Project Baby

This is the story of Clint & Jen's first experience with bringing new life into this gracious world.

Week 0

It was a Sunday night, April 8, 2012. I was at Target Meister welding target stands. I decided to take a break. There was a message on my phone. This is the picture I saw:

positive pregnancy test

I really couldn't believe it. A million thoughts ran through my head. I immediately felt old or as if I lost my youth. I wasn't a kid anymore. I felt excited and scared at the same time. After it sank in for a few moments, I called Jen. All I could do was laugh and smile.

At 33 I still feel like a kid myself.

Reality Starts Setting In

It has been about 2 weeks since I learned about he pregnancy. I still can't believe this is happening. Talking to Jen about it during our afternoon walks is making it more of a reality day by day. We have been talking about pushing the baby in a stroller on these walks and wondering how Lexi and Simone will behave around the new addition to our family.

Jen's Got Problems

Jen is frequently having dry heaves. She warned me that she is never having another baby again. This is torture! Then she's like,

OMG! I am absolutely craving a vegetarian sub from Bojos. I haven't thought about this delight in years. I'm not even sure they still exists but my mouth is watering for one now. Must have one. I'm off to the store to get the fixings. I hope it's half as good.

Poor Jenny has been having a hard time keeping any food down and her appetite is nonexistent. I've been trying to force her to eat anything. She is now off the slow-carb diet to give her a broader variety of foods, but that didn't seem to help. I cooked her a nice fillet mignon and a hamburger tonight, but she just laid her head on the table and felt sick. She went to bed after eating only a few nibbles of her hamburger. I feel bad.

Figuring This Stuff Out

I sat down and did my first research on pregnancy and giving birth. This is still crazy to me to think I'm going to be a dad. WEIRD! I started my research at

Jen and I have our first meeting with our doctor tomorrow morning. I'm looking for good questions to ask him. So far, this stuff is scaring me: cesarean sections, cutting and ripping of things that shouldn't be, birth defects, inducing, interventions, etc.

At this point we are pro-natural/vaginal birth. We will do everything to achieve this.

We Meet the Doc

Jen and I met with Dr. Pass today. He seems like a really nice guy, although a bit on the feminine side, which I think is good for me. I don't want some Dr. McSteamy touching up on my girl. It was so weird seeing the doc examining Jen: squeezing boobs and inspecting holes. Meanwhile the nurse was observing from the corner of the room. It was like a freak show in there. I'm not sure I'll get used to this.

We learned the baby has been growing for 9 weeks and 1 day. The little one is only the size of a green olive at this point, but apparently has a little beating heart in there. It just seems like magic!

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

Paul Pachl, a.k.a. Gramps I spoke with Mr. Paul Pachl (a.k.a. gramps) tonight about our baby names. I said, if it is a boy we will name him Remy Paul. That way, during the tough times when I'm looking for fatherly inspiration I will think, what would my old man do? Paul immediately responded, make a joke.

I must say that keeping the humor level above normal and staying light-hearted has stregthened Jen and I's relationship. Being able to laugh during life's tough moments is a vital skill. Stress kills!

Grandma K: Joyed

While on vacation in ND I told my grandma, Beatrice Kubistcha, that Jen and I are having a baby. I had just helped her get into her car when I apparently spilled the beans. She looked like she saw a ghost. I was unaware that she didn't know. I figured someone would have told her. After a couple of seconds, joy rushed to her face. It was an amazing moment that will forever be burned into my memory. My grandparents in the car after I told them about the pregancy

Emotional Surprise

My dentist's assistant, Alejandro, told me to come by the office; he had something for us. I assumed it was something for the baby. I was right. He got us a onesie and receiving blankets.

When we opened the box, Jen started to tear up. Yeah...I got a little choked up too. Alejandro is a great guy with a big heart. We only visit him every six months for regular check ups, but he always remembers us.

The reason this gift was so touching was because Jen and I were just talking about how he doesn't have a lot to give. He is a single father raising two young children. His wife died of cancer about 5 years ago. He doesn't go out to eat lunch with everyone else in the office because he can't afford it. Yet, he and his children took the time to get us something. Their gift was much more than the onesie and the blankets.

Got Milk

Jen went shopping today with her mom, Debi, at the Consignment Sale in Peoria, Jen and Debi hugging which she learned about from the Smart Shopper on News 15. They got lots of great deals. Jen even got herself a fancy double breast pump. She's ready to get sucked dry. I didn't even know a device like this existed. Crazy!

Debi, also gave us a crib for the little ball of joy. Thanks Debi!

The Bump

Now that Jen is showing, we decided to take the first pic of her big belly! She is about 20 weeks at this point. The belly is now past the boobs. She's not even trying to suck it in.

first pic of Jen's baby belly

Baby Via Ultrasound

We got an ultrasound today. Baby is about 20 weeks and 5 days old. Christine, the ultrasound tech, said the baby is 12.5 ounces! So we got ourselves a real pudger in the oven. Lots of movement today; twisting, turning and swimming around. Fairly active little one. Heart rate was 148 beats/min. Here are stills of what we saw:

21 week baby ultrasound: profile 21 week baby ultrasound: face 21 week baby ultrasound: arms 21 week baby ultrasound: sucking thumb 21 week baby ultrasound: foot 21 week baby ultrasound: full-length profile


23 week fetus is the size of a grapefruit The baby is 23 weeks now; growing quickly and is the size of a very plump grapefruit, according to Baby's little face is fully formed...minus the baby fat, of course. The next task at hand for baby: sprouting two teeny-tiny nipples!

Hurry! So Much To Tell

I've been getting impatient lately. I want the baby to be here already. I feel like I'm waiting for a family member to arrive who I haven't seen in a long time; ready to divulge all my stories. I'm excited and have so much to tell to bring baby up to speed.

Karate Chop

Jen has been complaining of lots of movement in that big belly over the last couple of weeks. Baby is really playing around in there. She's having an increasingly more difficult time getting good sleep.

baby ninja

I haven't been able to feel anything. Tonight I put my ear to the bump. I heard lots of weird water sounds. I kept listening closely. Then all of a sudden, BOOM! I got karate chopped right in the ear! Unbelieveable! It's like there is an alien in there trying to get out. I went in for a second listen. After another 15 seconds I got sucker punched again right in my cheek. Maybe we have a little ninja in there?

The Dark Knight Rises

bat outline Jen planned for me an awesome surprise birthday party. Included was a viewing of Batman: The Dark Knight Rises at the IMAX Theater. The IMAX is all about the "experience", including big sound. During the first fight scene, the audio intensified and the theater started to rumble with deep base. Jen said the baby woke up and started majorly kicking around. The IMAX is fun for all ages!

At 26 weeks, the baby has reached a quasi-interactive state and can react to sounds and light. Parenting Weekly states,

Experiment with different music or sounds to see if you can elicit movement from your baby.

I think Batman got baby's attention.

Who's Braxton-Hicks?

Jen, the pups and I were out for our routine two mile walk, but tonight it was different. Jen was bent over with what she thought was major feeling like a hippo at 33 weeks gas-like pain, three times! Oh the joys of building a baby!

Apparently she had the pleasure of experiencing a few Braxton-Hicks contractions, which will continue over the next few weeks. The body is literally practicing for labor, giving Jen a little taste of the real thing. On top of that her pelvis is expanding, making way for our miracle, but causing her excruciating pain. Jen said, now I know why pregnant women waddle.

Baby Shower Bonanza

baby shower bag The implementation and execution of the baby shower was led by Tammy with support from Debi and Ems. Jen and I are extremely grateful for their efforts and for bringing so many wonderful people together.

bonanza of baby shower gifts Also, many many thanks to all those that got our little one all the things needed for baby's survival. I'm still not sure what half of the stuff is for, but thanks. I'm very lucky I have Jen on my team or I'd probably lose. One thing I do know is that the baby now has more stuff than Jen or I. If this continues, we will need a bigger house by Christmas!

Auntie Emily's homemade cake pops
These are Auntie Emily's Cake Pop Creations. They are made to look like baby rattles. I think they look like South Park characters. Nonetheless, very tasty!

Clint and Jen opening baby shower gifts as fast as we can
We were opening gifts and cards as fast as we could!
Jen crowned at baby shower Jen holding up cow bank at baby shower Jen wearing a baby washer sock puppet

I was also excited because my family (Patti, Paul, Jodi and Jeff), who I haven't seen in years, flew in for the weekend. I have a feeling this baby will be bringing our family closer together. Well, maybe we will see each other at least once a year for like Christmas or a birthday. game of family pinochle

For the record, I must also mention that Jodi and Jeff missed their plane. Ha ha! I think they just wanted to stay with us another day and play a few more games of Pinochle.

Wishes for Baby

Tammy made cards for invitees to fill out and share their wishes for baby. My favorite wishes come from my wise Grandma K., she writes:
I hope you ... baby wishes

Here are a few great wishes from my mom, a.k.a Grandma P.,:
I hope you ...

A few of my other favorites:
I hope you ...

Jen's Final Thoughts

I am thankful for everybody being there and regret not having enough time to visit with everyone.

Special Thanks

The following are the people responsible for getting us everything we need to start a family.

Great Grandma Harrington; Jen's Mom and James; Katie Conway; Jodi, Jeff, Mac, Elaine, and Ray; Aunty Cherie; Emily Seitanidis; Marella (Debi's neighbor); Thalia; Bev Seitanidis; Dave, Astara and Greg; Donna Liles; Bev Harris; Steve (grandpa) and Lorie; Becca; Phylis; Sue Nelson and Sara; Brian and Mary Meyer; Crazy Uncle Mike; Linda and Jennifer; Tammy; Christy Withers; Great Grandma Srock; Great Grandma and Grandpa Kubischta; Donna Cogswell; Paul (grandpa) and Patti (grandma) Pachl; Lesley Bentley; Donna Colby; Cheryl, Rigert, Tim and Kara; Megan Closset; Heather, Bill and Trey (with an e) Brady; Sharon Lockwood; Dan Srock

Peekaboo! We See You!

We took another peek at baby today. We're at week 36.

But honestly, these pictures freaked me out. I was very concerned that we may have a deformed baby. The damn ultrasound tech started talking about cleft lips and smashed noses. I thought, why is she saying this? Is she trying to break some news to us? But she assured me everything looks normal. All I have to say is that ultrasound technology has a long way to go because it is making my beautiful baby look like an alien!

baby face at 36 weeks
Big black alien eyes

baby profile at 36 weeks
Blowing bubbles in the womb! That's talent!

baby face at 36 weeks
Some crazy looking 3D imagery.

Then on the ride home Jen informs me,

By the way, don't get freaked out when you first see our baby. I read that seeing a freshly delivered new born is one of the most unexpected aspects of child birth.

Small Baby?

On top of all that, the doctor informed us that baby is in the 16th weight percentile, weighing in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces. He said, nothing to be concerned with, but we do want to watch it because it could indicate a weak placenta.

A weak placenta would result in a lack of nutrition for the baby; therefore, the lack of growth. However, Jen and I are confident that baby is normal and right on track. Jen's diet is amazing. I'm so proud of her. In fact, the doctor has been ecstatic about her overall weight gain and her ability to control her food intake. He said,

Too many mothers over eat, which isn't healthy for mother or baby. I think you're going to have a lean, mean baby!

baby at 36 weeks is the size of a honeydew A few sources we checked indicate the baby's weight at 36 weeks normally ranges from 4.2 to 5.8 pounds. At this point we have about four weeks to go. The average baby gains about a half pound per week. The math tells us we should have a 7lb, 2oz baby. Jen's hoping for a small baby. She's really worried about all the stretching of holes and such.

Surprise Baby Shower

Jen's office at Keller Williams planned a surprise baby shower, but someone spoiled the surprise. The invitation went out via email and Jen was on that list. Oh shit!

Thinking no one would notice the mishap, Jen decided that she would play along, pretending to be surprised. However, last minute, Colleen noticed the blunder. Jen never got to test out her acting skills.

Guess Jen's pregnancy statistics The office played a little guessing game regarding the baby's stats. Who will win?

Pole Dancing & Baby Car Seats

Jen assigned the task of baby car seat installation to me. It's a really cool, modular Chicco car seat/stroller system. Alison Bechtel graciously donated it to us back in July. In fact, it was the first baby stuff we received. Alison said it's yours as long as you promise to donate it to a family in need once you are finished with it. Thank you Alison!

So, installing a car seat was more difficult than I had expected. I went to YouTube for help. I discovered lots of great videos on how to get the job done. I started adding them to my favorites. What's funny is that these baby car seat videos showed up next to my pole dancing favorites. My world has completely shifted!

baby on board sign

Anyway, I figured it out, thanks to the power of YouTube. There are special latches on the car seat that I have never seen before. I didn't even realize we had the receiver hooks for them in the truck. Plus I learned car seats expire. Who knew?

The Real Deal

I went to bed at 2 AM, but couldn't sleep; haven't been able to sleep for months. Jen was tossing and turning with little whispers of ouch and groaning, as normal. At about 3 AM Jen said she was having major pains. I asked, gas? She said, I don't know, they are pretty regular. I think they're contractions.

I thought, oh no. My stomach filled with butterflies. I wasn't expecting this day for at least two more weeks. After Jen's exam a few days earlier, Dr. Pass indicated that we were on schedule for the December 5 delivery.

Jen got out of bed and sat on the toilet. She said it felt more comfortable. After a few minutes she alerted me of a vaginal discharge called a mucus plug. I of course never heard of it. At this time her pains were coming on stronger and stronger and more consistently. We then knew they were the real deal; contractions! Consequently, we were up and on alert.

Jen's Contraction Log

oh the pain of labor contractions

3:56, 4:13, 4:23, 4:29, 4:41, 4:45, 4:49, ..., (more intense) 5:23, 5:33, 5:40, 5:45, 5:50, 5:54, 6:00, 6:05, 6:09, 6:14, 6:19, 6:23, 6:27, ...

We Gotta Go!

I happened to fall asleep around 6 AM, but not for long. At 6:45 sharp, I was rousted with a yell, We gotta go! I immediately jumped out of bed in shock. I didn't know what the hell was happening. My first thought was that the baby was actually coming out. Thank god that wasn't the case. green traffic light We were packed up and on the road to Chandler Regional Hospital at 6:55.

As Jen's contractions started to intensify, my fear was that this baby may be a freeway delivery. I had already waterproofed Jen's seat just in case. Her contractions during the commute to the hospital were four to five minutes apart. We arrived safely without any wrong turns at 6:35. We were well prepared as we had practiced driving this route before.

Water Breakage?

sponging up water We immediately got a bed in triage. The nurse said dilation was only one centimeter. That would normally send a pregnant patient packing, unless her water was broken.

It wasn't obvious, but there was a small amount of leaked fluid. They tested it. Fifteen minutes later it came back positive. Jen was admitted to her delivery room just after 10 AM.

The Juice Doctor

By this time Jen's pain was astronomical. However, Jen was very nice not to yell at me, you did this to me! and other profanities you see in the movies. She sat on the bouncy ball to relieve pain. I applied pressure to her back while she concentrated on her breathing. Her contractions were about 1-2 minutes apart. After about 30 minutes she said, I have to puss out. I need the juice. So I immediately called for the juice doctor. I felt so bad for poor Jenny.


Although we wanted this delivery to be as natural as possible without any drugs or interventions, Jen was near passing out. She had dilated to 4 cm when she received the epidural just before 11 AM. She definitely chilled out; pain level went from eight to two.

Dilation Continues

Jen dilated steadily to 10 cm by about 8 PM. Doctor Reyes-Hailey, Dr. Pass's delivery partner, said let's just wait and see what the baby wants to do. The doctor didn't want Jen unnecessarily pushing if baby wasn't ready.

After about 30 minutes, the doctor sent a nurse to do a couple of practice pushes with Jen. Tammy and I each held one of Jen's legs while nurse Dena coached and inspected. On the second push, Tammy said, I see hair and it's not yours! Nurse Dena put the kibosh on the pushing and said, I'm calling the doctor back in because this baby's coming out in two more pushes.

Look! Look!

Many months prior I decided that I was not going to witness the bloody carnage in the delivery room. Fast forward to 8:30 PM, November 26, 2012. I now found myself holding Jen's right leg with Dr. Reyes-Haily at the helm. Jen was giving it her all on each ten-second push. The doctor ordered a second, and ultimately the final push.

From my peripheral I got a glimpse of the carnage I had feared. I remained focused on Jen's beautiful face. On count 3 of the final life-bearing push, the doctor yelled at me, Look! Look! Or you're gonna miss it! I followed doctor's orders and looked down. A tiny little head was poking out of Jen! It was the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed.

It's a Priya!

The moment I heard our little creation squeak I teared up. I instantly experienced the most intimate connection to Jenny. I just held her and cried. Seconds later the nurse put baby Priya in my arms, goo and all. It felt like a beautiful dream that I will never be able to fully describe in words.

my two girls After momentarily holding Priya, I handed her to Mom. I hugged and kissed both my girls. I now have a beautiful family!

Priya when she was just minutes old Priya just minutes old. I'll never forget this moment.

Unqualified Surgeon

And just for the record, the doctor forced the scissors into my hand and told me to cut the umbilical cord. I told her I wasn't qualified. She laughed and then said, just do it dad!

While I performed surgery on the umbilical cord, Dr. Reyes-Haily stitched Jen's hoohaw. We make a great surgical team.

Priya Marie Pachl

Priya only hours old wrapped in her burrito Priya only hours old wrapped in her burrito.

Camping Out At Chandler Regional Hospital

Jen, Priya, and I camped out at the hospital for a couple of days. The nurses, and there were a dozen, monitored Jen and Priya. I'm happy to announce that everyone walked away from this ordeal 100% healthy!

I must say that our experience at Chandler Regional was a great one. Dr. Pass, Dr. Reyes-Hailey, and all the nurses were extremely professional and caring. Thank you!

LD entrace at Chandler Regional Hospital our delivery room at Chandler Regional Hospital
The LD entrance and our delivery room. Very nice.

I will never forget nurse Donna schooling Jen and Priya on how to breast feed. She would just grab that big breast and force it in there. She was old-school, but got the job done. She also taught us a few tricks, like the old formula in the nipple guard. Oh, that's a sneaky one.

Our Family

Priya laughing with dad Happy dad and daughter!

The Pachl family My Jenny looking radiant after giving birth.

Priya's first time in a car seat Priya's first time in a car seat. We are headed home from the hospital. Our first family trip. Tongue out and arm's raised. We're ready to go!

Our Visitors

Grandma McDowell holding Priya Tammy holding Priya
Jen and her Grandma and Mom at her bedside
Jen and her besty, Tammy Grandpa Steve and Grandma Laurie
hospital paparazzi
The paparazzi section

Jen's Belly Progression

Now that the baby is out and we are done taking belly pictures, I would like to show a little time lapse of Jen's belly growth.

Jen's belly at 21 weeks; 2012-07-22
21 weeks

Jen's belly at 23 weeks; 2012-08-06
23 weeks

Jen's belly at 29 weeks; 2012-09-16
29 weeks

Jen's belly at 32 weeks; 2012-10-14
32 weeks

Jen's belly at 35 weeks; 2012-10-31
35 weeks

Jen's belly at 38 weeks; 2012-11-23
38 weeks

The Saga Continues...