Monday, August 30

The first days

I tried to parse down the more than 100 pictures we've already filed into the save folder into just one blog. So this is my best shot at the early greatest hits. For those dying for more, there is a larger set on Marni or my facebook page.

Marni and I on the way to the hospital. There is a matching picture with smiles but this second one we took as the "how do you really feel?" picture.
Marni walking into labor and delivery on a beautiful early Colorado morning. Good thing we stopped at Starbucks on the way in. I wouldn't really eat or drink anything for the next 13 hours or so besides water and a few crackers.
Marni chilling in the delivery room with a Popsicle, waiting for that last centimeter.
Almost there.
John James arrives and we were happy to hear his cries.
Momma and baby meet for the first time.
Daddy gets to hold JJ for the first time.
JJ meets some of his cousins and his aunt.
Peaceful sleeping. We haven't got too much of this since night one though it's getting better.
Look at those long legs!
Momma almost ready to go home.
Comfy and cozy back at home in bed.
Sleeping peacefully for the moment.
JJ loves Grandma and Grandpa Berry.
A few little zzzz's.
Resting with Momma.
Testing those lungs. It's been chilly in the house with the AC on :)
Giving Momma some nap time.
Turbo came home last night and he's really interested in his new brother.
And I leave you with this. Cliche for new parents but Hootie has it right. I even reminded Marni of it last night during some extended crying. It all changes so fast already.

Friday, August 27

Welcome my son

What an amazing last week. Yesterday at 7:37pm, Marni and I welcomed John James Plesko into the world. He is doing wonderfully and so is Momma who is a rockstar. Us bike racers have nothing to brag about, labor is incredibly hard and I feel humbled by comparison. At 8lbs 0.2oz and 22" he is a big boy for a little Marni but she did spectacularly. The birth story is hers so I won't steal it but 5 days of contractions led up to a sleepless night complete with full moon midnight walk (Turbo's favorite) and more than 12 hours at the hospital until birth. She's a bit sore today but otherwise upbeat and doing fantastic. JJ had a great night is feeding and sleeping well already. Plus he's a poop machine and I'm proud to say that I've changed every diaper save one where I was gone getting his car seat inspected. We're overjoyed to have so many family and friends come to see him already and it's great to know we'll get to see more tonight and this weekend as we settle in at home. Grandma Judy gets to come visit very soon as well which we cannot wait for.

Like all good things in life, this one did not come easy from start to finish. From fertility treatments and miscarriage to yesterday's birth, JJ gave us one heck of a ride. About the pregnancy we cannot complain much. Well I can complain none since I wasn't toting JJ around for 39 weeks. But as pregnancies go we were lucky. Other than some minor scares and an extra meeting with a geneticist, we enjoyed it as much as we could. While it's not all roses growing a human, Marni was all smiles and we both tried to experience all we could about an only couple times in a lifetime experience. Now that he's here of course we're thrilled. Lucky again to have decent insurance, I sit here writing this watching small storms roll across the foothills of the Front Range while wifey and baby sleep in our quiet private room. Nurses and doctors have been poking their heads in all day offering checkups and assistance where needed but generally it's been happily quiet. And tomorrow we should get to go home where we can bond and recover in peace, introduce Turbo to his new brother and even have JJ's first pediatric checkup in a few days. Life is grand.

I'm sure JJ's photos will grace the pages of my blog many more times from now on. After 4+ years of waiting I cannot stop taking pictures of him. And little by little he'll grow into his own man, where I can teach him to be a good and kind person and show him the wonders of this world. Surprisingly I haven't cried yet but my eyes have welled with tears dozens of times in the past 24 hours. There is nothing in life like labor, working so hard to take care of the two people you love most in this world at the same time, in a situation where total success is not guaranteed. Racing bikes nor alpine climbing can even come close.

Someone asked me yesterday if I was scared or overwhelmed and I said no. I've wanted a baby for as long as I can remember and being able to share this with my wonderful wife of 6 years is incredible. As hard as it has been to get here, I wouldn't trade a second of that time for anything. Sleep deprived nights and poopy diapers are cheap payment for the experiences to come. From his first bottle I get to feed him (hopefully in a month) to his first bike, his first race car bed and maybe someday his first Tour Divide I cannot wait to see what happens.

Better than any television, I have to get back to watching my son sleep.

Tuesday, August 24

Waiting game

The time is near. After years of trying and disappointment, followed by a wonderful pregnancy, our little boy's arrival is imminent. Marni is back at work, somehow finding energy to teach 24 little Kindergarteners at 38.5 weeks pregnant. It's difficult but every extra day she spends there before means an extra day bonding with our new little bundle of joy after. Our family and friends have been amazing. Our home is filled with everything we need and then some. JJ has a closet full of clothes, way more than his father, and the nursery turned out even better than I imagined it thanks to Marni's parents and her aunt Jackie.

Yesterday I spent the day with Marni at school to be an extra pair of hands and eyes but today she left me at home to catch up on rest of my own. It's hard not to be there today but I do need to be full on sleep myself I suppose since soon my support will be crucial and the timing of such support very much unknown. On Friday I snuck off to RMNP one last time before JJ's appearance and climbed the Diamond on Long's Peak with Aaron. It was a fantastic, hard and rewarding 19 hour day. While it was no Tour Divide type effort, it was the crowning athletic achievement of my summer because when I woke up at midnight to head out, I didn't know if I could actually do it. But we summited safely and survived the crux drive home and now I'm (happily) tethered to activities with cell phone reception.

And now the house has been cleaned again. The nursery is arranged just so. The clothes and blankets and toys are all washed and put away. Baby monitors are setup and our hospital bags have been packed. Marni's been having regular contractions since Friday but they keep stopping. While this could go on for a while longer, it doesn't seem like that's going to be the case. Hopefully the next blog post here will be the one that everyone is waiting for. Until then my son is going to teach me just a bit more patience.