You say that now…

Well, I don’t think I would call this a smashing success as far as journals go, but I am taking the time to write in here again – so its not a total failure either.  :)  I understand that anyone still taking the time to read this most likely wants to here about Zander and not me.  So here is a mixed mode post:

Most of our friends and family said the same thing to us a month ago, “Your life is never going to be the same!”  Well, I’m glad to say – they were right… and wrong!  Zander has changed my life – you could tell that from my first posting in this journals but almost everyone who told me that my life was going to change forever quickly added “Get all the sleep you can now!” or “You’re going to hate the next few months!”  While its true I’m not getting a lot of sleep – its not due to a screaming child thru the night.  Oh, and for everyone that said “she’ll change her mind, you’ll see” – wrong again (I’ll explain this one more in a minute). 

Zander is hands down the best baby I’ve ever met.  He sleeps thru the night, he’s quiet when he is awake, and his crying is not high pitched, not ear piercing, and not unbearable as many expected he would be.  No, he is perfect!  I know, all parents think there kid is better than everyone else’s and I’m not so foolish as to try to pawn off one of those “The nurse said that even though she has to tell every new parent their kid is the cutest, she told us that our kid REALLY was the cutest for real!” stories, but Zander really is a great baby.  He eats well, he took to a schedule very quickly, doesn’t have to be fed every two hours, and when it comes to his diapers, I really don’t know, I haven’t changed that many.  Which brings me back to the “she’ll change” comment. 

My wife and I agreed we were not going to have kids until we could afford it.  Everyone told us – “if you wait until you can afford it, you’ll never have ’em”.  Wrong again.  We defined the ability to afford having a child on one factor – would Stephanie be able to stay at home?  A yes answer meant yes we could afford it, and a no answer meant no we could not afford it.  We factored in the cost of diapers and formula and everything we could think of plus a lot our ‘new parent’ friends found out to make sure that we would not find ourselves stuck with a lot of added expenses we didn’t budget for forcing Stephanie back to work and we came up with the obvious answer – YES, we can afford to have a child. 

Ok, back on point, after we made the decision that Stephanie was going to be a stay at home mom, we agreed that if she didn’t have to work, she would get up at night to take care of Zander WITHOUT waking me up (I have to get up in the mornings for work, she doesn’t).  This is where the comments came flying – “She’ll change, you’ll see” and “We’ll see how long that last” and “Honey, don’t let him do that to you – he helped make this baby, he can help you suffer during the night!”.  Well, it feels good (albeit prematurely) to say – Wrong!, Wrong!, and “Stop talking to my wife with that man-hating view point!” 

Ok seriously, Stephanie is awesome!  If you read the post on day 5, you know how great she is.  She hasn’t changed her mind and I don’t believe that she will.  BUT the eternal caveat to all of those statements is still, “you say that now but…”.  I’ve gotten it all my life, and I’m sure you have too – you know comments like “When you get older” and  “When you get in the real world” and the latest for me “When you have kids of your own, you’ll see”.  Well, I am in college, I pay two mortgages, all of my own utility bills and credit card bills, and insurance bills.  I would say, I’m in the ‘real’ world.  Then there’s the “when you have a kid of your own” – which we just did, then the phase has turned into “he may be great now but he won’t always be this good.” and I’m waiting for the “well, one’s not that bad, what until you have more than one kid…”

Where do babies come from?

Yeah, I made it to two entries!  Ok, now that I have that out of my system, many of you (as though I had hundreds of fans reading my online journal – who am I kidding, I’m no JennyCam) urr, where was I…oh yeah, many of you do not know the struggles Stephanie and I went through to get Baby Zander.  So, I am posting our testimony here:

Stephanie was informally diagnosed with Endometriosis shortly after we were married. To be formally diagnosed, she would have had to have surgery. Her doctor put her on the pill to regulate the symptoms of the disease. Over the first few years of our marriage, her doctor changed the brand, and dose of these hormones to stay ahead of the disease, but after three years the pill was becoming more and more ineffective and Stephanie was missing menstruation cycles altogether. Her doctor gave her two choices: get pregnant or have surgery. We decided to start trying for a baby even though we were not financially where we wanted to be.

Stephanie’s doctor put her on fertility drugs on November of 2002 in an attempt to regulate the symptoms of Endometriosis so that we could try to conceive. After several months of missed menstruation cycles but no pregnancy, her doctor put her on one drug to get her to ovulate and another to start her menstruation cycle. In March of 2003, her doctor was concerned that we were still not pregnant and advised us to schedule surgery. We believed God would intervene in our situation, and rejected surgery as an option. Stephanie asked the doctor to give us one more month. We had been trying for four months without results and her doctor was concerned that the Endometriosis was severe but agreed to push surgery off one more month, adding the statement – “Stephanie, we both know what church you go to, and we have both seen the things God has done there.”

We knew if we could just get one of the Elders of the church to pray for us, we would conceive. Wednesday night April 23rd 2003, Bro. Gilkey prayed for us stating in his prayer that Stephanie was “ordained and appointed” to be a mom. Stephanie took the pregnancy test five times to be sure, but the results from the first test she took on Monday April 28th never changed, we were pregnant! Nine months later, Baby Alexander Dale was born and all symptoms of Endometriosis are gone. We believe it was the anointing of WHC and Bro Gilkey’s prayer that brought us this miracle baby.

God never goes half way – I was very concerned about our finances. Since November of 2002, God provided me with a healthy sized raise, allowed us to move from our condo on the west side of town to a three bedroom house just 3 miles from the church, gave us a renter for the condo so that we could continue to earn equity and gain the investment, and Stephanie was able to quit her job, become a house wife, and is now a stay at home mom! God is good to His children!

Blast From the Past: My first attempt at a blog 01/16/2004

Here is the first, and maybe the only entry in this baby journal.  I don’t keep up with things like this, but I hope to.  My wife and I had a baby boy, not one week ago and I want to record a few of the many thoughts, feelings, and actions going on at our house.  Alexander Dale was 7lbs 13oz when he was born.  Watching him come into the world was the greatest miracle I have ever witnessed.  He is everything I could have hoped for and more. 

I know it’s only been a few days and everyone is telling me that I am going to be exhausted in a month – they are probably right, but right now, I’m excited and proud.  Today is the last day I don’t have to go to work.  Monday I go back to life as though nothing is different.  When my mother died, I felt like the whole world had stopped and going back to work was hard.  It was weird to watch everyone going about life as though nothing had happened.  I am having the same emotions now, but for a much more joyous occasion. 

I’ve changed my first diaper, been spit up on, been pee’d at, gotten less then four hours of sleep a day for almost a week now, and yet, I have learned that there is a love greater than I have ever experienced before.  I love God and His love for me is the greatest love I have ever received – I love Zander and My love for him is the greatest I have ever given.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife more than any other human on the planet, but she earns my love everyday.  She puts up with my shortcomings, and picks up after me when I am a slob even though she doesn’t have to and probably shouldn’t.  She does my laundry (mostly for fear that I will ruin my clothes if I do it myself) and she was there when my mother died, she was there when I couldn’t pay my bills, and still found the time to look for my keys when I lost them in my coat pocket.  She earns my love everyday.  But Zander… All he does is sleep, eat, make dirty diapers, and cry just as I started to fall asleep at three in the morning.  Yet, I love him.  I love him with more love than I thought I had in me.  I can’t help myself.  Its as though God is loving Alexander Dale, through me. 

Well, if that is the case, its OK with me.  Until next time…