Saturday, August 30, 2008

Does feeding every-other hour make my thighs look fat?

The forced feedings have paid off! At the appointment on Thursday, the boy weighed in at 9 lbs 13 oz. His cheeks are looking good and round, and he has that nice Michelin Man roll to this thighs. He still isn’t up to his birth weight, but that was a gain of 7 oz in 3 days! That’s a 4.67% increase in body weight in 3 days. That would be like a 200 lb man gaining 9 lbs in 3 days. If this trend continues, we can expect that by the end of the year Alexander will be a 200 lb man.

Instead of calling DHS, as feared, the doctor actually told us we were doing a “good job.” Tim and I were so taken aback by her praise that we asked her to repeat it several times, then write it down, then pantomime it, then contact the Daily Herald with an official press release. We don’t have to go back to the pediatrician until Alexander is one month old – which buys us two whole weeks left adrift to screw-up in the parenting department once more.

Now that he has a bottle or boob in his piehole every other hour, Alexander really is a very mellow little guy. He very rarely cries and mostly just likes to either sleep or stare at his parents staring at him. Or maybe I am mistaking mellow with exhausted. He isn’t allowed to sleep for more than an hour at a time in order to maintain this strict feeding schedule. (Neither are his parents.) We are hopeful that after the one-month appointment we will be told that we can cut back on feedings to once every 3 hours or so. Having two hours between feedings would make our brains hurt much less.

Alexander is getting larger and cuter everyday. Of course, as his mother I have serious bias. I even think even his farts are the greatest most wonderful thing in the world. So cuteness, size, and fartiness are all increasing daily. If this trend continues, he’ll be an Elmo Macy’s float within weeks. (That is gigantic, full of gas, and ridiculously adorable.) He is surprisingly strong too. We had him on his 'tummy time' mat yesterday and he managed to roll over. Well... was it a roll, or more just listing over and then landing on his back? Who knows... but we are calling it a milestone. I believe he is destined for a life in the 99th percentile.

Of course, as I type it is time for another feeding. 'Till next time...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Theoretical parenting easier than actual parenting

Sorry for the dramatic pause between posts. Until we get a handle on the “OmigawdWeJustHadABaby” situation, the blog may be a bit neglected.

Alexander is doing adorably fine. Yar. He continues to be the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. The pediatrician is concerned that he is ‘only’ 9 lbs 6 oz and not back up to his birthweight yet, so we have to feed him every 2 hours. The cause of poor weight gain? I was told my boobs are losers. That isn’t a direct quote, but that was the gist of it. I guess since I had so much physical trauma with the delivery, my Breastaurant is having a hard time keeping up with orders… so therefore when we feed him, we have to both breastfeed and supplement with formula.

Feeding every two hours means that is basically all we are accomplishing with our time. It takes about an hour to feed him (diaper change, breastfeeding on each side, then bottlefeeding). Then we have an hour to stare at the boy and wonder if we are already screwing him up. Then it is time to feed him again. We go in to the doctor tomorrow for another weigh-in, but if this doesn’t get his weight up I don’t know what will. I am considering adding some lead weights to his diaper just to get the doctor off our back.

As for me, I am getting stronger every day. I am now able to shower without passing out – so that’s a big accomplishment. I’ve deflated in a major way, so that is also exciting. I almost took a picture of my feet so you all could see the difference. They look almost bony compared to what they used to be. Also the swelling in my face, hands, and legs has almost totally disappeared. In fact, just 10 days after birth I had already lost 40 lbs – which is just a couple pounds shy of the total amount I gained in pregnancy. Obviously, this is just due to the swelling going away, but maybe I should take it as an opportunity to write a diet book. "How to Lose 40 Pounds in 10 Days" (Step 1: Get pregnant with giant baby. Step 2: Become pre-eclamptic and swell up like crazy. Step 3: Delivery giant baby and deflate.) (Not many diet books come with instructions on how to gain the weight you will lose on the diet... so maybe this is a whole new niche I can create.)

There are so many things it seems like we have already compromised on with our ‘good intentions’ on caring for the baby. For example, I never wanted to use formula or a bottle, but the doctor says it is necessary. Also, I never wanted to use a pacifer, but a bait-and-switch is sometimes the only way to get him to latch on. We also have the boy in disposable diapers, although I wanted to start using cloth right away – but the cloth diapers rub and irritate his umbilical cord so we have to wait on those. Theoretical parenting is so much easier than actual parenting. Ideals and good intentions sometimes have to get thrown out the window in the name of survival. Keep that in mind next time you find yourself shaking your head at some mom and dad at a mall trying to placate their screaming child with a giant chocolate bar. Those parents probably never thought they’d go down that road when they were just theoretical parents either.

Well, I’d better go feed the boy. I’d like to close with this…. YARRRR.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hey, baby, what’s your sign?

We are pleased to introduce you to the new dominant blog content: Alexander Robert! Tim and I are shocked we were able to come up with such a cute baby. I swear, that isn’t just maternal bias… he really is obscenely adorable.

Here is a picture of him 14 minutes after birth…

He is just 14 minutes old, but his agent says he can play anywhere from newborn to 3 months. Here he is after getting swaddled in the latest hospital fashions:


Anyway, here are his stats:
Birth date: Thursday August 14th , 8:15 pm
Weight: 9 lbs 15 oz (just an ounce shy of the 10 pound mark!)
Length: 20 1/2 inches
Distinguishing marks or tattoos: little cleft on his chin
Turn-ons: car rides, being rolled into a baby burrito (aka swaddling), snuggling, long walks on the beach
Turn-offs: hunger, time wasted blogging instead of snuggling

The birth wasn’t exactly what was anticipated… although I am sure almost every parent can say that. All that matters it that Alexander is extremely healthy and strong and we must have fooled the hospital staff into thinking we were competent parents because they let us take him home today.

Here is the Cliff Notes version: I was on the drugs for the induction and the anti-seizure medicine for about a day before it was determined that the contractions weren’t productive - so we went in for a c-section on Thursday night. Later in the night I began to hemorrhage quite severely. My blood pressure dropped and my hemoglobin and platelets also went down to worrying levels. For those that like medical data… the blood pressure went down to the area of 60/40 (after spiking at around 175/100 in the hours following the c-section), hemoglobin was 6 (I think they said 12 would be ‘good’), and the platelets were around 100,000 (which sounds like a lot, but I guess it isn’t as the nurse mentioned this number with some degree of alarm). Mmmm… data.

I’m thankful to have partial amnesia over what happened and I’ll certainly spare you the details of what I do remember. The bleeding was finally slowed down and I was eventually given a couple blood transfusions. After six days in the hospital, we were allowed to go home. I’m still very weak but taking lots of iron and should hopefully get my blood levels up to normal in the upcoming weeks. Now, I just wonder whose blood I have flowing through my veins? This situation has the potential for a twilight zone episode written all over it.

We may not update the blog for a little while as I am in a recovery mode (think of it as an extension of ‘load mode’). This pregnancy has been a bit of a drama magnet, so I guess it isn’t surprising that it went out with a bang. Again, all that matter’s now is our sweet little (sic) guy is here.

PS-- The kitties are quickly adjusting to the attention usurper. Bear meows in sympathy when Alexander cries. If you can’t handle ‘adorable’, you’d best stay away from our house these days.

PPS- Has anyone seen my cell phone? We think it got lost at the hospital. Oops.

PPS- Please forgive the typos and general loopiness of this post. (I have a reasonable excuse, and I’m going to use it for as long as possible.)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Adorable Truth

At the appointment yesterday, the doctor went Al Gore on me and pulled out some charts and graphs. As a dataphile, I was very excited… and as a mother, I was very proud. One graph displayed two solid parallel lines of increasing value over time, as well as a dotted line with a similar starting point but an even greater slope than the parallel lines. The doctor said “between these two lines is where we expect to see the curve for fetal growth. The dotted line, however, represents your baby.” The dotted line surpassed the two “normal kid range” lines sometime in the final two months of pregnancy. I was very proud. Then after thinking about what this really means for the immediate future, I said “my body wouldn’t grow a baby that is bigger than I can push out, right?” The doctor just laughed. Hmmm. All I can do is hope that Alexander has a well planned exit strategy.

We are still scheduled for beginning the induction Wednesday night. With any luck, Alexander will make his debut sometime on Thursday, August 14th. In the meantime, I had better start reading up on some specialized maternity and parenting books.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cheeky Monkey

We had an ultrasound today. As soon as the exam started the technician muttered under his breath “Whoa, that’s a big baby” so I knew Alexander had continued to pack on the pounds since we last saw him. Later, the tech noted he could see what he thought were “jowls” - so our boy may be gifted in the cheeks department. Yarrr…

I’d write more, but my hands are swelling out of their functionality. I feel like I am trying to type with oven mitts. Anyway, I just wanted to post the quick update that everything is going just fine and the boy continues to be 99th percentile in all of his endeavors thus far. I hope he won’t be afraid to come out due to setting the bar too high too early. It's gotta be tough to peak in life while still in the womb.