Saturday, November 29, 2008

Adventures in Parenting v.1

You hear about new parents. Obsessing about the care for their baby. Excited by even the smallest developments, "Come here honey and see this.... he pooped!" So many details to attend to, the infant is so fragile and helpless. Heavy with the responsibility- a perfect creature and keeping him that way in your hands alone.

So much for the dramatic- this is after all a natural process. Babies have been born and raised for thousands and thousands of years- to humans and many other species. The majority sans published research studies, promoted parenting strategies and "What to expect" literature.

Somewhere between blind confidence and detail obsession there must be a happy place. Bringing Zach home from the hospital took us through the paces, to each extreme undulating nearly hour by hour.

Newborn jaundice- fairly run of the mill condition. A physiologic process really with a simple remedy. I could see right away the morning after his birth that we had little yellow man on our hands. Trans-cutaneous bilirubin was okay. We received the standard instructions- feed him when he cries, make sure he is soiling his diapers, don't shake him.

Thirty-six hours later run of the mill no more! Zach was super sleepy, not interested in nursing and the jaundice worse. I could see yellow in his eyes and gums. Worried I called the doctor. Is he peeing? Yes. Is he pooping? Yes. So don't worry. Okay.

Twenty-four more hours and we had a inconsolable crier, no pee and no poop! I was basically worried beyond reason. I called the doctor. We packed up the little one and returned to the hospital. Serum bilirubin was high, but not too high. We were instructed to give an extra ounce of milk with each feeding.

Then began the insanity. Every 2 hour feeding. Tired baby requiring 60 min to nurse. Tired mom then pumping for 20 min. Take a quick breather and start again! Exhausted. At that point we were anxiously counting the wet diapers, and waiting for a poop. And let me tell you- when the poop arrived we could not have been more goofy about it. Forget simply announcing it aloud, we wanted to call friends and relatives!

When we saw the doctor Monday AM at that point Zach was looking much better and caught up on hydration. His weight loss was dramatic, from 8lbs 2 oz to 7 lbs 0 oz just 4 days later. So supplements continued on, and the weary worried parents returned home. Glad to be on the right track, concerned and bewildered. Zachary so precious but also fragile.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Zach's First Thanksgiving

He was three days old, and ready to celebrate. Or at least dreaming of celebrating.

Early morning relaxing with Smokey.

The weather was beautiful- about 70 degrees and sunny. We headed outside for our first walk.

Down to the dock.

Out little jaundiced- yellow man soaking in a little MD ordered sunlight.

Dad is preparing the turkey and sweet potatoes.

Into the oven....

All dressed for dinner, with dad outside on the deck.

Adorable in outfit from Aunt Tiffany

And back asleep in time for dinner.


After two nights in the hospital it was time to head home. But first time to get dressed......

Then a lesson from Linda on how to carry the baby.

Practice in the car seat, strap one (check), strap two (check), buckle one (check), buckle two (check).

After eating and a nap.........

We're off!!!

In the car.

Daddy is driving with precious cargo.

Out of the car......

Special delivery, home at last.

Huh, grrrr, mmmmmm, ahhhhhh.......

Smokey assumes his position guarding the new little one.

All is well in the Peura house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

LeRoy Blinn

We received very sad news this afternoon. My grandfather passed away. He had been ill for several months, and died peacefully under Hospice Care with family at his bedside. I am really going to miss him.

LeRoy Blinn served in WWII and was a proud Veteran. He worked as a drafter for Massey Furgeson in Detriot Michigan. He was an active member of the Masons, and he loved his Masonic friends and participating in chapter events. He grew to be a jolly old man, and when he was still active had a regular routine of places he would stop and visit with folks in his hometown. My husband asked me what I will miss- my answer was his smile. The way he laughed and grinned when talking to you- as if he had been waiting the whole day just to learn that news, hear that story or spend time with you.

The first bath

We are fortunate to have a special nurse, Linda. She is a doula, lactation teacher and nursery nurse. She was at our side during the labor and delivery.

Linda also teaches us special tricks..... for one after Zach was born they did the Apgar scores (9 and 9 by the way) and handed him to me. He stayed on my chest for the next 2 hours. With delayed antibiotic eye ointment he was able to see me, and his dad. He was able to nurse (with a lot of help from Linda) it was so amazing to feed this little creature. He was so close to me it was hard to take him all in at once. The natural instinct was to examine every inch, but as he nursed in my arms it was a gradual study. Eyes, forehead, ears, nose, chin, fingers.

He did not have a bath right away, Linda explained that when the dried amniotic fluid coats the skin the scent will affect my hormones to promote nursing. So the full survey came this morning when we gave him his first bath. With Linda at our side, of course.

Here are pictures of Zach 12 hours old. His first bath.

Linda & Zach

Family Photos

Welcome to the world little one

Zachary Alexander Peura
November 24, 2008
1021 PM
8 lbs 2 oz
20.2 inches

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Zero-th Birthday!

We have a date with a pitocin drip in the morning. It is customary for expecting parents to be excited and crazed with anticipation as the due date approaches. We are fortunate I suppose, to know that our wait is almost over!

So how to pass the time? We spent the day relaxing, napping, watching Season 6 of 24, taking walks around the block- and tonight celebrating!

The final belly picture..... 39 weeks. Do you think it is a 50 pound baby?

It will be a big day tomorrow- there is a reason they call it labor I suppose.

I feel grateful that the testing on Thursday suggests a healthy baby. Grateful I was able to work until the end. Grateful for the last two weeks of rest.

A new beginning for a little person whose name will be Zachary Alexander- a new life. What an amazing birthday gift!

Ready for the little one.

The nursery is prepared for his arrival.

Smokey is standing gaurd.

The father to be is charging the video camera batteries!