First, let’s get this out of the way. Yes, I’m one of the co-founders of Nerdy With Children, my name is Nick and it’s a pleasure to meet you. Yes, my first child, Thaddeus, breathed his first breath last Monday, March 17th at 2:36am EST. No, this isn’t going to be some sappy, lame, circlejerk baby blog. I promise, the internet is littered with thousands of these “my child is special” rants. This isn’t going to be one of them. No, I’m not going to label myself as a tiger dad, pro-male infant crusader, or an all-natural hippie earth-loving father either. There are plenty of those already in existence, and they do a pretty good job of covering their respective fields. You’re probably asking yourself did the co-founder of a kid-related website that started in 2012 just have his first child? Yes, long story short my wife and I came up with the idea to create a website that catered to us. David, the other cofounder, is childless as well. It’s like owning a Harley store without ever riding a motorbike. Fair enough observation, time to move on.
Now that we’re passed all that, you’re probably wanting to know the point of this post and the following series to come. Good question, I figured I could share my baby experience with you as it unfolds. Let you in on products my wife and I are trying out. The trials and tribulations of our parenting style, if one is to label it as such. And, last but not least, entertain you enough so you keep coming back to the site. It also gives me the excuse that I’m “working”.
Let’s start with labor. One thing no one tells you about, whether it be friends, family or those grueling 2.5 hour classes is that birthing stinks. Literally. The smells are as intense as the pain. That was my thought as my wife began pushing this grapefruit sized head through her vagina. Juices squirting, aromas drifting and an epidural dripping down into my wife’s spine. Numb, that’s exactly how I felt as I held her leg watching the head get closer to the exit millimeter by millimeter. Over two hours of pushing toward the end of a lengthy 25 hour labor and she somehow still kept a smile on her face. She’s a trooper. I’ve never seen her so composed, determined and tough before. She could have climbed Mt. Everest if she could only have gotten out of bed. Do you know what twenty five hours feels like? I’ve been hungover for that long before. It was not a pleasant experience to say the least. Waking up on your bathroom floor after a long night of partying with Grey Goose or Bombay Sapphire. That splitting headache, the constant room spinning, and a stomach so sour you could have sworn you swallowed a 9v battery. Hangovers make you feel like you’re going to die and they can drag on for hours. Childbirth, on the other hand, didn’t feel like a complete day to me, no it was more like a year wrapped in just a few hours. Timeless, is the best way to describe it.
POP! The baby comes gliding out and is laid immediately on my wife’s chest. She’s crying, the nurses are buzzing around doing medical things and here I am sighing. It’s finally over. People told me I would cry like a baby, that my life would completely change in that one moment. I expected to have some dramatic existential crisis. At the very least I would ponder my past, present and future like some kind of cliche Hollywood flashback. Nope, I just felt exhausted. “Camera?, CAMERA?!… give me the camera?” demanded the nurse. Suddenly, a pair of surgically sharp scissors were forced into my hand. Cut the cord, not the nurse’s fingers I told myself. The next thing I knew there was a baby in my arms and nurses were rushing in to help my wife who had fainted while sitting on the toilet. Little did I realize that the adventure had just begun. Unfortunately, sleep would not be accompanying me on my new journey.
Somehow, we eventually made it home. They told me it was Wednesday and the sun had set. “Do you have a car seat?” asked the transporter who wheeled my wife and baby through the halls out the doors. “Because, I don’t know jack about them,” she finished as she dumped us on the curb. Good luck! That’s the final piece of advice we were offered. Of course we have a car seat installed, were people that irresponsible, I replied.
Let’s talk about car seats. Who in the hell designed these vile devices? We supposedly have a good one. Britax Marathon 70-G3, a $200 highly-rated piece of plastic and metal that is supposed to keep the baby alive when you and your car are turned into cat food. Installing it was easy. My Dodge Charger had no problem accepting it into the back seat. Tightening was a little tricky, but after a little backache I got it pretty damn snug. Placing a newborn carefully in it while parked in the firelane at a busy hospital entrance will make you want to just carry the baby home. After a few snaps and clicks we’re off. Homeward bound, hopefully without any broken infant limbs. We’re getting used to it, slowly. It’s still a pain, but I’m not sure it is any worse than any other one on the market. They all suck in my opinion. Decades old technology that needs to be updated for a new century. Archaic as the gasoline engine.
You are so exhausted by the time you get home all you want to do is crawl in the bathtub, gulp-down some wine and sink beneath the bubbles into an eternal sleep of peacefulness. Of course you don’t feel this way. In reality you are so numb, so confused that you are just trying to change a diaper without getting pee in your mouth. So far my kid has peed on me a total of three times and twice in his own face. Don’t worry, you learn how to quickly avoid that problem. Luckily, my mother-in-law met us at the house. She agreed to stay with us the first week and my parents set to take over during week number two. This was easily the best idea my wife ever had. Hands down, it has made this whole experience more rewarding and even fun. That doesn’t mean we’re getting a lot of sleep, but it certainly gives you a peace of mind to have someone taking care of chores like cooking and cleaning. I’m thirty-five years old, and I haven’t wanted to move back with my parents since leaving the nest. I would gladly move back right now.
Getting back to diapers, I’ve got on-the-field research to share with you. The hospital used Pampers and we took some of them home for the first couple days because we weren’t ready to experiment. Let me sum up our thoughts on one of the most popular brands of disposable diapers in the US; they suck! Not just because they possibly contain harmful chemicals, but because they are horribly designed. Just to make sure they keep this same quality in their line of products their wipes are just as bad. It’s like wanting to go out to eat and deciding that McDonald’s is a decent choice. Pampers, the McDonald’s of baby products. So, we quickly switched over to our own supply of disposables and wipes from The Honest Company. Their diapers are far superior than Pampers (I am not getting paid to say this, we bought our own), superior fit and absorbency. The only other diaper we tried was a newborn cloth diaper from Bum Genius, which was awesome, but our baby’s umbilical stump is not quite healed enough to wear it yet. I’ll be sure to write about our experience with them once we’re using them. We’ve also switched over to cloth wipes, which are fantastic for wiping poo and pee. We just use some warm water, and viola! clean baby butt. I still plan to use disposable wipes when we’re not home or in extraordinary circumstances. Is Honest Company the best? Not sure, we’ll be trying some other brands and I’ll keep you updated. Nothing like writing about how to clean crap off your kid’s rear end.
The highlight of my week has been, what I now refer to as, the three P incident. Thaddeus definitely planned this assualt of bodily fluids during the second day home. His strategy was very simple; poop in the diaper, let daddy change it and then unleash a hell-fire, so damning, that he would write about it. Poop, puke and pee. A wonderful combination that I sincerely hope you each get to try out one day. I’m quite proud of my baby’s first breast-milk hangover. His ever so perfect timing to wait till I picked him up to keep him from choking on his vomit as his tiny member shot urine all over my arm, our dresser and in the trash can. I look forward to doing the same to him in about forty years. Payback is a bitch, son.