Friday, February 29, 2008

New and novel ways to keep the binky in, by Graham

So Graham has had a tough go of it the past couple days. Lots of spitting up, lots of crying, lots of gas. My working diagnosis is reflux, although I know that everyone is quick to jump to that. However, preemies are especially susceptible to reflux, and the symptoms fit. The triage nurse at his pediatrician's office is also having me do a trial of a lactose-free diet to see if he has an allergy that might be causing it all. Oh, how I suffer! Cathy Lee and all my asian friends, I feel your pain. No cheese, no yogurt, no BREAD for the most part. There's milk in bread! I forgot about that. Sad sad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

Phew! We did make it home to Rochester just fine on Saturday, regardless of the snow storm that hit the Northeast Friday night. We were considering delaying our departure, but when we got up Saturday morning, the roads were clear and the forecast was good. So we packed up (having to leave mountains of things at my parents' house) and headed out. At one point during the packing, I asked Joe where something could go in the car, and he turned to stare at me and said: "Unless it is a stick of deodorant or smaller, it's not going in the trunk." Got it.

So, the car was ridiculously full. In our infant safety class, they told us about a million times over - "don't have anything loose in the car that you wouldn't be willing to throw at your child." So after the trunk was full, that became our uncomfortable running joke as we stuffed the front seat of the car (and under my feet as well in the back): "Am I willing to throw a laptop computer at my child? Yes, it appears that I am. How about a cool mist humidifier? Why, certainly!" Lo, we are bad parents already.

Since getting home, Graham is doing well overall, but is having a bit of a hard time with the transition. He's not sleeping as well, and definitely spitting up more and being unpredictable in his eating. It's not so beyond his usual that we are concerned, but he's clearly stressed. It's very similar to what we went through the first week he was home from the hospital, so we're hoping we only have a few more days of this. And again, overall he is handling it really well. I, on the other hand, am flipping out every minute or so with the number of things to do and new items to cram into an already tight space (i.e. our house). Poor Joe - there have been multiple occasions already when he has come upstairs to change Graham or something and found me weeping over a pile of bills or baby clothes. The nadir was when I got to the bottom of the bags we brought home and realized that there were still bags of Christmas presents to unpack and find places for. Because I haven't been home since 3 days before Christmas.

Today is my last big push to try to get the house in reasonable order and then it's on to whatever our normal everyday schedule will be, because Joe goes back to work tomorrow and it's just me and the G-man. Whoa.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Big boy!

Graham went to the pediatrician today (for the last time in Massachusetts, hopefully) and got excellent reports across the board. He's 8 pounds, 14 ounces now! Whoa. And has also grown 1/4 inch in the past two weeks. So since birth, Graham has gained 4 pounds, 4 ounces and two and a quarter inches. Hooray for breastmilk!

And of course, as Murphy would have it, as we try to get everything in order to come home to Rochester things have gotten a little snarled. The battery light in our car came on yesterday, which didn't freak me out too much - I figured the battery just needed to be replaced. So today I took the car to a place to get the oil changed (they actually advertised a Ladies' Day for oil changes - how could I pass that up?) and also get the battery replaced. The guy called me into the garage (it was all very hush-hush, like we were at the hospital and couldn't violate the car's HIPAA rights) and told me that they actually thought our alternator needed to be replaced at the low low price of $550. Ahem. Yes.

Luckily, my parents have a mechanic they trust beyond measure, and my mom had an appointment tomorrow to get a headlight replaced. Mike the mechanic was nice enough to let me steal my mom's appointment. So we still may need to have our alternator replaced, and may still be expensive, but at least we'll know that the expense is real and not just a made-up number as I always suspect when it comes to cars.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Newest satellite location of Harris Interactive

Now that Joe and I and Graham are starting to settle into a routine, we decided that we'd better mess with it, and go back to Rochester. The tentative plan is to head home on Saturday, weather permitting. It should be an interesting trip, given that Graham really can't go in to various rest stops (lots of grungy strangers and whatnot), which means diaper changes, breastfeeding, etc. all in the car. And while in my nanny days I have certainly changed a diaper in the backseat, that was at the beach with the door open on an 80 degree day. Not so much crunched into the backseat with the heat on full blast because it is -12 in Utica.

Now we just have to figure out how to get all our stuff home....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

He sleeps!

We finally had a good night last night, where Graham really slept most of the time between his scheduled feedings. Unlike newborns that could actually sleep through the night (if parents are lucky enough!), Graham really has to eat every 3 hours, 4 at the max. So last night he was eating at 1 am, 4 am, 7 and now 10. And between the bottle, and the burping, and the holding him upright for 15-20 minutes after he eats because preemies are very susceptible to reflux, all that takes an hour of the three. But, he actually slept the other two! The solution was to swaddle the crap out of him. I guess we didn't quite take people seriously enough when they said to swaddle to the point where you think it might be too tight, and then go a little tighter. It's ridiculous how much he calms when he can't get in his own way with the flailing of various limbs.

So now he and I are in the kitchen doing the New England winter version of sunbathing (slightly different than Lucy Vivian Holland's!) which consists of sitting in the sun that is coming through the frozen window. Joe is sleeping, the laundry is in a brief state of being complete, and we're listening to Rufus Wainwright. Lovely.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Future member of Red Sox Nation

So many people in the hospital asked if we were Yankees fans and/or Giants fans. Get real, people. Do you think we could grow up here and make it out of the South Shore alive as Yankees fans?

Graham is doing great, and I think is continuing to make a big transition from being a preemie to being just a regular ol' baby. He found his scream last night at about 3 am, and while it wasn't fun at the time, there was part of me that was cheering him on. "You go, G-man! Belt it out! Let's hear it - you are PISSED right now!"

The visiting nurse is coming again tomorrow and we'll be anxious to hear how much he weighs. And then I have my follow-up OB appointment on Friday. I can't really comprehend the fact that on Friday, G will be 6 weeks old and almost at 38 weeks gestational age, but is still negative 2 and a half weeks! I'm sure we're biased, but we think he's very advanced for his age.

And here's one of the missing grandma pictures (Graham was pretty comfortable):

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Grandmas love Graham

Above: Grandma Big K gives Graham his dinner, which he is holding on to for dear life.

Graham has had lots of grandparental contact in the past few days, now that he is getting the hang of this whole "real world that isn't the hospital" stuff. And although I accidentally forgot to take pictures while Joe's parents were here today, I can assure you that the look on both grandmother's faces are the same (I guess you can't see my mom's face in the picture either) - they LOVE him. They canNOT get enough.

We're all doing well here, and thankfully, there's not much new to update. Graham is starting to sleep more regularly and for longer periods, Joe and I are both gradually getting over our colds, and we're all kind of settling into a routine. An incredibly busy and life-changing routine with lots of dishes and laundry, but a routine nonetheless.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Like father, like son

And I don't just mean the explosive farting (but yes, there is that too).

If you can't quite see in the picture above, Graham is wearing his Triumph motorcycle onesie, complete with waffle long underwear tee. Joe is wearing, of course, the same thing (except with the ubiquitous fxa tee). This is Joe's favorite thing about being a father so far, I think.

We're all doing relatively well here - making the transition and I think it's getting easier each day. We're not actually sleeping for long stretches at a time yet, but hey, he's still -1 month old and this is only day 4 home from the hospital. Right now I have him all bundled up in my Moby wrap, which I think is pretty much the greatest thing since the vibrating seat. Joe is napping, trying to sleep off the combination of caffeine withdrawal, new onset cold symptoms, sleep deprivation and new fatherhood.

Graham took his first tub this morning, but as it was at about 3 am because he kept pooping and peeing on himself and the tub was a few days overdue as well, I don't have any pictures. I promise we will take lots of embarrassing for the future naked tub pictures at the next go-round. Okay, I am off to put Graham down and see how long I can make that work, so maybe I can take a little nap myself. Or maybe eat! The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We're home!

A very belated post to say that we are all home, and happy, and (with the exception of me) healthy as veritable horses. I unfortunately now have a cold, which terrified me, but the pediatrician today said that normally mom having a cold doesn't have the impact that a stranger's cold might have. Regardless, I am sleeping upstairs, which kills me. And poor Joe is doing all the nightly baby care, which I think is just about to kill him. Oye.

But Graham is incredible and wonderful and to be able to snuggle with him and kiss him (until I started sneezing) whenever I want is so so good. He had the visiting nurse come yesterday and went to the pediatrician's today. He's now 20 inches and (drumroll) - 7 pounds, 4 and a half ounces! Dag, yo!

Anyway, I am off to try to sleep off this cold, because Joe thinks he might be getting it too, which means I need to be healthy ASAP.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Almost ready

He's almost here, he's almost here! Right now Joe is at the hospital, snuggling like mad to try to make up for the horror that was Graham's eye exam (or so I was prepared for by our wonderful nurses - I chose to skip this particular tragedy in favor of cleaning our room). And things are actually starting to come together for his arrival home tomorrow. We've got a place for him to sleep (two, in fact!), clothes to wear (thanks to all the wonderful people at the shower), blankets for snuggling, diapers for pooping, and hey, I bring the food. So I think we're ready to have a baby now.

The tentative plan is that we will go in for his 8 am feed, and then hang out, sign discharge papers and whatnot, and be able to leave with him around 11 am/noon time. I have to admit that I am shaking a bit right now. I think it's a combination of nervousness, elation, and exhaustion. Bed early tonight.

Until tomorrow, here's a photo of our little man from Friday night - during the two hours he actually slept peacefully.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A little busy

Sorry for not posting for the past couple days - the countdown to springing Graham from the hospital has gotten a little hectic. We actually roomed in with him Friday night, which was incredible but also very very tiring. Graham has gotten quite used to all the boing-ing, beeping, and alarm-ing of the SCN, and the quietness of the room we were staying in was not doing it for him. We tried white noise, and then the radio, but he still was confused and cranky most of the evening. We've been assured that it is the change in environment, not us, and that within a couple days of coming home he'll be back to his very calm normal self. Hope so! (And actually, he still was very calm - he's just not a crier. He makes these little piggy noises when he's uncomfortable.)

So then Saturday I was running around and doing errands, Joe slept some, Joe went to the big Scamper final show and I went to bed as early as possible. Apparently (seriously! this happened!) an SUV crashed into a tree across the street from us at about midnight (said tree was about 30 feet from my head). I did not wake up.

This morning is the baby shower, and I am very excited to see everyone. And Graham is doing really well - he passed his carseat challenge, passed the hearing test, had a totally normal head ultrasound, and is eating like a maniac. He's up past 6 lbs 7 ounces now! So now it's just a race to pull everything together before Tuesday. And Graham just has to get through his eye exam. One more test, little man, and we're getting you out of there!