It’s a girl.. Emery Maren….

It’s a girl!

But let’s rewind this back to a week ago. After lots of discussion, my girlfriend and I opted to do the blood work which allowed us to find out the gender of our baby. We were told it’d be 5-7 days until results would be ready.  That was very early last week.

By Friday of that week, I remember thinking that would be the day. I messaged my girlfriend to see if she heard anything. No word from the office. The anxiousness was starting to overwhelm me. For instance,  I posted on my personal Instagram a picture of a blue and pink videogame controller as I was curious to see which hypothetical controller my child would be using.

Monday comes and I messaged my girlfriend to ask if there was any word from the doctor. Nothing. I googled the average length it took for the results to come back and saw it was 3-5 days. Sigh…. of course this would take a long time. Patience is not a virtue of mine.

The Big Day

Monday lunch hits and we planned to meet up at my house to eat. When she arrived, she handed me an envelope that a co-worker wanted to give to me. I get really awkward opening gifts and reading cards in front of people; I prefer to do it alone so I set it aside. Then I told her what I saw on Google and she told me perhaps the doctor meant 5-7 business days which meant the end of the week.

We just sat there and played on our phones and chatted about the day. A few minutes later, I decide to go ahead and read what was in the envelope because I didn’t want her to go back to work and have her co-worker curious to why I wouldn’t read it.

I do not like cards. I know; it’s weird. So I opened the card up and kind of glanced at the front and read the front. Within seconds, I already had forgotten what it said. Inside the first two words said, “Hi Dad….“. Nothing was registering in my head at the moment. I sort of surveyed part of the written note and only remember seeing the words “I’m”, “healthy” and “love…”. Still I couldn’t comprehend what was going on. There was a little slip of paper inside the card taped up. I pulled it out, ripped the tape off and opened it up.

I see a pink videogame controller.


I look back at the card


While sitting there, I turned to my girlfriend and saw tears in her eyes and she said, “It’s a girl and she’s perfectly healthy.”

Literally no less than a second goes by and tears were just pouring down my face. I tried everything I could to stop it but nothing worked. It was like someone hit a fire hydrant with their car and it burst open.

I gave her a hug and could just feel the flow of tears running down my face. It was hard to describe. It was tears of joy; tears of relief; tears of happiness. Once I was able to compose myself and blame it on allergies, we just sat there in silence. I really can’t recall the last time I’ve cried….. like really had a good cry of complete happiness. It was the first time I cried around my girlfriend so I didn’t know what to do but blame it on the weather and pollen. She wasn’t buying my B.S.

It’s a girl and she’s perfectly healthy.

For those that know me, it’s no secret I’m incredibly close with two girls in my family who are both eight now. From about the time they were 3 years old until now, we’ve been a big trio road tripping, dining around the city, rooting on the Shockers, going to zoos, museums, play areas, you name it.

For most of my life, I always said that I wanted to have a boy. But after the relationship I’ve built with those girls, I think all that changed. From the moment I found out I was going to be a father, deep down I did want a girl.

…..and it came true. The girls were incredibly happy too that our wolfpack was growing.

The Future Is Bright

After my girlfriend left, I sat there and the news of the day sunk in. I was going to have a little princess of my own. I can’t lie and will own up to it, I probably cried or had my eyes water up probably four more times that day. Even writing this and reliving that day, I could feel my cheeks start to quiver.

All the tears shed led me to one sad truth. That protective and overly sensitive father is going to be me.  Tears will be shed when she says her first words especially if its “Wichita State Shockers”. I’ll probably cry when she learns how to walk. Watching her walk into school on her first day will be a tearjerker. The first time we are playing cornhole and she sinks it in the hole will be a proud moment. I’ll definitely cry the first time she calls me dad and tells me she loves me. (Shit!!!! I’m starting to tear up again). I might just end up being like Phil Dunphy on the TV show Modern Family.

I’m doomed. The funny thing is, I’m not even a sensitive guy or one to show that side of me really ever. Emotions are something I very much try my best to keep internal but this girl seems to be pulling at my heartstrings with ease and we’ve never even formally met.


So please welcome Emery Maren.

The name had been chosen weeks in advance. While we discussed names, I wasn’t deadset on it but would have loved to have an E name to match mine. My girlfriend originally wanted Maren but after some debate, we went with Emery Maren.

If it was a boy, who knows what would have happened. I suggested the name Equinox but that was quickly thrown out the door.

So now that the cat’s out of the bag. I’m having a baby girl and still can’t believe it. All I know is Beyonce was right about one thing she sang.

Who runs the world? Girls.”

Emery will run mine and I’m completely OK with that.

The Journey: My second doctor’s appointment

Dr. Christman was on the calendar to start the year off for me. It was the second day of January, everybody was on the “New Year New Me” kick and my girlffirend and I were off to see the doctor for the next checkup.

Since the first appointment, I have to admit I was down about some things. Stress, fear, worry, the negativity of others really affected me. I let the negative opinions of others get to me which has always been a big no-no for me.  

My mood wasn’t exactly all peaches going into that second appointment. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and awaiting Dr. Christman. Since we last met, I don’t think he had a clue who I was or what my part in this baby was.

When he entered the room with one of his nurses, he immediately shook my hand. I stood up and smiled. I think I said, “Hi”. I forget; I started to get nervous again.

He then went through all the preliminary questions asking how things were going, how my girlfriend was feeling and all that. So she once again did all the talking as I sat there looking like Charlie Chaplin using only visual responses. 

Next thing I know, this little box comes out and he goes, “Are you ready to hear the baby’s heartbeat?”

As he prepares her, I scooch my chair over a little closer. I remember thinking to myself, “Good thing you cleaned your ears this morning Eddy.” 

Dr. Christman turns on the speaker and I hear what I thought was something similar to putting your ear against a big seashell. Somebody forgot to eat breakfast this morning!

Seconds later I hear this thump, thump, thump. It was pretty quick thumps. Dr. Christman then moved the device and I could hear a slower thump…… thump….. thump. He goes, “That’s your heartbeat.” He moves it again and the same quick thump, thump, thump goes off. “That’s the baby’s heartbeat”, he said. 

He left the device on there for a second and every other noise was blocked out. All I could hear was this baby’s heartbeat. Had it dawned on me, I would have asked to record it but I was so focused on hearing those beats. I remember closing my eyes quickly to listen and take it in. When I opened them a slight glaze of tears covered my eyes.  

This was now back to back appointments with tears in my eyes. I’m going to need to have a chat with Dr. Christman. I don’t know how much I can handle these emotional visits. The Shockers have been struggling this season so it’s already been emotional enough for me! Hearing those beats really helped lift my spirits and put me at ease to some level on everything else going on in life. 

Once we were done, we went through some other talks about things. The last thing I remember was Dr. Christman asking, “How does your husband feel about this?”. I about choked on my tongue. We all got a good laugh out of it except we did not clarify our relationship status. And he still doesn’t know my name since I forgot to introduce myself to him…… again. I guess I was just glad he didn’t think I was the Uber driver. I promise by February, he will know my name. I found out his wife follows my food blog, so perhaps I’ll bring that up. 

Until the next appointment……. 

The Journey: My first doctor’s appointment

Doctor’s visits have never really been memorable for me but there’s one I’ll never forget. It was a late November morning and it was my girlfriend’s very first appointment since finding out she was pregnant. She asked me if I wanted to go and there was no hesitation in my answer. I knew immediately I wanted to be there every step of the way.

I met her at the doctor’s office and we sat there in the waiting room. I saw many women, some with kids, some without. While sitting there, it was a little uneasy for me. So many times the same thought crossed my mind, “Am I really here?“. This would only continue throughout my time there. I even saw an old friend from high school who I don’t believe saw me. It was one of those times, I felt like my mother would walk in. Just God’s way of getting a laugh at my expense. 

Eventually my girlfriend’s name was called and we were walked into a room. A nurse came in and asked my girlfriend many questions about her history. I just sat there observing all the posters on the wall, the medical utensils in the room and how terrible my shoes were tied.

Soon after the doctor walked in. Years ago he delivered one of my girlfriend’s kids so there was already a connection there. He looked at me and said, “Hi, I’m Dr. Christman.” and shook my hand. I smiled. I was sort of in a state of shock that I didn’t even introduce myself. For all he knew, I was the expectant mother’s Uber driver just standing there. At no point would I ever say who I was or what my role in the process was. This didn’t even occur to me until after I walked out. I was speechless.

It was an extremely awkward situation for me. After the introductions (minus myself), he started doing some simple checks on my girlfriend. While she was sitting on the examination table, I turned my face towards the door and started cheesing. When I’m uncomfortable, I can’t help but giggle and laugh. So at that time, I had this grin on my face and was trying so hard to hide it. I remember saying to myself, “Pull yourself together Eddy“. 

As I was able to compose myself, he brought out the ultrasound machine. He prepped my girlfriend and an image slowly came on the screen. I sat by her while we saw a blur come on the screen. We could kind of make out the baby. Due to how grainy it looked, I just watched with a blank stare; nothing really hit me.

Dr. Christman would make some adjustments and you could slowly make out an image that was about an inch long. Suddenly I saw this quick second glow. It was the baby’s heartbeat. Everything in my life stopped right at that moment as I let what happened soak in. I don’t know how to explain it but this emotion came over me for a brief second. The first thought that came to my mind was “Holy f*ck. This is real!”. From the time we found out a baby was coming, I’m not sure it really hit me. So for that small moment, it was a another sign that helped me come to a realization that it was happening. Dr. Christman would print off some sonogram pictures that I still have and keep on my dresser at home.

After that we went over some precautionary measures, things we could expect over the next few months and we were on our way. He was incredibly nice and overlooked all my awkwardness as if it was a non-factor. I just hope he doesn’t say to us during our next appointment, “Oh you brought your Uber driver again!”.

The Power of Positivity

I debated for a long time whether to write this. I’ve gone back and forth on exactly how personal I wanted to get. After many long nights, I decide what the hell. Let’s do it.

The power of positivity. It’s a concept I’ve never actually believed in. I never had this need to be around positive people to be happy. My own happiness has always been solely based on myself. It wasn’t until I found out about the baby that the power of positivity is the real deal. It’s something I hope I can pass on to anybody who may be in my shoes in the future.

I’m a firm believer, people can choose to believe what they want. People can do what they want with their life. That’s on them.

I am not married. I am older. My path to fatherhood isn’t traditional. It’s not the  couple who is married, living together and has a long history of Facebook photos bragging to the world of how perfect their situation is.

When my girlfriend and I found out we were going to have a baby, we were curious as to what others would think. At first, the big ol’ bad me figured it wouldn’t bother me what other people thought. I was wrong.

Since news came out, the response has been beyond incredible. The support and kind words from people has been amazing. BUT…..there’s always a but, I let my mind get focused on the negativity. Whether it was because we weren’t in this picture perfect scenario where we’ve been happily married for an acceptable amount of time as predetermined by the others or the way people found out as if that really matters, we were met with some negativity and that was hard for me to swallow.

“The power of positivity is the real deal”

I’m not even sure why I even let it get to me. In my mind, I thought loved ones always support other loves ones despite their decisions. My brother could go off to twenty different countries, marry twenty different women at once and have twenty different children. That’s on him. While I don’t think that’s right, his choices are his choices and that’s what he has to live with. So hearing the criticism after news came out was really really hard. To be judged by people who don’t know me is something I could care less for but in this situation, it did bother me. I was angry; I was hurt; I was bitter.

It took me a while to start to get over it and back to focusing on the things that really matter. The day I was able to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time kind of changed things for me and got my mind slowly on the right track. Putting myself in the company of good, caring and loving people was a big big big big big big big plus for me.

I can say today, I truly am 100% excited for our next doctor’s appointment. How I envision to raise my child has been a constant thought in my head. The roller coaster of emotions has settled. I plan to only surround myself and my little future family to be with those on board who can give the baby the same love that is deserved.

I know there will be plenty of future fathers out there who may not be in the perfect situation that is acceptable in the eyes of society or their own family. It’s tough. While not everybody will be on board, only pay attention to the support and surround yourselves with those who are there for you. Their positivity will be infectious and will keep your spirits up as you prepare yourself for the next exciting chapter in your life.