My First Week As A Father *emotional*

The days have all blended together. There is no day and night. There is only sleep, eat, and poop. For both me and the baby. (Upbeat try guys into music) Pretty noisy in here because our house is still under construction It’s a work in progress. Any one thing would be enough. Uhhh ok I haven’t fully gotten used to being a father yet. A lot of things have happened… This is my first week as a father When Wesley was born, I was overwhelmed. I was just sort of, barely keeping it together Oh! I’m gonna meet my baby! And then there he was! He was on Ariel’s chest for a long time And then I held him skin-to-skin. I had my hand on his back. He was on my chest Most of my first photos are with me not having a shirt on because as soon as he was born I ripped off my shirt. I was like, “Skin-to-skin! Let’s do this!” I’m very into it So, the nurses the hospital were really great. They showed us how to Change him, how to give him a swaddle, how to feed him. Once the birth is over You still got a baby! At the hospital there’s just a stream of appointments and visitors and it can be exhausting. There’s nurses that come in, there’s doctors that come in do tests on the baby, there’s a hearing test, a vision test. Then there’s the person with the birth certificate and they’re like, “Hey, you have to fill this birth certificate.” And we’re like, “Oh, we haven’t picked a middle name yet!” So we had to do that There’s an official photographer, someone who is a lactation consultant. Didn’t even realize that was a job. And then at night, it’s just, it’s on you. You gotta figure out how to calm the baby I was worried that I wasn’t gonna know what to do I thought I had to read all these books and Since he came so early I didn’t get a chance to read any of the books. I haven’t read the baby books I’m gonna be a bad daddy! All of the tricks are not as important as just Realizing that he’s your baby and he’s already trying to talk to you and communicate what his needs are so that was, that was really cool. After two days in the hospital, it was time to go home. There’s a little checklist of all of the different tests. Once he has passed all of them, he can go home. So, the final test is something called the car seat test. That is basically a test that lets you know he is okay in a car seat. Even if he gets fussy. So they strap him into a car seat for 90 minutes and then even if he’s crying you’re just supposed to just let it pan out because, if you’re trapped on a freeway in traffic and he’s crying, you’re not necessarily gonna be able to pull over and calm him so they strapped him to oxygen monitors and heart rates to make sure everything is stable during the car seat ride. He gets an hour into the car seat test, it’s 90 minutes and then his oxygen level starts dropping. I think he was just hungry and he was really fussy Umm He, his, he His his neck must have been dropping down and he wasn’t getting as much oxygen so they have to take him out of the car seat and then put like a little oxygen mask on him Umm It- At this point, he’s failed the carseat test and that means that he’s not going home Now all of a sudden he is a baby who’s failed the carseat test and needs monitoring I’ve half loaded the car, I’m like carrying the yoga ball I’m, carrying all of our bags all of the snacks! All of the goldfish. I come back I’m just ready to grab the baby from the nurses and they’re like, “Oh no, umm, he failed the test. He’s headed to the NICU.” if You have a baby that has been to the NICU I am So sorry because it is a very scary place. NICU stands for the Neonatal intensive care unit. That’s basically a place where really sick babies go there are some babies there that were born at 32 weeks old or, some babies that, I mean we walk in and there’s a baby getting a blood transfusion. There’s a little baby getting a surgery There’s babies that are under intense blue lights, babies that are hooked up to breathing devices and oxygen tanks and it’s just Nobody- nobody nobody wants to have a sick baby and there are some parents that are there for a month as their baby just gets gets bigger and gets healthier. They put him in a little umm Little plastic case, connect all these electrodes to him, they put an IV in his little arm. So he has the tiniest hand ever and then, they strap like, this giant tube into his arm uhh He’s crying and he’s He’s just, he’s just a little baby He’s crying so hard that he has like, a single tear that runs down his cheek and- and- And it went from everyone saying that he was the healthiest baby to that, he’s too small, not big enough, or not strong enough. And he was, he was a tiny guy yeah, you know it’s like, he was, he was born a little early and I don’t know. I don’t know if I can keep talking about this Me and Arielle just held each other and cried for a while. Fortunately, they give us the courtesy room but, it only has one bed so, both of us are sharing a hospital bed They’re like, “You can get an air mattress, if you want to.” I’m like, “I don’t want to leave my baby. But, thank you for the offer.” I got Chipotle and the burrito made me feel better. The kind of unexpected silver lining is, he had 24/7 monitoring, which means that we could Actually get some sleep. We started reading the unabridged Lord of the Rings to him. Really, just to each other we got about As far as Frodo getting the ring Still pretty good. It’s pretty far So after 48 hours, they redo the carseat test. We sit next to him the entire time. Just keeping a silent vigil over his tests. He just sleeps the entire time, all 90 minutes and He’s totally fine. They finally cut the wristband off of both of us, officially hand us the baby, put him snug in his car seat in the car now, and we drive him home. [Ariel]
Wesley! Your first car trip! [Ned] Hi, Wes! That drive was traumatizing! I was so focused on not getting into an accident as well as seeing how he was doing. And I keep like, looking in the rearview mirror to check on him. And then I’m like missing the directions and not actually paying attention to the road. So I just had to ignore the baby and focus on the road. But it’s like, what do you do? What do you do if the baby is fussing while you’re driving? Do you just pull over to the side road and then just feed him? I thought that was the only plan we had. Then, we brought him home. Just, settled into our new life together. Uhh, he pooped all over me. Like, there was a stream of poop going from his butt to my stomach! He’s also peed on me several times. I’ve gotten pretty good at blocking it with my hand. BLOCKED! It’s strange because there’s not much to do with a newborn baby. There’s the basket, There he is! Monkey! [Sung] This is a lullaby! He makes this face that’s like: I don’t know why he does it! He likes to be held, he likes to be bounced. He’ll fall asleep in my arms and that’s really special Those first couple of days. He mostly just slept the whole time, but the 10-15 minutes a day that he had his eyes open Checking out the world were just, magical. He’s got such beautiful eyes It’s like babies are inherently curious. Like, they just they just kind of look around and they don’t really focus on you but they can kind of, they’ll turn their head. They hear your voice and Sometimes they’ll look at something and get really interested. I feel like I’ve never, not been a dad I thought this would so drastically change my life and I thought that I would be a different person But it’s, it’s still me and now it’s just life is more, more full. It’s almost like, life is in three dimensions now. I just can’t wait to watch him grow and change and develop more personality traits and, see what type of person he’s gonna become. (Upbeat outro music) Why did I ever need eight hours of sleep? So silly!

Antonio Breitenberg

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