Monthly Archives: March 2008

Bed rest? Noooooo!!

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

After a false alarm Thursday night, we had ANOTHER trip to the hospital on Friday afternoon. I’m already going bald, but at this rate the hair I don’t lose will be gray in no time!

The doctors were concerned with MJ’s high blood pressure and when she went to our doctor on Friday they had her taken to Cape Cod Hospital for precautionary measures and observation. Her BP had skyrocketed to 142/93, which is very high considering she’s been around 105/60 all through her pregnancy. She’s also been retaining water, as her poor feet look like they were stung by an army of angry bees.

Although they took some blood and hooked her up to the fetal monitor again, they sent her home after awhile because there wasn’t much else they could do. However, they told her two things that absolutely pissed her off…

1) She had to stop working
2) She needed to stay off her feet

A couple of things you need to know about my wife: She is incapable of sitting around doing nothing and she HATES to miss work. I knew right away I was going to have a hard time enforcing the doctor’s rules on her. Not only that, I realized immediately that any semblance of peace and tranquility I was hoping for before the baby’s arrival was now an afterthought.

Any woman gets cranky when she’s lugging around 35 extra pounds, has to pee every 10 minutes and has swollen feet so huge they couldn’t fit in Ronald McDonald’s sneakers. But when you take away work and all activity…that’s a recipe for disaster. Not to mention she’s a stubborn Portuguese woman who refuses to listen to me. In fact, at this moment she’s attending a baby fair at Gillette Stadium, but only after she was confirmed in a Catholic church in Taunton. So much for staying off her feet and resting.

And so much for my sanity. At the hospital I offered to get her a wheelchair and as she whirled around to glare at me I saw my own death in her eyes. When I advised her in the middle of the night to sleep on her left side like the doctor ordered, I’m pretty sure she threatened me with the loss of several body parts which are near and dear to my heart. But I will gladly sacrifice those body parts if it means she, and the baby, is safe.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

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False Alarm

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

Without getting into the ultra-descriptive details, we made a trip to Cape Cod Hospital last night after calling the doctor and being advised to come in for a check to determine if MJ was going into labor. When she told me what was going on, I was surprisingly calm. I always thought I’d run around at warp speed, drive 100 MPH to the hospital and there would be red alarm lights flashing or something. But instead I told her to take her time, point out all the necessary items she needs to pack (most of which were already in a suitcase) and then off we went.

When we got to the hospital they got out two straps and put them on her belly. One was to monitor the baby’s heart beat and the other to check for contractions. We waited for a while and chatted with a friendly nurse, who took all our information (and there’s A LOT of information they need) until the doctor came in to check us. But alas, yesterday was not meant to be. She was not dilated at all and her water had not broken or ruptured. But we did learn some other valuable information by going in so the trip was actually very beneficial and I guess everything happens for a reason.

But this test run really woke me up to the fact that this baby is coming and coming soon. Getting to be in the hospital room and see some of the things we’ll be going through was actually a big help. At least now I know what to expect so I think I’ll be a little more at ease. Also, with my Mom going in for a rather serious surgery today I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about both at the same time.

And to leave you on a comical note, my lovely wife is being confirmed in a Catholic church in Taunton tomorrow. Although I won’t be there to see it because I have to work, I’m sure she’ll look very cute getting confirmed at 9 months pregnant. I just hope the baby doesn’t decide to make an early arrival at the altar!

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A Sox Baby

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

For the non-sports fans out there, yesterday  marked the start of the 2008 Red Sox season and I’m happy to say my unborn child was prominently involved.

It was a bit of a unique experience this year because the Red Sox are playing in Tokyo, Japan. The time difference meant Sox fans had to wake up at 6 am if they wanted to catch the game live, which is exactly what I did. I thought about waking MJ up and making her sleep on the couch so the baby could hear the game, but I wisely reconsidered bothering a tired pregnant and depriving her of sleep. Anyways, the Red Sox were trailing by a run headed into the 9th inning and that’s when MJ finally woke up. With one out and rookie Brandon Moss up to bat, I asked her to come sit on the couch to see if the baby would bring the team good luck.

On the very next pitch, Moss hit a game-tying home run to send the game into extra innings. The Sox went on to win in the 10th. It’s official: my baby is a good luck charm for the Sox! I was jumping around and talking to my wife’s belly and telling him/her how much they helped Daddy’s favorite team. I think I even felt a kick or two in response. It was really fun because whether this kid is a boy or girl, sports are going to be a huge part of his/her life. The kid’s first words might be “Remy” or “Papi” and I have no doubt if it’s a boy, he’ll go on to play first base for the team someday.

There’s a little bit of friction between me and my wife because her due date is April 16, which is smack in the middle of a Red Sox – Yankees series. The hospital only has basic cable, which is utterly ridiculous, so I’ll be sneaking some sort of walkman or small radio into the hospital. MJ said I can’t take it into the delivery room, but I already have people lined up to text message score updates to my cell phone. I’m just glad she’s giving birth at the beginning of the season. If she was due during the World Series it could’ve gotten really ugly.

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Weekly Doctor’s Appointments

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

I’d like to take this time to talk about one of the few things I haven’t liked about being an expectant father…the doctor’s appointments. Don’t get me wrong, I love our doctor. He’s personable, direct and he knows what he’s doing. We went through many doctors to find him and he fits the bill. But actually getting to see him — and to see him on time — is nearly impossible.

It doesn’t help that I have a weird hang-up about being on time. I think it stems from my mother, who was ALWAYS late. One year in elementary school when she drove my brother to school, he was late more than 60 times. And did I mention she used to be a bus driver?!!? Oh well, at least it spurred me to always be early or on time. And silly me, that’s how I thought a doctor’s office would operate. Efficiently.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

An OB/GYNs office is a black hole, where time as we normally know it ceases to exist. If your appointment is at 10 a.m., you’re not getting past the front desk until at least 10:20, sometimes later. Then they weigh the mom-to-be, take her blood pressure and write everything down in the chart. Then it’s off to the examination room, and that’s when time really stops. God only knows how long you’ll be in there. The first time we had an appointment our doctor was busy delivering a C-section with complications at Cape Cod Hospital, so everything was backed up. If I had any smarts at all I would’ve just shut my mouth and not said anything, but both of us have to take time off work every time we go and I started to get really irritated after more than an hour passed. That led to my wife getting irritated at me, which is bad because my only real responsibility is to keep her happy and sane.

But what really frosted me was when the doctor came in, listened for the heart beat, asked us if we had any questions and was done in less than five minutes. We waited an hour and a half for a five minute examination!! And it’s the same deal once a month for 5-6 months, then it goes to twice a month at 34 weeks and then weekly from 36 weeks on to the end. I’m thinking about having my mail forwarded there I’ve spent so much time in that office.

 But then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve heard from a lot of women that their husbands almost never go with them to the doctor’s appointments. I think that’s crazy. It never crossed my mind not to go with her. I want to know what’s going on too. After all, the father of an unborn child is really an afterthought in every respect. We cause the pregnancy and really with the exception of running out to Burger King at odd times, that’s the extent of our involvement until birth. So why wouldn’t future dads want to go and learn everything they can at the doc’s office? I know I haven’t missed one and I don’t plan on it.

Just make sure you bring something to read while you’re waiting.

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A Baby Wipe Warmer??

This post also appeared on in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.

If you haven’t had kids, you’ll be absolutely amazed at the variety of gifts you get. MJ had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago and people were beyond generous. We’re truly blessed to have so many people who care about us, so much so that we don’t even have room for all the stuff we got. So this is not me complaining in any way, shape or form.

However, I cannot believe the baby products out there. In my mind, we needed a crib and a bunch of diapers for this kid. And when I thought of a crib, I pictured a very small, modest contraption where the baby would sleep. How naive I was. The crib we have is not just a crib. It is a “sleeping system” and it converts into a toddler’s bed and eventually a “big boy/girl bed” when the time is right. It’s beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little more elaborate than I expected. Not only that, but it’s part of a set which I also didn’t realize we needed. The crib came with a bureau and a changing table. I’m still a little confused as to why we need both the bureau AND the changing table, since the changing table seems to be a regular bureau with a small frame on top for a changing pad. When I asked my wife if we really needed both, she simply looked at me and then quickly away, as if my question wasn’t even worthy of ridicule. This is a look I’m becoming more and more familiar with by the way.

But it didn’t stop there. I was told we also needed a closet organizer (despite having existing shelves in the nursery closet). And a bassinet. Don’t forget the swing, high chair, pack n play, glider and ottoman. Oh, and I had to paint the nursery a very specific shade of green, take off and replace all the base board, add a chair rail around the entirety of the room and stencil moons and stars on the walls. And silly me, I thought when we accomplished all of this I would be done. Little did I know that baby showers bring you more stuff than you’ll possibly use…

Blankets. We have more blankets than I know what to do with. And that’s not a bad thing, because several of them are handmade and I love them. We will have the warmest child on the planet.

Onsies. I didn’t know what a onsie was 8 months ago. Now I’m drowning in them.

Car seats. First of all you need the base. I think we have four bases. Then you need the car seat itself. We have one of those which is also a carrier, and we have two “convertible” car seats for when the baby gets older. Safety is of the utmost importance, no question, but these things are nuts. First of all, I’m taking it to the fire department to install because it looks beyond my comprehension. Levers, knobs, straps…I get confused just looking at it. Furthermore, they are really built for comfort. Ours has so much padding and it’s so soft, I feel sleepy every time I touch it.

Strollers. I learned you can’t have just one kind. You need the gargantuan stroller which you can plop the infant car seat into, that’s a necessity. But you also need a lighter, smaller stroller that’s just a wire frame which the car seat goes on. I’m told this smaller one is for when you don’t want to deal with the hassle of dragging the supercharged stroller around. I laugh when my wife tells me this because the beauty of the supercharged stroller is that it folds up at the push of a button. But I don’t argue…

Baby monitor. Or more accurately, CIA-grade surveillance equipment. I’m convinced Babies r Us is selling leftover spy equipment from the Patriot Act and re-packaging it to parents.

Red Sox and Patriots clothing. These are the best things I’ve ever seen. No complaints here.

All kinds of wipes and creams. From run of the mill baby wipes to something called “Butt Paste” we have it all.

And last but certainly not least, the most intriguing gift we received was some sort of machine that warms up the baby wipes before you use it on the kid. I’m not kidding, our baby will not have to suffer the indignity of a cold bottom. This gift ensures a warm and comfortable change 100% of the time. I find it hilarious that such a machine exists, but I’m sure it’s useful or people wouldn’t be buying it, right?

Breast pumps, bottles, bottle warmers, pacifiers, burp blankets, bibs, Baby Einstein videos…there’s so much stuff it’s spilling out of the nursery and taking over the house. I can only imagine when the kid is born, and then becomes mobile what the house will look like.

But rest assured, everything will work out. We have a baby wipe warmer!

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