Thursday, December 29, 2005

He's Here!

Jackson Aidan Hatcher was born on December 28, 2005 at 6:11pm CST at Centennial Women's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20.5 inches long. Marissa is doing great but is still in some pain. We'll be bringing him home tomorrow night.

Unfortunately Centennial has no wireless access so I'm posting this on a quick trip home before I go back to the hospital. More pictures and updates soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Nice Spring Day

It's 61 degrees here in Nashville as I write this entry. I ended up walking twice today since it was so nice out and I wanted to try out my new pedometer that I got for Christmas. I can tell it's been 10 days since I really walked much since I was feeling it at the end of both walks, but it was very nice to be able to walk without a jacket and gloves on.

Of course tonight and tomorrow there's supposed to be thunderstorms, so I hope that's not an omen for the birth of the new Spawn of Hatch. I think he's anxious to get here too, since Marissa called me and said he's been kicking on her ribs all day.


Another Christmas has come and gone at the House of Hatch. Everyone survived and we all probably put on a few pounds. I've probably put on 10 lbs since my father passed away two weeks ago. I've been off the diet completely but I have been walking some.

My mother, brother and his wife and kids and two dogs came up for a few days last week. They stayed two nights then headed off back to Alabama. It was good to see everyone, but with the two extra dogs and all the people in the house it was a little stressful, especially for Molly the cat.

On Christmas Eve we went to Marissa's uncles house for a Christmas Eve breakfast. It's a large family event and there were probably 20+ people there. I got a nice Alabama T-Shirt which I know was painful for all the Tennessee fans in the family to buy for me.

Marissa, Victoria and I opened our presents from each other on Christmas Eve night. I got a pair of Smart Wool socks and the first two seasons of Family Guy. I also got a pedometer I've been wanting, so now I'll track the number of steps I take every day instead of the number of miles. I'll post about that later.

Marissa's present will get here late, but it's something she really wanted. I'll let her blog about that. I also got her a Dolly Parton CD that she's been craving for a while.

Christmas Day we went to Marissa's fathers house for breakfast and opened more presents there. Marissa got a new tea maker. I got a George Foreman grill which I've been wanting for a while, and Victoria hit the big score with a 4G iPod Nano. It's really nice and we've been fighting over it ever since. I guess I'm going to have to get me one eventually since Victoria doesn't share well with others. Heh.

After we left there we visited Marissa's grandfather in the nursing home for a little while. He's doing better and was sitting up in a chair while we there. He's still suffering from dementia but was able to carry on some conversation with everyone.

After that we went to Marissa's mothers house for an early dinner. It was good but I was still stuffed from breakfast and couldn't really put a dent in it like I normally would. We bought them a bottle of Chardonay which they opened for dinner, and it was nice. I drank half a glass which is more wine than I've had in quite a while.

Yesterday was quiet for the most part. We bought a new video camera that we found on sale at Radio Shack so we can take lots of video of the new baby. We made a quick dash into Walmart, which wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I'm just glad we didn't have to return anything.

So tomorrow morning at 6:30 we're going to show up at the hospital so Marissa can be induced. I'm very excited but I'm also really nervous. I can't wait to see my little boy, but I'm not looking forward to the sleepless nights for the next few months. Stay tuned for pictures and maybe even some video.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Well Lived Life

At age 89, Norman Vaughan climbed a 10k high mountain in Antarctica that was named for him by Admiral Byrd when he accompanied him on treks to the South Pole in the 1930's. He moved to Alaska in his late 60's being nearly broke and restarted his life. He died there today aged 100 years and 4 days. His motto was "Dream big and dare to fail." The man lived.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Days to Remember

There are many days in life that we remember well. One day I remember is December 26, 1987. On that day I sat on a couch in my parents house in Westover, Alabama and watched my father make multiple trips from the back of the house to the driveway, each time toting a large black garbage bag full of his clothes and other belongings. Neither of us said anything to the other, and I didn't offer to help.

On his last trip out, he stopped and tried to explain to me that he didn't love my mother any more, and that this was all for the best. I was nineteen years old at the time, and didn't know as much as I do now, but I remember thinking even then how selfish he was and how he was incapable of telling the truth even when he had to know we knew he was lying. I was so angry with him at that moment all I could do was shake my head and glare at him.

To put this into context, you need to know a few other things about this time period. My parents should have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary just one week prior to this day, but they didn't even mention it to each other. My uncle Floyd, my father's brother, had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm just a few days before, and we spent Christmas mourning him. I had just finished the worst semester of college ever, in which my GPA was a whopping 0.5 for the 19 semester hours I took. This was a time a father needed to be strong and be there for his family, but my father announced he was moving out of the house and into a cheap, run down trailer with the local whore.

The next eighteen years my brother and I spent too much time worrying about my father. Where was he? For five of those years we didn't have a clue. The rest of the time my father spent in jail, halfway houses, or living in various ramshackle trailers, relying on the kindness of neighbors or whatever family members he could convince to help him. Every time he tried to make a clean start, we would be there, but he seldom held off the demons for more than a few months, then the alcohol or drugs would sweep him away and we refused to be part of that lifestyle.

Eventually it all caught up to him and he developed a large aneurysm on his basal artery. He was given six months to live several years ago, but always managed to avoid death from the strokes the aneurysm was causing. He grew weaker and weaker however, and eventually was half paralyzed, deaf, and unable to talk.

December 15, 2005 is another day that I won't soon forget. At 5:30 pm I was still at work, finishing up a project I had spent the last few weeks on. I had talked to my father's doctors several times that day, who had informed me he had pnemonia and was not in good condition, but they were attempting to stablize him and get him ready to go back to a nursing home for long term care. I had given them authorization to insert a feeding tube since my father was no longer lucid and could not make decisions for himself.

At 5:30 I received a call from a nurse at the hospital, who told me that my father had taken a sudden turn for the worse and was having great difficulty breathing. They didn't expect him to last much longer. I asked if he would last long enough for me to drive from Nashville to Birmingham, and she said honestly she didn't think he would. I left work and drove to my house, and after speaking with Marissa and making sure someone could come quickly to check on her, I left Hermitage headed for the hospital in Alabaster at about 6:30.

It wasn't a fun trip. I didn't speed much, but I spent the whole trip wondering if I'd make it before he stopped breathing. My brother, uncle, and two aunts were already at the hospital and I got regular updates from my brother. They had put my father on a CPAP machine to help him breath a little easier, and my brother and I discussed that somewhat while I was driving down. My father had "do not resusitate" and "do not incubate" orders already.

I arrived at the hospital at 9:45 pm that night, and after I talked to my brother and my aunt Naomi we asked the nurses to remove the CPAP machine, and they did so about 10:30. We all stood there with my father as he struggled for breath, and I was still holding his hand when he took his last one just before 11:30 pm. He never regained conciousness that evening.

We buried him on Sunday afternoon in the Columbiana City Cemetary next to his mother. It was a brief ceremony and almost everyone there was a relative. My brother Brian, my uncle Eugene, my cousins Clay, David, Shawn and I served as pallbearers. My cousin Stephanie read a hearfelt letter to my brother and I that my aunt Naomi had written, which was much more truthful than the brief message that the preacher who barely knew my father delivered.

As is a strange tradition in my family, we watched the backhoe dump the dirt into the grave and the workers finish filling it in with their shovels. Then we stood around and talked for a while before drifting away and I drove back to Nashville to be with my very pregnant and beautiful wife, who was worried about me and upset that she couldn't make the drive down for the funeral.

I forgave my father years ago. I know some people don't understand that. I still don't understand completely, but I have forgiven him. The thing I grieved for at his death was the waste that the last 18 years of his life became. There was no reason for him to be dead at age 66. No reason he shouldn't know his grandchildren or enjoy his retirement. No reason for every conversation with him over the last 18 years to always include an apology for what he had become. He did this to himself with the choices he made. I think my real father died on December 26, 1987 but it took 6,564 days for the shell he had become to finally waste away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I just got back from my lunch walk and I pushed it and did the 1.7 mile loop in 35 minutes. That's about 20 minutes a mile, which is not great, but it's not too bad considering I'm wearing my heavy hiking boots and a lot of that route is uphill, especially at the end. The 1.7 mile loop is also a great indicator of my mental fortitude, as there are opportunities to cut it short

I've already walked more in 3 days than I did all of last week. Here's a chart summarizing the last 10 weeks of walking plus the first 3 days of this week. My walking weeks start on Sunday.
As you can see, a good week is usually followed by a down week, which should get better as I lose more weight and stress my feet and knees less. I'm going to try for 10+ miles this week as I close in on my next goal of 280 lbs.

Hatch Heart

I started seriously dieting and exercising again 91 days ago. At the time my resting heart rate was about 85, which was not so great. This morning my resting heart rate is 68, which is much better. It's much easier for me to catch my breath after walking now as well. When I started three months ago I'd be breathing hard for five minutes, but now it's more like a minute or two. I've still got plenty of gut, but it's much easier to lug it around now.

I'm down to 286 pounds with this morning's D.B.A.N. I'm back in the groove with the low carbs so my goal by Christmas is to reach 280. That may be tough, but I think it's possible to achieve. My right foot is still giving me some problems with what is probably some tendonitis, but I'm making myself walk at least a mile a day even with the pain. I have to push through it, cause thong season is rapidly approaching.

I probably shouldn't admit this, because I'm sure my wife will be horrified, but I've been doing my own version of fatboy aerobics in the basement at night after everyone else is asleep. I just put on some crappy music and then start moving around. I highstep, lunge, stretch, dance, do squats, or anything else in sort of a freestyle movement exercise. I basically just want to work up a sweat for about 10 minutes, then cool down and go to bed. I've only been doing it for about a week, but I already feel more limber. I've also started doing a few crunch type movements to work on my abs, but since ab work is the the part of exercising that I absolutely despise I'm working myself up slowly for that. For me there's nothing worse than sore abs. Ugh. I know, I know, that just means I need to do more of them. Back off Heff!

After a visit to the OB/GYN yesterday, Marissa is scheduled to be induced on Dec. 28th, so that's the day I get to see my boy for the first time. We thought she might deliver on her own earlier than that, but there was no further dilation from last week. I was hoping we would do it on the 27th since that was my Granddaddy's birthday, but the doctor is off on Tuesdays and didn't want to do it that day.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Misery Loves Company

I'm not really miserable right now, just tired. It's hard to get all the thoughts to stop spinning around in my head at night so I usually spend about an hour or more tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable place on the couch or the bed.

I first reached 290 lbs on November 18 in my current quest for delardification. I bounced up a little at Thanksgiving but went back down to 290 within a week. I'm still at 290 today, but I suspect I'll go below within a few days. It took a few tries to get back into the low-carb groove, and my recurring problem with the top of my foot aching caused me to only walk about 3.5 miles last week.

This is my 4th day with no cheating on the carbs, and I walked a mile last night with the dachshund. Things should return to normal soon and the weight should start coming off again. Luckily, Paul Clemmons has been entertaining all his Big Tobacco cronies the last few weeks and has reportedly been gaining weight like a fiend. Maybe we can start the new year off on an equal footing.

Marissa has been having a lot of sleepless nights this past week. Last night at Midnight the baby was kicking and wiggling more than I've ever seen him do so, causing much pain for his Momma. She goes to the OB/GYN this afternoon and we should get the schedule nailed down for inducement around the 27th. She may not make it that far, though.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Wrapping Up The Week

I'm very glad it's Friday. It's been a long week and is most likely a prelude of weeks to come. I need to start getting more sleep to prepare for the arrival of Jackson, but sometimes just closing my eyes and sleeping is hard to do.

Marissa went to the OB/GYN this past Monday morning. After speaking with the doctor they decided to induce labor just before the end of the year, but the doctor thinks he may decide to arrive on his own before that. Monday night Marissa was feeling bad and having problems with her stomach. She couldn't decide if it was contractions or nausea. Later that night she started having really loose bowels and about 1:30 in the morning she started "bazooka barfing" and couldn't even keep a few crackers with water down.

We talked to the doctor about 2am and she told us to try to keep her hydrated and to call the office Tuesday morning if things didn't improve. I managed to grab a few hours of sleep that morning, but Marissa may not have really slept at all that night. After talking to another doctor around noon, they decided we should take Marissa to the hospital so they could start an IV to make sure she wasn't dehydrated.

So we got to hospital about 1:30 and they put her in a room and checked her urine. Her ketones were 2+ which they said indicated she was dehydrated. They said they'd give her one bag of IV fluid then she'd probably go home, but after that first liter she was still too high on the ketones, so they gave her a second bag along with some anti-nausea medication. We left the hospital about 6pm and went home and put Marissa to bed and me soon after. We were both exhausted, but Marissa especially was since she hadn't really slept.

She felt much better the next day and everything seems to be fine now. She goes for her weekly checkup this Monday and we'll find out then what day she'll be scheduled for induction.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Final Countdown

Marissa decided to go to the OB/GYN this morning. She wasn't scheduled to go until next Monday, but she had what she thought were some contractions over the weekend and felt really tired, so she called this morning and went in at 9:15.

At this point she's dilated to 1.5 centimeters, so final operations have commenced for the arrival of the next little Hatch into the world. The doctor also agreed to set a date of the 27th, 28th, or 29th of December to induce labor if he hasn't made it out by then.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hatch Dragging

Sorry about the delay between updates. After taking most of last week off from work, I've been pretty busy this week with meetings and deadlines. Several people are taking off all of next week so we're pushing to get some things done around here.

The diet and exercise is progressing nicely again after the Thanksgiving debacle. I ended up gaining four pounds before I got back on the low carb diet this past Sunday, so I was at 294. This morning I was back down to 290 and I should be able to cruise down lower fairly quickly I hope.

Since I cut the carbs out again starting Sunday my butt has been dragging the first few days of this week, but I've still been making myself walk. After my walk at lunch today I've already put in 8.4 miles for the week, and this may be the week I break my mileage record since I started recording all of this over 8 weeks ago.

Marissa went to the OB/GYN this past Monday, and everything is still fine with her and the baby. Her blood pressure was up a little the week before, but now it's come back down to normal levels. She's still in nesting mode, but I think she's almost got everything she wants for the baby and the baby room.

My Petzl helmet finally arrived yesterday from It's really nice, but it may be a little tight thanks to my Hatcher head. I adjusted the head band as wide as it will go and it will go on my head, but it's tight. The chin strap is also tight at it's maximum length, but losing more weight will take care of that as the Hatch jowls begin to ebb. I think getting another short haircut will help too. My hair is a little woolier than normal right now.