Six Months of Fatherhood

Here I am, a week away from becoming a dad for a full six months. It feels like it’s been longer and I’m so amazed at how time has flown by.

I’ve run into many people I haven’t seen in months and years and the same question I’ve been asked by everyone is:

How has it been being a dad?

I don’t want to hype it up or set any expectations for those who are getting ready to be a dad but it’s been the most amazing, rewarding, humbling and greatest experience ever. And that’s only at six months while most of my friends have been doing it for years if not decades.

Granted those first 4-6 weeks were really tough with the lack of sleep, constant crying and trying to learn the ropes but once I got over that hump, it’s been the best.

I’ve completely immersed myself in all things dad. In many organizations I’m a part of, I’m told ‘You get out of it what you put in to it.’ The same goes for fatherhood. The more you involve yourself with your child, the more rewarding everything is. And the rewards are so valuable.

That look your child gives you from afar when you enter the room, the smile that pops up on their face when the first thing they see is your face in the morning, it gives you all the feels.

Of course, it probably helps the experience that my daughter is such a well-behaved baby. She’s on a schedule, sleeps throughout the night, naps well and can for the most part be chill during the day. She loves the attention and is completely spoiled with it. Now, I’ve been warned many times that the moodiness may come soon. But for now, I can’t complain at all.

I often catch myself looking at old photos of her and am just in awe of the number of changes she has gone through in less than 180 days.

If you don’t believe in miracles, have a baby and  you’ll change your mind. Bringing life into this world is the greatest miracle of all.

What will I miss most about this time?

There’s a lot.

Probably the biggest thing I’ll miss most is having her tiny little body sleeping on my chest. She’s still small and can lay on my chest but it isn’t the same. I can’t help but think about those times when her small frame that I could almost cup in my hand would just snooze on my body all peacefully. Then, I would just stare at that image forever.

I’ll miss the very small moments that may not seem major to most. But for me, they were incredibly special. The first time she rolled over from her back to her stomach and her stomach to her back were crazy. I spent days trying to record her doing it but the first time she completed her attempt were times I wasn’t prepared. Seeing my parents try to fight for her attention and smile is something I’ll always cherish. When she was finally able to grab her pacifier and successfully put it in her mouth, I felt like man had just landed on the moon for the first time. Seeing her eyes stare at the jumbo tron at the Shocker basketball game was the sweetest ever. And just seeing her eyes light up and smile is enough to turn the worst day ever into the best.

It’s not so much the big milestones I’ll miss most but those small meaningful moments that I’ll always think back on. The things we take for granted as adults are what I’ll miss most. But fortunately she’s just six months old and I have much more to be excited about.

Like our first Christmas together.

So how has it been being a dad?

Simply the greatest time of my life.

Fact or Fiction: Ten Things New Dads Are Told

So you’re getting ready to become a new father. Your family and friends are incredibly excited for you. They want to help you prepare for that journey with many tips, tricks, and things to expect. I heard probably an encyclopedia’s worth of information.

Now after finally becoming a dad, I wanted to tell you the real truth behind what you may hear. Time for some Fact or Fiction.

1.) You’ll get used to the smell of your kid’s poop

False. Poop is poop and it still smells despite whoever’s butt it came out of it. The only exception to this rule might be your own but even that can be false if you’ve ever been to a Las Vegas buffet.

There have been plenty of times, I’ve walked over to my daughter while she’s asleep and wondered what the hell she’s been eating. You don’t get used to the smell it still stinks. But fun fact: baby farts are the funniest thing ever.

2.) You’ll get used to the lack of sleep

False. You don’t get used to it. Do you get over it the next day or two? Yes. But those long nights can feel like hell and you start to wonder whether you can really get through the evening. The next day or so after you spend hours staring at your baby, you get over it.

But then it happens all over again.

3.) Becoming a father can turn you into a softie

Fact. The times I’ve cried in the past have usually been reserved for tragic events and arriving at a restaurant only to find out it closed early.  There have been numerous times, my daughter is staring at me with the sweetest look and my eyes just began to water.

Most recently, we had to take her to get a frenectomy. As she’s getting ready to have the procedure done, she just stares at me. All of the sudden my face went numb and tears were falling. It was as if she was getting ready to go into open heart surgery. I couldn’t help it. I felt like such a pansy and slightly embarrassed as the staff just kind of looked at me. True story. Total softie over here. Sometimes I feel like I tear up so much, I should be on the Bachelor.

4.) Changing a diaper isn’t so bad

Fact. I’ve never changed a diaper before in my life despite all the nieces and nephews in my family. I dreaded every single bit of it. Guess what? It really isn’t that bad. Granted there have been times poop has come out like a froyo machine while changing her and farts blurted out some leftover poop on me, it’s actually OK.

Also do not invest in a wipe warmer. The very first time I changed my daughter’s diaper, she cried so hard. I thought it was because of the cold wipes so I went immediately on Amazon and purchased one. During the two-day shipping time, I noticed it wasn’t necessary and returned it right away.

5.) Take as many pictures as possible and cherish the moment

Fact. Even though it’s coming up on eight weeks, I feel like she’s grown so much. It’s pathetic how many pictures I’ve taken of her but it’s fairly therapeutic to go back and look through those pictures after a long night.

A baby is probably life’s greatest miracle. I have spent so many hours just in awe of her little fingers, her little toes, the tiny nose, the toothless grin, all of it. One day, she’s going to get bigger and older and I’ll miss having her in my arms. This will be 100% fact for all you fathers. So take all the pictures, who cares what people think. I’ve since increased my cloud storage to house all the videos and photos of her. There will be no shortage of picture options when her teachers need photos of her for school.

6.) You are going to be able to do it all

False. At the beginning it’s totally the mom-show. You’re going to be the Robin to her Batman.

Babies, for the most part, want to eat and sleep. And if baby is breastfeeding, you’re stuck just sitting there awaiting word on what to do next.

I noticed before becoming a parent, moms get so much more credit and praise than dad. I’m here to tell you, they deserve it. From carrying the baby during pregnancy to being the food source to being the first person the baby feels close to, they are the real MVP’s. Super dad can wait until the baby gets older, until then bow down to all the moms. Just be there every step of the way for mom and baby. While you can’t be there to do everything for everyone, there are so many things you can to do help. For me, I spend many times talking, singing and dancing to and with my baby to build that bond between us.

7.) You’re going to be so happy all the time

False. Fatherhood definitely has its challenges. There are some tough times mixed in. I’ll admit some nights have been way tougher than others. It’s not all 100% roses. There have been times I wanted someone to slam a door in my face at 3am. If parenting was so incredibly easy, everyone would be doing it. But with the challenge comes an incredible reward.

Don’t be scared or worried to take a little break, decompress, talk to friends, be with friends, have a drink, or do something. I’m the type of guy who usually likes to keep his troubles to himself. The times I’m able to open up and just talk about it have really taken some of the stress off of me.

8.) Parents will spend whatever on their baby

True. There are two things most people will spend money on without hesitation. Their pets and their children. If someone tells you this will make your baby happy or feel better, guess what? You’ll drop everything on a dime’s notice and go get it.

If someone told me wearing a wedding dress while holding your baby creates comfort, I’m headed to David’s Bridal and saying yes to every dress there.

9.) You need to do this and that

False. Every baby is different. All the advice you get should be taken with a grain of salt because no two babies need, want, react to the same thing.

I have decided to parent by the following method: Trial and Error (filled with lots of errors).

10.) Being a father is the most rewarding thing ever

100% Fact. Aside from getting the original Nintendo as an 8-year old kid for Christmas, nothing in my entire life has brought me more happiness in these past eight weeks than being a father. The rewards come daily. Getting her to smile every single day is a reward. Having her look around, seeing you and being fixated on you is a reward. Hearing her coo or make some noise is a reward. Seeing a diaper filled with poop after nearly a day of waiting is a reward. Lifting her head while lying on her stomach is a reward. The smallest things we all take for granted are the most amazing things to witness and be a part of. It’s always something everyday that brings a smile to your face. Through all the tough times and challenges of being a dad, the good really outweighs the bad.

Best Job Ever.

The first two weeks of being a dad

It’s been a LONG time since I posted here but wanted to wait until I had more substance to write about. Today marks two weeks since becoming a father to my beautiful daughter Emery.

This blog is probably aimed more at dad’s to be. Everybody’s experiences are different but here’s a little glimpse of what has happened in the last 14 magical days of my life. Let’s catch up…..

The night before Emery arrived, I slept for maybe 30 minutes total. I remember the staff at Wesley telling us to make sure we got some rest. Yeah right! My nerves were at an all time high. Have you ever arrived home drunk and thought you were going to puke all night? That was the feeling I had all evening. It would only progress the next morning before we left for the hospital.

Hospital Time

When we arrived at the hospital, we had to go through all the paperwork and warnings from the nurses and doctors. I sat there and listened to all the dangers on the anesthesia, medicine, surgery and more. It was their job to make sure we knew all the dangers but it was the most pessimistic hour of my life. It was essentially them saying “Well, there’s a chance she’s going to die so just be aware of that.” So there I was already nervous and then they throw all that on top of me. Insert: stomach ache.

Later on, I get changed into my little blue gown and things were really starting to set in. They wheeled my girlfriend into the operating room and started on the anesthesia. It was at this time my girlfriend started to get tear up. Just the last nine months of wait, dreaming, wondering and there we were. As I wiped the tears from her eyes, I was biting my lip because I felt like I was going to get emotional too but wanted to stay strong.

There I was sitting behind the curtain and the doctors started making the incisions. They were talking us through everything and I was just trying to make sure I didn’t see a thing. My number one fear going into that day? Passing out. I’m not one for gore and had I saw that, it wouldn’t have ended well for me.

The only line I remember vividly hearing was, “She’s a little stubborn!” We can probably blame that on me.

Minutes go by and we are sitting in silence. Then all of the sudden, I hear “waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” There was no fighting it anymore……tears fell immediately from my face. All the months of pressure I had felt was finally lifted. Our baby had come into this world.

Doctor Christman held her over the curtain for us to see her. I remember two things, her eyes were really sunken in and she had hair all over her head, back and shoulders. For a split second, I thought my girlfriend cheated on me with a caveman. I would be informed the eyes would settle down and the hair would fall off.

I was able to hold her for an hour while the doctors finished everything with my girlfriend. I didn’t know what to do or say, I just say there and stared as she cried in my arms the whole time. I get it though, my mug isn’t the prettiest thing in the world.

The Next Couple Days

I’m not going to lie, the couple days in the hospital are ROUGH! My girlfriend said it’d be OK to leave, nap and shower if I wanted to but I wanted to be there the whole time. The food was less than stellar so the only times I stepped away was to walk across the street to Walgreen’s or a fast food spot to get some grub for us.

For the next 48 hours, our days and nights were filled with constant knocks on the doors for baby checks, house keeping, visitors, doctor visits, etc. I know they were just doing their job but it definitely prevents you from getting any sort of rest. It’s like you’re in a reality show like Big Brother and constantly being woken up. The first two evenings, Emery refused to sleep. I’m used to getting little sleep in general but this was a whole other level. I might have slept a total of an hour or two in those first 48 hours. It’s brutal…..just brutal. I even googled consequences of sleep deprivation at one point.

She would cry for so many hours. From my perspective, I felt so helpless. I had no idea what to do but the nurses were there every step of the way. If I was a pope, I’d anoint them as saints. They did their best to make our stay as comfortable as possible.

Finally they let us go home. I was so ready.


I’ve been told it doesn’t hit you until you’re in the car taking her home. I didn’t get that feeling. For me, it hit me the first night in the hospital when the three of us were by each other in the room. When I arrived home, it wasn’t any sudden realization either. Just a feeling of, “Hey this is the next chapter of life. Let’s rock it.”

Since then, I’ve been able to spend lots of time with my daughter, immerse myself in the world of changing diapers and spend hours just staring at her. There have been plenty of nights I’ve slept sitting up, on my knees sleeping with my head on the couch edge of the bed making sure she doesn’t cry, been up until 3, 4, and 5am wondering what’s going on. But you know what? It’s all been worth it.

Aside from the bad there have been more wins. The first night she slept for more than three hours was like Michael Jordan winning his sixth ring. Seeing her kick tummy time in the butt and moving her head from side to side was like watching your child walk at graduation. Listening to her sneeze is just the cutest thing in the world.

But ultimately seeing this face brings more joy and love inside me than anything else I’ve ever been a part of.

Every single bit of advice or thing to prepare for or expect was all false. Nothing anybody tells you can prepare you for what’s to come or what you’ll be feeling.

All I know is I’ve become that parent I used to make fun of. I take hundreds of pictures, I give her hundreds of kisses every day, I lay right by her and stare at her for hours. I tear up sometimes just watching her gaze at me and attempt to give some toothless grin. I sing to her at night. Give her eskimo kisses. Read to her even when she’s clueless. Wince as I take off her diaper not knowing what kind of poop to expect. And worry when she cries loudly as I put her in the car seat. I’m definitely not the stereotypical tough guy dad. My style is more like Phil Dunphy on Modern Family.

People have asked me how I’ve changed or what I have thought since becoming a dad or is it everything I thought it’d be.

It’s hard to put into words. I’ve never had that feeling this intense feeling of love and admiration for anybody. Don’t get me wrong, I love those close to me but I keep it more to myself. I’m not one to really say the word love or get mushy or into PDA’s or even hugging people. Holding hands is a no-no for me and the sappy stuff makes me sick. But with this girl, she’s my everything. She can fart in my face, puke on me, slobber all over my face, cry bloody murder at 4am but I suppose that’s what being a dad is all about. The unconditional love where nothing else matters but that child.

Being a dad isn’t everything I thought it’d be, it’s been so much more than that. In these short two weeks, I have been the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. I only hope I can continue to make her proud. Now excuse me as I go stare away at my child……

Tackling my fear of changing diapers

I have plenty of nieces, nephews, and cousins. I’ve been around them all from the very beginning. When they need something from me, I try my best to be there or to help and support. But that is only in most cases because one thing I’ve never done for them is change a diaper.

In fact one thing I’ve never done in my entire life is…. change a diaper.

All the dads I’ve spoken with have said:

  • ”It’s the easiest thing ever.”
  • ”It takes a minute or two.”
  • ”You get used to the smell.”
  • ”Your baby’s own poop doesn’t smell as bad.”

When I see pictures like this, I don’t believe them.

I have built this weird sense of fear of changing diapers. I’ve smelled and seen many of blow outs where it’s just oozing down the side. I’m really hoping my daughter loves me enough not to do that but who am I kidding!

The past couple months I have been trying to negotiate how to get out of changing diapers but have failed every single time. One dad recently told me to choose changing diapers over any other chore. “It’s the easiest. Changing diapers is a million times better than putting your child to bed. ALWAYS CHOOSE DIAPERS.” He seemed so emphatic.

So the countdown is on. I’m going to eventually have to get over my fear and learn to deal with the smell. If I’m really really really really really really really really really really lucky, she will come out potty trained at birth like I was.