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.

Aren’t I cute

I fancy myself a decent photographer. But when it comes to Kylah, I figured it would be best to turn her official baby pictures over to a professional.

We called in a college friend of mine to come to our home and take some official photos. Heather of Heather Trimm Photography was great with us and especially with Kylah. (For the FTC: We’re paying her. You should too.)

We’ll have official photos up soon, but I wanted to share this slide show so you can see just how awesome Heather and Kylah are.

As you can see, Kylah is getting bigger and stronger every day. She continues to explore the world around her and is awake more and more. Kelci and I are getting spoiled by being able to sleep and enjoy her as she’s calm and happy. Kelci’s working on her birth story and hopefully we’ll get to show more of her soon.

Oh, and if you like what Heather did, you should hire her.

It just got real

Tonight we had our last baby class. There was no gruesome video. There was no talk of C-Sections, breech presentations or low birth weights. Instead we took a tour of the birth center where in a few short weeks we’ll be welcoming Kylah into the world.

It just got real.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning about the birth process (I didn’t know the baby does almost a whole twist on the way out) and perfecting my swaddling technique. But the real work has been happening in my mind. I know I’ve talked about being nervous, anxious etc… and I am. But I’m also getting closer to being ready. I’m happy. Kelci is amazingly beautiful. And falling asleep while feeling her move brings me immeasurable joy.

We’re less than six weeks from our due date. This has been an amazing journey.

And it’s just beginning.

Notes from the Baby Class Trenches Part 2

We watched that video.

You know the one I mean, the one meant to scare the living shtuff out of you. The one with the yelling, screaming, crying, blood and joy.

We watched the birth video.

Was I ready for it? Maybe. Although it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals, so I wasn’t expecting to look up and see a baby emerging from the “birth canal.” But there it was. A crying little girl covered in all the stuff that comes with the birth process. And for the first time, it didn’t gross me out. The concept of going from womb to Kelci’s arms wasn’t unnerving. It was exciting.

When I found out we were having a baby, the hospital part of it was amongst the most unsettling. I’m not like Kelci. I’m not the special kind of person that can look at an open wound calmly and then be OK with what I am seeing. But, after last night, I’m ready for that. Cutting the cord is not gross, wiping away the new baby slime won’t bother me and being next to my wife during all of this makes me happy.

100 days and counting

On our night stand, we have a little clock that tells is counting down to our due date. This morning when I woke up, it read 100. We have 100 (maybe more, maybe less) to prepare for our little girl’s arrival.

Ready or not, here she comes.

Getting ready for baby

I have thought about so many different scenarios and made so many different plans that they’re essentially all useless. This point was hammered home yesterday when Kelci asked me, “What happens if I go into labor at work?”

Yeah, good question. My hope is that she’ll be at home, with her feet up and puppy in hand, getting herself ready for motherhood. But we can’t fully plan that, can we?

We’ve begun the nesting process, building furniture and prepping to have an infant in our home. Our child in her new home. We’ve built a new roof to keep her dry. We’re building a new lawn for her and her future friends and cousins to play in. We’re talking about buying a new car to keep her safe on our new adventures.

Soon, we begin a 7-week course on getting ready for baby. But at this point, I’m as ready as we can be.

Parenting ain’t easy

I talked to my mom yesterday (she actually called me to talk to Kelci she said…) and shared stories about some seemingly random memories. But that collection of memories that makes up my youth and now my adulthood, has shown me how much I have to learn. Luckily I’ve had several good teachers over my life to show me how to do things.

This is a challenge I’m ready for. And maybe my insistence of such here on this blog is my way of reassuring myself. I guess I’ll find out in 100 days.

Ready or not, here she comes.