A Small Fire
And then: a fire. It seemed they were contractions—her womb flickering and melting, candle wax caught in a cross-breeze. Each time a match was struck, it blew out in seconds, and each time we resumed the previous conversation, as if that brief but harrowing pause that sent our minds racing (to the hospital parking lot, in through the door—which door...
Pregnant women are among a select group of people who are actually allowed to...– Dr. Cox, Scrubs (via misplacedyouth)
Dear people who do not bathe, Please do. Or please do not sit down next to pregnant women. Thanks! Sincerely, Husbands of said pregnant women P.S. Buses do not have barf bags.
Shower versus Pregnant Woman
My wife wears a support belt like this one. (It’s a must have.) This morning, she asked me to stand in the shower and hold up her belly. I looked at her belly—when the baby moves, it’s like a snake under a blanket—and I laughed. This was a mistake. I held up her belly. Once she soaped up, it was hard to keep holding on. Whenever I lost my grip, she got angry. How did she...
wife (@4.24pm): "I think I just had a contraction. Was that a contraction?"
wife: "It probably wasn't. No. Wait. I think I just had a contraction."
me: "Should...should I not finish my beer?"
Yes, Honey →
When I first met Cathreen in Busan, I was eating nothing but frosted flakes. Everything was unfamiliar. I lost 20 pounds then. And that was when she was attracted to me. I tell her I will lose weight with her after the baby is born. Though five to eight pounds will come out of her and become a person, automatically. I think I am imagining this incorrectly.
Remember when I said that before I finish my current tube of toothpaste, I’ll have a baby? What I was trying to do, if you’ll excuse this tapping of the fourth wall, was reveal something enormous through a quotidian task—a baby comes and “changes everything,” but not before I finish this half-tube of Kiss My Face aloe toothpaste (so it’s all...
Here is a list of the pregnancy woes my wife and I have gone through in this pregnancy. PUPPP - starting in week 12, then much worse starting in week 20; medicine taken: steroids, Benadryl; non-medicine: Aveeno, oatmeal sap, pine tar soap, Vaseline, Cetaphil. Morning sickness - 4 ER visits for excessive vomiting and dehydration, lasted until week 20; medicine taken: Unisom, Zofran, B-6; home...
Embargo On Non-Baby Conversations
I’m apparently causing all my friends/acquaintances heart palpitations every time I try to start a conversation. If I don’t open with “we had a baby,” then I might as well be trying to sell them insurance on the new boat I’m also trying to sell them. A few loose scenarios: bryan: hey. phone person: DID YOU HAVE A BABY? bryan: uh. no. I was calling about [that thing...
It's 10:00, do you know where your wife is at?
Bryan: My wife is wearing a neck pillow and almost crying at every scene of Anne of Green Gables. I’m kinda the same. Minus the neck pillow. Matt: My wife is eating. I’m eating too, in sympathy. We just got home from our last childbirth class, so now we are experts. At worrying. And eating those worries.
Late to our doctor's appointment today
When we got there, the scale said my wife hadn’t gained any weight over the last two weeks. She said she’d been eating like this: nom nom nom, all the time except for when she slept. Our doctor said if the PUPPP rash got worse, she’d have to be induced. She couldn’t take any more steroids. My wife was worried about the size of her belly because a woman in Chinatown said...
Birth Father (bryan's take)
I’m not adopted, and I’m not Korean, but Matt and I still share a similar genetic concern. My dad passed away when I was four—and his father died well before I was born. The trajectory of Parys males is not so comforting. My mom remarried a couple years later, and I call my stepdad “dad” with no qualms at all. The things I’m...
I’m adopted. I was born in Korea and came over to the States when I was two. My wife is not adopted. She is, as we like to put it, Korean Korean. Sometimes she seems into the idea of adoption and sometimes not. But for now we’re birthing a baby of our gene pool. Oddly, the strangest thing about being adopted and a birth father is not that I’m not paying it...
Always the First 3 Questions
When’s the due date? Do you know the sex? Do you have a name picked out?
Due Dates & Whatever
Apparently, my wife was due to give birth today. From what I’ve learned, due dates are more or less akin to predicting the blade of grass that a golf ball will land on. Still, it’s one of those cultural totems to which society has attached firmly. Whenever you find out someone’s pregnant, just try not to ask what the due date is. It’s become part of the script we’ve...
So We Started a Blog
Matt: So, we started a blog.
Bryan: Probably because we're both pretty confused by all this daddy stuff.
Matt: Your baby is due soon, right? Are you ready?
bryan: Tomorrow (but could be any time this week, really). As for "ready"--I'll never be, but it's time to just get into this thing and let it happen.
What about you? Is there ever a feeling of increasing "readiness"?
matt: No, I actually hate when people ask me that. Sorry!
Sometimes I feel like having a baby is bound to disconnect me from people who don't have babies.
bryan: That's definitely been a huge thought for me. As in, will people only see me as the Baby Bjorn-toting, spit-up stained exhausted dad?
It doesn't help that people without babies are like, I'm never going to see you again.
bryan: I know! Which, honestly people, we kinda need you more than ever.
matt: I feel like you're a lot more "ready." I'm still grossed out by birth videos.
bryan: Ah yes. Seeing a placenta for the first time still haunts me. A med student friend of mine took us on youtube tour of birth videos a few months ago, and I still question his judgment.
I stopped him when he said, "Do you wanna see the one where the couple cooks the placenta into burgers?"
So med students are basically zombies, is the lesson here.
bryan: Yeah. That whole "do no harm" thing is just a front.
I often feel like I'm not thinking about "baby/fatherhood" enough, and it can make me feel guilty/totally unprepared. You ever feel that?
matt: I'm editing a novel manuscript right now. My wife hates me. But I figure, better do it now before the baby comes, right?
Is it possible to play fatherhood by ear? Is it possible not to?
bryan: I think at my (rare) most confident moments, I'm banking on the fact that there's no one else to be but myself. But, that exact phrase can cause the biggest anxieties too.
matt: People are always like, you'll figure it out. That's a lot more faith than I'm comfortable with. Really, world, you're going to trust me with a baby?
bryan: I know! And those people always give you that "look" (raised eyebrow, knowing grin) as if we're entering into this club and they're giving us our membership card.
Sometimes that sense of "what are you including me in?" is worse than parenting horror stories. I almost WANT to hear how they've messed up.
matt: A month from now, your wife is going to hate me.
bryan: I'm sure that'll work vice versa as well.
matt: And this stuff is permanent. Your baby is going to be embarrassed later.
bryan: I'm sure. We probably will be too.
matt: I hope we can look back at this and be like, we were so stupid then. Because if I don't learn anything from this, then I'm in real trouble.
I won't have an excuse for my wife!
bryan: Right. We'll be saying, "That's back when we thought we'd make sure our kids never tasted a Big Mac."
Matt: After this, we'll be experts. We'll give the sex talk no problem. Is it weird that that is already freaking me out?
bryan: Not weird at all. I want to skip that part and just start making double entendres with my kids.
matt: Now this blog will really embarrass them.
bryan: The more earnest we are, the deeper hole we dig.
matt: Yes, it's a problem with writers.
It would be nothing if we didn't embarrass ourselves.
bryan: Right. worst case scenario, NDS becomes a helpful Document of Errors.
matt: ... I think that's good?
bryan: I'm going to keep telling myself that it is.
Childbirth Class #4
Last night, our childbirth class teacher, a young, too-skinny nurse, refused to teach us Lamaze breathing. I figured this was the main thing you learned in childbirth class. When my friends ask me about the class, the first thing they mention is Lamaze. This is the only reason I even know what Lamaze is. In class, I called it “Lamajay” like a blue bird that spits and lives in the Pampas. The...
Orange versus Pregnant Woman
[orange is on wife's lap]
Wife: Honey. (leans forward)
Wife: (leans forward, puts out hand)
Me: (picks up orange)
Things I never said before my wife was pregnant
‘pack ‘n play.’ ‘we don’t need to buy burp cloths! that’s what old boxers are for!’ ‘someday, i hope to swaddle like you.’ ‘fine. we can go to Babies R Us just to use this gift card. but only this once. unless, we get another gift card.” ‘ruptured membranes.’ ‘i’ll be in the nursery.’ ...