When I started writing these, I didn’t know exactly where I was going to stop. After his birth? When he got settled? When I started not to worry? And then I realized it wasn’t about “becoming Jacob’s Dad” only, but a gradual change to “being Jacob’s Dad”. And once I got past the trauma of the last weeks of pregnancy and the first few weeks of life, the story was almost fun to write. And although they take time to pull together from old notes, photos, Facebook updates, etc., I could trundle along. But when I wrote the last segment back in February 2017, Jacob had just turned three, and I hit a wall.
Because I realized that the coming year, as Jacob went from age 3 to 4, was one of the most difficult years of my life, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to write about any of it. » Read the rest
Jacob really likes watching hockey — he keeps a playoff bracket list for some immediate friends and family, he has a blast doing it, and when the playoffs are on, he wants to watch every night. So it was a no-brainer to try and get Round 3 tickets here at home. They’re not cheap and Andrea didn’t think it was worth it for her to go, so I grabbed two seats for Jacob and I high in the third deck at the visitor blueline.
Last night was game 4, Sens were up in the series 2-1, and totally dominated the previous game. But I had some logistical concerns.
Jacob is in the midst of serial casting, so he is walking with two casts on his feet. Not ideal for getting from our car to our seats. Ideally, if Andrea had been going, I probably would have dropped them close and then parked. » Read the rest
If you follow Andrea and I on FB, you would have seen a post earlier this week showing Jacob in dual casts. My posts about “Becoming/Being Jacob’s Dad” are still back at age 3, so I haven’t covered yet the topic of serial casting and stuff, but I’ll give the highlights. Basically, Jacob legs are super tight, particularly his heel cord (behind the calf). Which means he walks on his tiptoes on his right foot. He can consciously put his foot flat, but eventually it will rise.
When he was four, we did something called serial casting. Basically they put an inclined plane / wedge under his foot at say 18 degrees. Cast it for a week, which prevents any other movement, and thus his heel cord stretches. Take it off, put another wedge in, 15 degrees. Another week, 12. Etc. Until it is down flat. It worked GREAT. Now he’s turning 8 and we need to do it again. » Read the rest
June 2011 marked a new beginning for me as a father, at least in some ways. It was somewhere around then that I realized that things had changed, and it was so gradual, I hadn’t even realized it. I had gone from being terrified at times, wondering “Is he going to live?” to a more nagging worry of “what kind of quality of life will he have”. This is the year, spoiler alert (!), that I transitioned to more “I think he’ll figure it out”. I hadn’t quite reached that point, but this was the year when the transition happened for me as a dad.
Not that the previous worry was “wasted”, as some people like to claim with superficial comments. Worrying about your kids in these situations is not a waste, it ensures you are thinking about options, considerations, asking the right questions. It is no more a waste than having had fire insurance and not having had a fire. » Read the rest
Jacob turning one year old was a bit of a formal “page-turner” for me. Before that, it was undeniably the hardest thing I had ever been through in my life as a person, not just “as a dad”. The first two weeks in the NICU were about survival of all three of us…him physically, us emotionally and mentally. The next three months were less acute, obviously, but still some panics with failure to thrive, etc. Then there was the eye surgery and lots of other specialists. I regularly tried to make light of the fact that we saw almost every specialist in the hospital except a vet (a gross exaggeration), and I couldn’t be sure there wasn’t one in there somewhere.
But I felt like the year was a state of constant tension. I mentioned in the last post that there was the “relief” of January — the first time we made it through an entire month without a visit to the Children’s Hospital emergency. » Read the rest