Since returning from the break I’ve thought about the best way to cover the five months between posts. If you’ve met me, you know I’m chatty. I’ve been called a lot of things, but I’m sticking with chatty. I figured it would be best to hit the highlights so I could get this blog going before Cristian goes off to college.
High-Risk Pregnancy-Because of her age (42 on the baby’s due date) and medical history (two miscarriages) Esther’s OB/GYN was a high-risk specialist. This meant doctor’s appointments every other week and lots of sonograms. In addition to maintaining a strict diet and regular weigh-ins, she was restricted from cycling, running and Zumba. The doctor, an avid Republican, loved a lively political debate. More than once Esther asked me to steer the conversation towards politics so she could avoid a lecture for gaining an extra pound or two from the last weigh-in.
It Was an Active Pregnancy-Despite the restrictions Esther qualified for this year’s New York City Marathon. Instead of running she walked the nine qualifiers, finishing 11 races overall, including two half marathons and a ten-miler (yes I sound like a proud husband). Walking the More Half Marathon with her taught me it’s harder to walk a half than run one. Most memorable was Cristian’s end-zone dance at the end of a 5K race at Met Life Stadium. It scared the hell out of the paramedics giving us a story we still tell.
The Baby Shower-Like its cousin the bridal shower, baby showers are a great way of filling your home with tons of free stuff—but it’s not really free—it comes at a cost. I had to be there. In olden times, women went to baby showers while the men stayed home. The father’s involvement was limited to loading and unloading the car afterwards. It was a good system that worked fine. I’ve always been a believer of “If it ain’t broke.” Over the past few years baby showers went coed. Men are now required to attend, not just the expectant fathers but the husbands and partners of the female guests. Why would a guy want to go to Hooters for beer and wings when he can play games like Baby Bingo?
Parenting Classes- Esther signed us up for a series of parenting classes. It was a good idea—or maybe it was a hint. The classes covered feeding, bathing changing diapers, and Basic Parenting 101—perfect for a baby spaz like me. I didn’t go to the breast feeding class because she felt it would make the other women uncomfortable. I told her I’d leave the camera home.
Oh That Weight Gain-Not hers—mine. It’s common for expectant fathers to gain weight during their wife’s pregnancy—I just didn’t think it would happen to me. Is this foreshadowing? We both gained weight (25 pounds for me) the difference is Esther produced a son, I produced a belly.
Hormones Hormones Hormones-Every father has more than a few war stories about their wife’s hormones going berserk. These hormones hijack your sweet lady giving her more personalities than Sybil. They are no joke, if you’re lucky it only feels like getting a prostate exam from a doctor with fat sausage fingers. Why are you putting your head in the oven Frank? Don’t worry they pass when the baby is born. Suck it up and focus on the big picture.
When in Doubt Laugh-It’s my motto for life and it helped me when things got stressful. Pregnancy is a unique experience, and those experiences have given me enough material for a 20-minute set at any Comedy Club or a maybe a blog. I survived Lamaze Classes, unsolicited advice, and baby name suggestions (tomorrow’s post) with a joke or two. Sure it cost me a few looks and maybe a lecture (see the previous paragraph on hormones) but it helped.