November 4, 2009

Anticipation of things to come

Originally posted on Dad Camp:

I’m not sure how I got my views of what raising a newborn will be like, but apparently they are pretty off.

I realized it when my wife and I were discussing ditching cable. She said it would be great to have at those times our baby won’t sleep and we have to be up with him/her. I told her I’d just play some games on our Wii while I get they baby to sleep…so I won’t need cable.

I guess I kind of thought you just pick the child up when it cries, it stops, you keep it close to you for a bit and then put it to sleep. You see the only experience I’ve had with a baby waking in the middle of the night happened less than a year ago when we had friends in town and I was left with baby.

When he woke up crying I totally freaked out and called Staci to ask her what to do. She told me to figure it out. I did…I grabbed him from his pack and play at a full arms length in case of wetness. When I realized we were all good there I put him on my lap and swiveled in a chair for a few minutes. Then we both fell asleep. It was a piece of cake.

Well, Staci let me know I was lucky…it wouldn’t be so easy…there would be no Wii playing while I have our baby on my chest. Instead there will be crying, pooing, peeing more peeing, bottle filling and more. From there something clicked in my head. Something that has not gone away. Something probably equally as wrong as my first impression. I turned a complete 180.

Right now I’m expecting the first couple months to be a M.A.S.H. style meatball surgery war zone. I now picture our child, due in January, as the king or queen of total chaos. I picture zero sleep, a bunch of crying, pets freaking out, me running around like a fool looking for bottles, diapers and the baby I misplaced.

Staci and I do have a plan for taking care of the baby. I go until 3 A.M. since I can go to sleep at any time but if I wake up a minute early I’m completely useless (fair warning to my employer.) We’ll also have a ton of bottles so misplacing all of them will be hard, but I like the challenge…I think I can lose them all. I misplace things like a pro. I also have a plan for having diapers on both floors of the house so they are always ready to go.

Still although we have plans for the things that I irrationally feel will happen I can’t shake the feeling that the first few months will be M.A.S.H.-like. Super crazy, emotional, scary yet pretty hilarious to the outside viewer. I’m hoping in the next three months I can get another idea of what it will be like stuck in my head. I don’t care if it’s wrong, I’d just like the anticipation to be of a little less chaos.


  1. For me, the most surprising thing was discovering that I couldn't read. For months leading up to my daughter's birth I was stockpiling books and magazines, so sure I could read them on maternity leave. I had this (crazy!) image of myself, sitting in the rocking chair, nursing the baby in one arm, book balanced in the other hand.

    Unfortunately, however, once the baby was actually here, I quickly realized that if there was a safe way to nurse a baby with just one arm while holding a sharp-cornered hardcover inches from her spongy little skull, I certainly couldn't figure it out.

    So here we are 18 months later, and those books are still sitting on my nightstand, completely covered in dust (no time to clean!) and when I do get a chance to read, it's 'What to Expect: The Toddler Years' or 'Parents Magazine,' and it's usually out of necessity in situations like 'Uh oh- should the baby be eating chocolate- can they have chocolate? Is it fatal for them like it is with dogs?' or 'Why doesn't she have any teeth yet'.

    So it's definitely a good idea to keep the cable. You'll need it for those times when your eyes are barely open because they're swollen from sheer tiredness, and you can't make a sound or turn on a light, but still have to sit up and remain (relatively) conscious while you desperately attempt to get the baby to fall back asleep before you do.

  2. The spongy skull freaks me out a bit, but the limp neck freaks me out more...I feel like if you don't watch it the neck could flip back and break...I know it's not true but still.


Took awhile... Here's an infographic of MF's first year

I finished this about a year ago just for my personal use but thought I'd share it. It's a visualization of MF's first year in n...