Welcome Baby Berto 2.0

So, I started writing this on Dec. 24. Then I tried again on Dec. 30. And now it’s January 13. We welcomed our second daughter nearly a month ago and the days (and long nights) since then have been full of smiles tears (happy and sad) and a blur of doctors visits, friends, family, errands, holiday preparations and other assorted tasks related to a newborn. We’re settling into a routine of feedings and staring at each other through all hours of the day and night.

I have been trying to convince Kelci to write her birth story. But every time I catch her nodding off while Sydney feeds on her, I come to realize just a little bit more that my job here is to assist her wherever she needs it. And so here I am, trying to put words down for her.

The fast and the furious

I had just fallen asleep a bit before she entered the room. Her presence immediately caused me to wake up; I must have sensed something was up. When she said the words “I think my water just broke” my heart and instincts kicked into overdrive. See, we weren’t ready. Sure, the crib was built and even the  bag was packed. But ready was more than just having the house put together. I had a bit of mental preparation to do, but those words helped move it along. A well-timed sneeze erased any doubt of if the action was about to begin.

By the time I was up and dressed, it was 12:15 am. Our first phone call was to our amazing care taker to pick Kylah up. Then I scrambled to toss the suitcase, car seat and a few other things into the car and we were off. By now the contractions had started and Kelci was being a champ about breathing and focusing through the pain. But we were just getting started.

Triage and admitting

It all seemed surreal. The phone call to Kelci’s mom. The phone call to my mom. The helping Kelci into the car. The helping her walk to the hospital room. It was all happening so fast.

As the labor pains intensified and the attempts at breathing through the contractions became more futile, we were quickly escorted back to Kelci’s room. The room where we would meet Sydney.

As we made our way from the triage room to the birth room, we had to pause about four times for Kelci to breathe through the intense contractions that kept washing over her in waves of pain. Seeing her doubled over and holding her hands gave me a renewed appreciation for what she was going through.

Here she comes

The contractions had moved to Kelci’s back by this point. So, we tried to have the tub alleviate some of the pain. After some time in the jetted tub, we tried to get her out of the water. But by now the contractions were essentially stacked on top of each other. We helped her get back into the bed as the continuous contractions engulfed her.

I was sitting next to Kelci on the bed with one arm holding her hand and my right arm around her. I felt every muscle from her shoulders to her knee caps tense up. As Kelci moaned through each wave of pain, she demanded the epidural that would bring her some relief. As the anesthesiologist was literally running to her room, the midwife insisted on checking her dilation. See, at about 2:30 am, after she exited the tub, Kelci had dilated to 4cm and epidurals can slow labor down.

As Kelci swung one leg over the bed, I moved out of the way for the midwife to examine Kelci. As the midwife sat down and began, she looked at me and said “I feel the head, it’s time.” I pushed the sleeves up on my shirt and went t be next to Kelci. As she managed to get the second leg up on the bed, I held her hand. The midwife told her to push and despite Kelci’s insistence on the epidural, it was time. One major push and Sydney was out and immediately made her presence known with a hearty cry.

She was perfect.

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Sydney Hazel just a bit after she was born

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Mommy gets to meet Sydney.

Happy and healthy

Sydney had a few bruises from where the midwife literally caught her. We’ve spent the last few weeks staring into her eyes and admiring her round cheeks. She’s an amazing sleeper and isn’t shy about letting us know when she needs to be changed. Our family gained a member that night. Our older daughter gained a little sister and she has been beyond amazing. Offering to help and being gentle and taking care of all of us. Kylah has matured so much over the last few weeks since Sydney arrived and Kelci and I are lucky to have them both in our lives.

We have many adventures ahead of us. We have some parenting challenges on the immediate horizon and we have a lot of learning and smiles and hugs and tears ahead of us.

It has begun

The time has come for us to welcome Sydney Hazel Berto into our family.

It seems Kelci has gone into labor and we are off to the hospital for what we hope is an easy, painless birth process. We’ve been spending a lot of time together as a family these last few days and we can’t wait to have the newest member of our tribe in our arms.

We are beyond appreciative for the support and thoughts throughout these last few months. It has made everything go by super quickly and make the experience a positive one for us.

I will do my best to update along the way, but Kelci is my focus and after that Sydney is my focus. But, you can check with us on Facebook or Twitter for any updates.

The longest and shortest eight weeks

Today marks the eight week mark until Kelci’s due date. Eight weeks until Baby Berto 2.0 is scheduled to join us and make her way into our lives.

I remember this time vividly from before Kylah was born. I remember thinking that it would be the longest, yet shortest eight weeks of my life (well, our lives really). There’s so much to do to finish preparing. We have rooms to decorate and clothes to wash and put away and we get to tell people what her name is.

Her arrival means the change of our world. Again.

Last night I laid next to Kelci and her army of pillows supporting her in various places in an attempt to find a couple hours of comfortable sleep. I laid there with my hand on top of (I almost typed her name here, but my mom would yell at me if she read it here first) Baby Berto 2.0 and felt her squirm, kick and wiggle. And then I felt her hiccup and smiled with the assurance that there was a strong and healthy little girl getting more and more ready to come say hello.

The experience in getting ready for baby number two has been wildly different than when we were getting ready for Kylah. The nursery was already decorated, we already know how to swaddle an infant and our stockpile of wipes is towering. But more importantly, we know how to parent. We know to not be intimidated by cries and how to put a Mickey Mouse Band-Aid on the smallest of bumps. I’m not quite ready for the task of having two. Having an active and growing and curious and patient and kind little girl while also having a fragile and cooing and needy pile of baby girl is going to be a challenge to say the least.

As we head into the final eight or so weeks, I have been working on my patience and my ability to be a more proactive part of the household. Simple tasks go a long way. As Kelci continues to battle “morning” sickness, crippling sciatica and various other aches and pains, I am able to spend time with Kylah and help make her feel special.

When she walked into her big girl room for the first time, she kept exclaiming “Daddy, this is so awesome!!!” Seeing that smile and hearing those words made the weekend of sweat, paint and frustrations so worth it. I’m ready for Baby Berto 2.0 and these are going to be the longest and shortest eight weeks of the rest of our lives.

Congratulations, it’s a…

Twenty weeks ago, we found out we were facing a new adventure. Twenty weeks ago, we found out we were facing the challenge and the opportunity of bringing a new life into this world.

And today we got to find out about the names we get to argue about and the clothes we get to pick out and the sports we get to learn how to coach. Although I’ve made it pretty well known that I want and it’s pretty well known what Kylah wants.

Tonight I got to tell Kylah what we’re having:

Pathway to new adventures

For the second night in a row, I have just put my two-year-old daughter (OK, she’ll be three in two weeks, but still) to bed without a pullup on. This means two things: I’m crazy and my little girl is growing up.

It’s amazing to think that not only are we nearly three years into the first part of this journey. But we’re also half way to the beginning of the next chapter of our new journey. Baby Berto 2.0 is growing along quite nicely. Kelci still fights through morning sickness, but it’s been a bit smoother than it was with Kylah.

Which is code for we haven’t yet had to take her to the ER.

Since we’re at half way in the journey, it also means it’s time to find out whether I get to build a little boy room or a little girl room!!! Kelci and I have been looking forward to this for, well, for 20 weeks now! Somebody asked me today what I was hoping for. Funny question, but the truth is, wanting a boy is what got us into this mess.

When Kelci and I were vacationing in Mazatlan last year, I saw a guy who was about 50 getting ready to head out fishing with his son. In that moment, I knew I wanted a boy to share that with. Don’t get me wrong, Kylah is always going to be my “little duder” and I will always share my passions for football, hunting, fishing and camping with her. In fact, she asked me tonight if girls with long hair can play football. Of course I said yes.

But the bond of father and son is one that is just… different. I remember all of those guy moments with my dad and want a little man to share them with. Tomorrow we get a look at the little guy or little girl we’ll be welcoming into our world next.

In the meantime, here’s some pictures of my little girl that I love and cherish and can’t wait to help her reel in her first fish.