Friday, September 5, 2008

Month 1

Ethan has arrived!

I knew that Ethan was coming any day, but he arrived one day earlier than expected and that kind of threw me into a panic. I don't know why...the hospital bag was packed, the nursery was put together and everything that could be washed was washed three times. The night of the 3rd I went into nesting overdrive and decided to finally clean out/organize the office filing cabinets and other papers strewn all over the place. I might have did a little too much bending however and that night I *thought* that maybe my water broke. I wasn't sure though, it definitely wasn't obvious like how they depict it in the movies. Being the paranoid person that I was, the next morning I immediately called my doctor and went in for an appointment fully thinking that everything was still okay. Good thing! She verified that my water did in fact break and I was told Ethan would be coming that day. So instead of heading out that evening to celebrate my birthday (the last chance of eating out for awhile!) we got to celebrate the birth of our son!!!

Birth Stats:
Weight: 7 lbs 9 ou (39%)

Height: 19 in (23%)
Head Circumference: 35 cm (25%)

When I first saw Ethan I immediately thought that he looked just like a mini Bob. Bob held him out to me and Ethan had this cute little furrowed brow and a big scowl on his face. I guess he really did not want to come out just yet! Every visitor and the entire hospital staff reconfirmed that yes, Ethan looked just like daddy. Sigh.

The days spent in the hospital is just a big blur. We learned quite a bit from the nurses. I thought I was up to pretty up to speed as a new parent - I read all the pregnancy and childcare books I could find. But performing the daily care tasks did not come naturally. The nurses showed us how to properly diaper the baby (immediately cover the baby with a towel to prevent accidents - of which there were plenty. We weren't fast enough the first couple of times and Ethan peed on the bassinet, the hospital walls and even on himself a handful of times. Secondly, use the front of the diaper to wipe the baby and then fold it under him. This prevented the mess from getting messier), how to give the baby a sponge bath, and most importantly how to help the baby latch correctly. Ethan was so tiny, and it was really awkward trying to hold him correctly. I was so afraid of his head flopping around or of smothering him while he nursed. Let me tell you, I am a very modest person, but EVERY nurse that came in to the room would immediately try to show me how to properly hold Ethan to nurse. It was quite traumatic for me, but by the end of the three days I wouldn't think twice about whipping out my boob for the hospital staff to see.

Two things had me worried at the hospital, the first was that Ethan lost a lot of weight. I think you are only supposed to lose up to 10% of your birth weight but Ethan lost quite a bit more than that. I was constantly worried that I wasn't feeding him enough, but the pediatrician didn't seem too worried. Apparently babies born from a c-section lose more water weight after birth than those delivered naturally. And it's true, by his second week check-up he had gained back up to his birth weight. Secondly, I felt really bad for Ethan because he had slight jaundice and was constantly checked for his bilirubin levels. Between that and the normal blood tests, and the tests for infection because my water broke early, his little feet was covered with tiny heel pricks.

Back at home

Bob and I couldn't wait to get back home. My doctor cleared me a day early so we scrambled home as fast as we could. The first month was spent mainly just nursing Ethan. He ate every hour, and then slept immediately afterwards so basically I became one with the glider in the nursery. Bob would bring me up food and feed me while I fed the baby. Aside from the sleep deprivation it was a pretty good month! My whole family was visiting and helping out so we didn't have to worry about food or how to keep the house from deteriorating into chaos. Also my mom is magical. She came early to help me at the end of my pregnancy and then stayed a whole month afterwards. I don't know how she does it but she single-handedly cooked, cleaned and had the energy left over to play with the baby. Plus, she is the only one that can soothe Ethan when he is unhappy. She tried to teach Bob and me how to hold Ethan in the way that he likes but he would have none of it. All my mom has to do is pick him up and then all is right with the world.

The cutest thing

There are three things about Ethan that make my heart melt. The first: right after he eats, he does a full body stretch and yawn where he lifts his arms high above his head (his head is so disproportionately large that his hands can barely clear his forehead!), purses his lips, and goes mmm...mmm...mmm as he shakes his head left/right/left. It's sooo cute. He does this every time he eats as if he has just had the best meal. Then he will abruptly drop his arms and fall right asleep. The second: he is prone to getting hiccups and when he does he makes the cutest little squeaking sound. He is a human squeak toy. Lastly: The peaceful look he has when he is asleep...especially when he is all snuggled up in the kiddopatamus. This is his favorite place to sleep aside from being baoed, and who can blame him? He is being hugged from all sides.

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