On day three of our hospital stay, two hours before scheduled discharged, we finally decided on a name. Mainly because the birth records department forced us to. We picked Phoenix, which I’ll explain in a few, and Davis as his middle name. Davis was my wife’s grandmother’s maiden name.
Phoenix weighed an even eight pounds and stretched out to 20 inches long. The registered nurse at Monday’s mother/baby assessment said he was strong and fierce. He’s loud – though not as loud as Gray was – and has no problem screaming his displeasure. He’s a fantastic eater and is peeing and pooping right on schedule.
Mommy is recovering okay after the c-section. She says it’s been harder compared to recovering after the c-section with the twins. I guess being five years older will do that to you.
We chose Phoenix purely for the symbolism of it all. The name was fine, but we liked another name better, if we’re comparing apples to apples. But damn the symbolism of Phoenix. I couldn’t shake it.
The phoenix represents renewal and resurrection. Mythology states that when it feels near the end, it sets itself on fire, and out of the ashes, a new phoenix arises. Death, transformation and renewal. When Jax died four years ago, the death beset our family, only to be followed up by the loss of our church, a major loss for our family, and then three miscarriages. We’ve been transformed, and not for the best. We’re just…different. Hardened. Aged. Jaded. A new appreciation of the fragility of life. A lesser fear of death.
And then the renewal. It’s been noted as a cleansing. Wash away the death and all that came with it. For our family, this baby represents that. He’s brought us hope. A new sense of life and energy.
Another plus for Phoenix is the initials. Months ago, when we started thinking of names, the wife suggested something with the initials of PD. Jax had two best buddies – Moo, a stuffed animal cow we got at the Orange County Fair when he was 2, and PD, a prairie dog he chose from the San Diego Zoo shortly after Moo joined our family.
Moo and PD had a birthday party. Here’s PD wearing his presents.
Since we couldn’t come up with something that would feature Moo as a nickname, PD became a goal for us. In the middle of June, the wife text me the idea of Phoenix. Swapping name ideas became a hobby for us. Usually it was me throwing something silly out there, like O’Shea or Wally, and the wife shooting it down.
But when she suggested Phoenix, it grabbed me. Hard. The twins preferred it. Gray suggested calling him Finn (Phinn), largely for the Star Wars The Force Awakens reference I imagine. A friend of ours suggested Nix. Right now, we just call him baby.
I’m at work. Been here for about an hour now. I needed to wrap some things up. Some trivia for ya!
Did you know? Baby boy (still unnamed!) will be our fourth child born on a Tuesday. Weird, huh? Presley’s D&E was on a Tuesday. Jax and the twins were born in the early evening on Tuesdays.
My plan is to live blog as the day goes on. I’ll head about about 9, 9:30, shower and drop the twins off at a friend’s house before taking the wife to St. Joseph’s for prep.
Keep refreshing this page for updates, as there will not be any added posts.
Just under seven hours until show time, people.
UPDATE 12:17 PM
UPDATE 3:41 PM
Mom and baby are in recovery. Baby Boy was born at 2:44. He weighs eight pounds and is 20 inches long. He has a mix of brown and blond hair and cried for thirty minutes while mom was sewn up. Turnout he was starving. He latched right on to mama and is in bliss now.
Remember that c-section that was scheduled for July 22? Yeah, well, now it’s tomorrow. The wife’s OBGYN decided to go out of town instead, and 2 p.m. on July 19 was the only time slot the hospital could crowbar us in to on the surgery schedule.
All thoughts, prayers and good vibes are very much appreciated.
I’ll start a post tomorrow and live blog as the day goes on. Expect photos, baby stats and my bad jokes.
Next Friday is the Jax Remembrance. For those that have attended in the past, the details are similar. For those that haven’t, let’s fill you in.
My family will be in the Angel Stadium parking lot, closest to the Orangewood entrance, by 5 p.m. The spot has worked out very well for us in previous years. We’ll get there early and I encourage anyone else that joins us to help build a perimeter with your vehicles to help carve out a safe spot for our kids to play and the rest of us to play catch or stroll around and visit. Feel free to bring some food, coolers, chairs – anything to make the experience enjoyable. Really, we just want to hang out with you all.
Around 6:30, maybe a little later, we’ll start heading over to the area between the two large Angel helmets in front of the stadium. If you didn’t meet up with us in the parking lot, you can meet up with us there. GAME TIME IS 7:05.
Tickets! Let’s talk about getting your tickets. We will bring them to the stadium with us. If you want to pick them up before hand, let Kristina or I know so that can be arranged. Tickets are $21 each.
Payments! Let’s talk about the Benjamins. If you haven’t paid, you can bring money to the game (check is preferred, otherwise I’ll blow it on beers and Rally Monkeys). If you have PayPal, you can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to mail a check and need our address, let me know. I also have Venmo.
First off, an update on the pregnancy. Everything has gone very well to date. The wife and Baby Boy are growing appropriately, and as far as we know, are healthy as can be. A c-section was scheduled for July 22. We’re hoping the little sucker is good at keeping appointments.
Last month, Mommy’s First Peek captured some 4D ultrasound pics for us while the wife was 28 weeks pregnant. I thought it’d be fun to compare and contrast 4D ultrasound photos of Jax, Gray and Ellie to Baby Boy.
For comparison, Jax was 30-weeks-old at time of ultrasound and the twins were about 24-26 weeks.
Let me know who you think he looks like in the comments below.
He’s already a conceited little sumbitch, ain’t he?
Thanks to whoever it is that schedules Major League Baseball games, the Angels are home again on June 24, so we’re going to have the Jax Remembrance at Angel Stadium again this year. It is a Friday night, they’re playing the Oakland A’s and it’s “ugly sweater” baseball cap night.
Like the last couple of years, we’ll meet before the game in the parking lot to visit, eat and play some catch or wiffle ball. Then we’ll meet again in front of the stadium and walk to our seats together. Unfortunately, because it’s a Friday night game, our same seats from the last two years increased to $21 per seat this year.
As we get closer to the date, I’ll provide more details for the night.
Please let me or Kristina know if you are coming. We should buy tickets within the next two weeks.
At 1:36 p.m. last Friday, a board member of the Corona American Little League texted me. He was planning festivities for the league’s Opening Ceremonies, to be held the next morning.
“Would you do us all the honor and perform a ‘first pitch’ in memory of Jax?” he asked. He went on to write that our Rookie (t-ball) Brewers were being highlighted, and they’d also release 12 white balloons in Jax’s honor.
How do you say no to that?
If you don’t recall, prior to the 2014 season, we approached the league about permanently sponsoring the Brewers t-ball team. It was a way for us to give back and honor our boy. But the league did much more than that. This year, I was managing the Brewers team.
The next day we were throwing a fifth birthday party for Gray and Ellie, so my wife was going to skip Opening Ceremonies. Instead, she decided to come, along with her mom who was out helping with the party. My mom and dad and sister and her two kids joined as well.
As all of the teams gathered in the outfield before the ceremony, a mom of the youngest player on my team pointed out that they wrote a big number three in white chalk behind home plate, Jax’s jersey number. From afar, I could see three pearly white baseballs resting on a folding table covered in a royal blue table cloth. As we gathered to lead the parade of teams on to the field, my family got in to place overlooking the field to grab some photos and video.
I zoned out for about 10 minutes as the other teams were introduced and joined us at the lip of the outfield grass. I chatted with our team mom and coaches and tried to keep our players seated; anything distract myself from the emotions of the day.
After some words from one of the league’s board members, he introduced me. I walked, head down, towards the table with the balls. I grabbed one of those beauties, and kept flipping it in my hands while the board member spoke about Jax, our relationship with the t-ball Brewers and commitment to sponsor the team. I just wanted to get it done with. I couldn’t look at the crowd – it felt too overwhelming. I felt the eyes on me, and it made my skin crawl. I kept waiting for the board member to give the okay to toss that clutched pearl.
I was in gray shorts, a black tee shirt and beat up, gnarly Converse. Just what you think a little league coach should look like, right? The board member finally gave the cue. I stood a couple of feet in front of the rubber on the pitcher’s mound, raised my front arm to start a quick side-step motion and painted the black on the outside corner.
“Strike,” the board’s president said to me as I walked back to my team on the outfield grass. I pumped my fist as if to say “damn right.” My players released the 12 white balloons in to the sky. By the time I reached them on the grass, they were still watching them escape in to the heavens.
I saw my wife along the other side of the fence down the left field line. As I got closer to her, I noticed her eyes red and swollen with tears. I told her I had to walk away so I didn’t lose it. I felt it coming, the emotions I’d tried to bury all morning.
When I got back to my players, our team mom was fixing Ellie’s pony tail. The mom told me Ellie had started crying. I asked why, and she said she was sad. I asked Ellie what was going on, and she told me she just missed Jax. This, from the girl that never shows emotions or wants to talk about her feelings when it comes to Jax. I just always figured she had ice in her veins. Gray talks and shares and asks questions constantly about his big brother. Ellie usually sits in silence, asking my wife or I if we’re going to cry. She just doesn’t want us to cry. So to hear that she cried, and was moved by the day to lead to some sort of feeling, was special to me.
An active military servicemen and a player in the league battling an illness (this is all I can give you, as I could barely hear because all of the speakers faced the crowd, away from us) threw out the other two first pitches.
And with that, opening ceremonies ended. The league scheduled us to play immediately following the ceremonies, as they continued to highlight our Brewers team. The hope was to get a lingering crowd to stick around and watch us play the Giants. It worked.
It was a relief to finally get to the game. We were the home team, so we were in the field to start. Ellie fielded all four balls they hit in the first inning. She was a vacuum. About an hour later our game ended. The team played really well and I couldn’t have been more proud. Our shortstop made a sweet forehand play up the middle, tagged second base and threw to first. It’s as close to a double play as you can get in t-ball. Gray, inspired by pretending to be a Jedi with a light saber striking down a Sith lord, ripped line drives in all three of his at-bats. It was the hardest I’ve ever seen him hit balls. None of our players ran to third base after hitting from the tee, and while I may be biased, our team played considerably better than the Giants. BUT I MAY BE BIASED.
It was the kind of start to a day that Ice Cube would’ve rapped about (except I didn’t get a triple double, despite messing around). Our family is touched by the league’s willingness to continue to honor our special boy. To help us share his memory to those that knew him and perhaps played with him four years ago, and many that didn’t know of Jax or our story.