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Archive for September, 2008

Grace now has a belly button.  For those who haven’t gone through this from the parenting side: Belly buttons are like opinions.  Everybody has one, right?  The question is how these arrive.  Grace and Erin were connected by the umbillical cord, and I got to cut the cord during childbirth.  Boy, I was nervous with those scissors.  I got double confirmation from the midwife when to cut it – asif they’d given me scissors before they were needed.  By the way, we donated the cord blood to the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank over at the Duke Hospital Cancer Center.  They use cord blood for bone marrow transplants, cancer research, and other important purposes.  It was just as important to us as being organ donors.

Anyway, back to Grace’s button.  After the cut, the newborn’s wound needs to heal.  The hospital pinches it, and parents need to keep an eye on infection.  We used qtips and alcohol to clean the sides of it.  Eventually, it dries out, and the tiny stump dries out and falls off. Voila, a belly button.

It’s slightly smaller than the average belly button, as judged by Erin’s and mine.  We’ll post a picture once it completely heals.  In the meantime, feel free to mail us pictures of your own.  Or don’t.

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Two weeks today

So today she is two weeks old…  how strange that as I type this, we approach 11:09– the moment we met our daughter for the first time.  Somehow, as everyone told us, our lives have transformed to be parents to this wonderful new person and she has captivated our hearts like no other could.

Now comes the hard part– to chose a cute picture for her birth announcement and a poem that somehow captures the awe of her birth as well as the depth of our hope for her life– that there may be as few tears as possible, as much joy as she can hold and enough love that she will never question the presence of God.

I return to my birth announcement– a poem that has meant so much to me throughout my life and wonder if I can find something nearly as meaningful…

“May the long time sun shine on you
All love surround you
and the pure light within you
guide you all the way on”

I don’t want to reuse, but I do want to find something that gathers up what we know of her and what we hope for her and presents it in a way that lets her know how much we love and believe in her even though we barely know her.  In some ways, I wonder if my birth announcement didn’t shape a little bit of who I am– someone who would characterize myself as having a pure light within that can serve as my guide.  Of course, perhaps everyone does…

Ah well, back to the internet search while Grace quietly naps…

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So we knew the time would come when the 2 weeks that Greg took off would be over, but somehow I kept thinking that it couldn’t be over yet!  Well it is, and Grace and I are sitting here, enjoying the quiet and I know that she’s wondering where her bouncy Daddy is.  She was so distressed not to have her Daddy to spit up on that she projectile spit up down my back and onto the floor to show her displeasure.  Boo on work says Grace.

Here’s a cute picture to show how angelic she looks after she worked out the spit ups.

Sweet napping baby

Sweet napping baby

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Earlier this morning, I got up to change her diaper.  I unwrapped her from her pajamas and checked her diapers.  Definitely dirty.  I now think it’s safe to assume that it will /always/ be dirty in the morning.  I partially pulled down the diaper and reached for the wipe.  Remembering the last two days, I paused to see if anything else would happen.  (See earlier posts for two identical circumstances.)  Yep, she started peeing on me.

Ha!  I carefully kept the old diaper underneath her parts to catch the waterfall.  Waited and waited.  I felt like I was at a gas pump.  She eventually ran out of fuel.  Then I carefully removed and sealed the soaked diaper.  Popped a fresh one on.  Problem solved.

See, you can teach a new daddy new tricks.

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While I cleaned her diaper again this am, she actively peed all over the changing table.  I’m sensing a pattern here.  Baby poops. Daddy carries Baby to changing table.  Daddy removes diaper.  Daddy holds Baby up to wipe her.  Baby immediately pees all over the place.

Well, at least she’s not a little boy.  They have squirt guns.

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So because we are planning to exclusively breast feed Grace, we purchased a baby scale in order to make sure that she’s gaining weight as she should.  Today after her bath (a word which she has begun to associate with torture if you listen to her cries) we placed our dear daughter on the scale to see if she’s gaining as she should be.  What we didn’t bargain for was the fact that she was wet and angry and *very* squirmy.  So my best guess is that she’s somewhere between 9 and 1/2 and 10 lbs, but where precisely, I have no clue.  I’m guessing more towards the 9 and 1/2 side of things, but I can’t be sure.  In whatever case, that’s better than Monday at the doctors when she was 9 lbs 1 oz.; they said that once she started gaining that we should look for her to gain about an ounce a day.  Basically while I’m not super reassured, it seems that she’s growing as she should and we’re not starving her (although if you talk with her just before a feeding, you might get a different story….)

Speaking of feeding, our Grace calls…

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Many folks mentioned that breast feeding was going to be a challenge, so I expected it.  What I didn’t expect was the horror of finding blood (from me) in my daughter’s spit up.  The initial challenge of latch presented itself, and most of the time, I think that we’re doing okay.  However, after two nights of epic feeding sessions to try to get her to sleep (i.e. two hours of 20 minutes of feeding, lay her down, she screams, I feed her again, rinse & repeat) I decided that I needed to get some suggestions from veteran Moms.

We drove up to North Raleigh this morning and met in an Episcopal church’s nursery discussing the benefits of breastfeeding and then any questions from the group.  I was very reassured that as long as she’s having sufficient wet/dirty diapers that means that she’s eating enough.  I was also reassured that when they say that she should have 3 bowel movements a day that anything in her diaper the size of a quarter or larger counts.

All in all it was useful to find out that I shouldn’t try pumping until she’s 6 weeks old in order to avoid nipple confusion.  They even referred me to a group of nursing Moms who work and meet in the evenings.  I hope that the reassurances that I got today that just because there is initial discomfort when she latches doesn’t mean that we’re ‘doing it wrong’.  I look forward to the time when we’ve got a few weeks under our belt and she’s gaining steadily and there are no more tears during latch & I know that she’s getting what she needs from me.  ‘Cause there is nothing more sweet in this world than her deep blue eyes staring up at me as she nurses and makes her sweet contented baby noises.

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