Sleepless nights and poopie diapers – the joy of fatherhood

By Allen Worrell - The Carroll News Editor
It’s sleep all day and party all night for little Jackson Grey Worrell, born July 19. -
Allen Worrell -

About a month ago I wrote about turning 40. Today, I write about another life milestone – the birth of my second son, and third child.

Our lives were turned upside down Sunday, July 19 as seven pounds and 13 ounces of joy known as Jackson Grey Worrell entered the world. Things were touch and go for a while as the little man’s heart rate dropped to 10 beats per minute every time my wife Crystal had a contraction. For a while, the doctors wanted to monitor the situation as he recovered each time. But as the contractions got closer, the heart rate got lower, forcing the medical staff at Twin County Regional Hospital to opt for a C-Section. Noting that Jackson probably wouldn’t survive labor, it was a choice my wife and I were willing to accept without hesitation.

I am happy to announce “Action Jackson” seems to be a happy, healthy child. We are blessed in every single way possible – except for sleep. Boy, are we not blessed in that category. It all started from when we first drove to the hospital at 2:30 a.m. that Sunday morning. Right as I had just laid down for bed, Crystal informed it was time to go to the hospital. There was no sleep to be had that night. No big deal…surely I would catch up on sleep the next night. WRONG-O!

While Jackson did not wake up any more than a normal newborn that first night, the old R.E.M. pattern was disrupted by my “bed” that first night of new fatherhood. A hospital room chair that folds down into a bed – or what I like to call a medieval torture device straight out of Hell – was my cot for the night. Apparently, the few Z’s I did catch that night were interrupted as my snoring prompted my wife to wake me up by tossing a pen across the room and onto my face. So much for that glow of a new mother! Then again, if I just had another human being cut out of my stomach, I would probably not have been in the most jovial of moods either. Anyway, after two straight nights of no sleep, I feel I could have easily earned a cameo on The Walking Dead.

But I have to credit the nursing staff at the Galax hospital. After that second night, I think they began to realize I was quickly turning into Quasimodo. Rather than having to treat the Hunchback of Hillsville, they brought me in a hospital bed in which to lay my weary head. If I might, I need to take this time to give a plug to the maternity ward staff at Twin County Regional Hospital. Every single nurse gets an A+++++++. They all went the extra mile to make sure everything was just right for mom, dad and baby. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

However, I would like to ask them what suggestions they might have for getting our infant midnight owl on a halfway normal sleep schedule. Just a couple of days ago, I tried everything to get little Jackson to wake up during the day. I rubbed his cheeks. I tickled his feet. I blew sweet daddy air into his face. I YELLED. Nice try dad.

I am now convinced Metallica could play a live concert in our house anytime between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. complete with a moshpit, cannons and a firing squad and our little man would sleep through it. But once the clock strikes 1 a.m., it is PARTY TIME. Go ahead and get up mom and dad because Jackson is going to throw his hands in the air and wave them as if there were no repercussions. Who am I kidding? There are no repercussions. “You will change this poopie diaper and you will like it sir. NOW FEED ME.”

There are some major advantages to having a newborn around, I must say. Chief among them, the ability to rip off a stinker in public. Let me tell you, Jackson may only be a week old, but that child can bust off a cheek squeak that would make a biker blush. If anything, a newborn is the one person in the world who can get away with a heinie hiccup. I plan to use this to my advantage. Next time Jackson is with me and I have to break like the wind, you can bet the farm I will be directing all disapproving looks at little man. Thanks in advance son!

Jokes aside, we are beyond blessed to have such a healthy and happy little boy. We will just learn to live again with no sleep and soiled diapers because dadgummit, that’s what little babies do. Just don’t blame me if you read an article in the near future that sounds like literary Tourette’s Syndrome. You know, something like, “The Carroll County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Monday night allowing dads to fly the Confederate Flag on government property, but only while they are in the middle of changing a poopie diaper while on the second night of no sleep.” If you read something like that in The Carroll News, blame Jackson, not me.

It’s sleep all day and party all night for little Jackson Grey Worrell, born July 19.’s sleep all day and party all night for little Jackson Grey Worrell, born July 19.

Allen Worrell Worrell

By Allen Worrell

The Carroll News Editor