Are you nervous?

As we get closer to the due date of our baby girl, the question I get asked the most is, “Are you nervous?”  It’s an understandable question, and the answer usually depends on how I’m feeling that day. I feel like I’m ready, but can you ever truly be ready for a child? This is a huge life change. Sometime during the next couple of weeks, Dawn & I will go from being two, to being three. We’ll spend the rest of our lives laughing and crying with this tiny person.

When I sit back and think about it, I’m not nervous to become a dad. I’m excited. Dawn & I have been together since we were 16 years old. I know she’s going to be a great mom, because she already has experience patiently dealing with the antics of a child (that would be me).

What I am nervous about is the day of the delivery. I really want a healthy baby and a pleasant (as pleasant as it can be, anyway) experience for Dawn. This is a major medical event. We’re going to arrive at the hospital with a person in Dawn’s stomach, and leave with that person in our arms. My hope is that the exit from Dawn’s tummy goes smoothly, and we all leave healthy and happy.

In case you’re wondering what other questions I get asked as an expecting father, here’s a short list:

“Are you excited?” (I sure am!)

“Do you feel ready?” (I think so. As ready as I’m going to feel.)

I'd take the pronghorn antelope, but the polar bear will put up a good race.

“If a pronghorn antelope were racing a polar bear in the 400-yard dash, and the polar bear got a 100-yard head start, who wins?” (The pronghorn antelope, but not by as much as you would think.)

“Has time just flown for you during the pregnancy?” (Up until the last month, things have really moved quickly! But the final month seems to be taking forever!)

“Do you watch that show Up All Night?” (We have it set on the DVR but haven’t seen it yet.)

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No, we still won’t tell you the name…

Link wants to know the baby's name. The pig-man-thing won't tell him.

Early on in Dawn’s pregnancy, we made the decision to keep the baby’s name a secret. I was sure that I’d slip up at some point, but miraculously, I’ve managed to go this far without telling anybody. For the most part, people haven’t prodded us too much about the name. For some reason, during past week or two, several people have been asking us about it again. I’m confused as to why people want to know now. The whole world will know in 10-12 days, why now?

Questions/statements I’ve received in the past week:

“What’s the name?”

“How many letters does the name have?”

“What are the initials?”

“Just tell me the middle name.”

“What names were you considering, but didn’t go with?”

“C’mon, I won’t tell anybody. I won’t even tell my wife.”

“Tell me one initial of one of the names.”

“Why did you choose the name? Are you naming the baby after someone?”

I appreciate that people want to know. But I’ve come this far, so I’m not going to crack now. Don’t worry, everyone will know soon enough! Until then, it’s a secret.

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Daddy Weight

This is how I feel right now

When Dawn found out she was pregnant, we obviously knew she’d be putting on some weight. Dawn is naturally a tiny woman, so 25-30 pounds during pregnancy was to be expected. What was unexpected was the 5-10 pounds I managed to put on. People don’t realize this, but it’s not uncommon for expecting fathers to put on weight as their wife goes through the pregnancy. It’s often referred to as “sympathy weight.” I’ll go ahead and call it “lazy weight.”

During Dawn’s pregnancy, I’ve been lazy. Really lazy. It doesn’t help that I’ve also been busy (hence the two-month unplanned hiatus from this blog), but there’s really no excuse for the shape I’m in. When we found out Dawn was pregnant back in February, I was at a healthy 165-170 lbs and was pretty strong. I’d post pictures to prove the shape I was in, but I don’t think anybody wants to see me in workout clothes or without a shirt. Some things cannot be unseen. The point is, I had pretty visible muscles and a flat stomach. At the time, I was lifting five days each week, going on 3-4 mile runs four or five days per week and hitting the spin bike for 15-20 miles while watching TV a couple of times each week.

So how does Dawn getting pregnant suddenly halt this? Why is there a new layer of dough around my entire body? I think its a few things.

1)      When Dawn first got pregnant, she wasn’t putting on much weight. It wasn’t because of nausea or lack of appetite, she just wasn’t gaining any pounds. To combat this, I insisted that she keep eating. Whether we were out to eat or dining at home, we had appetizers, full meals and desserts. Of course, I didn’t think twice about eating with her, thus, my calorie intake went way up. We’d also grab large meals after work, a time I normally worked out, so my calorie intake increased while my exercise level decreased.

2)      Dawn and I like working out together. We have a nice little home gym, so often times we’d go down there and get a workout done at the same time. While pregnant, Dawn understandably worked out a lot less. It’s not easy to run two miles carrying a child, and you can’t lift heavy weights.

3)      Going back to #1, I think my dietary habits suffered for another reason. Like most couples, Dawn and I have designated chores around the house. I take out the garbage, and most of the time, she cooks dinner. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to help, but the likelihood inevitability of me preparing a purple pile of mystery food and/or cutting off my finger puts us both at risk. Dawn’s a little more tired now, with the whole “I’m carrying a human in my stomach” thing, so we have fewer dinners at home. Again, this probably hurts my calorie intake.

So here I am, sitting at a doughy 175-180 lbs. My clothes still fit, but they’re much more uncomfortable than they were seven months ago. Next time around (assuming we have another child…that’s the plan) I need to adjust my habits accordingly. There’s no excuse for a sudden halt in activity, and if conditions change, you need to be prepared to change with them.

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And I’m back!

During the past couple of months, I’ve been a bad blogger. Work and life have been keeping me extremely busy, so I haven’t had the time to write any posts. While I was on my unplanned hiatus, I was really warmed by how many people asked me about the blog. Moving forward, I’ll try to do a better job of keeping the posts consistent, especially with the baby coming in just a few weeks! The list below covers some of the stuff that’s been going on. I may write posts about some (or all) of these items, but I figure it’s a nice, quick way to catch up.

  • Dawn & I attended an eight-hour baby class. It was exciting and scary at the same time.
  • We had two baby showers, one in Columbus and one in Cleveland. Thanks everyone!
  • Dawn now has baby doctor appointments once per week, until the baby arrives.
  • Our baby is now as long as a stalk of Swiss chard:

As Dawn said the other day, stay tuned for more updates!

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Guest post from Ohio Mommy

Ohio Mommy is ready for the baby!

Ohio Daddy has been a bit busy lately, so I thought as the Mommy-to-be, I’d try to fill in and write a guest post!

I’m now 37 weeks pregnant and glad to be nearing the end. It gets difficult carrying around an extra 25 lbs. or so!

Ohio Mommy has a person in her belly.

As for preparations, I wouldn’t say we’re “ready,” but we do have some of the items we’ll need when the little one arrives. We have nursery furniture, some clothes and some diapers. The big thing we still need is a car seat, but we’re hoping to have that taken care of this week.

Over the past few weekends, we were lucky enough to have two baby showers! My best friend, Ashly, threw one and my sister, along with my mom, mother-in-law and aunt, hosted another. Both were fun for the girls (I didn’t make the boys suffer through it) and made me realize how much love this little baby already has! She’s also going to look incredibly adorable in her faux fur coat (thanks Tony and Tina!) and sunglasses (thanks Molly!).

Other than taking inventory of what we have and still need, we’re pretty much just waiting for the last few weeks to pass. My plan is to work through the week of our due date (Oct. 6). If all goes according to plan, the baby should be here by the second week of October!

Stay tuned!

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My baby punched me in the face…while in utero

We’re 28 weeks pregnant now, and according to the books, I should be able to hear the baby in Dawn’s belly. For the first time today, I gave it a shot. The power went out due to a pretty violent storm, so Dawn and I didn’t have anything to do. She suggested I come over and try to listen to the baby, which I thought was a great idea. Apparently my daughter didn’t agree, because the second I put my head up to the belly…WHAM, she let me have it. Right in the ear. I honestly don’t know if it was a punch or a kick, but that baby nailed me.

Love you too, sweetheart.

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Father’s Day applies to me. Weird.

This past weekend my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came in to town. Since they’re fantastic people, they painted our nursery and downstairs bathroom (love you Brittany and mom!). They also gave me my first ever Father’s Day card.

It was a little surreal getting the card. Throughout the day Sunday, I also received various other Father’s Day texts (thanks Nick and James) and social media love.

It was pretty cool. My life has been shaped in such a positive way by my father, I only hope I can be half as good as he was as a dad.

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A week or so ago, I considered shutting down this blog for a few reasons. Then, Sunday night, I was given a stark reminder why I started this blog in the first place.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, I had just finished watching game six of the NBA finals. I climbed into bed with Dawn, and began to tell her about the game. While I was in the middle of talking, Dawn looked at me and said, “Come here.” She grabbed my hand, and put it on her stomach. Suddenly I felt it.


I’d felt some sort of bubbly rumble in Dawn’s stomach once before, but truthfully, we’re not sure if it was a kick or if Dawn was just hungry. Sunday was the first time I’d ever definitively felt my daughter kick. On June 12, 2011, she decided to give me an early birthday present, and tell daddy she was in there.

I’m still taken back by it. It was so exciting that it took me a solid hour to fall asleep afterward. So my daughter reminded me when I started this blog in the first place…because of her. Even as I’m writing this a few days later, I smile just thinking about that kick.

Point of the story: If you have benevolent intentions for something, don’t stop doing it.

Secondary point of the story: My little ninja baby daughter can kick like Chuck Norris.

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A future Yankee girl

My Dad & me

I promise I’m not going to do a blog post every time I get a baby gift, but this one was so clever that I had to share it. As many of you know, my Dad was born and raised in New York. He’s a die-hard Yankees fan. The other day we received a package from the MLB store, and when we opened it, this is what we found:

Thanks Mom and Dad!

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Baby gifts from my brother

My brother & me

The other day, Dawn & I were checking the mail and we found an unexpected package. It was addressed to “Dawn/Stephen & unborn child” and it was postmarked on May 20 (the day we found out we were having a girl).

The gift was from my brother, who is really into politics. He’s currently doing an internship with a congressman in Washington D.C., so his gift was perfect. Check it out:

So the exact day we found out we were having a girl, he was thoughtful enough to run out and grab us some congressional baby swag. It made me smile.

Thanks Andrew! Very thoughtful! We love you!

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