Yes Baby Punch Your Mommy!

Chinese parents have a phrase that directly translates to “don’t move your hands and feet.”  When my brother and I would get into a scuffle, my mom would angrily shout that phrase to us telling us to stop hitting each other.

The funny thing is, right now, we are saying the complete opposite to our baby.

“Alright little baby kick and punch to all your little heart’s content!”

“It’s just your mom’s innards, don’t worry!”

We encourage the movements.  The sudden “oofffs” coming from my wife is quite reassuring.  Cause those days when baby is not as active, my day becomes…well scary.

So far I’ve learned that the moment you become a parent, you just naturally worry.  Even though we are only 23 weeks in, I’ve already grown a few grey hairs and I anticipate losing a few existing hair as well.

jchanhairfall
Well if it is good enough for Jacky…

The days when I ask my wife, how’s baby today I’m really asking for my own sake.

I’m actually surprised by how easily a thought bubble can escalate to paranoia.  But I guess this is only the beginning right?

Pretty soon I’ll start asking questions like:

“Is baby sleeping well?”
“Is formula safe?”
“Is the room too cold? Too hot?
“Is this the right car seat?”
“Is this the right daycare?”
“Is that kid bullying our kid?”
“Is our kid bullying the other kid?”
“Is that a face tattoo?”

 

Channeling Iron Mike
Channeling Iron Mike Inside the Womb

(Yep our baby is going to have a pretty badass first year…tattoos and all.)

So many questions and worries.  So much paranoia, so many more greys and so much more hair loss to come.  But you know what?

This is only fair.

If there’s one thing that this pregnancy has taught me, it is that I really need to appreciate what my folks had to go through mentally just to make sure both my brother and I end up where we are today.

What’s crazier is that our kid will not understand what we are going through, until they eventually become parents.

And I guess that truly is the sucky thing.  When you’re a parent, your kids will not understand the sacrifices and worries you’ve endured for them.

And when they’re old enough to understand, they’ll simply repeat the same cycle.

This is like a cycle of parental appreciation ignorance.

The Time My Wife Almost Made Me Poop Myself

Allow me to set the scene.

This was right on week eight of the pregnancy and we were preparing all morning for the first ultrasound.  I still remember my wife being subjected to drinking eight cups of water prior to the appointment so that she can get a good scan of her belly.

She was already feeling nauseous all morning and chugging down gallons of water as if she came back from eating an MSG filled all you can eat meal.

We were ready to go as she was sitting in the living room bench downing the last gulp of high quality H2O.

*Okay Pause*

Before I continue with this scene, you must now play the following song in the background as you read on. Remember to turn on sound.

Link here if it doesn’t work. 

Okay is the music playing?

Alright.

So as she puts down the glass from the last gulp of water, she chokes, and she starts coughing.

Then suddenly both of her hands fling towards her mouth to block what appears to be a blast of water.  Remember the mentos and diet coke that were all the rage?  Imagine that blast radius a meter towards the direction in front of her.

She scrambles and she begins to dash towards the blast direction.

The look in her eyes, bloodshot and watery either from the projectile water or real tears gears towards the washroom direction.

One step, two step, three step, fou…

*keeeerrrplunk!*

Everything was in slow motion as my wife slowly turned horizontal with her arms up, and legs waist high.

Her shirt was drenched as if a giant water balloon had landed on her front side.

My eight week pregnant wife had slipped and fallen on her side.

I scream out, “OH MY GOOOSHHH!”

———————-

This feels good to write about as I’m starting to be able to laugh about it now.  But even with reminiscing it, I feel a sense of feel and failure for letting something like this happen.

Things could’ve taken a complete turn for the worse.  Thankfully it didn’t.

I think if there is a lesson that I can take from this experience is that throughout the course of pregnancy a couple will go through incredible scares and victories.  It is important to remember the scares to really put things in perspective of how lucky we truly are to be in this position.

In the end, because our appointment was literally 10 minutes away we were about to do an ultrasound to check for any damages, and thankfully nothing was out of order.  In fact, we were able to see our baby for the first time. 🙂

The first time we met
The first time we met 🙂

On a final note, I will neither confirm nor deny whether or not any undergarments of mine were soiled during this sequence of events.

You’re Not a Boy!

“Yep, it’s a girl” – Ultrasound Technician

 

My jaw dropped like a Bugs Bunny cartoon character and your mom welled up instantly.

 

What went on in my mind in real-time

“That’s crazy!” – *This girl is going to be grounded until she’s 20.*

“Wow!” – *She’ll start dating when she turns 30*

“This is totally unexpected, what a surprise!” – *Background checks, family history checks, criminal record check, and credit check any boy she talks to will need to do these things first.*

What went on in your mother’s mind in real-time

“OMG, no way!” – *We have to go to the mall today to buy cute girl clothes!*

This was totally unexpected.

Kid, if and when you read this in the future, just know this:

Your mother and I love how you’ve grown up to be a wonderful daughter…despite the fact that we were sure you were going to be a boy. 

image

Seriously, what a curve ball that got thrown at us.  (I guess those were the only balls thrown…heh)

Our entire mindset up until this point has been set up to anticipate you being a boy.  I even had a conversation about getting you circumcised!

Ever since the third month and on, we were certain the signs pointed to you being a boy.  I mean you went against the Chinese Lunar Predictor!  That thing is supposed to be 95% accurate and you proved it wrong!  Take that Traditional Chinese Predictor, you stink just like your medicine!

You’ve also been a very active baby according to your mother, and we thought only a boy could be this active.  (As a matter of fact, while I am writing this, you are kicking inside of your mom right after she turned to her left side.)

But according to other signs, you told us you were going to be a girl all along.  For starters your mom’s belly shape is fairly round near the sides, which usually means a girl.  Along with that, she developed quite a sweet tooth, and this according to Chinese tradition means two things, a) you’re a girl and b) you’ll probably be diabetic.  (This does run in the family :|). You’ve also caused mom to break out a little as well another sign of a daughter.  She still looks great, but you’ve been really giving her a hard time.

One thing I’ve learned is, through all of these predictors, at the end of the day it’s basically a 50% guess so it’s really not that hard to get right or wrong.  But know this, at this very moment I’m 100% glad that you are who you are and we feel incredibly lucky to have you in our lives.

Boy or girl, to quote Mariah:  “You’ll always be my baby.”

 

 

5 Things I Learned to Do Halfway Through My Wife’s Pregnancy

“I feel like I’m just a human incubator now!” – Wife

This was early on in the pregnancy. I tried to console her, and let her know she’s doing a great job.  But she really wasn’t having it.  She was feeling miserable and she really needed me to know and I needed to act.

At that point I asked myself, “What does a husband do to ensure his pregnant wife is getting all the support she needs? What can I do to make things easier for her?”

You know when you’re trying to solve a problem and your mind just stays frozen? It’s like an app crashing inside your brain and everything staying still. Or it’s like me trying to channel Sherlock’s Mind Palace.  Unfortunately I’m no Sherlock and my mind is less like a Palace and more like a Shack.

mind palaceBut after thinking things through, I realize that if my wife was going to physically and mentally give up her body for the next nine months, as her husband I should at least do the same in whatever capacity.

With that in mind here’s what I’ve learned so far halfway through my wife’s pregnancy:

  1. Don’t ask, just do.  If you ever need to ask, “Babe, do you want me to help you with X.” You need to not ask and just do X, and while you’re at it solve for Y too.
  2. That above and beyond awesome thing you did is now the standard. Early on in my wife’s pregnancy I was the food police. I was paranoid of her eating anything that could put the fetus at risk.  This included pesticides on fruits.  So what I did was started peeling the skin off of fruit she eat.  This has now become the norm, and I am a level 50-Ginzu master.
  3. Do all the chores. Even the crappy ones.  On top of the manly chores that I do like fight off wild animals, hunt, and chop wood with my bare hands, captain planetI learned to do all of the other stuff too like laundry or cook. Learning to do it all makes me feel like a pretty badass husband. I’m kind of like Captain Planet, if earth, wind, water, fire, and heart were, Garbage, dishes, cooking, bills, laundry, and groceries.
  4. If she doesn’t want to eat it, she really #%^$#! don’t want to eat it. Always prepare food options and respect what she wants.  As I mentioned in a previous post food-swings are for real.
  5. Be a Sherlock. Deduce and anticipate her needs.  My wife has a “I need a ginger ale face””, as well as a “I need to sit down look.”  After picking up these looks and expressions I was able predict what she needed and just acted.  It made me look like a mind-reader.  But more importantly it allowed me to show my wife that I am an attentive husband and I knew what she is feeling.

I hope I can look back to this in the future and not lose sight of what needs to be done for my wife. I know that if she’s making a big sacrifice to bring our child in the world, this is the least I can do right?

 

Food Swings

A wise man once said, “A smart man does not succumb to their wife’s cravings, or he will have nothing left.”

That wise man is likely dead.

In a ditch.

I don’t want to be smart, I’ll just be the stupid husband, thank you.

After moving out and living with my wife, I’ve learned a thing or two about women and how they function.  For example, I’ve learned that the answers to all questions are always “Yes.” Unless she asks a question longer than 30 seconds the answer changes a little to:

*Pause*; *Intelligence Face*; *Look at her*; “Hmm…that’s true, yes.”

Needless to say I’ve got everything figured out.  I’m even pretty good at playing the emotional minesweeper game known as mood swings.  When I sense an emotional mine in the vicinity, I put a flag down and make sure I don’t step there.

That mine was the I'll take out the trash after the game mine. Should've used the flags.
That mine was the I’ll take out the trash after the game mine.
Should’ve used the flags.

“So you rather play Call of Duty for the third straight night, than sleep early with me?”
*Drops flag*
“Of course not, I love sleeping with you early.”

Or

“Wait, what do you mean we should just stay in instead of having a dinner downtown?
*Drops 2 flags*
“I was just kidding, I just wanted to surprise you!”

 

Really, I thought I had things handled quite well and I’ve been able to handle these situations like a champ, until this pregnant business comes swooping in.

The mood swings my wife has been experiencing has melded with a lack of appetite and transformed it self into something more…let’s call it Food Swings.  And man, these Food Swings are on another level.

How so? I noticed two types of conversation that we have now when it surrounds the subject of food.

Scenario 1: “13 year old Emo Teen Non-Cravings”

Me – “Hun, what do you want to eat tonight?
Wife – “I don’t know…:
Me – “Fish?”
Wife – “No…”
Me – “Chicken?”
Wife – “No…”
Me – “How about I make you congee?”
Wife – “No…”
Me – “I can bake potatoes, do you want that?”
Wife – “Stop asking, I don’t #%&* know, okay…arrrrgghhh!”

You would think that a person who is carrying an extra person inside would want to eat more.  But I learned that though her intentions are to eat, it’s the wacky hormones that are throwing off her inner foodie.  And thus, it’s up to me to step up my game and find her anything that might interest her appetite.

Scenario 2: “B*tch Better Feed My Tummy Cravings”

 Morning

Me –“Okay Hun, we have string beans in our fridge and some pork, we should stay in tonight.
Wife – “Yeah, that’s a good point…I don’t mind staying at home!”
Me – “Alright I’ll marinate everything!”
Wife – “Sounds good! :)”

Afternoon

Me – “Alright, are we still good for eating at home tonight?”
Wife – “Oh, I just saw a picture of Kimchi Fried Rice…OMG babe I want that now!”
Me – “But we have stuff at home…”
Wife – “OMG…I hate you. I’m gonna shoot you.  You’re dead to me.”

These are actually kind of fun, cause you do not know what triggers these cravings.  So far I learned that with a wife who is constantly on Instagram following food accounts, there’s pretty much no point of even buying groceries.  I’m better off spending that money on gas to go to these restaurants.

No matter how suave I used to be with massaging the mood swings.  These Food Swings are the real deal and she is not messing around.