The First Night From A Year Ago

With my daughter just turning one yesterday, I had some time to reflect back on what a crazy first night it was when she came into this world. Behind this confident looking dad constantly posting Instagram photos of how wonderful being a dad is – lies a memory of a traumatic, life changing first night at the hospital. A night that has forever shaped this dad, and is now in the back of his mind whenever the inkling of having a second child comes into conversation.

The dad is more impressed with the lights than the baby.

A photo posted by Ingus (@snappingus) on


You know when you buy Ikea furniture and before you build, you go through the instructions and feel a little overwhelmed? That’s kind of like becoming a parent. You know what the end product looks like, but the process of getting there is what’s confusing and intimidating.

Babies: Assembly Required

You realize that the end goal is you becoming a competent and loving parent, but in order to become that, you need to go through so many confusing and trying steps.

That is what I realized that first night when she arrived.

I remember that the first night after she came out, when her mom was recovering and I was lying with her skin to skin on a makeshift couch bed, she was so tiny and so delicate.

I thought to myself:

“Oh sh*t, I have a daughter. Oh sh*t, I’m a dad now.”


That moment, I felt like everything that I had prepared myself for was useless.

Skin to Skin and Sing to Sing

I envisioned how I would be as a dad, and I envisioned how it would be like to have a baby. But when it finally happened, I never actually thought about process of become a dad.

Basically, for those first early moments, I just did stuff I saw on TV and movies.

Seriously, at one point in my hysterical mindset I thought, “Oh I must sing this song to her so that she’ll have an emotional attachment to it and be calm in the future whenever I sing”

I talked to her and told her how everything was going to be fine and life is going fantastic.

That was all a lie of course.

I mean can you imagine sleeping peacefully in a warm toasty bed only to be forced out to the cold winter streets – wet and naked?

I’d be pissed and freaked out.

For the rest of the night I remember her waking up and crying every one and a half hours. And I remember getting up each interval changing her diaper and bringing her to mom for feeding.

After the feeding I would put her in a loose swaddle and rock her so that she would fall asleep.

It Ain’t 5:05 In The Afternoon

All that crying. 

It sounded like they cross-bred one of those rubber chickens with a pterodactyl.

What a truly terrible sound.

I felt bad that she was crying and disturbing her mom, so I just started walking around the maternity ward shoeless with a tiny baby in circles.

At one point I even thought, maybe if I walk her over to the nurses desk, they’ll see how distraught I look and help me hold her for a bit.

Nope.

They just politely smiled and gave me a “your-wife-just-went-through-labour-and-you-better-hold-on-to-that-newborn-look.

Fair enough.

Basically I was so tired and overwhelmed, and I thought:

Shhhhhhh*t I have a daughter now, and thiiiis is how it’s going to be?


I really didn’t think it would be that hard.

But it was.

And it’s something that I’ll never forget.

Ever.

Of course things got better little by little as each day passed. And when we finally were discharged from the hospital, we felt relatively confident that we were able to do this.

And we were right.

As the weeks turned into months, and the months now became a year life is pretty sweet.

“Don’t drop baby, don’t drop baby.” ??

A photo posted by Ingus (@snappingus) on


As I write this, my daughter is quietly taking a morning nap, and last night I even slept for 7 hours!

Life is good right now.

Really good.

Yes, there still are tough days and tough nights. But nothing can measure up to that first night.

I think the experience I gained on that first night was exactly what I needed to prepare me as a dad.

And that’s the thing about becoming a parent, you can read all the books, go to the pre-natal classes, or talk to seasoned parents about their experiences. But when the moment comes and a life is gifted to you, you forget everything just learn on the fly.

And you’ll never forget. Ever.

Once assembled, babies are great.

 

7 Tips to Help You Take Better Photo’s of your Baby With Just your Phone Camera

When I check out mommy/daddy blogs/Instagram accounts, and see photos of their cute babies and toddlers, most of them are pretty good. I do say most of them, some of them are kind of lacklustre and don’t do their kid’s justice. I mean it shouldn’t really matter if they’re not professionally done, but I always think in my head, “well I think they could do a little better.”

I am by no means an expert (a photo snob – yes), but I feel that I have been quite successful in capturing some of my daughters moments and expressions.

A photo posted by Ingus (@snappingus) on

 This shot was taken with an iPhone

The purpose of this post is to share some of the techniques and knowledge that I use when I take pictures, and hopefully this can help improve the quality of the photos that you take of your kids.

So if you ever asked “How do I take better photo’s of my baby?” I hope this post can offer you some guidance and put you on the right track. It is safe to assume that most people reading this already have a phone with photo taking capabilities so that is why my tips focus on taking good pictures with just a cellphone, not a fancy DSLR or expensive Mirrorless camera. I mean, having children is expensive enough, I’m not going to advise you to spend more money on some stupid camera when you have everything you need already.

Continue reading “7 Tips to Help You Take Better Photo’s of your Baby With Just your Phone Camera”

Prenatal Class 2: Shoving Things Into a Pregnant Lady

 

Back in my public school days I would remember how we as kids felt about Sex Ed when we were learning about contraceptives.  It was awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassing, but all the kids would hide their discomfort by playing it cool and laughing things off.  Most of us would just joke around and not pay too much attention.

Well according to stats can, in 2005 from ages 15-19 the rate of pregnancy was 29.2 per 1000 women.

That’s actually quite high, and I suppose kids should’ve paid more attention.  Or maybe they should’ve been provide with a stronger deterent.  I mean one-third is nothing to laugh at.

 

hmmmm….

 

I think I might have a solution to drastically reduce that number.

How about we…

TAKE THEM TO A FLIPPING PRENATAL CLASS!!!

Forget the science centre or the zoo, they should load up the kids tricking them into thinking they going on a field trip and just drop them off at the hospital for a prenatal class.  Better yet, just let them roam the maternity ward and watch a live birth.

The things you see at these classes you cannot unsee. 

Now I understand as a father I will see all the goods when my wife eventually delivers but man, the instructional videos and information they provide about vacuums, forceps, vaginal slicing procedures go beyond one’s capacity.

I’m all for knowledge is power, but truthfully, ignorance is a bliss.

To be fair, we did pick up on useful tips, such as when do we know we should go to the hospital (five minute interval contractions that are one minute long), or which areas f the body to massage whe she’s in labour.  But that’s what Google is for.  And at least Google gives the option of only showing safe-search on images.

At one point the instructor was showing us the hook that punctures the bag of water.  She even joked, “for you ladies that crochet, it is actually quite similar to the hook that the doctor would use.”

Great.  Just great.

Not only did this class ruin conceiving, it’s ruined crocheting.  I will never look at a crochet hook the same way!  It’s purpose is no longer to make awesome knitted dolls, it’s now used to poke into my wife’s you-know-what to open the flood gates of Ewww.

Well, that's ruined.
Well, that’s ruined.

 

And to my wife’s credit she tried her best to tough through the class.  I mean it must suck to know in advance what the possible scenarios are.  Like I said, not knowing might be better.

It’s almost like sitting down at a restaurant only to be told by the waiter that you’ll get explosive D after this meal, and you don’t have the option of not eating the food.

At least if you don’t know you’ll get food poisoning, you’ll unknowingly enjoy your meal, only to find out later on.

Suffice to say, my advice would to be to steer clear of the prenatal classes, especially if your wife is already stressed about the process.  But we still have two more to go.  So we’ll see what terror next week brings.

In any case, if there was a saving grace to this class, it would really be the fact that we were able to tour the maternity ward and hear the sounds of babies.  To think that in roughly three months we’ll be in that environment with our own baby is quite…special.

Maybe it was a good thing we got the sex ed we got, cause at the end of the day, despite all the scary details about the birthing process, it should be worth it.

Stage Fright

Well aren’t you a little tease?

There we were, all ready and doing the ultrasound to finally find out your gender, and you decide to keep it to yourself and stay flat on your belly.  Talk about stage fright!

That’s okay…we’re all entitled to be a little bit nervous or shy.  Heck, I choked during a grade three Christmas recital while only having to sing two sentences of the song: “Somebody Snitched on Me.”  I clammed up and just blanked out in front of my entire school and your grandparents.

Trust me as my kid, choking and getting stage fright sort of runs in the family, so no pressure on my end here as it’s almost expected.

But how about this, for the follow up ultrasound next week, if you show us the goods, I’ll buy you ice cream when you’re born??

[Yes I just negotiated with my unborn child with ice cream, this dad thing is going to work out just fine]

Oh, by the way kid, there’s also another thing I should let you know that runs in the family:

.

..

Diabetes.

So that ice cream that you’ll get, it’s going to have to be low in fat and sugar, so it’ll likely taste awful.

[So what I did there, I used manipulation during the negotiations.  Maybe I am cut out for this.]