Friday, December 23, 2011

Grutz says, "Fatherhood rocks and/or rolls!!" or "A brief history of what the heck just happened."

A note about my wife....
I want everyone to know that Carleen is doing very well.  She is tired, sore, and healing.  And she's madly in love with Nolan.  These factors have caused the communications blackout from her.  Now she is slowly starting to return calls and such, so be patient.  She's not rude, she just had a baby.  Also, I'm sure when she feels up to it she'll add to the blog and get some quality writing up here in the place of my drivel.

Another thing about my wife is that she is devastatingly wonderful and amazes me to the point of awe.  She has handled the pregnancy so well.  She has tolerated me so well.  She went through labor like a champ, with the doula and midwives commenting on how they wish all births could be as successful and smooth as ours.  A real compliment to Carleen and her poise, effort, and drive.  (Yes, I was a little concerned that she would "fly off the handle" as depicted in many birthing books for dads, but I'm a sucker, I guess.)  She is a fine, fine mother and exudes nothing but love and joy.  Nolan really lucked out with her.  And so did I.

A little photo essay of some of the events that led up to our current family unit.
DISCLAIMER: Now, I do not have a problem with content of these photos, but my wife might, so I may have to edit at some point. (Yeah, it would make sense to run it by her now, but she's sleeping.  End of story.) 

So the Monday arrived and I had to run off to CVS to acquire some castor oil, as mentioned here because we DID NOT want to be induced at a hospital the next day.  We were not overly concerned or fearful or worried about the labor/birth, we just wanted to have it happen, specifically at home!
Monday morning and Carleen ponders how she'd like to ingest her castor oil.  (Notice how clean things look, that will ever happen again.)

This is the second dose of castor oil, mixed with a fine helping of Ben & Jerry's.  The chaser is vodka ginger ale.  Carleen did not have to finish this dose for "the package was in the mail", as they say.
 So by this time, 3ish, Carleen started to feel contractions.  And at 6 pm, boom! Carleen's water broke and we knew it was on!  ("LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!")  We called Andrea our doula.  Now Andrea was actually our fill-in doula and Rita, our "starting" doula couldn't make it because of a family emergency.  Andrea was amazing.  She did so much and was so supportive.  She was instrumental in keeping Carleen on top of things and keeping me busy with things to do (when I wasn't "centering" my wife), including inflating and filling the birthing pool.  We called the midwives, Hillary and Casey, and they arrived around 9, I think.

Carleen, resting between contractions, was a force to be reckoned with.  On the right is Hillary.
 And before you could say, "Hey, underhanded insurance companies and overly complicated hospital chains?  Stick it!!", a baby was born!  I grabbed the babe, along with Casey, and drew it out of the water and placed it on Carleen and wrapped it in towels.  Now you may notice I refer to he as "it".  At this point we didn't know the sex.  We were so excited/dazed/amazed for a good minute or so before we were like, "What is it?" and I peeked under the towels and exclaimed, "It's a boy! It's Nolan!"  Ah good times.

The two most beautiful things my eyes have ever beheld.

While weighing Nolan I couldn't stop thinking about weighing my catch at the KDTH Future Fisherman Contest as a kid.  (Not to brag, but I won it one year with biggest fish and the next with the most fish, PA-POW!)

My little guy getting ink on his feet. 
Much of what followed is posted here, here, and here.  We had Arnie stay at a puppy hotel while Nolan arrived and we finally got him home.  We were a bit concerned about his "wild and playful" side and the baby.  Our friend Kristina visited with her boy, Gus awhile back, and Arnie was overly "nosey" to the point of having to be put in a room, with the door shut, yeah, that bad.  Well, Arnie was super-duper inquisitive and wanted to check out Nolan, jumping up and barking at the crying babe.  But once we let him smell Nolan all was cured (mostly, he's still learning).  Now he sits (or lies) at attention with a "Don't mess with my boy, Nolan" attitude.  No, make that a "I dare you to mess with my boy Nolan.  I DARE you." attitude.  Just kidding, Arnie's not that much of a bad boy.

This is my family, Carleen, Nolan, wunder-mutt watch dog, Arnie.
So here we are.  Whew.  It's amazing what life throws at you.  By the way, I keep hearing about this "Christmas" thing-y.  I can't say I'm at all prepared, I guess I've been busy.......But Christmas is now something completely different, it has a new importance and meaning.  And as long as I'm with my Carleenie, Noley, and Arnie I've got buckets of joy.  What more can a boy want?*

*The Cubs winning the World Series wouldn't hurt.


Kate said...

This is so fantastic! Thanks for sharing! When you have time, please post a little bit about what it was like to have a doula, why you chose to hire one, etc. Would be great to have input from both mom and dad!! It's such an important tool that I don't think enough people know about- especially those outside of a major city! Congrats you guys- sounds like it was magical!

Anonymous said...

Hey there, its Miranda,
My mom saved me and brought internet today out to the Brant Ponderosa!! Your baby is beautiful and Carleen I am so happy you are ok. I am still huge and just waiting.....

We have about a week or 2 left till the due date. As soon as we get internet out here we will begin updating our blog again.
Glad everything is ok. Thinking about you guys.
Love Miranda Brant

Anonymous said...

This truly looks like an amazing experience! Thank you for sharing with us! Carleen looks beautiful and I absolutely love his name! Hope I can meet him soon :)

Anonymous said...

Dear First-Born ManChild,
Oh joy! I can barely hold the happiness I feel for all of you. Nick, I am still giggling over your writing. Although I had scanned some of this earlier, I did not read all the bits, nor the photo captions - therefore, I missed most of the chuckles. (Which turned out to be a perfectly perfect anecdote to a rather blue day.)
Blessings and love to you all! Happy Early New Years!
Mother Theresa