Tag Archives: birth

I know it’s only biology – but I like it!

The Boy is here! He arrived on the 4th weighing 8lb 4oz. He’s small, cute, cuddly and making his presence known. For someone who can’t yet control his facial muscles, let alone his hands he’s doing a very good job of controlling us! Already my days are pretty unrecognisable – hence the delay in posting.


As super proud parents do, we went for a newborn photoshoot at 10 days with a local photographer. In true nerd fashion we had seen her on facebook and it turned out she was in the next town to us. She really was superb and very slick. NZers in the Waikato should look her up!

His birth was an interesting process from many perspectives. I had to go from Doctor where I run situations to what amounted to Cheerleader, and it took some adjustment. I had to constantly remind myself I was The Wife’s husband and not her doctor. This was especially difficult as it was unfortunately quite a “medical birth” no waterbaths and whalesong here my friends! After various medications, an epidural and lots of pushing and some pulling he was out. Out and screaming.


Oxytocin – The “Hug Hormone”

The biologist side of me knows that I am designed to like my offspring. Oxytocin released by both of us when I hug my Little Man is there to help me bond with him and him to me. I am SUPPOSED to be smitten, to be instantly protective and adoring. I am an animal like all other mammals before me, I’m nothing special and these biological mind control tricks are as likely to work on me as they would on a dog or a badger.

I am so very happy though. It was magical, seeing my little man for the first time. Holding him and staring into his grey eyes as we studied each other for the first time will probably be one of the defining moments of my life. It is a bigger deal than any previous life event. the pride and happiness I felt at that moment was better than all my graduations, my wedding and pretty much anything else all combined, and yet ….. it’s nothing special, babies are born every minute of every day. I am not particularly clever or unusual in that my wife has had a baby. In the grand scheme of things – SO WHAT?

I know it’s only biology that makes me feel like this. Pure and simple. It’s only biology but it’s bloody awesome! I have never felt happier!



Filed under Baby, Biology, Birth, Dads, doctor, Photography

Wish me luck Gold Leader – I’m going in …..

The big day is here!

Today we head into Mordor (the delivery suite is so called by us physicianly types in my hospital because it is a dark place full of enormous aggressive monsters screaming unintelligible obscenities) to evict The Boy. The induction starts at 2pm so I’ll be a Dad ….. soon.

Today marks a turning point in our lives, things will never be the same. There is probably no greater event in our whole lives than the birth of our fist child. Other events like graduations, first jobs and marriage are big but won’t result in such a dramatic change to the way we live and who we are. We get to tick a new box on forms and join a new demographic. I am honestly feeling relatively prepared, I think I have a realistic expectation of sleepless nights with highs and lows.

Some concerns remain. Who will he be? What if The Boy doesn’t like Star Wars? He might prefer Twilight! Or even worse, what if he thinks Science is “boring”?? Can you divorce your children?

Finally – you may be wondering what the hell I am doing messing around on a computer as The wife is wheeled into delivery suite. Am I crazy? Am I some uncaring evil deadbeat Dad ALREADY? No, I wrote this yesterday and set it up to be published today, remember I am nerdy not suicidal!


Filed under Baby, Birth, Dads, Uncategorized

Nesting Part 2 – the finishing touches

We have a date! The coutdown is on! 3-3-13 is The Wife’s induction date, which in blog terms is fortunate because both Americans and people who write dates properly will read it as the same date. Buddhists unfortunately would read this as me having a son aged 544 with it currently being the year 2557, can’t please everyone I suppose. Anyway I digress.

With the bestowal of a date the offensive against all things grime has intensified, a “Shock and Awe” approach to bacteria seems to have paid off. I have hoovered places in our house that I didn’t know hoovers could go.

The Boy’s room is painted, the buggy (stroller) with “whoomph folding” is built, the basinet is assembled, the clothes are washed and stacked in age order and the formerly ridiculous 4 x 4 now has a “capsule” bolted in place. I am no longer driving a Remuera Tractor, it is now a Dad Mobile. I am a little sad the “capsule” won’t live up to it’s name, it isn’t going into orbit or to the moon (yes, I know, technically also in orbit) it will be going to the Supermarket and maybe even a longer mission into town, to get a coffee. “The Eagle has landed, can I have two decaf mochas and a Latte”, “It’s one small step for man, and a Cappuchino for Dad”.

Needless to say I am very Very VERY excited …….. and nervous. Wish me luck!


Filed under Baby, Dads, Nerd, Uncategorized

Just keep smiling, look straight ahead and say nothing – A doctor negotiating ante-natal classes.

I have been worrying about this for a while.

I have heard horror stories from colleagues of blazing rows and pointless futile arguments. Stories of brave warriors confronting unyielding walls of nonsensical pseudoscience and coming away battered and bruised with a very pissed off wife. This doctor is about to enter THE ANTE-NATAL CLASS!

I had been dreading having to listen to some earth mother homeopathist homebirther rant at us about the evils of vaccinations, how they cause plague, epilepsy and …. um… Osgood-Schlatter disease. I forget what is it that stupid people say vaccinations cause again, I would look it up …. but it’s hard to look up unpublished, non existent data (I could probably find the fraudulent data that started it all, if it hadn’t been retracted).

It was with great trepidation that I entered “The Parents Centre”. Antenatal Classes are quite important for us, we live 12,000 miles (literally) from our nearest family so we are rather alone. I was desperate not to look like a prat, psycho or know-it-all in front of potential friends that have only just met us. A surefire way of probably achieving all three impressions would be to have an argument over something like homeopathy or vaccinations with the person running the class. Being the Dad and not the doctor is my challenge.

As it happened, news of my profession slipped out and soon I was being asked “What do you think Nerd Dad” by the “birth educator”. This was embarassing.

Bear in mind I do general and respiratory medicine. The last time I saw a placenta was in medical school, I poked it and it squirted gore at me and I nearly spewed, I know next to nothing about all the medical bits. Saying “You are a doctor, tell me about the complexities of placentas” is like saying to a french teacher “you are a language teacher, how do I say “This constitution in unacceptable” in Swahili?”. I had three options, smile vacantly and make a sort of “uuuugh” noise, Bullshit my way out of trouble (Something I am very good at, given my profession) or impart my, probably flawed but well intentioned rudimentary knowledge of babymaking bits to the class. I chose option 3.

I couldn’t use my usual flippant response to gynaecological questions* which get asked of us doctors in social occasions disturbingly often. Why do people do that? Do  dentists get asked to do fillings on kitchen tables? Do IT specialists get asked to reconfigure routers? … maybe. But why would you bring up your defective bodily functions in polite company …. ever, regardless of the presence of a physician? What do they expect me to do? Excise their mole there and then with a steak knife? Do some intimate examination in the kitchen?

Anyway, I digress. So far the classes have been fine. I almost leaped with joy when the educator answered the question “What about alternative therapies like homeopathy or reiki” with a blank look and “I have no idea, I have seen no evidence for it, ask a homeopathist if you are interested” … I could have kissed her!

So, the not-so undercover foray into antenatal classes is progressing well. We have made some friends, none of which seem to think I’m a psycho.


The Parents Centre is the organisation providing our classes. There is some good advice on their site.


* This response is “I’m afraid my recent experience in that area is entirely recreational and as a married man rather infrequent. You had better ask someone who knows what they are talking about.”


Filed under Baby, Dads, doctor, Nerd

Shall I call him Jedi, Yoda, Spock, Dalek or something weird?

I have a very common popular surname (as does almost everybody from Wales), and an equally common popular first name. As such every time I register for anything I am one of a multitude and end up with daft user names I can’t remember instead of anything remotely like my name and the chaos caused when  I forget an account number can be impressive. I constantly get the wrong person’s post wherever I work. We needed a name that’s not too common popular but not too weird. 

Numbers, whilst cool R2D2, NC1701.. are banned in NZ  (it’s OK, little “4Real” got named “Superman” instead) so our little C3PO had to be renamed.

Much as it would amuse me immensely to have a “DeathStar Dalek Enterprise” The Wife would not be amused and poor DeathStar would probably put a hit out on me as soon as he found out what a hit was. Sci Fi names were placed firmly in the “Too Weird” pile …. dammit. Having said this some SciFi inspired names are fine like Elliot, Kirk, Luke or even Leia … at a push, none of these are particularly Welsh though.

Typically we had a girl’s name sorted. Seren. It means “Star” in Welsh but doesn’t have the hippie pot-smoking connotations. It sounds like it reads and isn’t too outlandish. We were happy with it, both really liked the name and it was all settled.  A boy’s name had so far eluded us. It was therefore inevitable that the scan would confirm that the bump was harbouring a boy.

So, Welsh Boys names, some are awesome like Cadwaladr, Llyr, Rhun, Dyfnwallon, Rhydderch and Matholwch. All well and good if you live in a family of Welsh speakers in Llandrindod. Not so good for small town New Zealand. Then we could try some Maaori names who also have some fantastically unpronounceable names for anglophones like Kerewhata, Makarika, Wikiriwhi; ironically all of which are corruptions of English names. Another problem with Maaori names is the fact that The Wife and I look about as Maaori as Prince Phillip.

Another option is to invent a name. Why not a Shaniquanza or a Qwerty? Um… because you are 10 times more likely to go to prison if you have an invented name. Mind you “Wendy” was invented by JM Barrie for Peter Pan (who called his Nannie his “Fwendy-Wendy”). There is a fantastic chapter in a book called  Freakonomics about how a name may affect a child, more than just Nominative Determinism, but economically and how it cam limit or increase opportunities. Whilst being quite clever it also is full of cheap laughs, such as the kid who’s name is pronounced Shu-TEED and spelt Shithead (If you are a true nerd and haven’t read it; STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING and start reading it. It’s like ambrosia for nerdy brains.).

After much deliberation we have a name, it’s top secret for now, mainly because if we have another argument about it nobody will know we have changed our minds … again. There is still hope for you yet little Yoda-Falcon!


Filed under Baby, Baby Names, Dads, Nerd

Fantastic Website

Just a quick post to put up an link to a superb blog by a UK trained midwife currently practicing in Australia.


It has an impressive amount of well written and well referenced resources. It’s well worth a look – especially for those of us not in the USA (who’s practice is quite different). An invaluable resource for expectant parents. Lots of science for us nerds too!


Filed under Baby, Dads, Good Blog, Nerd