Martin Joel Heinzel
I've been wanting to write this blog for almost three months now, but things move a little slowly when there's a newborn in the house. But with the year coming to a close, and with a rare moment this morning where I'm not tending to the baby, it's time.
Sep. 12, 12:06am Hannah wakes me up from a dead sleep, saying her water broke. Her due date was this week, and days had slowed to a crawl. Monday night we went for a long walk in Washington Park. Hours later, she was on the phone with her mom, telling her it was time. We frantically grabbed a few things and headed to the hospital.
8:41am Everything was progressing nicely at this point and spirits were good. The day we had been waiting months for was finally here. Coincidentally, this was also the day of the Apple event where the iPhone X was expected to be announced.
9:05am Hannah's mom and my dad were on hand for support. The morning was a bit of a waiting game, and we met no less than 4 doctors who were standing in for Hannah's primary doctor, who was out of town for the week.
5:08pm A lot happened between this and the previous photo. Hannah started pushing shortly after noon (right after the Apple event began). She pushed for 2 hours and 45 minutes almost nonstop. The baby wasn't making good progress, so we waited for a bit, and then Hannah tried pushing some more. No luck. The kid just wasn't moving. It was time for him to come out, so they prepped her for a c-section. I suited up and waited in the lobby for someone to get me. The procedure was expected to be quick and straightforward.
5:18pm Hannah sees her son for the first time. Things went fairly smoothly with the operation up to this point, though Hannah felt considerably more pain than they expected her to.
5:52pm Over half an hour had gone by since Martin was born, and the operation was still ongoing. Hannah's uterus wasn't contracting like it was supposed to, so they gave her many different kids of medicine to try and coax it along. Her pain medicine was wearing off as well, so they were dealing with that too. At some point they put a mask on her, and she went to sleep. Right before she did though, she turned to me and said, "don't let me die here."
An unsettling amount of time went by, and the mood of the doctors in the room turned from light and jovial to quite serious. All I could do was hold Hannah's hand and hold Martin with my other. I must have taken this selfie at some point, though I don't remember doing so.
6:12pm Hannah was finally ready to be wheeled back to her room. She was in a haze the rest of the night.
6:43pm We had about 6 names in mind when we went into the hospital. In the operating room, when I was sitting there holding the baby, I looked at him and immediately thought he looked like a Martin.
7:03pm Back in the room, Hannah's dad comforts her while her mom holds the baby. Hannah had a fever from some of the medicine she had in the OR, and she spent most of the evening in a delirious fog.
7:04pm Sunset on Martin's first day. He was born on September 12, 2017 at 5:17pm, weighing 8 pounds 11 ounces.
7:09pm Martin's first time meeting his granddad Joel.
9:47pm Hannah was feeling well enough to hold Martin for a bit while her mom took their photo. We still hadn't been able to talk about names - that would have to wait.
Sep. 13 The following day, Hannah was feeling much better. Ethan and Mia came by for a visit, meeting their new little brother for the first time. Mia was enamored from the start. Ethan wasn't really sure what to think, and three months later, I still don't think he knows. And that's fine. I can't really imagine what it's like to be in their shoes, with the family dynamic we have. But Ethan and Mia have been great so far at either welcoming Martin into their lives or at least tolerating him well.
I believe it was on the 13th, that Wednesday, when Hannah and I decided on the baby's name: Martin Joel Heinzel.
Sep. 15 It was Friday - our long-awaited "go home" day. Hannah was back on her feet and feeling well, and Martin was doing great. We were excited to get back to our house and start our new lives together.
We buckled Martin into his car seat for the first time, gathered up all of the free baby items we could get our hands on and headed home.
Sep. 15 Welcome home, Martin. Looking at the living room in this photo, it's kind of amazing how much has changed since then. Now, it's filled with baby stuff. Blankets, toys, bottles, books, all kinds of stuff. And that's ok. Someday we will be able to pass this stuff on to other friends or family who are having babies, as most of it was given to us.
Sep. 17 My sister, Sally, brought her two girls down from Towanda to meet Martin. Emma was in love instantly. The box in the doorway is the crib, which sat unopened for weeks. Martin spent most of his nights in a Rock and Play right next to the bed. We can talk about this now, since he's since transitioned to his crib. But those early nights were hard, and he would not sleep anywhere else. You do what works.
Sep. 19 Finn and Martin enjoy a snuggle before bedtime. Finn was great with Martin from the beginning, mostly leaving him alone, though occasionally licking his face, which I assume in doggy language is a sign of great affection (or a test for edibility).
Nights with Martin were difficult. If we were lucky, he would sleep two hours between feedings. Considering he was up an hour each feeding, this meant very little sleep in-between. Hannah and I worked together, finding whatever system we could that would work. Sometimes we'd take shifts sleeping in a kids' room while the other was on baby duty. Hannah is a great mother and a great partner, and we always found a way to make it work.
Sep. 20 It was a little over a week when I finally got to do a brief photo shoot with Martin. I haven't done many since. Something about the cobbler's kids not having shoes. Anyway, this setup was on the dining room table. I brought in a soft box and put Martin on a couple different blankets to act as backdrops. He was not amused.
Sep. 20 Mia loves Martin so much, but only when: a) he's not crying, b) he's not poopy, c) she feels like it. But it's great when it happens. It's going to be really cool to watch all of these kids grow up and see how their relationships with one another change over time. I don't know what it's like having a sibling over 10 years younger than you. I don't know what it's like living in two houses. But Ethan and Mia are remarkably enjoyable kids, and I couldn't be more proud. It is such a treat to get to start again with a newborn. Except at like 2 in the morning. Then it's not such a treat. But the other times are nice.
Oct. 27 The ledge in the nursery collects an array of bottles every night. My morning hobby is collecting and washing bottles. Sometimes they can be found between pillows on the bed. Sometimes on the floor under the bed in a herd of wild dust bunnies. It's like the wild west of bottles in here. Someday he will be eating solid food, and these crazy bottle days will be the "good ol' days."
Nov. 16 Papa Steve holds Martin at a basketball game. Mia is a cheerleader now, and we enjoy going to her games. Martin likes to go along too. Or at least he tolerates it. He is my dad's 7th grandchild. His dining room wall is filled up with large framed photos of grandkids. I'm not sure there's even room for another photo, though there's not going to be one from us anytime soon. Maybe at one point we will look back at these days fondly and romanticize about how great and easy and filled with love they were. You kind of have a way of forgetting what it's like waking up at 3:40am to a scream-crying newborn.
Nov. 26 A proud momma and her boy. Hannah is such an amazing mom and such a fun partner to parent with. If there is anything on the internet anywhere about anything related to babies, she has read it, memorized it and can recall it at will. The hours of research she has put into being a parent are impressive. And she has the most important thing, which you can't get from reading anything: love. She loves Martin with her whole heart. He lights up when she walks into the room.
Nov. 29 I was a little nervous to be a new dad again. Ethan and Mia are mostly autonomous, and I enjoy my free time. I like to be involved in multiple creative projects at any given point, and I like to sleep at night. I knew all of that was going to change with the new baby. But it has been a lot of fun. I didn't realize how much I would benefit from being a little older, a little experienced and a little more grounded in life. All of that has helped so much, and I have really just been enjoying this little guy. I'm so excited to see the person that he will become.