AT RANDOM: Baby on board

Graeme Corbett touches on the joys of becoming a parent

Some random thoughts about fatherhood, a fraternity I am blessed to have entered a few short weeks ago. I am incapable of continuous, coherent thought due to a lack of sleep, so random is the best I’ve got.

First of all, whoever coined the phrase “sleep like a baby” either: a) was never a parent; b) got incredibly lucky; or c) was rich enough to afford a nanny.

Our little fella (he’s actually not so little: he weighed in at nine pounds, 15 ounces), will be a month old on Monday, and he can already power nap five hours in a stretch, but there are nights when sleep is elusive and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

If he’s been fed and burped, and his diaper has been checked, and he is still fussy, what more can you do? You can rock him, dance with him and sing to him (he loves Raffi) and sometimes he still wails. That’s what babies do. The one thing I have found that works “nearly” all the time is stairs. If I go up and down our steps a few times slowly, it’s usually lights out.

My better half has the right of it. If it were left up to men, global overpopulation wouldn’t be an issue. Not many guys I know could endure what I witnessed during the delivery of our son (while I was cheering feebly from the sidelines), something Terryn did with no anesthetic. I realize there’s no gold star for natural birth, but I’m thinking most women would be screaming for an epidural with a baby that size.

A guy will happily endure –20 C to watch a football game, as my brother did to watch our beloved Riders in the CFL Western Final in Calgary two weeks ago, but it’s amazing how quickly the words ‘centimetres’ and ‘dilation’ can derail the male psyche.

Our midwife rocks. Jeanette was nothing short of sensational in providing us wisdom, compassion, friendship and support throughout the entire pregnancy. She has been with us  pretty much from the time Terryn showed me that stick with the pretty blue stripe on it, through to present day.

People say strange things during labour. One of the lasting impressions we will have of Jeanette, and one we still laugh about at our follow-up visits, happened late in the delivery. Terryn had worked tremendously hard to get to that point, and was a little leery heading into the final stage of pushing.

Sensing her hesitancy, Jeanette, perhaps a little caught up in the moment, put on her coach’s cap and gave a poignant pep talk.

“You can do this Terryn, you’re a (expletive) jock!” That was followed immediately by a sheepish “Did I just say that?”

One of our farming friends (he runs an organic dairy) leaned on his agricultural expertise to correctly pick the sex of our child. He was driving through Armstrong around the time of our due date, which triggered him to call us to see if our baby had been born yet. When we told him it hadn’t, he assured us it would be a boy.

Why? Because cows who go past their due date tend to give birth to male calves. If they’re early, it’s usually a girl. I’m not sure what to make of his comparison, but he was right.

2013 is the year of the baby boy, at least in our circle of friends. We have four close sets of friends (Eric and Carly, Simon and Becky, Nat and Noel, and Chris and Maxine), all of who gave birth to boys this year, including one set of twins. We were the last, and towards the end I was seriously wondering if our baby would break the trend.

Instead, we ended up with Narayan (pronounced Na-Ryan) Coop Lucas Thachuk Corbett. He has only been in my life a few short weeks, but he has already captured my whole heart. I can’t wait to get to know him better.