On the morning of Thursday April 26th, Nicole and I (along with her mother Debi and cousin Becky) trekked to Glendale Memorial Hospital.
Nicole got all strapped into her bed (there was actually a seatbelt!), had an IV put in, and we listened to the baby's heartbeat, while they prepped the room next door.
I put on my elfboots, as well as a full chubby bodysuit. I felt it was very important to make the toes as pointy as possible. (There was a dance that accompanied this suit, and I think there is video footage of this...but that's for another time.)
Becky and Debi helped keep Nicole all calm, in all kinds of ways...like talking in depth about hermaphrodites, and what life must be like for them. And this was a very serious conversation. I'm not sure why.
After a while, they wheeled Nicole into the next room to prep her. I wanted to be there for that; I wanted to know what they were doing to my lady.
About ten minutes later, they escorted me into the operating room, where I knew I had to be selective about what I saw. I'm a "stay behind the sheet" kind of guy. I don't want to see my sweet lady's innards...at all. I like them to stay tucked inside.
She was very groggy, but quite chatty. Her talking was making her cough. They surgeons were appealing to me to stop the talking. I petted her head and she fell asleep.
A few minutes later, still in the middle of surgery, she woke up, turned to me and sleepily said, "You have to feel this contraction." She grabbed my hand, to put it on her tummy, and I held it firmly. She repeated "You have to feel this contraction."
I said, "Honey, no." She was really adamant, but a little more head petting and she fell asleep again.
A few more minutes later, I heard a tiny cry. Not a shriek, like I was expecting. More like a "well, this is mildly unpleasant." They took our new little boy over to the plastic bassinet to clean him up, put all sorts of tubes in his nose and mouth, and there he sat.
Our bruised little angel: Noah Quest. A hefty 9 lbs and 20 inches. The sweetest little thing I've ever seen. He couldn't open his eyes. And even that was cute.
I couldn't believe how violently they cleaned him. I'm sure it was all okay...just surprising.
Then we all took a trip in the elevator down to the room. His first elevator ride. There are going to be a lot of firsts.
They put a cute little elfin hat on his head to keep him warm.
I was taking pictures left and right, and I noticed that he looks much chubbier in photos than he does in real life. And I thought, "he takes after his parents...He doesn't photograph well."
Two hours later,
they brought Nicole down.
She was very drugged and groggy, but so happy to see him. Becky and Debi were very helpful to have around, as Nicole and Noah both needed care after going through their respective procedures.
Noah is such a sweet baby. He doesn't cry much, only when something's really bothering him. And he likes to give us lots of warning. Once the problem is taken care of, the crying stops instantly. He doesn't need to wind down or anything.
He loves his pacifier. He loves to snuggle. He hates being naked. Changing diapers is tricky, because the second the open air hits his skin, the "No Clothes Alarm" goes off. It's a very special cry, and it stops the moment his clothes are back on.
Also, he likes to open his left eye, his Scouting Eye, to see if it's worth opening the other eye. If there's nothing interesting, he closes them both.
We're very happy to finally be home. Still getting used to the new schedule, where we don't sleep anymore. But it's the most wonderful, rewarding, beautiful experience I can imagine.
For more pictures, visit picasaweb.google.com/mikedschmid/NoahQuest
Monday, April 30, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
So, this is it: the last day without a baby. Maybe we should go to Six Flags or something. I'm sure Nicole would have a great time not riding anything. She's barely able to sit at a dinner table without her belly-full-of-baby bumping into it. Our little boy's gotten so big, I'm convinced he's going to pop out a teenager.
We're scheduled to have the little guy tomorrow. I'm not even sure how to prepare for something like this. I know my life is about to change in a really significant way, and everybody can tell me about it, but actually doing it is a whole different thing.
We've tried to pack everything we could possibly need. We've had numerous talks about parenting. We've improved our home till we couldn't see straight. And last weekend, Nic and I actually took a mini vacation. We went to Le Meridian, a hotel in Beverly Hills, pretending that we were out of town. Going out of town, for real, could have been really dangerous and unpleasant, if she'd gone into labor or something...so we decided to just pretend. But it was peaceful and wonderful spending time together before the big crash of parenthood.
And now, on the eve of our baby's birth, I'm at a loss for words (not literally, hence this blog entry...I'm only ever figuratively at a loss for words, bigmouth that I am). But it's just hard to know exactly what's coming. Not just the baby, but seeing my wife, my sweet girl, in surgery, and in pain. I think it's the kind of thing that I can't really get ready for at all. Like most of the important things in my life, I just have to go do it, jump in and be present..."and the net will appear."
Speaking of nets, I'm very happy to know that so many loving people are supporting us. I'm so grateful to all our family and friends, sharing in this with us.
So for the remainder of the day, we're going to just relax, pray, and enjoy the temporary quiet. I probably won't be able to blog until I get back from the hospital, but I guarantee many pictures and words to come!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Well it's finally coming together. The house is almost completely finished, and our little baby boy is due this week!
After the home improvement marathon, we hadn't used everything we bought. So yesterday, I spent the day returning things. I went to Home Depot (oh I just LOVE that place), Lowes, Frys, Ikea, Ametron, not to mention the bank and post office and some other places I forget. But I had my iPod, and listened to nothing but Freedy Johnston all day. So it was a lovely time.
I've been discovering for the last week that I just love hand sanitizer. I think it's a miracle. I knew it existed. I've used it before. But with all the projects we're doing, my hands have been dirty a lot. I'm not a fan of the dirty hands. You know when people say they like a person who's "not afraid to get his hands dirty?" Well, I'm not their guy. I like smooth, clean hands. Hands I could drink out of, if I had the strange urge. So I've been buying hand sanitizer, and placing bottles of it everywhere. I was very excited yesterday at Lowes, when I discovered an unholy gigantic bottle of it, and it became the "car bottle." I have a "desk bottle." There's the "sink bottle." I'm not obsessive compulsive, but I certainly have some OC impulses, and this is a wonderful way for me to indulge them. Every five minutes, I'm slathering it on. I love how it feels when it evaporates. Ahhh.
On another note, last week my wife and I, and our moms, trekked out to Babies R' Us, and basically had a big supermarket sweep. We pretty much bought out the store, and now our little baby will want for nothing. And all we'll want for is more space to put the stuff.
Very exciting though. I can't wait to meet the little feller. I hope, like every parent hopes, that our child will have an easy temperment, and be absolutely healthy. But we'll love him no matter who he is.
at 2:47 PM
Friday, April 20, 2007
Okay, so we all know how I just adore doing home improvement. It's my favorite thing. Second only to "boring a big hole into my skull with a dull drillbit." This home improvement project has been going on for months, and Nic and I both were starting to miss our home...we know it's under there somewhere.
This was our living room a couple weeks ago (in the thick of it):
After one particularly tiring day of painting and complaining, we decided to order Chinese food. Cause that's what tired people do. This is the fortune cookie I got:
Must the cookies mock us?
However, it was all tempered by our other fortune cookie:
at 1:10 PM
Monday, April 16, 2007
The baby room had become overrun with boxes of furniture, so I figured it was time to bite the bullet and start assembling them.
I've been reading that putting furniture together is a rite of passage for new fathers. However, I believe that musicians should never assemble furniture. It's a cardinal rule. But I decided to break it.
I started with some easy stuff (you can see the "glider" and ottoman in the background). So far so good.
The changing table/dresser was next. After opening the box, I discovered that there was a part for every letter of the alphabet. I quickly ran out of room...and sanity.
Literally three hours later, I got the whole thing put together. If you look really closely here, you can see the bandaid on my index finger. Let's just say that you don't need sharp things to puncture your skin...a phillips head screwdriver will do the trick.
One down! Now I just have a desk, two bookshelves, a buffet, a crib, a bathroom shelf and the travel system to build... That should still leave me with two working fingers.
Oh, and there's still quite a bit of painting to do. But I don't have to do it.
Every time I paint, I complain. My Mom says I get it from her. I'm on a ladder, bending in all directions, splattering paint on every surface, whining "this is so boring," "I hate crown moulding," and "my everything hurts."
Needless to say, I was relieved of my painting duties, just so my wife didn't have to hear it anymore.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The view from my house--
Last week (when my computer was down), Hollywood almost burned to the ground. Well, okay, that's an exaggeration. But some stupid kids were playing with illegal fireworks (is there any other kind?) in the hills, and accidentally started a huge fire. It was only a quarter mile from the Hollywood sign. We were considering packing our house into the car and getting out. What can I say? -- I have fire issues at this point. Wouldn't you?
The view from my backyard --
It did make this beautiful golden glow though. Like fire-colored glasses.
at 10:30 AM
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I finally have internet access again. Yay! It's so weird to be disconnected. I was in the process of moving everything out to my brand spanking new studio (courtesy of my Dad the builder).
Here's was my old studio in the house:
It took me three days to get everything packed up and unplugged and sorted through...leaving this--
Then Nicole and I painted it a lovely shade of "here comes the baby" blue. After priming every known surface in the universe, and then painting those surfaces, and painting some of them again...we had spent three more days...We ended up with this--
A nice empty room with purty colors (it's bluer in real life than it looks in the picture). The next challenge -- baby furniture!