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.


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.


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.


Four Things That I Wish I Told My Pre-Dad Self

Last week was Charlie’s first month and what a whirlwind of a month it was! (Hurray for Christmas babies!!) Within the past month, I’ve been up some nights making a list of just things. I’m sure much of this has been brought up before from other dads who have nighttime epiphanies, but I need to have my point across, since it’s only once that I get a chance to be a dad to a first child.

But before I even begin, I just want to get something off my chest.

I think there’s something wrong with the physics of a newborn as I learned in high school that input equals output. Well based on the amount of poop that this child has produced, I’m pretty sure she’s been sneaking food other than the formula that we’ve been giving her.

I mean seriously the stuff comes out of her like your first time going to Menchie’s for frozen yogurt. And while I can go on about the wonders of a newborns’ bowel movement (the darkish meconium anyone?), here are some things that I learned this past month that I immediately would have brush off prior to the birth.

Sleep is Valuable

You will not sleep. Sleep as much as you can right now. Seriously, just sleep now while you can. They say that some of the greatest minds only slept 2-4 hours per night, well you’re likely not as great as Sir Isaac Newton so enjoy the sleep as much as you can before you become a sleep deprived zombie.

If you don’t believe how brutal it can get, check out my sleep log for the first week: Terrible.

For the most part our babes’ sleep cycle is relatively tame compared to other babies that we hear about, but it’s still gruelling on the body. After the first two weeks, I was amazed how functional I was as a human being going on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. If there’s a sure-fire way to look like the walking dead, having a baby kind of does it for you. I am even more amazed with those parents who take on all of the nighttime responsibilities alone. Previously I thought: “How bad can it be? I mean I had some serious Netflix and Call of Duty binges. It can’t be that bad.” Sigh…If only I had a mailbox like in that Lakehouse movie to time-space-continuum-punch the pre-dad version of me.

Woaahh..a mailbox
Woaahh..a mailbox

Check Your Pride at the Door

Heading in to all of this baby stuff, the wife and I were adamant on roughing it out on our own. I mean it’s a good feeling to know that you can do it all without the help of family or friends. Admittedly I have a tendency to not want to trouble people with our lives. We envisioned it to be some badge of honour tell our kids in the future that we had absolutely everything under control, being parents with an us against the world mentality.

Oh boy.

I learned first hand that sometimes life throws you a curve-ball and you simply need to reassess and rethink. During the first week, I was challenged with the decision to either take care of our newborn or stay and support my wife in the hospital. No amount of pre-planning could have prepared what our new family of three needed to face.

I thought long and hard about taking it on by myself, thinking that it might be possible to look after both baby and mom, but I quickly realized that this was not going to be a realistic option. When you realize that the end goal is going to suffer, that is when you need to graciously accept all the help you can get.

As great as it is to be independent, it is equally as important to know when you need to depend on others to help you.

Life isn’t a movie where an unlikely nanny like Vin Diesel or Jackie Chan will babysit your one week old child with inaudible action pack hilarious hijinks. Sometimes the best solution is one where your pride will take a hit, but it is the right choice for you and your family.

Have a 3:00am Sense of Humour

When it’s 3:00am and you’ve been up for two days at you limit and your baby is still crying even though you think she’s full, burped and clean, you need to have a sense of humour. I knew things would get tough. In fact, I specifically remembered a conversation my wife and I had, when we first went to the hospital, that our relationship and sanity will be tested to its limits. Those limits certainly were reached and there were times where I thought, “Man, what did we get ourselves into?”

But I learned that the best way to cope with a tiring and stressful situation is to try to make light of it. For the past 20 odd years of my life, I’ve been absorbing enough Simpson’s material to any daily situation, and the beauty of it is that my wife can understand most of the references. I’ve begun to shout random Simpsons reference (“HELL, DAMN, FART!”) depending on the situation and I personally feel that this helps keep both my wife and I from going insane.

I truly feel that these moments helped us bond as they allowed us to create a new batch of inside jokes that only we can understand. As a new dad, there were times where I felt deeply entrenched in the process of caring for a newborn and I would inadvertently shun out my wife. Being able to open up to her about this new situation allowed me to get a big picture of what was really happening and what the goal was. I can confidently say that simply letting out my feelings and experiences allowed me to de-stress what really is a life-changing moment.

Another de-stressor that I discovered is that while your newborn will give you the absolute hardest time at night, they can be an incredible source of humour and entertainment in the daytime. So poke fun at them, take a silly photo with them, or anything that can help you justify the terrible nights they give you.

Don’t forget what she went through

My wife is Wonder Woman.

I can honestly say that watching my wife go through labour was one of the craziest and most intense things I’ve witnessed in my life. Kudos to movies and TV shows – when our baby came out with all the fixings, it was exactly like how it was on TV! The tiny, slimy, purplish-blue thing that popped out of my wife was exactly as advertised on Grey’s Anatomy; never will I question what I see on TV. Ever.

More importantly, the pain that she went through leading up and following, I will never know or experience in my life. If they can somehow simulate the labour and birthing experience, I’m positive it could use it to interrogate the toughest criminals and get any answer needed. My wife is amazing for toughing it through and I made the mistake of making a Captain Phillips: “Look at me, I’m the Captain Now!” joke helping her focus on one of the contractions.  Note to self: If you’re not funny when she’s not in labour, you’re definitely not funny when she is.


As the baby takes over our lives, I think it’s very easy to forget how much sacrifice my wife made to get this child out. For the past 10 months it was all about her, and it’s dangerously unfair to her if the attention suddenly shifts from her to the baby the moment the tiny, slimy, purplish-blue thing comes out of her you-know-where.

So just as a friendly reminder: Don’t ever forget what she went through. Period.

With all of that said, every day I am learning more about this world of being a dad to a newborn and a husband to a mom. The moment I think I have things figured out, things get turned upside down and you end up questioning everything.

I am sure there will be much more to learn in the days, months, years ahead, but if I can somehow tell my pre-dad self this (perhaps through a time-travelling mailbox), I’ll be at least a little bit ahead of the game.

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?


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…


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.

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.”


“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”


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! :)”


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.