You will notice I have presented the labor process and Wyatt's first five days of life in a timeline fashion followed by highlights of the last four months.
The whole labor process was, well lets just say, it didn't go entirely as I had envisioned it would. I expected some screaming and agony from Carly lasting about an hour followed by an angel's chorus raining down upon Carly and I as the doctor would hand me a golden pair of scissors from which my now suddenly Atlas-like physique would sever Little Baby Wyatt's final connection from being a fetus to becoming a real live baby boy thereby officially welcoming Wyatt onto this earth.
Yep, so that didn't exactly happen-not even close. The angel's chorus was replaced by the sound of clamps, scalpels, and muffled doctor's voices, my figure remained skinny-assed, and I wasn't allowed to cut the umbilical cord.
Due to forces beyond our control, the plans we had made leading up to Wyatt's birth had to be almost completely disregarded. After some bit of physical and mental struggle (with the brunt of the physical struggle coming from Carly) it became increasingly obvious the best and safest way for Wyatt to be born was via a cesarean birth.
With the hope of having a natural birth having completely disintegrated we were now being prepared for a c-section. The NICU was alerted and readied in case anything took a turn for the worse. Carly's bed was wheeled down the hall and into an operating room. In the meantime I was given an outfit resembling a beekeeper's attire to put on before I was able to follow Carly. When I get into the room I saw about eight other people dressed like I am surrounding Carly. I was given a chair to sit in that was placed right by Carly's head. Across Carly's chest was a big blue curtain that I was told I wasn't allowed to look over or past. I looked at Carly and could tell that, although maybe a little bit nervous, she was doing great. I was fairly freaked out. I could see the tops of the heads of a handful of doctors who are saying words like "clamps," "spreaders," "scalpel," etc.. Carly's upper torso was getting yanked and pulled on causing the parts of her that I can see, her shoulders and head, to be moving around quite a bit. After a few moments we heard our doctor mumble, "stop biting me!" Apparently Wyatt was none too pleased about getting removed from his nice, comfy home.
Then I heard it: I heard the baby scream! What a crazy, amazing, surreal feeling that is. I can't imagine anything in life will ever be able to mimic the feelings that I felt rush through my body when I first heard Little Baby Wyatt vocalize his announcement to the world that he indeed was gracing it with his presence. Thirty-three hours after stepping foot into the hospital we were finally rewarded with the gift of our son. Upon Wyatt's broadcast to everyone a woman quickly showed him to us and then whisked him away to a station where she cleaned him up and ran some tests.
For those who are wondering, the statistics behind Wyatt's birth are as follows:
Date: April 17th, 2013
Time: 3:10 am
Weight: 7lbs, 13oz.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH:
After about twenty minutes Carly was wheeled into an observation room where a couple of nurses ran some tests on her and to where we were able to officially meet Wyatt for the first time. It was in this room that we had our first truly personal and tender moments with our newborn son. I doubt I'll ever forget how it felt to hold him for the first time and the feeling I had as I looked at my wife and now the mother of my child.
We were pretty exhausted from the previous three days' events. Carly was sore and a little groggy but doing great. We had a bunch of visitors but didn't allow anyone to see him until about noon, nine hours after birth, so that we could relax and enjoy him ourselves for a little bit. Carly's grandma and grandpa both visited and both cried out of happiness of their newly bestowed title of "great-grandparents." One "highlight" of the day was that I got pooped on-Wyatt unloaded merconium, that thick tar-like poop, four times all over me. To make it even worse, he did this while there were visitors in the room.
Carly and Wyatt were learning how to breast feed with mixed results-Wyatt wasn't taking the latch as well as one might hope. As a result, the nurses brought a nipple shield to help assist in the process. After some trial and error this worked fairly well (there were the good easy feedings and then there were the feedings that were a little bit more of a struggle). The night was fairly uneventful as all three of us were able to get a really good night's sleep.
I was getting my pictures from everyone for my project, The World At One Time: Day One (I still have them and I've tried captioning them the best I could. I'm still working on the best way to post them all). Overall, day 2 was a great day as we seemed to have the hang of everything. A friend of mine came over and brought some celebratory cigars. We went to the dock and I was able to kind of just decompress a little. When I got back, however (and still feeling a bit loopy from smoking the cigar), the seemingly mythological and dreaded "SECOND NIGHT" happened. We thought we were prepared, we thought we would be able to handle any situation-we thought this "SECOND NIGHT" thing that we were warned about only happened to crappy parents. After about 12 hours of nonstop fussing and freaking out from Wyatt beginning at about 8 pm and not ceasing until around 8 am the following morning, we were proven either to be crappy parents ourselves or that this was something that happens to pretty much everyone.
(For those of you who don't know, everyone-from hospital staff to family members-warns newbie parents of the "second night." Apparently this is something that happens to just about everyone. The night of the baby's birth the baby sleeps really well as the birthing process for him is extremely exhausting. The second night, however, the baby is really confused as being born has caused him to enter a universe that is completely different from what he has come accustomed to over the course of his nine or so months inside mom's womb. As a result, a lot of babies tend to act like a-holes the night of his second day here on earth.)
One thing that completely caught me off guard from Carly was that she was already talking about having another child. Its been said that men wouldn't be able to bare the pain of childbirth. I'm still not entirely sure if my gender could go through the pains of childbirth however, I do know that if any of us had to ever go through the kind of pain and stress that my wife went through there is no way any guy ever would be willing to go through it again, much less discuss it just two days after the fact.
Exhausted from no sleep, everything we thought we believed in with handling Wyatt was destroyed. With that self-doubt diving deep under my skin I was thinking in my head, "how the hell are we going to be able to handle this?"
Although I ended up chewing on this qualm all day, a very exciting thing did happen on the third day of Wyatt's life: WE GOT TO GO HOME-our five day stay in the hospital was finally over and we could have Wyatt all to ourselves...Hold on a second, we don't get to take that hand dandy little red nurse pager home with us? We don't get to have someone on call at all times? Uh oh, shit is about to GET REAL NOW!!! Loading up the baby and putting him into the car and bringing him into our home for the first time was fairly nerve racking. Its at this point that my insecurities of whether or not I could do this, do this "dad" thing, kind of struck me. We were now the ones, Carly and I, who were going to be solely responsible for this person's existence; his well-being or lack thereof was now officially up to us.
Once I was done hyperventilating over these notions we were able to get Little Baby Wyatt home safe and sound. That night, quite opposite of the previous night, actually went pretty well. I really didn't sleep as the anxiety from the previous night's events were still fresh in my memory. However, with that aside, Wyatt slept great and let mommy and daddy sleep about six straight hours with only needing a feeding about halfway through.
Our first day without the hospital's assistance went pretty freaking good all things considered. Baby, like I mentioned, slept great. The whole day he was pretty cooperative. It was my niece's second birthday and thus their parents had a birthday party for her. We were a little hesitant to go and bring the baby but I'm glad we did-it gave everyone who hadn't seen Wyatt yet the chance to see him without having to bombard our apartment. Little Baby Wyatt slept through most of the time we were there but seemed really fussy for some time after we got home. After a little bit of struggling he slept pretty good through the night.
Wyatt fed really great. This was the first full day that Wyatt didn't fight Carly while trying to eat. We went to Carly's grandparents' house out in Northeast-about a fifteen minute drive. Wyatt was definitely a rock star-albeit a sleeping rock star. Everyone wanted to hold him and watch him and they in particular wanted to see his eyes. However, the entire three hours we were there he was sound asleep. Between the drive to Northeast that day and my brother's house in Lake City (about a 25 minute drive) one thing we learned early on about Wyatt is that a good car ride will definitely put him to sleep.
I could bore you with all of the details of every single day since Wyatt was born (he's now 130 days old) but I won't. However, there have been some highlights I feel that are worth noting.
About two weeks after Wyatt was born I was holding him in my hands and was having one of those cliche moments where I was thinking I had the cutest most adorable son ever. However, the next thought that crossed my mind was that "I bet even Adolf Hitler had people in his early life that thought he was cute and adorable too." This thought kind of dampened my mood. Since that moment anytime Wyatt starts acting like a pain in the ass I call him by his alter-ego nickname: Adolf. (By the way: Carly isn't a real big fan of the nickname; she prefers to call him a "dalek" after some sort of evildoers in a show she watches, "Dr. Who"-its some sort of nerdy thing of hers that flies over my head).
One disappointing thing I found about having an infant is that they seem to survive mostly on robotic-like instincts, especially in the first few weeks. For example, if you pet a cat she will purr giving you some indication that she's content and that you've done right by her. With a newborn there isn't that instant gratification at all; when you do something that you think should elicit a positive response there's just a blank stare and barely anything else. Around the age of four weeks Wyatt began to have social smiles and began to really give us responses that broke the purely instinctual type reactions we had seen up to that point.
Just a few weeks ago we took a road trip to Philadelphia to see some family. In the trip Wyatt went to his first baseball game (Phillies/Giants in Philadelphia), his second baseball game (Pirates/Cardinals in Pittsburgh), dipped his tootsies into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in Ocean City New Jersey (he hated that), and saw the Liberty Bell, among other adventures. Some of the cuter pictures of him from the trip can be found down below.
Well that's it, that's pretty much what its been like to raise a child in the first four months for us. In about a week we plan on introducing Wyatt to real food for the first time; we plan on it being pureed sweet potatoes. This should be fun...
|"Why, hello there!"|
Courtesy of Carly's friend, Jess M.
|"That's my name, don't ware it out!"|
Courtesy of Jess M.
|Wyatt, Carly, and I with a cracked bell of some sort|
|Apparently father and son have similar sleeping habits|
|Just chillin on the Jersey Shore|
|The first time he touches seawater...|
|...and he didn't like it (as he dug his nails into my right nipple)|
|First Buccos game|
|First Phillies game|
|"It's a prearranged friendship"|
|"What channel is the ballgame on?"|