One of the things that becomes perfectly clear after you have a baby is that your room isn't really your room, it's the hospital's room. Everyone knocks before they enter, but it's really just a courtesy to let you know that a woman is entering the room whether you like it or not. Sometimes these women bring your baby, sometimes they grab your drugged up wife by the boob and talk about how formula is for yuppie assholes that care more about their own nipples than their child's well-being.
And then there is the hospital photographer. She had the credentials around her neck that seemed to justify the typical knock-and-enter-regardless approach she employed. She very casually mentioned that she was there to take pictures of the newborns. The "appointment" lasted about 15 minutes, after which the photographer said she would return in the afternoon and give us the option to purchase some of the shots. Emphasis on option.
Let me take this opportunity to point out how unnecessary an on-site photographer is in this age of digital diffusion. In other words, what makes you think I am going to spend $90 dollars for the rights to the 12 pictures on your iPad when we spent the previous day collecting hundreds of pictures and videos across multiple devices?
When we broke the news that we would not be purchasing any prints, the charming young lady hit us with, "well...most people don't schedule the appointment unless they're going to purchase something."
You know those moments when someone walks right into a well-deserved verbal beatdown, but rather than let them have it you stare awkwardly then check your phone even though you know perfectly well there is no message? Unfortunately, the whole thing ended as anti-climactic as it began. The photographer eventually walked away empty-handed, no doubt on her way to run the douchey guilt close on several more new mothers that are loaded on pain-killers and too exhausted to stand their ground.
Note to the staff at Medical City Dallas - your patients deserve better.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
For some reason, the greatest moments in my life seem to be accompanied by a common denominator - snot and/or boogers.
When I stood on a pristine beach in Jamaica and exchanged vows with my wife, I spent all 30 minutes overwhelmed by the idea that my friends and family were staring at a non-existent booger. And when Gabe entered the world Monday, I battled a surgical mask full of the very-existent snot that comes into play when a grown man is out-crying his newborn son.
Dr. Frieden set the tone when, seconds before the first incision, he assured Summer and I he'd spent the previous night reading a text book and watching the necessary YouTube videos preparing him to perform a successful c-section. To be clear, he has actually performed about 1,400 of these surgeries, but takes it upon himself to calm the nerves of the clearly terrified with humor. And to be even more clear, the woman being operated on was cool as can be. Her big pansy of a husband? Well...
I've spent the last 39 weeks thinking about schools, baseball games, and how incredibly awful it is going to be teaching a teenager how to drive in Dallas. The moment I (sheepishly) watched Gabe being pulled into the world, all those visions were replaced by more simple worries, like is he supposed to bend that way, how many different colors do they turn in the first 40 seconds, and am I going to be charged for all the things he is peeing on? For those of you scoring at home, the answers are - "yes", "four", and "he can pee on anything he wants, but no matter how tired you are, the next time you pee in the lobby fountain, you're gone!"
Luckily for us, Gabe is perfect. He is healthy, beautiful, strong, and really knows his way around a boob. Now the biggest worry in my life is how on Earth am I going to live well enough to feel like I've earned a blessing like this?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Do you remember your first trip to a casino in Oklahoma? I suppose not, since you were -4 weeks old when your mother and I took you, but it is unequivocally some of the finest people watching in all of America. I have never personally won a dime in Oklahoma, but I always leave feeling like a million bucks.
If you want to get rich, and are not a country music singer or cattle rancher, stay out of Oklahoma. But if you are having a rough week and need a little pick-me-up, head north of the Texas border and spend an hour or two walking around Choctaw or Winstar.
But the first time we went to the casino as a family (I'll explain how strange that sentence is when you're a little older) I can't remember the games we played or the characters we ran into. That is because two hours earlier we were at First Vu Imaging, getting this picture of you:
From the moment you finally dropped your hands and let us see your face, I haven't been able to focus on much more. I immediately made this picture the backdrop on my iPhone. I'll explain iPhones to you when you're a little older, but the gist is this - back when I had hair and energy, and before you could reach your friends through telepathy, we had these devices that connected us to each other and the internet. We thought they were pretty cool.
It sounds crazy, but before this picture, you were an idea. Don't get me wrong, we loved you already, but we didn't know you. We decorated your room, bought you outfits, and talked for hours at a time about what you might be like. This picture showed us just how close you were to joining us.
You can thank your mom for your nose, and blame us both for the cheeks. I think in time you'll find them to be tremendous character-builders. Don't worry, you are already the most beautiful baby I've ever seen.
I can't properly express how excited we are to meet you on Monday. Oh, that's another thing - you are going to HATE Mondays...but the first one is going to be amazing.