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.

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