showing up only minutes after the request was made.  The guy who performed the procedure was very nice, and both he and the nurse who happened to be responsible for us at that time did a very good job of explaining everything as it happened.

With the epidural in place, my wife felt much less pain and things started to move forward… very slowly.

We were optimistic when she dilated another centimetre right away, but it was pretty slow going after that.  She was 3-centimetres around 7:30 PM Saturday and moved to 4-centimetres soon after.  She continued to make progress throughout the night, albeit at a tortoise’s pace.  Every hour or so, someone (often not the same someone) would come in to check Sarah’s progress and ask her to shift to her other side (apparently my son had a favourite side in the womb).  When things would stall (which happened a few times), there would be the obligatory statements:  “We’ll keep monitoring you, but if things don’t progress we’ll need to discuss a C-section.  We’re not there yet, but I just want to give you a heads up that it’s a possibility.  Now try to get some rest.”  Sure.  She’ll get right on that.

But ultimately a C-section wasn’t necessary, because at 12:22 PM on Sunday our little guy agreed to come out the old-fashioned way.  Which, by the way, is nothing like it is on television.  I mean, I knew it wouldn’t be, but I had no idea how different.  I think two or three different nurses encouraged my wife to push at different times, and the doctor who ultimately delivered our son was there at the start, then disappeared, then reappeared again at the end.  At one point, I’m pretty sure my wife and I were alone in the room in the middle of the pushing.  And when the time finally came for our son to come out, I made the conscious effort to not look down.  And then I did.  I will never forget what it looked like.  I don’t want to get into it, but let’s say it reminded me of a scene in Total Recall where an important character is introduced.  I’ll let you figure out what I’m talking about.

So, how did I feel about the entire process of bringing my son into the world?  It was both wonderful and awful.  I love the fact that I got to see a human being breathe his first breath, but at the same time, I have never felt so useless.  From sitting in Triage chatting with Sarah, to watching her struggle with the pain of contractions, and then to the final stage where my wife actually delivered our son, I have never felt so useless and helpless at any point in my life.  My wife felt so awful, and even with the class we took to manage the pain, there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.  I know my wife had the worst of it, but I really struggled watching her.  It was hard to watch someone I love so much be in so much agony.

And the actual delivery part?  Forget about it.  Pain meds or no, I don’t know how anyone can do it.

What I do know, however, is that my wife is the strongest person I’ve ever met.  She carried a little bundle of joy for more than 9 months and then managed to push him out after I don’t know how many hours of labour (when do you start counting when you’re induced?).  I am so proud of her.

That’s it for this post.  Next time I’ll talk a little bit about our little guy’s first few days of life.  Spoilers:  He poops a lot.