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……

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!”.