Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy 1 month

Dear Helen,

Today, you turned one month old. We celebrated by going to the pediatrician's office and you know what? He thinks you look great. He was very impressed that you already make eye contact with me and he didn't seem bothered in the least by the fact that you sleep almost all the time. (As I type this, I know that someday you will stop sleeping and I will wonder why it bothered me so much that you were such a sleepy baby.) He suggested we up your dosage of baby zantac in hopes of getting your reflux under better control and on the advice of another mom, we're going to go to a compounding pharmacy and have them make you a better flavor of the stuff in the hopes of you not looking at me so annoyed each time I give it to you.

Here are a few things I thought you ought to know about yourself. You were named after your dad's grandma, Helen. Unfortunately, you won't get to meet your great-grandma in this dimension, because she died a few years ago. She was an incredibly kind person, and at one point I told your dad that even if he dumped me, I was keeping his grandma. On our second meeting, she gave me a book of stories from women Kansas pioneers for no other reason than she saw it when she was in the used bookstore and thought of me. I hope that someday you are the kind of person who makes random gestures such as this to others. Your middle name is a mishmash of my mom (Carlene), your Aunt Linda, and your dad's mom (Lynn). You will have the opportunity to fall in love with each of these women.

You entered this world in dramatic fashion. Just like Connor, my water broke, and shortly thereafter labor started. You were slightly poterior, which meant your entrance into the world was accompanied with a lot of pain. Your dad actually slept through most of my labor with Connor, because really, it wasn't all that painful and we figured if he could sleep it was a good thing. He had no such luxury with you because he couldn't stand to leave me alone for long when I was having such a tough time. I walked, I knelt down and leaned on a chair, I sat on the birth ball, I laid on one side, I laid on the other, and I kept on moving. I was able to lie down and rest for a bit at one point, not because I was feeling better, but because I was completely exhausted. At one point, my midwife asked if I wanted to be checked and I said "yes" because I needed to hear that your entrance was close. But no such luck. I wasn't all that dilated, and there was nothing indicating you were coming quickly. I was really bummed to hear that news. After your brother was whisked out of the household to go to Zoe's for the day, I took a hot shower, and during that shower, I decided I had nothing to prove. I'd given birth to a baby at home without pain meds. This time, it wasn't going to work. When I got out of the shower at 7:00 AM, I was feeling pretty defeated. I told your dad "I can't do this" and your dad said "OK". This was not the response I was hoping for. I was hoping he would tell me that everything was going to be fine - that we'd been down this road before, that it wouldn't be long. Later, when I asked your dad why all he said was "OK" he told me it was because he didn't know if I was telling him you were never coming out (and if that was the case, he didn't want to be the one to point out that indeed, you were coming out at some point) or if it was something else. I rested next to him for 15 minutes, and then I got out of bed again. At 7:36, my birth assistant darted up the stairs to alert my midwife that things were changing and she and the midwife came rushing back down the stairs. You were born at 7:41 AM. The very short pushing stage almost makes up for the 8.5 hours of labor before that. When you came out, it was very obvious that my due date for you was wrong. You were not a 39 week baby, but probably a 37 week baby.

On Monday, we went to visit the pediatrician, and he thought you had lost too much weight and you were too yellow. We went to the lab to check your bilirubin levels and indeed, they were high. Our pediatrician recommended you be hospitalized. I was devastated. In what turned out to be a very big, stressful showdown, we ultimately got home-based equipment and you never had to be hospitalized. As part of that, we also scored a new pediatrician.

For a few days now, your dad has been telling me he thinks you're pretty chunky. And you know what, for our family, you are a bit chunky. You weigh 7 pounds 4 ounces which means you are in the 10th percentile for weight. Whoa. I didn't even know how to respond to this exciting news. You see, your brother didn't manage to find the weight chart until his 18 month appointment. You are median length and your head is in the 40th percentile.

It's hard to sum up your first month, but I can assure you, your dad, brother, and I love you a ton.



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