Talk to ME Dr!

Everyone puts a lot of trust on doctors. I am not about to attack the profession. I respect it, I have doctors in my family. I have doctors that are my friends. That said they are still human beings and do not have WebMD downloaded into their brain. They make mistakes, your health is YOUR responsibility and also the life of your child.

After enduring the various videos the hospital made us watch. “You will kill your child driving home 2” followed by “Your child will die while they sleep 15.” You are petrified by the whole experience of childbirth and here comes the never-ending flow of information on how you will more than likely mess up somehow and put your child’s life in jeopardy. Did you know a simple infection can leave your child blind, or that talcum powder will give them asthma? Did you know that there also tons of unexplained reasons why a child just does not make it.

I feel sorry for everyone that has to go through any of this and lose a child, or even go through the pain of a miscarriage. I sincerely don’t think all the gloom and doom videos can help to prepare you mentally for a loss of that magnitude. So inside of this frame of mind think of how it will feel when a Dr start going through a chart and talking to a resident rather than talking to you.

Again, we have been very lucky, dare I say blessed that our little tyrant was very healthy. That said she did not cry a ton when she was born (which worries you because that is what you see on TV.) and she was also tiny. We had no clue about this, but on an early ultrasound they found something that the tech noticed. We were never informed and the Dr discussed it very non nonchalantly with the resident. First time hearing about this and other things that ended up being “normal” terrified me to no end. I was patiently waiting for the Dr to be done with the conversation and come and address us, when they both just left the room.

I was pretty livid.

Naturally I wanted someone to suffer the anguish and anxiety I was feeling because that is the productive thing to do. I kept it together and found a nice nurse that came in and went through the whole chart with us in detail and explain what she could. She did put in a note for them to come back and go through things with us.

A resident came by the next day and more terrified than helpful he did not say much. I did catch the Dr eventually and had a conversation with her. What she told me kind of baffled me.

She said she was very surprised. Most parents in that hospital did not want the details or even review the charts of the kids. She told me that our daughter is lucky because we were already ahead of the game by being involved and interested. I’m still shocked for many reasons.

– How do doctors become so used to patients not caring… even for their own children.
– Maybe the reason they give you all those videos is that more people take an active role?
– Am I just that paranoid?

I am thankful that everything was. Everything is normal with the baby. I am more relaxed about things now, but still super freaked out because being a control freak and having a child are pretty mutually exclusive. I can only hope for the best and be involved.

Watching a TV show gave a new dimension to this conversation. Without going into too much detail a summer camp for blind children talked about how the goal was for them to learn to become their own advocate. Not so much about educating their PE teacher about how they could be included, but the child saying hey I can play kickball if you use this ball that makes a sound. Or I can run with someone if you use a rope for me to hold with someone.

I am learning this parenting thing little by little, but the lesson here to me is that we need to be advocates for ourselves and teach our children the same. They need to be responsible for that advocacy and make sure they understand that it is important to speak up.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

And who the F@ck are you?

Motherhood is something that is hard to understand unless you see someone experience it. Society in the US has a really weird relationship with nudity. It is supposed to be shameful and nobody is supposed to see anybody else naked, yet the internet traffic’s highest percentage goes to porn. So someone is watching live nudes. All day, every day.

Boobs don’t offend me and never have. Something switched in my head when my wife started breast feeding, it is one of the most natural things I have witnessed and there is no shame on the practice at all. Not sure why people get all up in arms if someone feeds a baby in public. I do digress.

Our little tyrant was born in a teaching hospital, which means that there are double the people around because they are still “learning.” As a patient you do have the option to not let students be a part of your care. We did not mind people learning but at the same time wanted the birth to feel like an intimate experience.

That is the exact opposite of what happened.

We had met what we thought was all the staff that was going to be involved with the birth. Oh how wrong I was. Once the practice pushing moved to the actual pushing phase the room filled with about 15 people. I am not even exaggerating, from the 3 doctors already there and the handful of nurses we had met it multiplied and filled the whole room.

I did have a huge issue with one of the people, but more on that later.

The part that makes this difficult is that there are people coming into a very private moment and you have not even had a chance to learn their name. They all had some kind of role and I am sure they were there for our benefit more than anything else, but it was still very hard to get over the fact that a bunch of “strangers” are now going to be part of one of those once in a life time moments.

I know it is almost unrealistic to expect us to meet everyone before they come in and I am thankful that if something would have gone wrong there were plenty of people there with specific skill to deal with certain situations. Still, the intimate setting that a child birth could have been was lost on the sheer amount of people that came in when it was about to happen.

I think I would have digested the moment better but one of the nurses tried to push me away from the bedside because I guess she could assist the pushing better? Maybe she just wanted a better look. That really kind of pushed me over the edge and I said no, I will stay by my wife’s side. I’m glad I was part of it and the fact that I did not pass out.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

Hurry up and wait

The role of a father during a birth is kind of difficult to prepare for. Entertainment has always wrapped childbirth around the fact that the Dad either faints or is yelled at expletives during the “pushing” process. Other times they show the father pacing around outside until the baby cries. So I really had no clue about what to do or how to act. My wife kept telling me that it was a possibility that she might go into I hate you mode in the middle of it. I did not have an ounce of anxiety about my role, more about the birth in general. I did have a goal in my mind, lets wait at home as long as possible.

My wife works at a hospital. We had visited the “birthing” rooms and even visited the mother/baby triage area before a couple of times. I got used to the weird protocols of basically being non existent in most situations. “Wait here, they’ll call you when you can come in.” became pretty routine. The last visit before the birth was a “OMG my water broke.” which was met with me being extremely skeptic about the whole process. We went, we waited, they did not attempt to make my 8+ month pregnant wife any more comfortable at all. They sent us home and said, it was just the mucus plug. Yea, you learn about weird crap during this whole process and overproduction of something call mucus plug is part of the deal.

She was to be induced that week, we knew it was getting close, I knew she wanted the baby out but I told myself she will be miserable in the if she goes to early. My sister had spent 30 hours in “labor” and it was not a good experience at all. I knew that if they sent us home with what seemed like pre-labor pains it was not a big deal.

We spent that night home and during the night my wife did experience some contractions but they seemed to be hours apart still. I worked from home the next day just in case and during the morning the contractions seem to be happening closer but not every 15 minutes yet. After lunch things got fast and furious. We hopped in the car and headed to the hospital. At first it seemed like we had plenty of time, got some fast food quickly and headed there. I was even having a work call on the car when she said “DRIVE FASTER.” Then I knew things were going to happen and I probably made her wait a little too long.

I was wrong though, there were still hours until the actual birth happen but she was was getting ready for the pain to be controlled. Some friends had told us ask for the epidural as early as you can, and we did, and you know what it still took forever to get her from triage, to the room to actually get the epidural. It was a busy day for births, I think 10 people had come in before us. That said, we were in the hospital and the baby was coming that day.

This post is part of a series!
Hurry Up and WaitHere she comesAnd who the F@ck are you?Talk to ME Dr!

Constant Fear

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone

My wife finds it hilarious, I find it a little disturbing. The first words out of my mouth when the test came back positive were “I’ve never got anyone pregnant before.” You would think something more eloquent might have come to mind, but nope, that is what came out. I had been in long term relationships before that could have produced a child, even tried to have a baby. It really never worked, not even a little bit.

I had seen friends and acquaintances go through the horrible miscarriage roller-coaster. I had even accepted the reality that my only way to parenting was going to be adoption. I respect adoption and in many ways admire it, in fact it might be something that we still do some day. I never felt any level of failure because of not having a kid before, but I knew for the other person in the relationship it was at times devastating.

I always tried to not only stay positive but encourage the other person. I still to this day believe that procreation should not be the only reason to enter a relationship. To me that is silly and it basically diminishes the many reasons to have a life long partner.

Still, I never got anyone else pregnant before.

Then the fear started to set in. I overthink things and have become very good at rationalizing fears and casting them out, this one was a new one though and one that does not go away with a good night of sleep. The viability of a fetus is measured in percentages. The genetic testing also gives you percentages. Numbers, number and more numbers. The thing that normally give me solace provided little or no comfort.

Things started to calm down as some milestones came and went. Ultrasounds help! as a Dad try not to miss them. They bring a level of reality and calm you down a bit. Information is always a double edge sword that can work against you but try your best to just take it for what it is. I did lean towards the side of wanting to know more to be prepared.

I say fear is the new thing in my life, constant fear that something can go wrong. Funny enough it was one of the feelings that I was less familiar with because growing up the way I did I had experienced things that had made me not fear much in life. Now the health and well being of our child is a constant fear that I am starting to get used to and channel in a positive way.


So it finally happened, the thing I had pretty much thought was out of the question after my 20s went by without having a child. My wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Funny enough, back in those days I would have been trying to come up with a cool name to talk about her on the blog and keep some semblance of “privacy.” Now most of that is gone. If you want to know who I am, you can find that pretty quickly and by proxy you could find my who my wife and child are. That said, we did take some precautions and decided to not blast baby pictures all over the place and just keep something up that we can “control” who has access to them.

I did not think I would feel this different after becoming a parent. The buildup to the day was somewhat interesting with people that barely knew me telling me how I was going to be a great father. I think I will be, I know I will try my best. It still feels odd when someone says it. Even in her tender age of a week old I can already tell she seems to be comforted by the sound of my voice. I also cannot really take credit for that since it was my wife who diligently reminded me to sing to her belly every night.

There are many things that are still unknown, but the most amazing part is how much of it really comes naturally if you let it. Fear is something I am not used to. I am not an anxious person by nature, a little paranoid and someone that loves to plan is more my thing… but with a kid that is not how it works. There is really no control over the outcome of a lot of things now. It does feel amazing though. It is magical to see how the world changes when you start to look at it through a child’s eyes. I know soon she will go from differentiating some shapes and sounds to actually recognizing faces and voices.

Happy is not a word that can accurately describes how I really feel. Full of love is probably a lot closer.