Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The time had finally come. It was 4am on December 22, 2010. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Basia came back from the washroom (for the 70th time that night!) and lay down beside me asking, "could you rub my back, it's hurting?" Sure I would, but  honestly, I wasn't overly excited at 4am.

She mentioned that it was hurting because she was getting minor contractions. Braxton Hicks, I thought. No big deal. We had been through this a day or two before. I'd be back asleep in no time. But the contractions kept up. She walked around, had a bath, got me to massage her, and it wasn't letting up.

The contractions were fairly regular; only minutes apart and becoming more intense. She was walking and talking with ease at first, but before we both realized what was really happening, I was getting dressed, "just in case" and the bags we had packed weeks before were aligned next to the front door.

It was go time! I knew it was for real when she explained that these contractions were different than the ones she was having earlier in the week. These ones came on like a wave and grew slowly in intensity, finally ending in a much similar wave, but not completely fading out.

To spare you the expense of reading what you would surely find incredibly personal but not unlike the reality of labour, I'll give credit to my wife here in lieu of the details...

We made it to the hospital at about 10:30am on December 22, 2010. Basia was now going through the most difficult of times in a pregnancy, yet her strength and stamina had not even begun to let up. She was simply amazing! For those of you who know Basia, you won't be surprised when I say that she was made for this. She honestly made labouring look incredibly difficult, yet accomplishable. What I loved most about her strength was that she made it a wonderful experience for me, the dad.

Not even two hours later, the midwives, Basia's sister, Basia and I were awaiting the moment we had been looking forward to for over nine months (I say over nine months because the baby was a day late!). With one final effort our little baby girl came into this world with a quick cough and a little squeak that confirmed her femininity. She was perfect in every way and the midwives and nurses confirmed this fact with a series of little tests throughout the day.

I was crying, Basia was smiling tiredly and everyone else was giving their congratulations to Basia for her wonderful success. We were now parents. Little baby Ewa was born just in time for Christmas and I couldn't ask for anything better. This was the perfect gift; the gift that keeps on giving.

I could go on for hours about the feelings, thoughts, images, and discussions that occurred throughout this event, but really, it's something you'd rather experience on your own. Now I can say from experience, it's worth it all.

One final note: Basia my wife, Ewa's mother, is a champion among champions. She endured the pains and difficulties of labour without any medication. Not even a single dose of Advil made it through her system. I am amazed that one person can even begin to commit to such an endeavor. She is a better man than I; she is a woman and god bless the moments I've just experienced.

Merry Christmas,

~ Ken ~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

My new nephew came into the picture about a month ago and I had to wait almost that same length of time to see him. Distance is killer on a family. Nonetheless, he and my sister-in-law made the trek to Toronto to lend us a hand with our baby's birth. I have to say, I was very excited to see him and now that I have, I can tell you he is beautiful.

He's been here only 2 days now and despite some episodes of crying—like right now for instance; he's bellowing—he's been so fun to have around. At first I was a little tentative with my techniques, thinking I was being too rough or not effective enough with him in my arms, but in the short 2 days that he's been here, I've gotten much more confident.

Confidence. I think it's what every father needs to gain before he's able to really enjoy the whole experience of having a newborn. You see having the baby is one thing, but learning to work with its mood swings is a whole other story, and I think confidence really is the key to success.

This morning was when I got the confidence I needed to handle my nephew. I mean, I'm not totally confident with him but come on, it's only been 2 days! So I woke up this morning and his mom wanted to have a shower so I was asked to hold him and tend to his needs. Boy, did I ever tend to his needs. Before I had even had my morning coffee, he was grunting and burping like nothing I've ever seen before. And you know, as strange as it might sound, I was loving it. I was loving it because I was helping him out, rubbing his back, moving him around, watching him do his thing. It was pretty rewarding and before I knew it, he was passed out on my chest in complete silence, with only a dirty bib to remind me of his recent indigestion.

It was awesome and I sat there for another 10 minutes before putting him in the bassinet to continue his slumber. I mean this is one of the best times for a dad! Just comforting your baby and watching it go from awake and uncomfortable, to sleepy and calm.

I'm just days away now from seeing my own little guy (or girl) show its face to the world and I honestly can't wait. This is going to be a great time in my life and for those of you out there that are on the fence about having a baby, keep reading my blog entries. Hopefully my experience will help you get more familiar with the thought, but most of all, I hope it'll give you a little thing called confidence. It's what every child looks for in a parent and it's what every father will obtain with a little practice.

~ Ken ~

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Countdown

My goodness how time flies! A little over a year ago I was getting married. Now I'm about to become a dad. It's hard to really explain how I feel about that right now because I just don't really know; I have mixed emotions. One thing I can tell you is that I'm happy and excited...but excited with a little hesitation, if that makes any sense. You see! It's hard to describe. The hesitation is that I'm walking in to a world of unexpected adventure and so I'm slightly nervous.

The last few weeks have been hectic. Between baby showers, birthdays, work and Starcraft 2, I haven't had much time to sit back and just listen to music on the couch, or practice guitar. But you know what, it's a great time in my life. I'm just counting down the days before a number of awesome events unfold...

  • Staycation begins,
  • Baby is due very soon,
  • Parental leave begins, and
  • Family and friends from out of town are coming to visit,
  • Christmas is coming, and
  • The New Year is coming.

So you see, there is SOOOO much to look forward to and I can't wait for things to start unwinding next week!

As an afterthought for expecting dads; by the time you get to month 8, you just want to see your little guy. If you're prepared financially and you've got all the stuff you need for the baby, I don't see why you'd want to wait any longer. But hey, maybe I'll be able to give you some reasons in a couple weeks from now. =)

~ Ken ~

About This Blog

I'll be writing mostly about all the great things that happen with my new bundle of joy around. Sorry hun, but I'm not talking about you. ;)

Our baby is due in about 2 weeks and I've been getting so excited that I feel like I've finally found something that's worth blogging about. Of course, I'm sure that I'll also get a couple of words in around other areas of interest as they present themselves from time to time.

Mostly though, I hope to enlighten some of those fathers-to-be out there with some interesting insight on what raising your first kid is like so that this journey we're experiencing doesn't seem so lonely.

Let's face it, sometimes wifey just doesn't see things in the same way; and that's okay, but it's one of the reasons why I'm writing this are often seen in many lights.

I intend to describe the way I see the world around me and how wonderful it really is. With enough dedication and observation, I might also be able to describe to you the way my little one is seeing the world.

I kind of got inspired to write this blog after reading a Facebook status update that my brother-in-law wrote on November 18, 2010 after bringing home his newborn son:

" Introducing baby Keyran to Air and Oka while the lazy snowflakes drift about outside the is grand. "

The countdown begins and I can't wait for go-time!

~ Ken ~