Archive for the ‘Goings-On’ Category

My Ridiculously Smart Son

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

So, I’m definitely NOT one of the parents who just expects their kids to be gifted (contrary to what the author of “Stuff White People Like” says). However, Ian has been flooring me with some of the things he’s done. The most recent of these happened about a week ago, when he, at 3 1/2 years old, sat down with his DoodlePro (a.k.a. Magna Doodle) and proceeded to write his name. Backward. Upside Down. And it was perfect; he flipped the thing over, and there was his name, perfectly legible, including the “N”, which I was sure would be a stumbling block.


It’s A Boy!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

I’m Feeling: Contemplative
I’m Listening To: James Taylor‘s Greatest Hits, Caedmon’s My Calm – Your Storm

So, do you remember how I said that I’d probably not keep up with this journal? Well, as much as it hurts to point out my own failing, I was exactly right.
As a result, no one who has ever read this journal has seen that Hannah and I not only got pregnant, but that we have even had a baby! So, there you go… that’s what happens when John Haefele tries to keep up with anything. People have babies, and nobody knows about it.
Anyway, my son, Ian Michael Haefele, was born on Friday, June 10, at 9:26am. For the ladies (and dads) in the audience, he weighed in at 10 lbs., 1 oz., and was 22 1/4″ long. He was a big boy. And he takes after his old man – his head was 14 3/4″ in circumference. Another Haefele who has to have “the big helmet” in little league.
So, to catch you up: the due date was June 6th, but he decided to cook a couple extra days. We had intended to have a home birth (yes, at home, no drugs, no doctors) with a midwife, but things changed a bit. Hannah went into labor between midnight and 12:30am on Thursday morning (June 9th), after only about an hour’s worth of sleep. Her mom (who was our doula) came over pretty much right away, and our midwife got there around 6:30am.
Hannah was a real trooper. She labored lightly in the morning, and then the labor kind of slowed down… in fact it all but stopped for about 4 hours into the afternoon. We waited for it to kick back in, which it eventually did. Labor progressed (as labors are wont to), and Hannah went into transition labor around four in the afternoon. She was fully dilated by the early evening, and began pushing.
Only nothing happened.
Hannah kept pushing, and breathing, and enduring, and screaming, and crying… everything but delivering. Her water didn’t even break until 11:50pm, after she’d already been dilated 9cm and had been having transition contractions for seven hours. So at almost 24 hours, she was beginning pushing, and still no baby was coming.
Our midwife assessed the situation, and finally “called it”, suggesting we go to a hospital. If you want my reasons for being into home birth, I’ll share them, but suffice to say, this is not a desired outcome. Going to a hospital at this point, when to date we hadn’t had a single prenatal visit or sonogram with a physician, means that not only do we have to deal with whatever complications are going on with Hannah’s labor, but we also have to get scolded by every doctor and nurse with whom we talk, decrying how unsafe home birth is (which it isn’t), and how untrained midwives are (which they aren’t). Not a pleasant prospect. More importantly, I didn’t know what was wrong with the little boy or girl (no sonogram, remember) who was, for lack of a better term, lodged in my bride.
So, we headed to Missouri Baptist Medical Center, expecting the worst, but praying for the best. At this point, God really took over the situation. (Not that he didn’t have control before, but here’s where it became super-obvious)
On the way, our midwife mentions that she really hopes that a certain nurse (Jane) is on staff that night, since she’s attended several births at the hospital, and Jane has taken exceptional care. The only potential problem is that Jane only floats at MoBap – so there’s a really great chance that at 1:30am on a Friday morning that she won’t be there. We got to the hospital, parked, and went up to the OB floor. We walked in, and who should be sitting at the nurses’ station but Jane. It was awesome.
Another nurse began taking care of us, but our midwife quickly asked for Jane to replace her, which she did. The house doctor that night came in and did an ultrasound (oh, did I mention that we heard what we were pretty sure were two heartbeats? Yeah – we thought we had twins). He let us know that we had just gotten a really strong echo – that instead we just had one really large kid in there. The house doctor seemed really good, and hadn’t gotten on our case about the home birth, so we asked if he could see us through the delivery. He told us he was legally unable to, that we had to call the OB on call, a Dr. Knight (pronounced “night”, not “k-nigget”). We asked Jane about her, but all Jane knew was that she was young, and pretty fresh out of medical school.
So, here our worst fears are realized – we get to have a no-experience doctor freshly indoctrinated with the “medicine, medicine, rah, rah, rah” mentality, who gets to be called out of bed at two in the morning to come help the idiots who tried to birth at home. Ugh.
Anyway, Hannah got an epidural to stop the pain so she could sleep for a few hours and try to push again. This was a big must at this point; Hannah was absolutely exhausted by then. So Hannah went to sleep, and I tried to catch a few while I could, since I knew I’d be needed again once she woke up.
We were both wakened by the doctor, who, it turns out, was delivered at home herself! In fact, the only reason she became a physician instead of a midwife was so that she would have all possible tools available to her. So, no lecture. In fact, she let Hannah labor however was most comfortable, and encouraged her to keep pushing. Hannah pushed for about three hours (which is about two and a half hours longer than most doctors would have let her try), and we could even see the baby’s head, before Dr. Knight said we were kind of at a decision point. We could either turn down the epidural to try and induce stronger contractions, or we needed to call the labor altogether and prep for a C-section. Oh, and by this point Jane, our nurse, had left, but not before waiting an extra few hours past her shift to hand us off to another nurse who was sympathetic to home-birthing.
Hannah was even more exhausted by this point, so we made the toughest decision, which was to have the baby delivered by section. This was probably one of the most heartbreaking decisions I’ve ever had to make – we had tried everything we could, had taken all the right steps, and yet here we were about to undergo the very type of intervention we had wanted to avoid. Dr. Knight backed us up, but again was very open to Hannah laboring longer if she so chose.
We went into surgery with Dr. Knight, Wendy (the nurse who had replaced Jane), and a team hand-picked by Dr. Knight. And guess what? She picked a pediatrician, anesthetist, and surgical assistant who were all down with the home birth. Like I said, God really worked here… for all of those people to be on hand at that exact moment? Amazing.
So, Hannah, her mom, my dad, and I were all in the OR for about a half-hour. I was behind the sheet with Hannah the entire time while her mom watched and my dad videoed (an awesome tape, I assure you). And they always tell you that the first time you hear your baby cry is one of the happiest moments of your life. Before he even cried, though, hearing the nurse tell us that we had a “big boy” blew me away. Hannah was, unfortunately, kind of out of it. They were really cool, though – they let me cut the cord once he was out (the nurse did the initial cut to separate him from Hannah, I did the one to crop the cord to clamped length). Like I said, amazing.
He was beautiful – he was huge, but tiny and fragile. I looked at him, and I couldn’t see anything but my son… I didn’t see Hannah’s eyes, or my nose, her ears, my overbite – until much later. But at that moment, he was just perfection. He was the fruit of ten months’ prayer and care. Awesome.
We spent a couple hours in recovery before being moved to the post partum area. We got into our room there, and our nurse, Pat, came in and introduced herself. We got to talking, and wouldn’t you know it? Pat had her last baby at home, with the same midwife Hannah’s mom had used for two of hers!
We spent a couple more days in the hospital, enjoying a host of visitors, meeting nurse after nurse, doctor after doctor, none of whom had one bad thing to say about the notion of home birth. To say we had an ideal situation would be a drastic understatement. It was absolutely ordained.
That’s about it… the story of how Ian came into the world. It wasn’t the road we had laid out for him, but it was great, all the same. We came home from the hospital on Monday morning. In fact we could have left earlier, since Dr. Knight said she figured we wanted to be home, and would authorize us to leave on Sunday. Man… just thinking about it again makes me praise God for His work. Awesome.
Not that they’ll ever read it, but to Dr. Knight, Jane, Wendy, Pat, Andi, Julie, Dr. Wallace, Donna, and Suzie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ll try and keep up with this a little bit more often… I hate not following through with stuff like this… maybe I’ll post some pictures.
Now, to go and get some sleep…

Stuff I’ve Seen

Monday, July 19th, 2004

I’m Feeling: Content
I’m Listening To: Steve Martin concert, then The CranberriesEveryone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

It’s been a busy few weeks lately. Mostly, I’ve been working, but I’ve also been entertained a lot lately.

It amazes me the way some things can affect you. I don’t get it. I watched Braveheart on TV the other day. What an absolutely amazing film. It’s one of the few movies that can make me cry. Awesome.

We went with Hannah’s folks and family to the St. Charles fireworks display on the Fourth. It was a fantastic show. I decided once and for all that I could pretty much go for an entire show of just percussion shells with a few longer, more colorful bursts thrown in just to keep people from getting strobe-seizures.

I don’t like Cats. Not cats, as in the pets (although I’m much more a dog person), but Cats, as in Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s rock opera/ballet. While a lot of the music was decent, there was something I wasn’t getting. I think the thing I wasn’t getting was most of the point of the whole thing. I understood that there were Cats, and that they all had interesting, unique names (three of them, in fact), and that there is one really big, old, hairy cat that pretty much does nothing and is revered by the younger cats for it (in that respect he reminds me a little of the older Don Corleone), and that he chooses one cat to go to the Heaviside and be reborn as a new cat, which you apparently never get to see, despite the drama and enthusiasm with which they send her up the Heaven escalator.

Here’s my theory on why I really didn’t like Cats: I think it’s pretty much artistic just for the sake of being “artistic.” And I really don’t like feeling like if I don’t like it, or don’t really follow the story of a bunch of cats singing and dancing, that it’s because I’m somehow artistically stupid. I feel like the theatre community sometimes plays this game where things are considered art, and if you don’t “get it,” well you’re just some sort of art moron. I suppose I am not such a purist that I call things like that art, any more than I would the blank-page-making-a-statement-about-our-emptiness “art”, or the Virgin Mary with feces or whatever on her “art”. There has to be a line we draw where we say, “I’m going to be creative, I’m going to be artistic, and I’m going to do something that appeals in a unique, but somewhat direct way to my audience.” Feces doesn’t do that. I’d like to consider myself at the very least creative, if not artistic, and I still didn’t get Cats. My apologies to the theatre crowd. To say the least, I’m glad it was one of the shows that just simply came with our season tickets to the Muny, and not something I shelled out three hundred bucks to see on Broadway. That would’ve been a pretty big let-down.

On a lighter note, I went to the They Might Be Giants show this past Wednesday. It was excellent. They rocked the house, and the opening acts weren’t too shabby, either. It was the fourth of their shows I’ve seen, and while not the best, it was worth the ticket price ($20). Apparently, Danny went and saw them the next night in Columbia, and didn’t care for the opener. But, to each his own. If you’d like a little more info, check out Corn Mo and Common Rotation. Corn Mo is funny but a bit raunchy. Common Rotation is a much better group musically, raunchier than Corn Mo (in their talking, not in their music), and not quite as funny.

Finally, tonight we went and saw Annie in week 3 of our Muny tickets. Why is it that every musical tends to have one “stand-out” song, and it always seems to be the least-well-constructed, or at least most annoying, song of the entire show? I liked the play tonight, and liked most of the music, but still hate the song “Tomorrow”. Other similar shows are Cats (“Memory”) and Meet Me In St. Louis (title song). Oh, well; that should about do it for me.

Meet Me In St. Louie, Louie.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

I’m Feeling: Okay
I’m Listening To: Silence following the end of the aforementioned Barenaked Ladies record.

My wife and I went to the first of a season’s worth of performances at the St. Louis Muny theatre last night… it was very neat. The weather was fantastic, the show (Meet Me in St. Louis) was very well done, and the traffic leaving the lot wasn’t bad.

We’ve pretty much decided that from here on out, if we’re in St. Louis, we’d like to continue to have season tickets to the shows… it’s just such a cool, enduring (86 years!) part of St. Louis culture.

Tonight, on the other hand, was fairly uneventful…we rolled a small jug’s worth of change ($65.00, woo-hoo!) and went to my mom’s for a little while. This saving-the-change-in-a-jug thing? Awesome. I highly recommend it. When you finally roll it up and cash it in, it’s just like getting free money.

I think I need a new job. The one I have (as the assistant manager of a U-Haul center) pays decently, and can pretty much support us, but the hours are getting out of hand. I start each day at 9:00am, and don’t get off until after 7:00pm, when we close. This takes less a toll on your body, and more a toll on your relationship(s). You have pretty much no time for anyone else, it seems. This is my number one fear in starting this blog now: no free time. After I get home, eat, and hang out for a little while with Hannah, she’s off to bed. Then she gets up and is out the door by 7:30am, and I get out of bed around 7:45am. So other than a kiss goodbye, we don’t even see each other in the morning. And since she gets up so early, hang out time is between 7:30pm and 10:30pm. This includes Saturdays, since my day off is during the week, conveniently scheduled when she’s at work. Ugh.

Okay, enough of that. I am thinking about getting some resumes out there, though. We’ll see what happens. Time to go watch “American Chopper”.

Thanks for readin’.