Monday, April 30, 2012

All Apologies

I'm going to apologize right now if every post for the next long while has something to do with Sam.  But he happens to be what is going on right now, so I'm gonna write about him, dammit.  At least you won't have to hear any more about what's going on with the house.

I played him his first piece of recorded music today:

He was fussy, then when the music started he started smiling and paying attention.  He really seemed to enjoy it.

Also, a few minutes ago we were sitting on the couch together (OK, he was sleeping), and The Verve's 'On Your Own' came on, which is a great fucking song, and I love it.  And I've always loved the whole idea of the song, 'you come in on your own and you leave on your own...etc.'  But as I listened this time I realized that it's kind of flawed.  You really don't come in on your own.  Or at least you might not.  You might come in with a whole team of people waiting for you and shouting for you and pushing you and welcoming you and trying to make sure that you come in as easily and pleasantly as possible.

So maybe you don't have to leave on your own, either.

I have to say, this whole experience has totally messed up my emotions.  Blaaagh.

I'm going to go into work tomorrow for a few hours in the morning.  We'll see how that goes. 

Right now Jeannie is making a cardboard mustache to put on Sam.  No lie.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Samuel's Origin Story

So, our son Samuel was born on Thursday, April 26th, at 11:07AM.

The info:

First name:  Samuel (or Sam, or Sammy, or Samsonite, or Samosa, whatever.)
Middle name:  Anderson
Last name:  O'Brien
Weight @ birth:  7lbs, 15.6 oz.
Length @ birth: 20.5 inches

The story (from my POV):

So on Tuesday night at around 11pm, Jeannie and I were just getting into bed after a day of not doing much:  she had a midwife appointment, we ran some errands, we sat around.  So around 11 she starts having contractions, and with each contraction she starts having diarrhea.  And the contractions are about 15 minutes apart.  So every 15 minutes she's getting up to be in pain and poop.  Until sometime in the middle of the night when she starts throwing up with every contraction, too.  So she's starting things off not in a good way, because normally early in labor you should be resting as much as possible, drinking a lot of water, and eating some so you've got energy for the rest of the whole thing.  So she's able to do none of that.  And she's gotten no sleep because everything started happening right at bedtime. 

So Wednesday morning, after a night of getting sleep in 5 minute doses, I call the midwife to check in and tell her what's going on.  She tells me to try and get Jeannie to drink some Gatorade or Pedialyte and call her back when the contractions are about 5 minutes apart.  So we spend most of Wednesday with Jeannie either in bed, in the bathroom, or slowly walking around the house with pots and pans in every room in case she needs to throw up.  Until around 4pm, when the contractions were finally starting to speed up, and were about 6-8 minutes apart.  So I called the midwife again, and said look, she hasn't been able to keep any fluids down, and the contractions are about 6 minutes apart, and can you please just take a look at her.  So the midwife tells me to bring Jeannie to the hospital so she (the midwife) can check her (the Jeanners) out.  So we throw our hospital bag in the car and very slowly walk out to the car, and then very cautiously yet deliberately drive downtown to Mercy hospital. 

We get to the hospital around 5pm, and go up to the delivery floor where they take her into a triage room and run all the normal tests on her, and discover that she has extremely high blood pressure and also is not dialated very much (3-4 cm.  She needs to be dialated 9-10 cm to deliver.)  But, because of her alarmingly high blood pressure (something like 180-something over 120-something), and the fact that her contractions were strong and regular, they admitted her into the hospital.  They told her that because of the high blood pressure, they would need to put her on magnesium to help prevent her from seizing (!!), and also that being on magnesium would make the whole process suck.

So we get admitted to our delivery room, and this is where the whole process got really weird and terrible (for me), and time stopped having any sort of meaning and everything.  So we get admitted to our room at probably around 6pm or so, and because Jeanners has been laboring for 19 hours at this point, and is still only 4-5 cm dialated and has a long way to go, she opts for the epidural to try and get some rest (epidurals basically numb you from the belly down so you don't feel the contactions as much).  So she got an epidural and was able to get a few hours of sleep (again, by this point time had stopped meaning anything, so I have no idea how long she slept or what time it was when we woke up) and rest, which was wonderful, and she woke up later and we talked a little bit about how wonderful the epidural was and how nice it was to be able to get some rest.  Oh, also the epidural helped her to stop throwing up, which was a good thing.  So anyway, after some time, that epidural wore off, and she was still only about 6 cm dialated, and the pain of the contractions was coming through again, but she still had a long way to go.  So they gave her another epidural, and she was able to rest for a little while, and then that one wore off.  And she was still only 6 cm dialated.

So I think at this point it's sometime in the middle of the night on Thursday morning, probably around 3 or 4am.  And the anesthesiologist (Dr. Wu) comes back in and says that she can't get any more epidurals, and he was a bit stymied about why they weren't really lasting very long and said that there was one more thing they could try but that it was something that they rarely ever used for vaginal deliveries, and it was called a spinal catheter.  He said that it was the same type of anesthesia that they used for a caesarean and that it is pretty much going to be 100% effective at stopping any pain.  So the Jeanners gives him a weak thumbs up and he comes back in a little while later and gives her the spinal catheter.  She's then able to sleep for a couple of hours.  I really have no idea how long.

So then at 7am on Thursday morning, a new midwife comes on.  Her name is Kate and she's probably late-20's or early 30's, maybe.  I feel very hungover because I haven't really eaten or drunk much and haven't slept much.  The Jeanners is awake, and the spinal catheter is wearing off, and she's about 8 cm dialated.  The baby has dropped really low (I should add here that the baby has been very low for a long time by this point, and that's part of the reason why there was a lot of pain.  Low baby + not enough dialation = pain.), and Kate decides to try and work some manipulation magic and try and get Jeannie to 10cm so she can start pushing.  I have no idea what Kate did, but she was able to move things around and somehow get Jeannie ready for pushing.  Jeannie, at this point, after 2 epidurals, the spinal catheter, the continuous magnesium drip, and maybe 4 hours of sleep in the last 32 hours, is pretty much just the shell of a person.  She's laying there, and she's getting maybe a minute of rest in between contractions, and they're hurting BAD, and she's is just 100% exhausted.  Nothing left. 

And then it's time for her to push.  And Kate is there at Jeannie's feet, and there's a nurse named Tiffany that's holding her left leg, and I'm holding her right leg, and every time there's a contraction, she pushes about 3 or 4 times for ten seconds.  And I have no idea how she did it, because she seriously had NOTHING LEFT, but for about 3 hours she pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed.  And then Samuel was born.

So that's how he got here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

SAO is ready for action.

He doesn't always have that gunk all over his eyes. They put that on there. I like him.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let the Waiting Begin?

Today is the baby's due date, although at this time (1:07pm), Le Tigre has shown no signs of wanting to leave Chez Womb de Jerns. Our plan is, if nothing's happened by this evening, we go out for spicy food. Also been trying to do lots of walking, etc. I've been off work since Friday, and I have to say, I'm really happy with the way things have worked out, timing-wise. The last couple of days have been great - getting little things done, walking around, getting a little bored at times, eating a lot, resting, talking a lot. Really been kinda nice, I think. The other day Jerns said she was reading through some old blog posts o mine and they made her laugh a lot and were a good way to remember all the shit that was going on at the time. That was nice. That's pretty much why I still like writing in the blog. Our memories really are so bad, and time has started moving so fast that it's nice to have something to pinpoint dates and events and stuff. Last night as I was laying in bed in the middle o the night, I was thinking about time, and how at a certain point in life it seems to all of a sudden strap you onto the front of a roller coaster and just start moving faster and faster. To me it feels like swimming in the ocean, and for childhood and adolescence and up until my mid-twenties I was just swimming around out there, la dee da, no real sense of movement or momentum, and then all of a sudden a wave starts to build right about the time I hit 30, and right about now I can feel the momentum of the wave pushing me towards the shore, and I haven't started flipping around or tumbling yet but I'm sure that's on the way (probably 40's and 50's and 60's), and really I guess the shore is senility or death or maybe just blissful old age, but the power of the wave is pretty strong and riding it and trying to stay on top of it is really the game of the whole thing. Today I was able to salvage data off of an external hard drive that's been failing by putting it in the freezer. Hmmm. Who knew that would work? Thanks, internet geeks. I'm now off to clean off my dirty body. POSTSCRIPT: So I just published this post and it seems that this new blogger publishing thing has done away with all of my paragraph breaks and everything. Hmmmm. Well, enjoy this post On the Road Original Scroll style.

Friday, April 20, 2012

No News is Good News

No news here. Jeannie told me the other day that my previous post might make people think that I'm homophobic or anti-gayness. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I have some close acquaintances who are full-on gay, and some of my best friends are mostly gay. Drew and Eric, I'm looking directly at you. Oh, and BJ.

Today was my last day at work for a few weeks, which is pretty awesome. I know that once the baby is here I will be willing to cut off my fingers for a good night's sleep, and that when I don't get a good night's sleep I pretty much hate life no matter what, but right now none of that seems to matter because I'm going to get days off of work. So I'm looking forward to being off work. Tomorrow morning the J-Dog and I are gonna start the day off right with a lumberjack breakfast and a nice walk. Then we're gonna put a 2nd coat of paint in the baby's room, I'm gonna clip my fuckin' toenails, and I'm gonna give myself a haircut. Bam! Try and top that for a perfect day.

Well, Jerns is waiting for me in bed, so I guess I should probably go to bed. Good night!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

For the Ladies and/or Gays

The baby is due in one week. The bag for the hospital is packed and ready to go.

I am realizing that at any moment the Jeanners and I might have to go to the hospital, and then once the baby's born we'll be busy with learning all the new baby stuff, so potentially there might be a decent stretch where I don't get to update the blog.

During that time, I would like this picture that Jeannie took of me the other day to be the picture you see when you come here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Non-Facebooking Mofos

Hello people out there who don't Facebook or are not my Facebook friends,

Please consider donating $1.00 or more to my friends' (The Schluetermetz', they feature prominently in this blog) Kickstarter campaign. They are raising money to take 2 plays that they wrote and produced to NYC.

Donate HERE.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Wisdom from the Grave

It's Wednesday morning, I'm off work. I've got some wiring to do today, wiring which will require me to shut off the power to the whole house, and the Jeanners is coming home at noon-ish, so I've only got a few hours to do it, but writing in the blog was on my list of things to do for yesterday, and I didn't get a chance to do it, so I'm taking the time to do it now. Other things from yesterday's list that didn't get done: buy paint, and wire.

The other day I was driving home from work, and I was thinking about how these days that are happening right now are probably the last days of my life that I won't be a parent (barring any serious tragedies), and how weird that is, and then I started thinking about what if I died when the kid was real young, and what if the kid never knew me and stuff like that. And then I started thinking about the different ways in which the kid would be able to get a sense of who I was/am, and of course there would be stories from the Jeanners, and stories from friends, and this here blog ain't a terrible way, either, although I think it probably presents a dumber and more silly side of me than is entirely accurate. So then I started thinking, well, if there were like 3 things that I would want the kid to know, what would those things be? And the three things were kind of like lessons, basically saying, "Well, here are the things that I've found to be true during my time here. Here they are and make the best use of them that you can." So, without further ado, here they are:

1. You often cannot control the things that will happen to you, you can only control how you react to them. Whether you are happy or not usually depends on how you react.

2. Everything changes, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. If you are feeling good now, expect to feel bad later. If you are feeling bad now, expect to feel good later. Don't get too comfy.

3. Some days life feels too short, some days life feels too long. However it might feel on a particular day, it is always: impermanent. Live accordingly. Enjoy the things around you while they're around you, and try to waste as little time as possible on something once you decide you don't enjoy it. Easier said than done.

4. The best decision I ever made was to decide that loving Jeannie and spending time with her was the most important thing in my life, that as long as we were together then anything else in life that happened would be tolerable, and that without her company nothing in life would really be right. I decided then and there that I would do whatever it takes to be with her. I remember making this decision as if it was yesterday, and it came out of a nervous breakdown-type-thing att the end of college that was probably the worst time of my life. So, as Brian Eno has said, "Beautiful things grow out of shit." Once you know that you love someone or something, commit. It doesn't have to be any sort of official commitment or anything, just a sentence in your brain and in your heart that you can go back to when things are hard or aren't working as you planned.

Ok, that's all I've got. Futurebaby (aka Le Tigre), if you're reading this and I'm not there, BE GOOD AND HAVE FUN.

To wire.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Welcome Back, Mr. Bookshelves

For a few years now our bookshelves have been in the basement, holding our stored stuff and getting dirty in the process, no available room to put them in. Our books have been in boxes either up in the attic or down in the basement, depending on which area was being worked on at the time. Now that our living room is getting into shape, I was able today to clean off the shelves and bring them upstairs. Tonight, the J-Dog and I will bring up some of our books and fill them up (the shelves, not the books. The "them" refers to the shelves.) O happy day!

The Jeanners' parents were here for the weekend, visiting and helping out and delivering baby goods from family in the Lou. So, we now have a crib, and some rocking chairs, and a bassinet, and all sorts of other crap that we will be able to store our baby in. We had a good visit with her folks, although it seemed short, but that's probably because I had to work on Saturday and then Jeannie and I had birthing class on Sunday, and I worked again on Monday, etc. So that's probably why it seemed short. Oh, we also picked up a cute little rug for the baby's room yesterday. It's yellow and blue and red and green.

Where's Rico Riley been? Have you been wondering that, too?

Writing this blog post has given me a chance to procrastinate going outside and changing the oil on our lawn mower and perhaps even...mowing the lawn. I normally enjoy mowin the lawn but I just don't feel like it today. But it was on the list that I made last night of things that I wanted to get done today, so I'd better do it. That way, I will have a warm feeling of accomplishment as I tuck myself into bed tonight.