Therese’s Baby on Board: One wild ride

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Therese and Brian welcomed their baby boy, Colin, into the world on January 31st.

Numbers have never been my strong suit. That’s probably much of the reason why I went into a field that required a firm grasp of reading comprehension, writing and public speaking. So who would’ve thought I’d spend so much time as a new parent working out math equations?

Here are a few I’ve come to know and try to accept: As a mom, your time is divided 10 different ways at any given hour — from cleaning the eighth diaper of the day to washing the fifth bottle, to making sure you have one happy baby and two semi-sane parents.

In just seven weeks since my son’s birth, I’ve learned equations like this: To figure out just how long it will take you to get a simple task done, take how long it previously took you to accomplish said task, multiply by four and add two, and that’s about how long it will NOW take you as a parent (give or take roughly 10 percent).

This blog is example 1A of a seemingly small duty I had assigned myself before taking maternity leave. I vowed to write my first post-baby blog about a week after delivery. Now here we are, six weeks later, celebrating Baby Colin’s seven-week “birthday” (because each week comes with its own milestones worth celebrating at this point), and I’m FINALLY sitting down to catch you up on what’s been going on since I last wrote.

I can assure you, a lot of it is probably very typical for any new mom, with a few exciting twists and turns along the way. It certainly has been an eventful seven weeks, a time more filled with love than I could have ever imagined.

At just five weeks old, Colin showed off his smile for mom and dad.

Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at a younger, more naive version of myself, convinced I would get much of anything done for myself that first week home from the hospital. Aside from recovering from delivery, I had hardly any time to squeeze in a quick snooze or snack, let alone sit down to update my blog. Over the days and weeks that have somehow both dragged on and flew by since then, I’ve found ways to make sure BOTH baby and I are fed, somewhat well rested and, of course, happy. I’m not sure how we got here, but I know we couldn’t have done it without each other.

One of the most frequently asked questions I got throughout my pregnancy pertained to the baby’s name. Let me tell you — I am by far one of the WORST secret keepers I know. Let’s be real: I’m in the business of telling people information that I’m supposed to know before anyone else. I wouldn’t be in this field if I didn’t find some joy in sharing news — especially the good kind! Yet, somehow, my husband and I managed to keep this beautiful, simple little secret completely to ourselves for several months, until right before the very moments he came wailing into the world.

There’s no great story behind it, just that we came up with the name “Colin” a few months into my pregnancy (inspired by a co-worker of the same name). It stuck with us, and a couple months before he was born, we had ultimately decided that “Colin” would be what we called our sweet baby boy.

His middle name was up for debate literally until the day he was born. We were between a few family names but ended up deciding on “Michael,” to honor both my husband’s father and my own. In retrospect, we agree that the middle name should’ve been a no-brainer with two dads named Michael, but it still stumped us right up until the final moments before Colin joined us.

That day in and of itself will forever live in my mind as one of the most special and spectacular, as we rode a wave of emotions from sunup to sundown. I had been anticipating that day for the last nine or so months, counting down on the calendar, as I grew larger and more impatient by the minute. The morning of January 31st, I woke up early, feeling mentally eager, but physically feeling no different than I had for the last two or so weeks, despite trying EVERYTHING I could Google to induce labor. My mother was in town, waiting for baby along with us, and joined me as I visited my doctor that morning for a 40-week checkup and ultrasound. By the time we got in the car to head to the doctor’s office, I remember a distinct feeling of frustration, knowing I was no closer to going into labor than I was the day before.

“This baby is NEVER going to come!” I cried to my mother, hormonal and helpless.

A little less than an hour later, we left the doctor’s office with a renewed sense of hope and a plan of action; that baby was coming — TODAY. After an ultrasound estimated that he was going to be larger than 8 pounds, my doctor recommended we schedule a cesarean section as soon as possible as the safest method of delivery. We got on the books for 5 p.m. that day, and went home to get some last-minute preparations underway before heading to the hospital.

By 5:28 p.m. on January 31st, Colin Michael made his big debut in the most important gig of his new mama’s life — all 8 pounds, 9 ounces of him! Needless to say, he definitely did NOT disappoint when it came to size … and even at 7 weeks old, he’s now over 11 pounds and growing by the minute (much of which I credit my husband for — at 6-foot-1, he’s got plenty on my 5-foot-2 self!)

The past seven weeks since then have been filled with lots of hugs and kisses, stroller walks through our neighborhood, meeting most of his closest relatives … and no shortage of dirty diapers. We even managed to make it through his first cold, and thankfully now he’s perfectly healthy and continuing to grow and thrive. Sickness aside, he typically only wakes us twice a night (she said as she knocked on wood!) for midnight feedings, and he’s even given us a handful of nights where he only woke up once. Those nights feel like vacations for an overtired mommy, despite years of sleep deprivation training by working in morning news!

One of my husband’s greatest tasks has been introducing Colin to some classic greats in the world of music, which started long before we brought him home from the hospital. He’s been listening to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and the Beatles since he was just about the size of a raisin in my belly. But Brian made sure he properly introduced Colin to John, Paul, George and Ringo as soon as he first stepped foot in our house, pointing out who’s who in a classic photograph of The Fab Four on the wall in our living room. We like to carry him over to the photo every few days just to make sure he’s getting it down.

Therese and Brian made sure the introduced Colin to the classics from day one.

Every week has triggered new emotions in my husband and myself, from complete and utter fear that we could very well be doing everything wrong, to absolute bliss and a sense of accomplishment every time we FINALLY get him calmed down and quiet enough to fall asleep. That roller coaster of emotions is something I’ve been told will only get more wild and unpredictable as the years go by … so we’re holding on tight, and we’re prepared to invest in helmets, ready to take on the bumpy ride ahead.

One more equation I know will never fail: One mom plus one dad and two hearts times one kid can’t even begin to add up to just how much love and devotion go into bringing a new life into this world. Ours may never be the same, but for the best reason possible. And that math problem is not a problem at all; it’s the greatest responsibility we’ve ever taken on with the greatest payoff along the way. With every smile he’s flashed since learning that new skill two weeks ago, Colin has absolutely stolen our hearts and made them overflow with gratitude for just how blessed we are to be part of his life.

So buckle up, baby! With Colin officially on board, we’re in for the ride of a lifetime.

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