Time Management for new dads

I would take a wild guess that most dads, like myself, don’t really think about this when their baby is on the way. Your time is really cut down to basically nothing.  Used to be able to play your video games? Well it’s gone.  Want to get outside and work that spare tire you got hanging around your belly?  Not going to happen.  Now that’s probably a slight over exaggeration, but you will find yourself with less time that you used to have.

I realized this yesterday when I had lunch.  M and baby boy we’re out to lunch with a friend and I was home alone by myself.  After taking the dog for a walk I was fixing lunch and thought “what should I do with myself?”.  I could do some writing (yes I’ve been writing…just not here!) or I could watch one of the TV shows I recorded or I could get on my computer.  In the end I decided to start watching one of the TV shows I recorded, but it didn’t stop there.  By making that decision I was missing out on possible writing time and whatever else I could have been doing.  I’m still in the process of learning when I can and can’t do things.  Luckily I can steal an hour away in the morning if all goes well, so that’s when I’ve been doing a lot of the things that I need to or want to.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world.  It’s an incredible experience, challenging at times, but you’ll have to make these decisions when your new son or daughter is brought home.

Baby boy is doing well.  He’s gaining weight like there’s no tomorrow, which in turn is making M a bit tired at times, but she’s an incredible mom and I keep encouraging her.

Have a great weekend everyone.  I have a plan for another post and hope to post that up this weekend sometime.


Grandparents to the rescue!

My parents have been with us since last Saturday evening and it’s been great.  I know some families don’t get along but we get along pretty well and it’s been a blessing to have them around.

Since they’ve been around the block twice, with my brother and I, we’ve been able to ask them questions about things we don’t or didn’t know.  For instance the hospital said we should let baby boy (BB) sleep on his back, which translated into him being on his back for nearly everything.  However we have discovered that he really really likes being on his stomach. So if we are holding him for whatever reason (more on that in a second) he’s usually on his stomach.

One downside, and it’s not really that much of a downside, is that I think he’s getting used to being held and when it’s time to go to bed in his bassinet…well it can be a challenge. During the day he’s almost like a hot potato going from M to grandma to grandpa and myself if he doesn’t need to be fed again.  If he does then it’s back to M for more feeding and we repeat the cycle.

Lastly one of the best things, or not, is that M and I have been able to get out and do a few things while not having to worry about BB.  Last Sunday morning we went shopping at Walmart and it was kind of strange to be there without him.  And this Saturday night, we have been told we can have a date night.  Dinner and a movie for us!!  We are just having a really hard time figuring out which movie to go to!

He did get weighed again yesterday and he’s quickly approaching double his birth weight.  He now weighs in at 6lbs 9.5 ounces.  His birth weight was 3lbs and 13 ounces.  My mom has told me that when he doubles his weight he will be the weight he was when I was born almost 34 years ago!

I hope that other daddy’s and families are able to take advantage of their parents/grandparents should they offer to help you with your young one.  It does take the stress off for a bit.  And with that I’ve got to get ready to go back to work.  I’ve had the first 3 days of this week off and it’s been great, but now I must head back into work!

The 3am wake up call

I suppose I got through the pregnancy pretty good.  M didn’t have any 3 AM cravings for something that we didn’t have so I should count my blessings.  However just the other night as I was reaquanting myself with my mistress known as sleep I got a wake up to go and get her something.

For over a week now I have been the lucky one that gets to sleep.  M is now breast feeding baby boy full time which means I get to sleep in and sleep, my mistress has come back.  It’s not back to normal, but we’ll get there eventually.

The other night M woke me up at 3 AM.  The conversation and thoughts went something like this.

M: Honey

Me: Huhhhh…

M: Would you go and get me some hot chocolate.

Not realizing what she was asking I said yes.  I started to get up out of bed and then I sat back down thinking this had to be some sort of dream.  And then I heard BB whimper a bit and I realized that it was not in fact a dream.  At that point I almost said “are you serious?”, but didn’t.  Instead I got up and got her the hot chocolate like a good husband does.  What I should have done was pounded on the wall and told grandma and grandpa to fix some hot chocolate since they are here now, but I didn’t!


No initiation yet!

While baby boy (BB) was in the hospital one of the nurses kept asking if I’d been initiated as a dad yet.  By initiation she meant if I’d been peed on by BB while changing his diaper.  The answer then and the answer now is no I have not, but there have been a few close calls…but not with pee.  Yeah with the other one.

BB when he’s getting ready to do his business, number 1 or 2, gets a wind up.  By a wind up I mean he starts to fuss and make a lot of noise.  At times it’s hard to tell if he’s hungry or if he’s just getting ready to leave us a present in his diaper.  So when he does this fussiness and I know he’s been fed recently I go and change his diaper.  He’s let a few things go and I think he’s done.  However there’s been a couple of times that right before I’m about to undo his diaper he lets it go.  Or right after I’ve done up his new diaper.

I know that one of these days I’ll be initiated, but for now I’m free.  There is an upside to cleaning a fresh diaper.  It’s easy to clean up from his bottom!

Change change change!

I knew it was coming.  I really did and I had prepared myself for it.  Despite that I still find myself struggling from time to time with all of the changes that a new child brings into your life.  Let me first say that I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world, but I’d be lying if I told you everything was peachy keen!  There are a ton of changes to your life when you bring a child into this world and some of those changes you just can’t prepare for.

I’m still adjusting to waking up whenever BB feels like it.  Usually he needs to be fed or his diaper changed or sometimes he just wants to be held, like this morning.  On the plus side he is growing like a weed.  We’ve been told he’s gaining an ounce of body weight a day (he’s up over 5lbs now).  So this reassures me that we are doing everything well.  M’s been great in letting me sleep as much as I can since I’m working, but I know she gets exhausted so I try and pick up the slack where I can and I’m not sure I do a good job of that.

To top it all off I’m trying to make some other adjustments as well. I’m trying my hardest to continue my education in my field of work…or the work I do that I enjoy the most!  I once had an interview where they asked me what I did to stay current in my field. Well then and now I have no answer to that question. So I’m trying to remedy that by taking some hours away from a really useless pursuit (Warcraft anyone?) and put it towards educating myself.  Despite the lack of posts here, I’m still trying to write.  I don’t have some super secret blog project or something else going on (although I wish I did!).  I just want to write.  I’ve always wanted to write since I was in my teens.  Specifically I want to write fiction of some sort.

So I’m going to try and make a more concerted effort to get here and write as its something I really want to do.  However until I find a schedule things might be a bit sparse. Oh did I mention that we finally have some sort of  weather here in Wyoming that resembles spring or summer?  Yeah I’ve got a bunch of yard work that I need to do.

There is hope!

I was sent out yesterday to get somethings that we needed for BB and M.  At the store I grabbed a cart and headed in the general direction of where I thought the items might be (I don’t usually go to this store) and I found what I needed.

As I was getting to the aisle I saw a mom and a dad and a baby.  At the baby section I saw a couple that was expecting and looking at strollers. I really wanted to stop and say something to them, but I wasn’t sure what I would say other than “good luck and sleep as you know it will be a distant memory”. Probably not the best terms to tell someone who is expecting! As I made my way to the pharmacy section, for a humidifier, I saw a dad alone, with his two children.  I stopped for a half a second to see if mom was around holding some kind of control button because the children were being really well behaved.

And with that I knew there was hope.  It’s been a few rough nights here in the house and although I wasn’t really concerned, it was nice to see that there are better times ahead.  M and I have joked that this first year is probably going to be one of the toughest and after that it should be more entertaining.  Not that BB is for our entertainment purpose, but we will be able to interact a bit more with him.

So when did your baby make the turn for you?

Daddy amateur hour

I’m going to take a guess that most dads (and probably some moms) haven’t spent a lot of time around infants.  Toddlers perhaps but infants not so much.  This is me and I could add the toddlers to the equation as well (so this is where I’m coming from..I’m sure you’ll get a laugh out of my adventures).

Yesterday I took off of work early (after a panic of locking myself out of the house) and headed to the hospital to see baby boy.  I hadn’t seen him since Sunday afternoon and was really looking forward to it.  I must have been pretty excited because I got there a bit early, so I sat around and dinked around with my cell phone while waiting to do his duties.  We’ve been doing the duties (temperature, diaper changed, and move the oxygen meter from one foot to another) for awhile now so I was pretty comfortable with that stuff.  The duties went well and the nurse took a few other measurements.  Then she asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin (also known as kangaroo care I’ve found out).  I said sure.

So I get all settled in and she hands little boy to me and we begin to get ready to feed.  At first she was going to use a syringe (through the nose) but I questioned it and she remembered that he was bottle feeding (I can’t say this enough…speak up if there’s something they are doing that you know differently!). And this is where the amateur in me begins to come out.

I’d fed baby boy before but we are learning a new method called pacing.  Pacing allows them to feed on the bottle, but at a slower rate.  And he’s in a new position.  This didn’t go so bad, but I need more practice.  When things got bad it was with the burping.  She showed me on position for burping and I did okay…I think!  Then he ate some more and she told me to burp him while she went to attend to another baby.  Panic. She told me to put him on my shoulder, but I’d never done it before.  Infants have no control of their head so I wasn’t sure what to do other than support his head. Was I supposed to throw him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes?  Long story short he drank all of his milk (he did have to be reminded!) and M tells me that what I did for the shoulder burp was good.

So guys you’re going to feel way out of your element with an infant and especially with a premie.  I’m sure there’s going to be more times of panic and not knowing what to do, but I’ll learn and move on with it.