Saturday, March 20, 2010

Free At Last, and Grossed Out

When we went to the doctors office on wednesday Shannon finally got the word to be back on her feet. The excitement of that was only disapointing for the fact that we had got to see our baby every week. It was like getting to visit a great friend every week. It's not that the baby is not inside of her still, but we don't get to see the development which was unbelievable. The other week we got to see a 3D picture, which I will talk about next time.
To celebrate Shannon getting off of bed rest after church our friend Logan went to celebrate with us at the local coffee shop who had a St. Patricks day theme with Shamrock Shakes and a local musician who played the guitar and sang Irish songs as we played the worst game of scrabble in our lives. What was amazing over the last couple weeks were the people who took care of us as Shannon was on strict bed rest. Friends, family, and people from our church kept meals coming and visits a plenty as Shannon was caged in our bedroom.
Back to the doctors office. As some of you know I have a little bit of spermophobia. Stop it, I know what you are thinking. spermophobia is the fear of germs. Now because I work with special needs children, this is a dumb fear to have. And I wouldn't say it is necessarily a fear as a strong avoidance. I'm not always like this (or maybe I am and just don't notice). I don't know what brought this on. Maybe it was the fact I grew up in a super clean house. Maybe it was the experiment some guys and I did when we turned on a black light in the dormitory bathroom and saw what lives on the walls (don't do it for your own sanity), but I often avoid germs. Children of course enjoy carrying them the most. And I know they are good for you to build up immunity. But I have certain social norms like never, ever using dip that's been used to double dip (these persons should be shot).
So what grossed me out? Well, when we were at the doctors office first of all when the nurse was testing Shannon's urine, she didn't use gloves. I know my wife does not have the plague or anything, but how would this lady know that. Then it got worse. After testing the urine she just rinsed it out and put it in a bag and gave it back to Shannon for the next time. WHAT! I'm all for being green, but come on. Is the health care system that bad that we have to reuse urine sample cups? Then another friend told us that she should put it in the fridge so it doesn't start growing things. Growing thing, and urine cups in my fridge? I told Shannon to put that bag in a bag, and that bag in a bag, and that bag in a box, which needs to go in another bag and I'll think about having it in my fridge.
The sad fact is this, I know it's only going to get worse. People who know my fear keep telling me stories of birth and babies trying to gross me out. Well, we either run from our problems or embrace them. So bring it on baby. I guess I'm ready to go.
To my regular readers. I know I only have a couple followers but many readers. Join the blog. I'll post more the more I know people are following. And chime in. Without being vulgar, what are other nasty things I need to prepare myself for?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to Gain Sympathy Weight

A couple weeks ago I was busting my buddy Matt that he was allowed to lose his sympathy weight being his little girl was over half a year old already. But now I'm starting to understand the logistics behind gaining the weight. I always thought you chose to gain the weight to keep up with your wife so she did not feel bad about gaining weight herself. This is not in fact true. I'm finding out that the weight just happens. Since we found out Shannon is pregant she hasn't gained a pound. On the other hand after losing about 9 pounds since Christmas, I have gained back 2 pounds already. Here's where it's not really sympathy. I am not eating to keep up with Shannon's weight. I'm eating because she is eating. When she eats she doesn't eat a lot, but she is eating a lot of meals. And when 9 at night I see my wife eating a really good snack or another meal right next to me, I smell it, look at it, it looks good and I join her. So the sympathy should be for the husband, shouldn't it?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Marathon of a Different Kind

Back in October Shannon and I ran our first Marathon. 26.2 miles of pure pain and glory. We had a blast. Running the marathon was not as hard as one would think. The training, on the other hand, was brutal at times. When you run the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, you have several advantages over training. During the Marathon you have thousands of people cheering you on (even if you are near the back), you have a definite destination, a definite time restriction, and people to talk to and get to know while you are running. Training on the other hand you are usually by yourself, you are running the same strip of land many of times, and people who are watching you train have no idea if you are on mile 13 or 3.
Ironically the Steamtown Marathon this year is the same weekend as our baby's entrance into the new world. After watching baby shows, I guess we will be having a marathon of another kind. But this begs the question, what is harder, running a marathon or having a baby? Now I know some of you mothers are probably already getting defensive out there just because I'm asking this question, but can't we at least ask it?
A couple thoughts, just as a man. As we ran with a group of people in the marathon, this question came up. The couple women we were talking to said the marathon was harder physically than giving birth. Now this is just a small poll of a couple of women. Maybe other women would feel differently.
One thing that they noted about the marathon that was harder was the fact that you can drop out of a marathon (I believe about one in five people do), but you can't drop out of birth. It's hard to finish because you know you can stop. On the other hand (before women come to my door and light me on fire) I think giving birth would be harder because there is no working up to it. There is no six plus months of going through more pain every couple days to get ready for the big day. So I guess I would be interested to hear if others have an opinion on this. What is harder, running a marathon or having a baby? Or are there other things that women think would be harder than having a baby?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going in Slow Motion

For those of you who know me know that I like to live life at 90 miles per hour. I get bored real fast (I've tried not to be like this, but it's just who I am). I am a multi-tasking feind, and like to have something planned all the time. I think this comes from my childhood of being in a family that was always busy and productive with work or fun. And today they proclaimed those horrible words, Shannon needs to be on bed rest. Now don't get me wrong.
I'm happy for her. I have been taking her with me at 90 miles per hour for years. So she needs a break. But she has only been on bed rest for about five hours and it's driving me crazy already. We have canceled previous engagements for the next week. And this is keeping us at home. Luckily my buddy Logan came over to hang out tonight. I hope this doesn't last long so we can get back to life, per say. But at the time we are moving in slow motion. On the upside, we are getting more time together and the rest that we both need.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Going Public

We have spent the last week letting friends and family know that we are expecting. Today we are going public with the information. It has been a fun week of seeing excited faces at the news. My parents, grandparents on my mom's side, and grandma on Shannon's side all received a flower with a care that read "Happy Valentines love Tim, Shannon, and Baby." That was really fun. Then, like Shannon's parents, others unfortunately found out through our trip to the ER this last week. We are nervouse about going public. One, who did we forget or who will be upset that they didn't know before the masses. Hopefully everyone will be gracious. Second, with our scare the other day, what will happen if we tell everyone and we still end up having a miscarriage. But we are excited, and excited to finally tell everyone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mountains, Valleys, Mountains

For the average person, when you find out you are pregnant, you are on a mountain top. The only way one can experience a mountain top is by experiencing a valley, and vice a versa.
On my way home from work yesterday Shannon called me histerical letting me know that she was having problems, major problems. In fact, and for her sake I won't share the details, she was all but sure that we had had a miscarriage. I told her that I would stay on the phone with her until I got home, but she said that it was ok, and I raced home to be with her.
When I got home she was a mess. She was sure the baby was gone. I tried to consol her as she let me know she had called the doctor and that the doctor wanted to potentially see her the next day.
Here's where my making fun of a coworker for being paranoid about her kids has backfired on me. I didn't like the answer of tomorrow. I called my sister-in-law Kelsey, who works in the OB ward where we will be deliving hopefully one day. She told us that we should go to the ER to get things checked out.
I called a couple people to ask them to pray, and called our parents to let them know about what was happening. My dad could tell that we were not in good shape so he and my mom came and took us to the hospital. Later they were relieved by Shannon's parents. One thing I have to say, it's great to have family and friends who are so supportive.
While making some calls I had a breakdown when I was on the phone with one of my best friends Matt. After getting off the phone I broke. I laid on the couch, put my face in the pillow to muffle the sound and just lost it. I went up, held Shannon, and she saw that I was visibly upset. I thought it would bother her, upset her more, that she would want me to be strong for her. She told me she was happy to see me upset because she needed to know that I was upset too.
We got down to the ER about 6PM, having already thought the worst. They did the best they could do with the few people they had, but it was painfully slow. It was almost an hour and a half until we saw anyone to get blood drawn, three viles worth. We waited until almost 11 pm until we had a room and saw the doctor. During all this time Shannon laid there on the chairs, with small tears in her eyes, and often stairing into what seemed to be a bleak future. I sat nearby with the parents, every once in a while sitting on the dirty floor next to her holding her hand, running my fingers through her hair, letting her know that whatever happened, we would make it through it.
When the doctor got to see us, he was great. He kept things light but didn't make light of the situation. He congratulated us. I was confused and asked him, are we still at congratulations status? He told us the HCG was around 53,000, which he said was good. He told us two things, that either we were farther than we thought, or he wanted to know if we had twins in our families. This number sounded great, but it wasn't tangible.
Some time around 12:30 AM we had an ultrasound. I looked at these cloud-like images where I saw a picture of what looked like faces, but at this point that definitly couldn't be. Then she showed us some fluttering. She said that it was the baby's heart and it was beating at a good 125 beats per minute. What a relief. Back on the mountain top. I have seen that beating heart in my mind literally hundreds of times since last night. It has been the greatest thing I have ever seen in my life to this point. We got home and hit bed by 2 AM. And Shannon has just been taking it easy as I watch over her.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm Still Man, But I'm Watching Baby Shows

I grew up in the country where to the right of us our closest neighbor was about a quarter mile away. There were no metrosexuals in the Madden household. Many times my dad, brothers, and I would do your typical man stuff. We would play ball together, chop wood, build tree forts (not houses, forts) in the woods, and let out Tim the Tool Man grunts often. As young boys we were always dirty and smelled like your typical boys.
I have a running joke with a couple people at the office where I talk about how manly I am, and these couple women joke about how I'm not. We have a good time with it.
There are certain things that probably wouldn't be thought as typically masculine and that I would have probably made fun of my buddies if I heard they were doing them. Now I find myself doing them. Like watching baby shows. Whether it's ones about women who are pregnant, giving birth, or raising babies, I find these shows riveting where once I would have thought they were a bore. I think why I am watching them is that they are now relevant. I want to be the best dad I can be and as they say, "information is power." So I am curious what other things I will be doing that I once thought not so masculine.