Tag Archives: 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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The Perfect Storm…For Having A Baby

20 Feb

This past Monday was the due date for the birth of our second son…and so the waiting game has begun.  My wife Kate and I were expecting the due date to come and pass as it did with our last baby, but now we think there is a possibility we could be going into active labor sooner than expected.  Why?

The Perfect Storm

  1. For whatever reason still unbeknownst to me, my parents scheduled an eight-day vacation to Disney World with my sister and nephew the week of our due date…meaning we have no in-town family to help with Max (our two-year-old) or be here for support if labor starts.
  2. Kate’s parents have a trip they are making this weekend and will be unable to get to Wichita to help out if needed till Sunday or Monday.
  3. Its snowing…hard…in Wichita freakin’ Kansas!

Wichita KS Radar SnowThe snow is the the wild card!  It rarely snows here so when it does all hell breaks loose.  No joke, people were flooding into the grocery store today stocking up on dry goods like it’s the Apocalypse, driving 5mph in less than an inch of snow, and I narrowly avoided an accident on my way to work when a car started driving into oncoming traffic because they couldn’t figure out where the lines in the road were.  Zoink!  The truck a few cars behind me smashed their trunk into pieces…its okay…they were both going 5mph.  Followers of So Long Freedom know of my feeling on snow in Wichita so I won’t linger on it…bet seriously, its chaos here!

The phone rings this morning and its the doctor’s office rescheduling our appointment, presumably because no one will be driving anywhere tonight and tomorrow when all this snow turns to ice.  Kate gets off the phone and goes “Oooooh.”  I shoot her a look.  She breathes.  I wait.  She says to me, “That was like no contraction I’ve had before.”  Then ushers me out the door to go to work.


Wichita KS Snow ForecastYeah, I’m officially freaking out…but humorously so don’t worry.  Situations like this make me laugh because they are laughable.  We have no family within 1,500 miles, our midwife is rescheduling appointments, it’s snowing hard outside, Wichita is panicking because for once it will actually be an accumulating snowfall, and my wife is having contractions.  Screw Occam’s Razor and the Principal of Parsimony!  The theory of The Perfect Storm seems much more viable at this juncture.  In an hour I will know more when we go see the midwife.  I feel like I’m in one of those old oaters (that’s an old western TV show for you city folk) where any minute now some woman in an apron and a bonnet is gonna shout out, “Boil some water and bring me all the towels and bed sheets!”  Or…it’ll just snow and we’ll have this baby next week, or the week after that, or whenever.

After a few minutes of snow it is already accumulating.

After a few minutes of snow it is already accumulating.

Snow accumulation after arriving at the office 7 minutes later.

Snow accumulation after arriving at the office 7 minutes later.

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Zoink!!! Anxiety Attack!

25 Jan

ict_sceneLast night after an appointment downtown I decided this was the perfect time for me to finally get my home computer fixed.  A year and a half ago when Kate and I moved into our new house, the Mac G5 died.  Kate plugged it in, hit the power button, and <zoink!> it shorted out.  Being the “Mr. Fix-it” that I am my immediate reaction was to ask her specific questions…which unfortunately Kate didn’t have answers for.  From my interview I determined that it sparked when she pressed the power button and the spark came from either the front or back of the computer.  Basically…I had nothing to go on.  I’ve assembled a few computers in my day and I’m pretty handy with a soldering iron so I began disassembling the tower’s ancillary parts to check the power supply and cooling unit expecting to see a burnt wire, evidence of an arc, or a bulging capacitor.  I found nothing.  My next step was to disassemble the power supply and bring it to my office to look for a replacement.  Next, I let it sit on my shelf for half a year…till last night.

appleg5.lWith a box of parts and an empty tower in tow I headed west to the computer store I wanted to work with.  The guys who run the shop work for me part-time at my restaurant and have developed some amazing safety and security software so I knew finding the arc and repairing a G5 would be a no-brainer for them.  Downside?  The shop is on the west side of Wichita.  For those of you who are not from Wichita…this is a city divided.  I grew up on the east side in the 80’s when there were some clear differences between the two sides.  The east side developed rapidly with high-end shops, fine dinning, and luxury gated neighborhoods.  The west side developed steadily with big box stores, chain restaurants, and culdesacs on man-made ponds.  Today, they are both great places to live but if you’re an east-sider you’ll be damned if you’re driving all the way over to the west side and vise versa for the west-siders driving all the way east.  It’s somehow a preposterous idea to us Wichitans though the drive is only about fifteen minutes.  When I moved back to Wichita after having been gone for 15 years I looked at the west side and loved the idea of living on a pond with a more rural atmosphere…but my friends flat-out said, “We will never come visit you…no matter what.”  So I live just east of Downtown…the great divide.

KellogLast night I hopped on the highway heading west through “rush hour traffic.”  Note:  This is Wichita “traffic.”  I learned to drive in Boston, drove a truck in downtown NYC for a decade, and spent plenty of time sitting practically parked on the super highways of Los Angeles…Wichita aint got nothing I haven’t seen before when it comes to traffic.  However, I felt my self tightening up.  It was dark, drizzling, and I felt pretty hazy from the head cold I’ve been battling for the past week.  Then the thought hit me:

“This is the first time I’ve driven this far west by myself since I had my total meltdown and anxiety attack back in June.”

anxiety-cycle…and like that…the seed was planted!  I started remembering spots on the road where I had pulled over, how I’d stayed in the right lane so I could pull off at any time, and how my brain was locked in a battle between two conflicting thoughts:  “I can’t do this” and ” I can do this.”  That brain battle escalated back in June till I made it to the airport and handed the keys over to my wife who was flying back home.  The following day in June was the spooky day though when the thought-seed grew into a mantra-plant shouting in my ear, “You can’t do this!”  “You’ll never drive again!”  “Things will never be the same!”  “You are going to die.”  Then <zoink!> I shorted out, drove home, cried, saw my doctor, took large amounts of anti-anxiety pills, went through months of CBT therapy, became functional again, and for the past two weeks felt normal…till last night.

stop-signMy brain kept focussing on how I had not driven west alone since June.  I kept telling my brain that I’m in a different place now and I drive alone every day.  My brain reminded me, “But you never drive west.”  I replied, “I drove in Texas all alone and I was fine!”  Then my brain was all, “This isn’t Texas!”  So I was all, “That’s right…it’s Wichita, and if anything goes wrong I can call Kate!”  So my brain hit me below the belt and posed this question, “What if Kate was dead?”  Then I felt really alone…driving west along the highway…in my little compact car among trucks…in the dark…and the rain started coming down.  I pulled off at my exit and started making my way north along the surface streets…I know all the street names but the businesses were all new to me…it was like a whole new city over there…the west side!   I moved this conversation out of my brain and began talking to myself out loud while occasionally glancing at myself in the rear-view mirror.  “I don’t need Kate to combat anxiety, I have tools now and I can do it all by myself,” I told my brain who was losing the argument but still in the fight.  My brain flooded with adrenaline, the anxiety attack washed over me, I visually saw myself going home and crying again like I did in June, and my self-deprecating brain waited for me to call Kate for help.  Instead I took a deep breath, rolled down the window letting the 25 degree air in, visualized a STOP sign to blot out everything, and said my mantra aloud, “This is discomfort…not disaster.”  I repeated this a few times till I was just dealing with the feeling of anxiety without fantastical visuals…almost in control.  I reminded myself that the feeling of discomfort was physically real but the feeling of being in “danger” was not, plus I reminded myself that adrenaline eventually runs out.  I’m in control.  My brain reminded me that I would be nothing without Kate’s help.  I hushed it and said, “Kate is a member of my support system but the answer to my problems is within myself.”  I had won.

anxiety symptomsI called Kate, told her what was happening, and said I was going to finish my damn errand.  My heart still pounding I pulled into the parking lot of the computer store and dropped off my box of parts.  I had a nice conversation while the adrenaline slowly began to ebb…I was the only one aware that I was having any anxiety…it was completely internal.  Then I went back to my car, took a deep breath, and drove home.  The adrenaline stopped, I rolled up my windows, and turned on the windshield defroster since the rain was freezing, making it impossible to see.  As the windshield defrosted and I rumbled along the highway heading east <zoink!> my windshield fractured from the shift from extreme cold to heat!  Scared the crap out of me.  At home it took me a few hours to get my brain to let go of what had happened and just relax.  I was ready for bed at 8pm but forced myself to stay up so I’d get a full night’s sleep.

anxietyThis morning I felt myself doubting my ability to drive to work much as I had after my airport drive in June.  I reminded myself that last night I had driven myself home, I had survived my ordeal on my own, and that I had responsibilities to my job, co-workers, and family.  So I drove to work without incident and am fine.  Probably just needed to write this out to get it out of my brain.  Cathartic.  It is strange, the weirdest I have felt has been the past two weeks where I felt 99% – 100% anxiety free.  I didn’t trust it.  I felt like I was expecting a punch but life wouldn’t throw it.  There’s some psychological crap to chew on over the weekend!!!  <zoink!>  Happy Friday!

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To read more about anxiety, click here.

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