Example

Nesting is not a new concept by any means. There is something that turns on inside of a woman once the pregnancy really sets in. It takes her over like a whirlwind and all of the sudden…everything in the house has to change! There is a baby on the way…we have to be ready!

I believe it is nature’s way of making sure there is a bed for the newborn. Without it…we would probably just lay him on the counter.

Nesting From The To Be Dad’s Perspective

While nesting within women is well documented, what is talked about far less is what happens in the mind of the dad as he gets ready to be responsible for another human being. As men, we are wired to provide. The hunt and gather instinct is still alive and kicking even if we are not grabbing the nearest sharp stick ready to stab a big buffalo.

At least for me…the instinct to provide and the need to make sure the heavy lifting is done before the baby was born kicked in as soon as my wife “popped” (sorry babe…I know you hate that term!). Once she was really showing, the pregnancy suddenly became real and my list of things to do increased dramatically.

Financial Nesting

In a first natural reaction, I started thinking about how the hell we are going to afford to care for another human for the next 18 years?! This isn’t one of our two dogs that just needs 2 cups of food twice a day. This baby is going to need diapers, clothes, schooling, college, a car, his own room…and the list goes on and on. We are used to providing for ourselves, but now we are taking on a very expensive addition!

Luckily, other than the diapers and immediate needs, we will take on each event as it comes and try to plan for the future (ie: an early start on the college fund that will probably cost 500 grand by the time he is 18 with the way tuition is heading). But…the thoughts that are running through my head as my wife gets ready for being a mom is what my plan is for income production over the next 18 to 22 years. Are my career goals in place? Do I have a plan if something happens?

As the man, a lot of that responsibility weighs on my shoulders as the mom needs to be able to focus on being a mom for the first years of our son’s life. Is she going to work through the process? Absolutely…she would go crazy if she didn’t, but the reality is that I need to have my plan in place regardless of that.

Structural Nesting

After the shock subsides, I started looking around the house thinking about what needed to happen before the baby was born. We had a room…but it was not ready. So I used the colors my wife picked out and painted/fixed the room so it was ready for furniture. My wife ordered the baby’s furniture and it got delivered. That day…I assembled it (with the help of the dogs of course) and made it ready for decoration.

Baby's Room with Furniture

The way I see it…I am putting the structure in place…my wife will make it home. Heavy lifting…check. Decorations…I wouldn’t know where to start…

Ironically, I also started thinking about what needed to be done to the house that required a lot of construction. The last thing I was going to want is a lot of loud noises during the first 6 months of my son’s life, so if we were going to do anything, it needed to be now.

For awhile now, we had planned and saved to redo the kitchen my wife has hated since we moved in and the backyard. Last month, we found a great father/son company to redo the backyard and next month we are biting the bullet on the kitchen. Whoever thought white on white was a good idea for kitchens should be shot.

Some of these things are coming a little bit earlier than we had planned, but they were going to be next to impossible with a baby in the house…so now was the time to do it.

Life Restructuring Nesting

Like it or not…life is about to change drastically. It will be a great thing and we are extremely excited about it, but there needs to be plans in place in an effort to maintain sanity through the process for both myself and my wife. We are both planners (slightly obsessive about it), so we started talking about our needs and how those needed to be incorporated into life with the baby.

I firmly believe that a baby should not be your life. It is just my opinion and others might disagree, but there is life outside of the house…and without it we will go insane. The beginning weeks of a child’s life are extremely intensive from what we have we and experienced with friends and family. Without experiencing it first hand, I am not going to even pretend to know what it is like, but there is one thing I do know…I do not want that intensity and 24/7 need to parent to take away from who my wife is as a person. I married a wonderful woman and I do not want that to change.

Lately, my wife and I have been talking about what we are going to do when the baby is born. While I completely realize that plans change and adapt once you are in a given situation, we are planning on having small blocks of alone time or time with friends for each other during the beginning stages of parenthood. Even if it is just 30 minutes for lunch with a friend or an hour for me to ride out of the driveway on the bike, we need to be able to decompress to insure our own mental health.

This will be a change from being able to do what we want when we want…but I feel it is necessary throughout the process. I do not want us to feel like we are prisoners in our own house. That will not be good for either of us. So we have a plan! Now we’ll see how that plan plays out come October.

See…We Do Nest In Some Form

If you would have told me I would be having these thoughts today a year ago…I probably would have laughed. If you told me dad’s nested…I probably would have laughed even harder.

But the reality is that we have as much of a role as the mother in this…and it is a partnership. So we have to do our part in making sure the house and our minds are ready for this new addition that is on its way and ready to change everything that we consider reality at this point in time.

It is exciting and stressful at the same time, but we are looking forward to it.

Example

One of the most stressful parts of having a baby can also be the most exciting…choosing the name of the new member of your family. The rest of your choices at this point in time are temporary. The color of the room, outfits, furniture…are all things that come and go with time. The name is permanent and held throughout life and your son or daughter will have to deal with your decision for their entire life.

For my wife and I, we waited until we knew what we were having before we started throwing around ideas on what we wanted to name our baby. Some people have an idea for both before they know (or even before they are pregnant). I think with everything we had happen up until this point just to get pregnant…it was the last thing on our minds until we got to this stage.

What do we name our baby?!

If you were like us, the 100k baby names book was a little overwhelming. Since it was a boy, we started asking ourselves questions I think every beginning parent goes through as you try to narrow down the options from the millions out there.

  • How will other kids react to the name?
  • How will it sound in professional situations when he is older?
  • Do we want to use family names or go with something different?
  • What names do we like?
  • What sounds good with our last name?
  • What to the initials end up being?
  • What nicknames go with the name?

We then started saying names out loud that fit our loose criteria. We are a little bit more traditional when it comes to this kind of decision, but we wanted something that wasn’t incredibly overused.

At the start of this process, we though we were going to stay away from family names and go with something a little bit different. Ironically, the name we ended up loving was also the name of my wife’s late grandfather that she has a very special place in her heart for and the middle name ended up being my middle name that is also my dad and late grandfather’s name. So much for not family’ing it out!

When it was all said and done…a process we thought was going to take weeks ended  up flying by in about 30 minutes.

Baby Name

Daniel Merrill Sutton will be making his entrance into the world around October 25, 2011.

The funny part of the whole process for us was the feeling that it should have taken a lot more time to pick out the name. I looked at my wife and said…”When it feels right, it is right. What difference does it make if we spent 30 minutes picking or made this process take 3 months to come up with the same result?” Typically, when it fits and you like it…you are on the right track.

So we made it from the “it” to “him” to Daniel stage. Next on the list…time to get the room done before my wife is too pregnant to enjoy putting together.

Example

Things have been pretty quiet around here at The Clueless Dad and for good reason, things are going well and not much is going on when they are! Other than hearing the heart beat again a couple of days ago, the doctor’s appointments are now every 4 weeks and…unless something is wrong…it is kind of smooth sailing during this stage.

My wife finally came out of the 1st trimester sickness and we are enjoying watching her get bigger as the weeks progress. It is almost as if she popped over night and now she gets to enjoy starting to actually look pregnant.

It’s Time To Find Out The Sex Of The Baby

About a week ago, I noticed my wife was getting a little anxious. Our “find out the sex” doctor’s appointment was not for another couple of weeks, but at this point in time of the pregnancy (17 weeks)…you can already tell…and she wanted to know. After she casually mentioned the 3D ultrasound facility a couple of times, we made a decision to go and find out the sex of our kid.

I know a lot of to be parents either want one or the other…but we really didn’t care either way. My line up until this point had been, “I just want healthy and human…everything else is just a bonus.”

That said…I had mentally prepared myself for it being a girl. I am not really sure why. I guess we naturally make a decision in our heads on what the outcomes of situations are so we can try to best prepare ourselves for whats ahead. My wife on the other hand had mentally prepared herself for a boy, so at least we were covered on both ends!

Last night, we headed to Baby’s First Images to get the ultrasound completed. It is kind of a specialty office that takes baby pictures and has the cool 3D ultrasound equipment so you can see your baby rolling around. For about 80 bucks, you walk away with short video clips and a bunch of digital pictures after your 15 minute session.

The Moment Of Truth…

We went in the room and got everything setup. After they pour the blue slime all over my wife’s belly, they put on the ultrasound reader and it was plain as day what we were having within 5 seconds.

Baby Sutton is a Boy

I even knew before they said anything! We are having a baby boy! I am sure he will greatly appreciate me posting his parts up online someday…

The room got kind of quiet and we both looked at each other smiling. The techs in the room said congratulations and we moved on to the 3D portion of the scan. Now…I am posting the pictures and short video clip here so everyone can see, but at 17 weeks the baby is still really young. He looks kind of funny in there!

3D Ultrasound Image

The session is 15 minutes long so we spent the rest of the time watching him stretch, cover his face with his hands and pretty much just make himself at home. Part of the fun process of this entire appointment was actually the fact that we could talk about him while looking everything over instead of it.

Buying Our First Boy Clothes

Once we were done with the appointment, I wanted my wife to have a little bit of fun with the fact we were having a boy, so I took her over to Buy Buy Baby to pick up a coupe of things. She has had this “Daddy’s All Star” outfit in her head for forever (this was an idea she had before we even met), so we went and got him a pinstriped outfit.

It really kind of tapped off a great day and now we know exactly what we are having. Now onto the next step…we have to name him!

Video Of Him Moving Around

Example

Throughout the beginning pregnancy, it feels like you are constantly looking to that next hurdle to cross. One of the big ones is the fetal nuchal translucency test which is the prime reason for the 12 week ultrasound. The basic premise of the test is to measure the fluid at the back of the babies neck to screen for Downs syndrome. Last Friday, we went in to get that and some preliminary blood work done to test for a host of genetically transmitted things as well.

For some reason, I thought we were actually getting one of those 3D ultrasounds done, but…as it turns out…it was just your regular, run of the mill ultrasound. At first, I was a little bit disappointed, but then I remembered a conversation my wife and I had about the 3D ultrasounds. From the pictures we have seen, they look kind of weird! It is almost like we really are not supposed to see our babies that clear at this point in life. Once it is born…we will get to see it for the rest of it’s life in 3D anyway…so I focused on what we were there for and we got things rolling.

Seeing Your Baby As A Moving Human

When they first put your baby on the screen at 12 weeks (we were around 13 at the time), there was an incredible shock affect. This entire time, I knew there is a baby growing inside my wife, but it really doesn’t hit home until you see arms, legs, head, fingers and other real body parts for the first time. It really looks like a small human now! Our little one sat all nice and still while the tech took all of the measurements and everything looked great. After she was done, it was almost as if our baby knew “Hey! My job is done!” and it started twisting and moving all over the place! It really was crazy to watch and we found ourselves in a very quiet and peaceful ultrasound room as we got to watch our baby interact with its environment for the first time.

12 Week Ultrasound Picture

The tech then went on to take pictures of the legs, arms and brain. I made the typical new dad comment…”Look! A big brain just like dad’s!”. I am pretty sure I am not the first one to throw that comment out there and it completely backfired at checkout when I said something stupid and the nurse said…”Big brain like dad’s right?!” My wife loved it. It’s all good though…it’s my job to embarrass her anyway. The truth is…as a husband of a very intelligent, beautiful and driven wife, I hope our baby gets a lot of the characteristics that make her the incredible person she is.

After the ultrasound, we talked to the doctor and he confirmed that everything is perfectly on track. We discussed some more tests that are available and we decided to go ahead and get them done. Anything that is just a blood test and is non-invasive to the baby…we are going to complete even though it won’t change anything on our end unless it is completely life threatening.

In 6 weeks, we go back for more testing and the pinnacle moment in every pregnancy…finding out the sex.