The Truth About Being a New Dad

>> Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let's lay it all on the table. And let's start with what's on everyone's mind.....

Henry is 19 weeks old. That's about 4.5 months. Pharmie and I have had sex three times since he was born. Yep, there it is. Pharmie got a little... umm... shall we say "roughed up" during Henry's birth. I didn't want to jump the gun and go too quick - I was totally fine taking our time to get "back at it." The doctor said 6 weeks. We waited 8 to play it safe. But for the last 11 weeks, we've been too pooped to do "anything." Henry has just started sleeping through the night, and that has helped. It's hard to feel "frisky" when you're being woke up every few hours.

(Henry used to sleep in a "pack-n-play" at the foot of our bed, but about a week ago we moved him to his crib in his room. It worked well for him to be in the pack-n-play because if he woke up mad and got TOO hungry too quickly, he could easily get too pissed to eat if Pharmie wasn't ready soon enough. But the pack-n-play also "wiggles" a lot, and Henry's a "twitchy" baby, and we think he sometimes would wake himself up and then be pissed. He slept through the night for the first 5 nights he slept in his crib! [And the last 2 nights he's just woken up once.] I think simply a more sturdy bed kept him from waking himself up. Even in the few days leading up to starting to sleep in the crib, he would wake up 2-5 times a night.)

All babies are a lot of work. Henry fit the definition of colic perfectly (he wasn't just "cranky") for about the first 15-17 weeks. He couldn't be left alone. Not only that, but he NEEDED to be held. And even then, it wasn't uncommon for him to be screaming. He's just recently gotten better. Pharmie and I think that the major change in her diet (cutting out wheat, soy, and dairy) along with him just getting older has helped. He now has a personality. He likes to flirt. He's a lot of fun.

It hasn't all been "bad" to have a baby....

My "time management" skills have SKYROCKETED! Pharmie and I have both mentioned this. Now, if one of us doesn't have Henry, we can get SOOO much done in 20 free minutes! And for me, that includes grading student work. (I recently graded a lot of student work and left more comments than usual and finished all of them sooner than I ever have.)

I fall more and more in love with Pharmie based on watching her and Henry. I can't tell you how much I love to see them talk to each other. I've found my eyes welling up a little as I watch them from across the room sometimes. Or maybe that's just because I'm jealous of how much time he gets to spend with her boobs.

The biggest "up side" to having a baby? This face:








Early in the morning before Pharmie's race last weekend


"Hat Time" with Daddy







It sounds stupid, but I've heard everyone say it: "Having a kid is so much work, but they're totally worth it." I was skeptical. I've wanted to say "Really? REALLY? Are you sure you're not just saying that because that's what you're SUPPOSED to say? Come on... tell me the truth." But you know what? It IS true. Those moments he cracks a smile, or mimics your noises, or giggles when you play with him are priceless.

We wouldn't trade our little guy for the world.

Well, we'd maybe trade him for the chance to take a 3 hour nap on a Saturday afternoon....


UPDATE:
This is part of a comment from blogger buddy Carolina John. I needed to add this in as part of the regular post. This is gold:
...babies will ruin your life. When we say that everyone says "you mean change right?" No, I mean ruin. The life you had before is completely destroyed. That doesn't mean that what you are left with is bad, just that it's so completely different nobody can understand it until you actually join the club and have a baby. When you're pregnant, you get sick of people telling you how much it will change your life, then you see the change and wonder why nobody was able to warn you.

Back with more on my "training" with Henry lately, and what I'm hoping to do over the winter.

21 comments:

Michael 7:06 AM, October 25, 2011  

So, true. Great post as usual.

Carolina John 7:12 AM, October 25, 2011  

There is no booty after baby. How people have multiple kids is pure luck. We did it once in a 3 month span and it was just the right time to conceive our second kid.

babies will ruin your life. When we say that everyone says "you mean change right?" no, I mean ruin. The life you had before is completely destroyed. That doesn't mean that what you are left with is bad, just that it's so completely different nobody can understand it until you actually join the club and have a baby. When you're pregnant, you get sick of people telling you how much it will change your life, then you see the change and wonder why nobody was able to warn you.

Soon enough you'll be teaching him to ride a bike and tie his shoelaces. It's always amazing. But yea, the newborn to 6 month phase is sooooooooooo challenging.

Lisa Goepfert,  7:15 AM, October 25, 2011  

It doesn't change Steve, ours are 13, 10 and 8 and we still get the welled up eyes when they do or say something. It's the toughest job you'll ever love. Congrats you are hooked :)

Steve Stenzel 7:25 AM, October 25, 2011  

John, I'm adding your quote to my post! SPOT ON! And thanks Lisa! We feel that we are "hooked" too! We sometime look at each other and say "I think I'll keep him" with a smile... :)

Kim 7:55 AM, October 25, 2011  

im getting enough ass for both of us, mmm kay?!

henry is the happiest baby in the world! you and pharmie are so lucky - well not in the ass department but in the looks department!

My Boring Triathlon Blog 8:10 AM, October 25, 2011  

ha ha

welcome to parenthood (is that even a word?)

things will get a little better once henry gets to 6 months and then after 18 months it starts to get fun as he sleeps through the night.

Then its time to have your next kid and you get to go through everything again. You'll wonder, what were we complaining about when we had one kid? one kid is sooo easy

we have a 8, 5.5 and 4 year old and its just starting to get a little easier

Hugh Jass 8:23 AM, October 25, 2011  

Couldn't have said it better. What's weird about the newborn phase is that you think it will never end and you can't wait for them to gain a little more independence so that you can have a little break. Once they get that independence and you've gotten your break from holding, and waking up with them, that's when you start looking back and missing that tiny baby who needed you so much.... and that's when thoughts of #2 start to creep in.

Shelly 8:26 AM, October 25, 2011  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charisa 8:30 AM, October 25, 2011  

Nice. Love the smile. Keep up the good work being awesome parents.

Steve Stenzel 8:30 AM, October 25, 2011  

Ha! Thanks Shelly! I fixed it - it now says "STURDY" (although I do like "studly" too....) :)

TriMOEngr 8:33 AM, October 25, 2011  

And then one day, you'll look up and realize how grown up Henry is becoming and you'll cry again. And then he'll open his mouth and piss you off. LOL

I'm convinced that God makes babies so darned cute because we need their little coos to keep us from ripping their heads off in pure exhausted rage. Love the pics!

Each stage gets easier and harder at the same time. That first six months is brutal when you aren't sleeping much and they require SO much work. But when you set them down, they are still there when you come back a few minutes later. Then they start sleeping more, but they crawl/pull up/walk/run/climb. Before you know it, they feed and dress themselves, but can't seem to ever find their shoes when you are late and have homework and school projects that need to be supervised and football practice to be taken to (and aforementioned mouthiness).

I like your honesty in this post. Nothing I didn't completely already know having done this with my own Henry 10 years ago - but still, a reminder of how far we've come.

Jen 8:35 AM, October 25, 2011  

Love this sweet post. Super true and awesome to read from a Dad's perspective.

Chic Runner 11:57 AM, October 25, 2011  

I'm so glad you are such a honest person and yet love Henry so much! He loves you too and all your hard work in the first few months will get easier, until he learns how to run away from you. Which then I hope you put a leash on him, because kids on leashes may quite possibly be my favorite thing ever.

You are a great dad and I know Henry loves you so much! :) Keep up those sleepless nights!

Melissa C 1:21 PM, October 25, 2011  

This is a great post! Totally agree with the "ruin your life" part, but you know what? The life I had before wasn't that great. Things are so much better for me as a mom. The struggles are different, and we still have sleep problems. One of my friends stated it really well to that the first 2 years are like this foggy period where everything gets pushed aside and you even can forget about the needs of yourself and spouse. Then, after 2 years you realize, wow, I can do stuff I want to do again. It didn't take quite 2 years, but there was definitely a change that I felt at that point. If you have an overly destructive 2 year old, it might be a bit different, though :)

Alili 1:46 PM, October 25, 2011  

The Gospel truth. Life hasn't been the same ever since, but I wouldn't trade it. (Except to take a nap)

Colleen 1:46 PM, October 25, 2011  

He's so cute though... any negative are totally washed away by that smile, I'm sure!

Thanks for the honesty. I'm still on the fence about kids and I appreciate your honesty. And it solidifies that I will in fact sign up for another Ironman when I'm in FL next weekend which buys me at least another year of thinking the whole kid thing over!

Steph 2:04 PM, October 25, 2011  

This is great, Steve. You hit the nail on the head. :) He's such a doll!

Jamie 6:40 PM, October 25, 2011  

Love it! Sam has caught me getting extra happy when I play with my little nephew and calls me out for having "baby fever."

Maybe we won't be too far behind you, Dad.

Dr. TriRunner 7:46 PM, October 25, 2011  

What the heck... Henry already has the one-eyebrow raise down, and he's only 19 weeks!!

As of right now, I'm ok living vicariously through other people's children. I will nanny and babysit at every chance I get, but I definitely don't have that maternal drive yet that tells me I want kids of my own. Does that just switch on some day...?

Jennifer 7:14 AM, October 26, 2011  

Ah! Love this post. Thanks for being brave and honest. You guys are awesome. The pictures are great. Especially the black and white - most excellent.

Mindy 6:48 PM, October 26, 2011  

I have to tell you that I had to send this blog post to about 20 moms that I know. This was GREAT!!! Love all the pics that you post of the little guy. CHEERS to a good nap. :-)

Mindy (and baby Malcolm)

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