Tag Archives: pregnant

Dodge’s First Few Hours

1 Mar

Dodge’s first few hours have been very calm and he is a happy guy. He went skin-to-skin immediately after delivery and rooted right away. He fed immediately and is in great health. So far the first 12 hours of his life have been full of eating, sleeping, and being held by grandparents. Very precious time and we are looking forward to taking him home Sunday morning.









At The Hospital: Day 1

28 Feb

Quick update, things are going well. Already I’m so much happier with the vibe of this delivery than our previous experience. We have great nurses, our support team is awesome, and things are calm and peaceful here. We’ve been here 6 hours and things are moving along out our pace, which is really nice. Kate is doing well, the baby is calm, and looking like we are in for a little more waiting before the little guy is ready to come out. Till then, when I’m not needed, I’m resting up on the couch to save my energy for when things get going. Thanks for all the support.


Labor Has Begun

27 Feb

labor1pic_smallWhile Kate has been in “Early Labor” (or Latent Labor) for the past few weeks things have been ramping up as the days tick by.  This morning things went up a major notch and baby-watch 2013 has begun!  Tomorrow we are scheduled to induce so I can say with confidence that this baby is coming in the next day or so…the question is when?  Personally, I think that we’ll be checking in to the hospital tomorrow as planned but the needs for induction will be lessened by the natural things Kate’s body is already doing…I’m hopeful that “inducing” will simply be helping Kate’s body jump start and then do the rest on her own.  Who knows…we’ll see.  I feel really good about our support team, doula, and midwife.

Reminder: PLEASE DO NOT CALL/TEXT KATE right now offering support, asking her how she’s feeling, etc.  She knows she has your support and love and we all appreciate it.  Our support team is already in place and there is nothing we need right now, if we do we will contact you.  The best thing you can do to help us right now is give us some space and we’ll introduce you to the little guy as soon as he’s ready.  If you are wondering when is a good time to contact us, click HERE to read the rules we’ve laid out.

My posts will be short updates when appropriate for the next few days.  Thank you for your support.  See you on the other side.

©1993 Robert Mankoff & Conde Nast

©1993 Robert Mankoff & Conde Nast

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INDUCING: We Are Having A Baby This Week!

25 Feb

The final countdown has begun…we will be having a baby in three days or less.  While inducing was never our hope with this pregnancy it has become the right option for baby’s health (which is currently fine).  Plain and simple, the baby (a.k.a. “Zag”) has run out of space and if he grows much more he’ll be at risk.

Europe+The+Final+Countdown+Front+CoveI am more conflicted today than I have ever been with any other pregnancy and parenting decisions over the past three years.  With Max (who was two weeks late) inducing seemed like the right idea, though 20/20 hindsight he could have cooked a little longer.  The induction, however, was a disaster and that falls entirely on the shoulders of our OB and the practice she works for.  I put the bad elements of the birth behind me celebrating my happy, healthy baby boy!  However, I wasn’t the one giving birth and I knew Kate would have a harder time…which she did.  Plain and simple we got bullied.  Pregnancy and birth (from my observation) is a seesaw of feeling like you are losing control of your body and then learning to trust your body.  Women’s bodies know how to make and deliver babies – giving over to that trust requires trusting yourself.  My wife Kate is amazing and she’s a bad-ass, not the kind of bad-ass that’ll deliver a swift roundhouse kick to your head and become a nighttime vigilante…no.  She’s the kind of bad-ass who represents why women are amazing by showing that she is powerful, gentle, smart, forgiving, and can do anything better than you and make you feel like you taught her (she knew it all along).  She is a goddess.  That said, last birth she learned to trust her body early on and even during the pitocin-induced labor it was clear who was in control:  Kate.  Then, the OB pulled the pitocin, took control without cause, and ordered an unnecessary C-Section.  Kate lost her control and trust.

Maybe I'll just pretend the Pitocin is coffee or wine instead!Two years later a few words that spur those feelings of broken trust and loss of control were said today, “induce” and “pitocin.”  We did a sonogram today and the baby was fine.  Happy heart beat, good blood flow, practicing breathing, and calm.  However, without getting into details the baby is out of room.  So we are scheduled for  an induction early Thursday morning which is why I’m conflicted.  On one hand I am relieved to have an end date because all this waiting can drive a guy nuts!  On the other hand I don’t ever want to see my wife robbed of her self-trust and for her to feel she has no control over her body and the amazing things it can do.  She can make babies, birth them, produce food for them, release pheromones for bonding, and has an automatic heat shutoff built-in for when babies nap on her chest!  All my body can do is sweat and convert tacos to farts…which I’m quite good at thank you very much!

NSTKate was the one comforting me today when I welled up at the doc’s.  I told her about how I wanted her to have a birth she looked back on with good memories…a place of power.  She assured me that the team we have tending to us this time around understands that and the sentiment has been backed up by our midwife, her assistant, and our doula.  I just want to hold the little guy in my arms, I want Kate to have a happy birth, and I want my wife to be healthy as well.  I’m ready…which is odd considering how this year has been fraught with peaks and valleys of learning to cope with anxiety.  I don’t feel anxious about this.  Well, let me reword that…I don’t feel inappropriately anxious about this.  Anxiety from nowhere is scary…anxiety from somewhere is expected.  So I feel appropriately anxious but not overwhelmed about having a baby.

FullMoonThe curveball factors:

  • Wichita got 14.2 inches of snow on Thursday which is the most snowfall on record in almost three decades.
  • Our house has been under construction and was slated to finish Thursday which obviously did not happen – instead the snow on the roof seeped into the exposed flashing sites on the eves ruining two of the three new windows recently installed.  We now have fans running everywhere in the house.
  • Wichita was not prepared for so much snow and the roads were finally cleared by Sunday when my basement began to take on water due to the fact that I have no gutters and all the snow is running down the side of my house as it melts and pooling in my window wells.
  • Now that practically all of Wichita’s snow removal budget for the year has been used in the past storm, weather reports show a second front is going to hit today with accumulations between 10-15 inches.
  • The streets (which were not properly plowed last storm) are soaking wet and the entire city will turn into an ice-skating rink when the temperature drops below freezing around this afternoon.
  • It has just started snowing…hard…really hard!
  • Today is a full moon…technically it is a “Full Snow Moon.”

Though the induction is scheduled for Thursday labor could start on its own any second and all signs say it could.  Ladies and gentleman…the stage is set for a good story.


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21 Feb


  • Noun
  • Definition: A Thunderstorm with a brief heavy snow instead of rain.
  • Example: “Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm, is very rare.”

Rare they may be, but last night was my third thundersnow in the past three years!  What made last night’s thundersnow so amazing was the accumulation of snowfall that came with it in what we Wichitan’s have started affectionately referring to The Blizzard Of Oz!

Backyard SnowYesterday I paid little heed to the snow falling from the sky as Wichita rarely gets snow that sticks for more than a day.  When we do get snow it is often accompanied by ice, sleet, or freezing rain.  As well, my North Eastern background has numbed me to driving in the snow.  However, when I left the office last night I was impressed to see that the snow had in fact accumulated, the roads were a bit dicey, and Wichita did look like a winter wonderland.  However, when the news said this was the smaller of the two snowfalls we would see over the course of the day I was skeptical since weather predictions here are as reliable as a jalopy on race day.  Max, my two-year-old, built snowmen in the back yard with my wife Kate all day; school had been canceled.  They would build them as high as possible then Max would knock it over.  When I got home this was the conversation that greeted me at the back door:

MAX:  “Hi Dada!”

ME:  “Hi Max, did you have a fun snow day?”

MAX:  “Yeah.”

ME:  “What did you do?”

MAX:  “I built snowmen!”

ME:  “Really?  That’s awesome!  Where are they?”

MAX:  “They fell down.”

ME:  “Oh no, I’m sorry buddy.”

MAX:  “Its okay, I pushed the snowmen down.”

ME:  “Why’d you do that?”

MAX:  “It happens.”

Max SnowmanThen Max toddled off to play basketball and torture the cat.  “It happens?!!!”  What an awesome response!  Turns out it is one of two of his favorite words, the other being “yeah,” which he says in a down trodden from the hip kind of tone…like he’s already a teenager or something.  “Hey Max, do you love Dada?”  (Without looking up from his toy), “Yeah.”  Max goes to bed, Kate and I call it a night early, and there is no snow falling when I turn off the porch light.  Then…its the middle of the night and the cat is howling, Max is crying, Kate and I are confused, and then SMACK!  Thunderclap!  Kate goes to check on Max and I peek out the window…yup…snowing…hard!  I shoved the cat under the covers and went to help with Max when everything lit up in the house.  Lightning!  My brain half registered what was happening…snow and lightning?  SMACK!  Thunderclap!  A quick change of the diaper and some calming words from Dada and everyone went back to bed.

Snow DoorThis morning I was surprised to see how much snow had accumulated.  The high winds from the storm had also created some thigh-high snow drifts and we were locked in from the snow piled up against the doors.  I pushed the back door open and waded over to the garage and started the arduous process of digging ourselves out.  At first I was just going to shovel the walkways but then I remembered how Kate is pregnant and due any second.  What if she needed to leave in an emergency while I was at the office?  What if Molly our doula needed to come over?  So I shoveled the whole driveway.  Then, catching my breath, I noticed our neighbor’s walkway, driveway, and car were buried.  They just had a baby who was going to come home any day and I couldn’t leave without doing something, so I shoveled off their front steps, walkway, and carved a walking path down their driveway to the street.  I also dug out their car, swept it, and pulled the wipers off the glass – the wipers off the glass is very important in Kansas because all this will melt slightly then freeze and you can kiss your wipers goodbye!

Buried Patio Furniture

Wichita Snow Driveway

Driveway and walkway before.


Driveway and walkway after.

We made a game time decision to not open the restaurant, I snagged some grub at home, and made the trek into the office as the snow continued to lightly fall.  I’ve got plenty of work to do but I can’t stop thinking about all the fun Kate and Max must be having at home!  Making snow angels, building snowmen, knocking them down…it happens.  Yeah.  Thundersnow!!!

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