Thursday...I Hope

As in, that's when Amy will be released from the hospital.

We were hoping she'd be back home by tonight, but the fickle gods of anesthesia side-effects had other plans. It's nothing serious, life-threatening, or long-term, but it was inconvenient enough that they want to keep her there one more day to make sure she's alright.

Madeline in Repose

Madeline is doing fine. According to Amy, who has spent plenty more time with her than I have, she is a pretty mellow baby. So far.

I expect the honeymoon will end once we get her home.

Stephen Splashes in a Puddle

I've only been able to see the baby on three (or maybe four) occasions since she was born. Stephen and I have been a unit for the past few days, which has given me a new perspective on what the lives of single parents must be like.

He's a good boy, don't get me wrong, but I'm almost 34 and he's almost 2, and the difference in energy levels between the two of us is a wide gulf indeed.

Stephen stayed at his grandma's house today for a few hours while I got some things done, and afterwards we went to the hospital to pay Mommy and Madeline a visit. He's asleep now, and I'm about to continue my current writing project (due tomorrow, hurrah hurrah).

Will I make it..? Under normal circumstances, I'd say "Yes," but this week has been anything but normal. I'd like nothing more than to curl up and go to sleep right now, but instead I'm mainlining coffee and staring into my laptop monitor like a zombie.


Labels: , , ,


The End of the Day

Stephen and I paid a visit to Amy and Madeline this afternoon. Stephen was thrilled, or so it seemed. He's also starting to understand, on a very basic level, what this means. He wanted to be everywhere the baby was, which I reckon is normal. He doesn't want to feel left out.

Stephen Meets Madeline

Amy experienced some nausea due to the medication they gave her after her surgery, but by the time Stephen and I showed up to visit, they were letting her eat Jell-O and crackers, and drink water.

Daddy's Girl

As for myself, I feel emotionally desiccated. It's been a long, long day. Stephen and I are winding down, watching Finding Nemo (Stephen's favorite movie as of late). I feel like half a person without Amy here, but I'll manage. It will make her homecoming all the more welcome.

Enter Madeline

Give a warm welcome to Madeline Gale Marie Astleford, born 2/26/07 at around 8am. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 2 oz. She's a grumpy little girl, just like her mommy.

Amy and Madeline

Amy and Madeline are fine and well, resting up after their ordeal. I'll have more news and pictures to post later on, but for now I need to get some sleep.


Opening Tomorrow, Baby: The Sequel

It's late, and we're still awake. For two people who will be rousing themselves at 4am so that they can go forth and bring a new life into the world, we're awfully cavalier when it comes to not sleeping. Still, there's stuff that needed doing, and...well, we've done 99% of it.

This is the first night that the two of us have been without Stephen. He's spending the night at his grandma's, and I sincerely hope that by now he's fast asleep (as we should be). For the next couple of days, it'll just be he and I under this roof. We can do all the things that guys do without the benefit of their wives/mothers on hand: walk around in our underwear, watch wrestling, burp, fart.

Not like we don't do all that when Amy's around, but it sounded good.

Anyway, we miss him. Terribly.

So that's that. Going to bed soon. Here's a picture of the first-born to tide you over until we can present pictures of the second.

"What do you mean, 'It's a girl'?? Blech!"

Wish us luck.

Labels: ,

Insert Pretentious Title Here

I lack the words for an appropriately silly title which expresses the gravity of our lives, and how much they will change tomorrow. So I'll avoid the overblown title for this entry and get down to brass tacks.

It's official: tomorrow, 2/26/07, Amy and I will be heading to the hospital. We have to arrive at the ungodly hour of 5:30 in the morning. The actual surgery is scheduled for 7:30am. I have no idea what they will be doing to her (us?) in the two hours in-between. More than likely, she'll get all sorts of prep and exam, and I'll get a snazzy set of tiny disposable plastic scrubs to squeeze into.

Those scrubs blow. The best thing about them is tearing them off, like the Hulk, only you don't turn green (unless you're sitting next to the chum bucket that the suction hose empties into, like I was when Stephen was born).

It also seems as if Stephen will be able to visit his mommy and baby sister in the hospital, as long as I can get his immunization record updated at his pediatrician's office tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, he won't get to see his mother until she comes home, which will be either Wednesday or Thursday.

So, how am I feeling today? Well, I feel like time is running out. Nervous. A little edgy. I'm trying to keep a happy face on, but it's all adding up. I've been busy the entire weekend. I've got a project due on Thursday that I need to find the time to finish. I'm sure I can do it, but the planets will need to be properly aligned.

My primary concerns are my wife and our new child. This has been a relatively uneventful pregnancy. No nausea this time around, thank the gods. It's been going so well that it worries me a little bit. I guess that's just me being superstitious. I've seen enough of those maternity/ER shows (or portions of them, anyway) to know that a million things can go wrong (but usually don't).

Odds are that by this time tomorrow, I'll be handing out bubble gum "It's A Girl" cigars and sending out emails to update all my friends and family abroad on the good news. I'm just a worrier, plain and simple. I always have been.

I guess I'll get down to doing some of that writing I need to have done by Thursday. The coffee shop is about half full, and there are few distractions. It's a perfect time to write. If only my mind wasn't focused on tomorrow, that is.

Labels: ,


I Feel Something


Five days to go, and I'm starting to get an uncomfortable, anxious feeling in my guts. There's so much left to do, both related to my family and my sideline as a writer/game designer, that the time I have left seems so scant. I've been sick (though not horribly), and every day I feel more worn out than I did the day before.

People at work ask me if I'm taking time off for the baby. "A week," I'll answer. They'll ask why I'm not taking more time off. "Can't afford it," I'll answer. Isn't there some paid family leave thing? "Not worth it," I'll answer.

If I could take the extra time, I would. As it is, I'm only going to be able to get paid for half of my time off (because that's all the vacation time I have at the moment).

It's on my mind today. I figure it will be on my mind for the rest of my life.


Eight More Days

We've been preparing for our daughter's birth at a slow but steady pace for over a month. All the real big jobs, such as moving furniture and evicting me from my office/Stephen's room, have been completed. Stephen's grandmother bought him a "big boy bed." By the time the baby is ready to sleep in our crib, Stephen should be ready to sleep in his own bed. As it is, he'll sleep there for about two hours or so before rolling out of it, ending up asleep in a heap on the floor.

Stephen Asleep in the Big Boy Bed

Stephen still doesn't have a clue what he's in store for. I worry that he'll feel negelcted, so I intend to try and make the transition as painless as possible. I suppose that some jealousy on his part is inevitable, and likely natural. I would prefer it if he liked his sister from the get-go, because the last thing I want is two children who fight like cats and dogs.

"Big Brother" is Fitting for Stephen

My co-workers threw us a surprise baby shower last week. I knew they were planning one, but I never expected them to trick me into getting Amy to come by work so that they could surprise us both. They were all very generous, and outside of a lot of really cute clothes, blankets, garter belt-like headbands, bottles, and other sundries, we also received a Target gift card with a very healthy balance on it.

All told, it seems like everyone at work pitched in. It's not a small company, either. Amy's response was, "Wow. Your co-workers must like you a lot." I guess they must.

It's On the Nose!

So, yeah. Eight more days, and we'll go from three to four. I'll be taking some time off, about a week, but given that my company doesn't pay employees for paternity leave, and given that I have little in the way of vacation hours available, it's all the time I can really spare. I wish I could take more time off, but I don't have that luxury.

I'll keep everyone up to date here, and in email. Keep your fingers crossed!

Labels: ,


The Nesting Has Begun!

Today, we started to clear out Stephen's room in preparation for our daughter's impending arrival. Prior to Stephen being born, that room was my office (and, prior to that, it was a spare bedroom). The intent now is to take anything that is mine out of that room and find a spot for it somewhere else. Amy seems to think this will be easier than it sounds. Me? I'm the pessimist.

We've been working on this since 10:30 this morning, and we're no where near done. Thanks to Stephen's grandma, he's been out with her and Grampa Lee all day. If he'd been here, the entire process would've taken considerably longer, and we'd both be hoarse from saying "No, Stephen. Put that down, please," over and over again.

It seems each child we have brings Amy and I closer to mixing our belongings. With Stephen, we'd merged our game collections and our music collections. This time around, we'll be putting my clothes into Amy's closet. A monumental undertaking.

The Super Bowl is about to start. Billy Joel (looking considerably older than I remember him looking) is belting out the National Anthem. I probably won't watch much of the game, but it'll be on in the background. At some point, we need to rescue my mom from Stephen.

Labels: ,