The Baby Cometh

Just a quick notice: Nam’s water has broken.
I am sitting in a VIP post-op room by myself, as I am not allowed in the maternity ward. This hospital has a strange policy of not allowing husbands into the delivery rooms. It’s a policy we came asking about just yesterday in anticipation of the baby’s target date of May 11. It’s this policy that started us planning on checking out hospitals in the big city of Khon Kaen, an hour away.
We were going to go this weekend, when a doctor we saw before is on duty. Hell, we were talking about going today after lunch. Then her water broke. I threw the go-bags in the trunk, helped her in the car, and we were off. On the way to the hospital I told her we had plenty of time to get to Khon Kaen if she wanted to do it there, but that’s not what she wanted so we are here at Mahasarakham Hospital.
My son is positioned buttocks-first, so there really is no choice for a first-time mother, he will have to be delivered by Caesarean (linguistic note: they call it a “Caesar” here). When we got here, Nam was dilated 1cm. That was around 90 minutes ago. It is maddening to not be in the loop here. However, there is an upside for us. Nam has many friends here, bith nurses and doctors. One of them has promised to get me in to see her in about ten minutes (14:30). So I’ m sitting here cooly describing what has happened to this point, but actually feeling quite anxious about my wife and her upcoming procedure, scheduled for 6:00PM. The reason they are waiting so long, apparently, is that they have to wait for lunch to digest.
There, now you know everything that I do. I will update as things happen, but will post this when I go home to pick up some things later this afternoon. It will reside on my desktop as an rtf file until then.
Oh, by the way, I am so glad we decided to eat at home today instead of going out as planned.
UPDATE: I’m picking up a very weak wifi signal around here. I’m going to go look for it.

Forgotten wood

I forgot to mention that when the nice lady doctor at the clinic was viewing with ultrasound a couple weeks ago, the baby let loose with a spontaneous boner. He didn’t seem overly concerned to have observers, either. For some strange reason, I felt very proud about this magnificent display.
Heh.

Intestinal Flora, The Importance of

Clive Thompson (the Giant Squid Overlord) has just put up a very interesting post: Why C-section births might cause eczema in babies
Now, in the midst of making some very important choices about how our boya is going to be born, this type of information is key in confirming our choice in a natural birth, if at all possible. We know that the C-section is a valuable tool, indeed a life-saving one as proven time and time again, but the reasons we have heard for having one out of want instead of need recently really cause some concern.
Some women who have had them (numerous times in some cases) claim that it’s the only way to go, because it’s relatively painless and easy. Holy crap, does that reasoning worry me. Some women have advised Nam to have one because of vaginally expansive reasons, which I will not get into in detail, but suffice to say that said women are afraid I will leave my wife if she has a natural childbirth… And some have just been brainwashed by a booming medical business that states that Caesarians are safer and less stressful on the infant and mother – never mind that that stress might be the entire point of natural childbirth.
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On a flip note, if you read the article linked from Clive’s post you probably came across the reference to Lund University in Sweden. I’ve been there, and it’s the only place in the world where my eczema acted up besides Japan, for the exact same reason it acted up in Japan – the extremely dry winter conditions.

Baby Update – There’s something moving in there!

I first felt the baby moving a few weeks ago. Nam first felt it a month or two ago; it’s apparently hard for a first-time mother to tell movements of the fetus apart from digestive and other normal movements. Now, though, there is no mistaking it; he wakes his mom sometimes by moving around so much.

  • Sometimes if you tap or pat lightly, he taps back from the inside.
  • He grooves to a good beat and seems pretty chill when something soft is on.
  • Sometimes when I sing him a song, he pounds the walls for an encore. (So far one little, two little, three little Indians is his favorite even though I tell him the PC version should be counting Native Americans. He replied “I likes me a good curry.” What the hell does that mean? How the hell does he know a good curry from a bad one?)
  • His favorite TV show so far is The Shield, he likes to watch Vick Mackie kick ass.
  • He pretty much hates that Baby Einstein stuff – dancing dolls and teddy bears are for girls, he says.

Slow Emergence

So I have a big confession to make: I quit smoking on New Years Day.
It’s been a week, a busy week to be sure.
Getting up the nerve to quit was a very difficult thing to do, because I enjoyed smoking so much. I was addicted to the act of smoking more than I was to the nicotine. I pretty much proved this by quitting cold turkey with a pack of nicotine gum in my pocket – I never used it, but it was there in case the nicotine withdrawals got in my way at work or something. The physiological effects that nicotine withdrawal had on me were extreme exhaustion and lethargy. It was like coming down from a 20-year stimulant high, or emerging from a pool of slow-setting epoxy. So of course, I chose this time to move into the new house – in between fugue bouts of narcolepsy, that is.
I figured I could distract myself by keeping busy packing and moving boxes, and it worked very well for the most part. I explained to Nam ahead of time that I might be irritable or go kind of crazy about little things (more so than usual, that is, so we were prepared when that stuff inevitably happened. I experienced an out-of-body rage when I found that a stone lantern I had stored at my housing developer’s office had been broken. I used to experience this level of rage all the time: When it happens, I can actually see myself going berserk and feel regret for what’s about to happen, but usually do not bother trying to stop myself. So anyway, I completely lost it when I saw a stone leg had been broken off and proceeded to smash the lantern into little tiny bits on the concrete outside the office as the secretaries inside looked on in horror. Rage issues, man. I proceeded back home where I sat down on a new couch and immediately fell asleep.
But, you know, other than that, it’s been easier than I thought it would be. I guess it all comes down to having a good reason to quit. I mean, you would figure that decreasing your chances of DYING EARLY would be a really stupendous reason to quit, but it just is not for most smokers. There usually has to be a more immediate motivation. For me, it is the baby. I knew this was coming from five months ago. I knew the baby was coming, I knew we were moving to a new house. I promised Nam I would quit before we moved, and New Years came up at around just the same time, so…
It’s kind of strange. I thought I would have to swear off coffee and alcohol for a while, but I’ve had both this week and they didn’t affect my cravings that much… I think everything’s OK as long as I’m within proximity of Nam and the baby. As long as I avoid solo trips to pool halls, strip clubs, and crack dens for a while, I think everything may turn out just fine.

Strange baby products (part 1)

So people are starting to send me strange baby-related links, which is pretty cool. G sent me the first link:
zakyyo.jpg

If you haven’t given birth yet, the Zaky is great to bring to the hospital when your baby is born. Scent it with your own scent beforehand to help your baby when he/she is in the bassinet next to you or give it to the nurse when your baby is taken to the hospital’s nursery. This way you give your baby “your hand” with your scent, and the nurse can use it to support and position your baby. Also, because your baby smells and feels something constant from birth, the Zaky helps the transition to going home.

Uh, okay.
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Adam sent me the next link: Issho ni Nenne baby Mickey womb doll by Takara Tomy
baby-mickey.jpg

Baby Mickey and Minnie play internal melodies and sounds that recreate what they heard before birth, such as the heartbeat and bloodflow. This helps them sleep and relax, gives them a new friend to play with, and gives parents more peace of mind.

My personal take on these two products is that they would be better combined: Giant diembodied mouse paws that emit heartbeats and other assorted uterine BGM, scented with my man-sweat.

15 weeks

20071121nam.jpg
I was going to send this out by email, but Nam said she didn’t mind leaving it as a record up here. She eats often and in respectable quantity, and she says it’s my fault since the baby has my appetite. OK.

First Glimpses of Posterity

Here is little Fetus swimming about like a tadpole at six weeks:

And here’s another shot, as well as a closeup at 8 weeks:

The doctor couldn’t get the right angle for the latter shots and at first thought Fetus was actually a pair… TWINS!!! What a scary thought! The world is not ready for Yoshida twins! (The doctor was wrong, though.)
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If Fetus grows up and is freaked out by reading this blogpost, please remember Daddy did this with you in mind. This whole blog, in fact, is a record of who made you. It is only natural that you become the centerpiece.

Songs in the key of fetus

Somebody at work gave Nam a Mozart for Babies type CD (perhaps this freely downloadable one) – and I cannot state this lovingly enough – but it’s driving me fucking insane. It’s basically Mozart on Valium, and I didn’t exactly start out a Mozart fan anyways. Nam plays it on the Pioneer system I have next to the bed every night, and it’s so babyishly cute I want to pour baby powder in my eyes and watch Happy Tree Friends reruns all night.
On the flip side, though, maybe the baby will be a genius, so I guess it’s worth a try.
Still, maybe I can convince her to switch to the String Quartet’s Tribute to Led Zeppelin tomorrow night.
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Of course, the best fetus song of all time is Yellow Ledbetter.
And I’m immensely happy that we’ll soon be able to experiment on the efficacy of the infamous Takemoto Piano ad (the second video in that post).

T-minus eight months and counting

This post is basically an errata for the due date I wrote in the comments a couple of posts back. The actual due date is May 11 (not May 15).
I have been mind melding with the baby in between introducing it to Crowded House and Jack Bauer, and his (her?) Majesty says he (she?) will accept the following as gifts, in order of preference:
– 1967 Fastback Mustang
– 1978 Chateau Margaux
– A hundred fawning nursemaids bursting with milk
The only problem is, I don’t know which are genuinely his (her?) ideas, and which are mine…

Who’s your

Took Nam to get blood tests (all good) and find our “steady” obstetrician today. Found one of the only females in the business in this area, and she tuned out to be solid. Only thing is, she called me “daddy” in Thai (as in, “what does daddy do for a living?”). This is the first time I’ve been called that in a non-joking context my whole life, and it felt weird. But she’s right – I’m gonna be a daddy, and it feels good. It just felt weird to be called that.
Just between you and me, though – when the hell did I get so old?