2 Months of Fatherhood Down, Infinite to Go

We’ve survived. Me, Aliana, and Lilly have survived the first few months are parenthood. It’s been quite the trip so far, with the birthing experience, the NICU experience, the family, the friends, a reunion, a wedding, the day care search, the acid reflux, and the real fear of job loss (mine). My momma never said life was like a box a chocolates, but she has always said, and still says to this day, that “it will all work out in the end.” I’m 25 years old and so far it has all worked out. I can only assume another 25 years of trial and tribulation are ahead of me with everything ultimately working out in the end.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I have taken well over 1,000 pictures of Aliana since her birth. I was just going through some of them yesterday and I can’t help but smile at nearly all of them. I’ve even made a few separate folders for the dark and blurry pictures. I don’t want to delete any!

Here’s to being a daddy!

My Aliana

Well, I tried…

Need That Pick-Me-Up

Well, I tried to go without coffee today in an attempt to spend one entire day in caffine detox since Ali’s birth, but it turned out to be a failed attempt. I got to the office at 7:10AM, and by 8:00AM I was face-in-palm asleep. At least the effort was there. Right?

I’ve done some research recently on being a first time dad and the realizations and struggles that come our way post birth. The take-away was that no matter how prepared we thought we were as fathers, we weren’t even close. In fact, we showed up to the pier days after the boat set sail. This pretty well describes me, the dad. I was spot on with all the pregnancy stuff (except the preggie pops), but did not even consider what I would do once Ali entered the world, let alone how to take care of her. Now that Ali is 5 1/2 weeks old the shock of parenting has worn off, and the day-to-day exhaustion is now more of a lifestyle. I don’t want to call it a struggle, because being a new parent isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not easy.

Sleep deprivation aside, my most favorite part of each morning, and one of the reasons I feel so blessed, is I get to witness Ali and Lilly snuggled up in bed together under the early morning light for a few minutes before walking out the door. The two of them look so peaceful it pains me to leave but I know with the love they have for each other they are going to be just fine until I come home.

Doctor’s Visit – 2nd HEP B Shot :(

Aliana stopped by the Doctor’s office for a weigh-in and her second HEP B Shot (totally uncool). The good news is Aliana is now 7lbs 14oz! That’s nearly a 3 pound gain from when she had a visit to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The bad news is Aliana had a wicked cry after her shot. I wasn’t able to attend due to work, but Lilly’s sister was with her through the ordeal.

"You best dink again if you plannin' on stickin' me wit dat needle!" - Aliana

Luckily this doctor’s visit didn’t involve a setback. As soon as it was all over Ali jumped on the boob and ate like a Champ!

Month One

Mother Theresa

For anyone wondering where we have been, we’ve been here, at home, wayyy to busy and preoccupied to make a post, lol; but I’m here now to give you a quick update post birth story. Today Aliana is one month old and has definitely made herself known to the world. It’s been quite the month, probably the busiest, most stressful month we’ve ever had, EVER. We been really high, really low, and really freaked out, but wouldn’t change it for anything. The entire experience has been one to remember and we’re trying to document as much as possible so it will hopefully never be forgotten. We’re trying to prevent the… “Wait, she was once a baby? She used to be cute and quiet? When was that?”

Little One

Aliana James Kahrs

Aliana James Kahrs

Born at Home on May 22, 2011 at 1:30 AM

We did it. We’re parents. It blows my mind to say that out loud. I cannot feel any more love towards anyone than I do for this child. Trust me, I have cried the tears to prove it, should proof be necessary.

In just one week, Andrew and I feel like we’ve lived a month with Aliana. Our little girl went from being born safely at home to spending three long, extremely stressful days in the NICU at Albany Med. I’m pretty sure this applies to both of us, but I have never, ever, experienced such grief, pain, and concern over anything in my entire life. This being, a little bean, has consumed my life. It’s in her little hands, and I couldn’t be more joyful about it.

I struggled over what to title this entry. Alternate titles considered include “A birth story,” “A home birth,” or my personal favorite “What in God’s name was I thinking?!?!”

This is a story about how Aliana came into our lives. I promise you it will be long (and includes pictures!), so click the link below to continue reading part 1.

In this post:

Behind the Name

Labor and Delivery

Continue reading

hands and feet

32 weeks and 6 days (7 weeks left)

i can feel hands and feet now, or rather, i can feel the overall shape of hands and feet.

i’m having some trouble distinguishing which is which, because her back is on my spine when i feel her appendages best. so, since i can’t quite tell which end is her head and which is her butt (which is very easy to distinguish), it’s hard to say which is a foot unless she were kicking like she’s swimming. usually, it’s just a big poke that slides around or in and out. it feels like a big flat roundness. today i was able to feel that one of these round pancakes was slightly long, so it may have been a foot, but i’m not 100% positive.

it’s so awesome! it makes me more anxious to see her. it’ll be happening soon! at this point, she can be born somewhat safely. It would have to be a hospital birth, because she would be considered premature. at worst, she would need to spend a month in the nicu, but most neonatologists would probably not be phased by it at all, the survival rate is so high. once we get to 36 weeks she can safely be brought into this world, at home or in hospital.

there is some preparation left before we’re ready for our daughter to make her appearance. first, our baby shower is on may 7. we’ll be traveling down to long island where most of our families live to celebrate with the perez’s and the kahrs’.  we also (and probably most importantly) have to get our birthing kit, which will provide some extra tools for Michelle (our midwife). this includes things like tape for the umbilical cord, (there’s no other way to say this) piddle pads, and other little items in this vein. it’s getting very exciting around here!

Much Better

29 weeks and 5 days (this mean’s there’s only 10 weeks and 2 days left!!!!)

I’ve been doing much better the last two weeks, especially the last few days.

Andrew has actually made me laugh very hard a couple of times, and that hasn’t happened in a while. We’ve also had some good conversations about preparing for the birth and baby. We’ve had some miscommunications about what our expectations are of each other, and also talked about some things that we need to sacrifice in order to defer to each other a bit more. Andrew has been amazing in taking over the upkeep of our house, but there is still more that I can do so that he’s not doing everything all by himself. We’re certainly working towards being more supportive of each other in the ways the other needs. I think we’ve been trying to do it in the way that we expect in which to be supported, so it’s time to take a step back and do the reverse.

Our friends Laura and Nick welcomed a beautiful little girl, Elise Christine, on Tuesday. I haven’t had the chance to see them just yet, but I am cooking and delivering dinner for them on Wednesday. Congratulations to the Marcheses!

Very busy, but a hard week to get through

Okay, so last post I tried to be funny by posting a little poem about my belly button. It helped liven things up a little last week, but today I’m back to being just a little upset and tired.

So last friday, a virus spread throughout the network at work. My place of employment deals with a lot of sensitive information, so we have practically an iron curtain protecting our systems. Many workers are given laptops for travel, and they can use these with their ISPs at home for personal use. For work use, they have to log on to all these systems like Citrix to get into our network. So, what IT thinks happened is that someone brought in a virus from bringing their laptop in and connecting.

They don’t know why the virus targeted the computers it affected, but mine was included. I had my computer confiscated and reimaged yesterday. All my files are physically gone from my machine, but are backed up in storage. My projects have been put on a stand still. I provided them with a list of which local folders I needed to do my everyday jobs, but they’re prioritizing everything and working hard to clear all the high priority folders that the 40-50 employees need to do their work.

This has added a significant amount of stress in my life. Although the IT guy assigned to work my computer was able to return the physical machine and software really quickly, he doesn’t work in our Security department, and can’t tell me when items will begin to be returned. I am working on the most basic computer set up, and not having my graphics available to make my articles and publications is very frustrating. I have to start from scratch. Mind you, it took me a year and a half to build up my portfolio at work, and it’s all gone.

I have been so frustrated, and God forgive me, but today someone pushed a little too hard on my already frazzled nerves, and I sent a very short and somewhat snarky reply to an e-mail from someone who I’m sure was trying to be nice and helpful, but their pointing out a perceived error wasn’t what I needed at that moment. I don’t know if they picked up on the smart reply, but when I got home and thought about it, I regret letting my emotions get the better of me. Like I said, I’m sure they thought they were being helpful, and in all honesty could have just not replied at all.

I am very, very sorry for replying the way I did, and think it’s not a good idea to reply again apologizing tomorrow. That might be weird. And I think my sister would advise me to just let it go….. right M?

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day, and although I might not get anything back tomorrow, I can at least get started on recreating my graphics or look for copies on the shared network drives. I learned my lesson to never save anything locally either, but rather on the shared network drive. The reason why I stopped saving in my personal network drive is because I ran out of space, and I guess I never thought of being able to use the shared drive for personal storage… Well, like I said, lesson learned.

Definitely praying for more patience before I go to bed tonight!

 

Ode to the Button

Your shape was decided in 1987
And 23 years later have received
An unexpected makeover.

Once an innie, now a flattie,
You’ve revealed your true shape within,
Like a lotus chip, your compartments now
Reveal spaces previously unknown in your natural state.

Soon, the flattie will become an outtie,
and you’ll poke through my clothes.
No popper stopper for you (sorry Jeff),
I promise to embrace your changes gracefully,
And allow you to finally see the sun.

ps: the hair you've sprouted grosses me out.

 

One word never used to describe being pregnant: miserable

Week 26, day 6

Okay, quick topic here. The last few weeks has brought on new aches and pains, particularly, in the ribs. I don’t feel much bigger than I was a month ago, but she’s definitely growing herself. I feel her more and more each day as she grows. She’s quite the little punk too, especially now that she can reach my ribs with her feet. She kicks, she prods, she pushes up against my belly and it feels like she’s a chest burster trying to bust out. She’s made me cry a few times with how much her pushing and shoving has hurt. But, that’s all in adjustment. It’s not so bad now but I’m sure I’ll be listing new pains as she gets a little larger.

What is bad are the mood swings. How one minute I can be absolutely ready to bawl or scream at everyone and the next I’m all ladeedah and laughing. One thing I wasn’t ready for, nor warned about, were the days of absolute misery and utter loneliness.

There are some days where I don’t even want to wake up. And when I get home from work, I just lay on the couch and either whine or cry in complete silence. Being pregnant is hard work! There is so much going on inside your body that just zaps all your energy and leaves you feeling so empty and alone.

I know I shouldn’t complain, God has given me quite a gift here, but one thing I wish is that I was warned there would be bad days when you just want it to be over, just to feel some sort of control over your life again. Knowing this might not have helped me prepare for the actual feeling of it, but at least I would know that I’m not alone. To know that I’m not the only one that has felt this way while pregnant would have been comfort enough.

For now, I don’t really have many people I can really talk to about it (in terms of those who have experienced this). Andrew has been a great supporter throughout all of these ups and downs. I’m sure he’s had whiplash from the sudden (mean) outbursts  and the rebounding laughter two minutes later. But when all I’ve really needed is someone to hold me or rub my head while I try to fall asleep he’s always right there next to me comforting me and trying his best to make me feel better. I think he’s figured out that there really are no words necessary.

A true ally. I am soooo thankful to have such an understanding partner in all of this. I don’t know where I would be at this point if he wasn’t how and who he is.