And in that moment, everything changed…

One year ago1, my wife and I went to the hospital, hoping that after 2 false alarms, that this would be it. We would finally get to meet our baby boy for the first time, to hold him and love him. We had no idea what we were in for…

Long story [very] short, my wife was having steady contractions when we arrived. We were seen almost right away, and everything started to be on track. The staff noticed a few decelerations in his heartbeat, but nothing abnormal. Then it went lower. And lower again.

 "Time to be admitted; you're in this for the long haul."

Long haul. Unless you included all of the last 3 weeks of false labor contractions, this would be anything but long. As we waited to be fully admitted, his heart rate kept getting lower. Twenty minutes pass, and they come in to break her water so they can read his heart beat. Then it was time to go get him out2; it was too risky to do things the natural way, the way we had planned and practiced. We wanted to be calm, peaceful, and have him next to us from the start. But he, like his parents, was impatient had other plans.

From the time they said they were going to admit us to the time that he was born was 32 minutes. They allowed me to see him 15 min later, after knowing that my wife was ok, and that we had a healthy baby boy.

I cannot tell you the plethora of emotions that flowed through me those first moments of meeting him. He seemed so small (7lbs 1oz), so fragile, yet so full of potential. I knew what loving another person on this earth meant, but I had no idea how it was going to affect me. (After all, that is how we got to this point…) I was in awe of him, and new that I completely loved this child.

And in that moment, everything changed…

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1This post is going up 2 weeks late. As it turns out, for his 1st birthday, he ended up getting sick a double-ear and a sinus infection (we have been looking for the gift receipt so that it can be returned). So it’s been a hell of a couple weeks, and we are finally getting back to normal, and therefore a small bit of time to finish this post. Hope you can be ok with that, son…

2I’m skipping a lot. This was seriously the scariest 30 min of our lives. It took a lot from both of us not to lose our minds. All of it happened quickly, so it is too much to go through.

Diaper Changes Man

When the actuality of having my son happened, I’m not sure if I was ready. As my parents would say: you’re never ready. And then there are the diaper changes. Lots of them. And as time go on, they say it gets fun. But they are full of shit. They are a workout, a martial art (BJJ – Baby Jujitsu), and often very difficult. But they can also be great bonding times with your kid, your other kids who help, your wife, etc. And given a nice changing area, all ends well hopefully without many messes other than in the diaper…

Since having my youngest, I have noticed something that infuriates me. I have become aware of something that though small, shape our culture and how it perceives men.

Many times my family & I have gone out, be it to a store or a restaurant, and have had the need to change our son. This is a common occurrence, as it is for many others in that situation. A majority of the time, I see the child passed to the mom, and then the mom whisks the child away to get changed. But why is it always the mom?

Men have that responsibility too, as they should. We don’t live in a world where dads are the “head of household”. It is not beneath a man to be a parent. So it goes without saying that a man should change their child from time to time. And this should be easy, except for one thing:

There is hardly ever a changing station for men.

I can recall twice when there has been one. Most times there isn’t one. And after my last experience with the “golden arches”, sometimes there are NONE. Changing stations not only make it easier for the parents, but it makes it easier for everyone else around. It gives them the privacy to not have to look at that crap. (Yes, pun intended…) I have a few times now spoken to the managers of establishments, urging them to have a station installed. The responses vary from “there’s one in the ladies restroom” to “it isn’t my decision”. These answers are both unacceptable.

What about single dads? What about dads that are taking care of their kids while out? What if the dads out there are giving their wives a fun day out while they take the kids? There is no option for them. There is only the grass, the car, the floor, etc. No matter how you look at it, there isn’t thought put in for fathers, and that is a shame.

So to the store & restaurant owners out there, spend the money and think of a dad’s need. Make it so that we can care for our children. Make it so that we have the same access to conveniences. Don’t give us places to change diapers, but rather a place that we can help change the perception of men. Help men be better fathers. Help men change diapers, so diapers can change men.

One Year Later

A year ago today, my life changed forever. I had gone through a few years of a personal hell, but I didn’t realize it. There were a lot of events that took place to get me to this point, and something that I will write about (and post <a href=”https://nahumck.me/out-of-the-fog/>here) later.
I sat at the hospital, prepped for my right adrenalectomy, uncertain of what the outcome would be. My family and doctors told me that my life would be different; not just different, but noticeably different. I can honestly say that I didn’t think any of them were right. I was hopeful that they were, but I really didn’t believe it at all. I had a lot of time to allow my mind play out what would happen (as I like to do); all I was worried about was waking up after the surgery and my heart stopping for the 5th time. I had put my family & friends through enough, and I didn’t need to add stress to them with something bad happening. I vaguely remember things after, up until I was in my room for a while.

The next day, I was feeling better. “Drugs do amazing things,” I thought to myself. Other than some gas from the laparoscopic procedure, I was feeling fine. I was able to get up & not have a code called on me. Progress.

The rest of my stay (on my birthday) was spent with family and the wonderful nursing staff who took the time to walk with me. All said and done, I was in on Thursday afternoon and was going home Saturday morning. Looks like things were ok for now, though I was still scared of what could happen again.

It was Saturday afternoon that I really noticed: I was feeling great, amazing in fact. It wasn’t a small change, it was very noticeable. I wasn’t feeling sluggish. I wasn’t feeling depressed. I wasn’t stuck in this fog of despair and self-pity. I was seeing life more clearly and it was beautiful.

Life has been improving ever since. I’m down to the smallest dose of one blood pressure med; I was on 5 meds at the highest dosages before. My blood pressure is perfect now; it was 170+/110+ before. My potassium levels were back to normal. Small things that would keep me angry and pissed at everyone & everything either didn’t bother me or were short-lived. Everything was getting back to a “normal” state, though I had no idea that this was life as it should be lived.

A week after the surgery, my wife & I found out that we were going to have a baby. I was able to care for her through the rough 9 months (what a courageous woman she is — I truly admire her for it). I am able to care for my family now and care about them in ways that weren’t possible before. I am present. I am happy. And by removing part of me, I am becoming whole.

I am so thankful that I have the best wife, parents, family, friends, and doctors I could ever hope or ask God to graciously give to me. They put up with all of my shit, all of the stress, and help me figure out what was wrong and fixed it.

This past year has been this amazing start of a transformation in my personal life, and I look forward to what my future holds…

A new thing…

I have had a hell of a past 4 years. For every bit of it that has been tough, it has also brought me much joy. I got engaged and married my wonderful wife; and I even get a wonderful son with that deal. We bought a house. I get into a car accident and have health issues for a year (more on that later). We have another wonderful son. We struggle through life’s struggles. It’s not been easy…

At the suggestion of someone I consider to be an acquaintance for now and hopefully a friend later, I need to write some things down. And some of them will be shared, and this is my place for it. Not other social media outlets where I am the product, but a place that I can put down the words I write as my product (“looking’s free, touching’s gonna cost ya”)

So the journey begins…

~Tim