Just a love note… A reminder of how sweet and gentle children really are.
Well, we’re back! Our doctor gave us two thumbs up and said that baby is perfectly normal / healthy.
If you’ve never been to a first check-up before, it’s a pre-booked appointment, so you just show up, give your name and info, then go right in. It’s not great if, say, there are two other sets of patients in the waiting lounge who’ve been waiting 20 minutes or so to see someone (not that this was the case for us today or anything).
Next, you’ll probably fill out an info sheet about you, mom, baby and your other kids (if you have them). This is usually given to Mom, but she handed it off to me for reasons still unknown.
Anyway, after the nurse who showed you to your room comes back, you strip baby down to his/her diaper so the nurse can measure baby’s length (head to toe), circumference/diameter of the head (?) and see how much baby weighs. Once that’s done (about 5 minutes if you’re quick), you wrap baby up in the blanket and wait for the doctor to come to your room.
Once the doctor comes to your room, he/she skims through the info sheet and verbally verifies that the information you’ve written down is correct. He/she may make his own notes in the scrawl that is famous for belonging to all doctors (because, when you’re busy saving lives or helping make sure people are healthy, writing isn’t all that important) and then will break out his/her stethoscope and place this on your baby’s chest (maybe back, too… I don’t recall whether ours did that or not).
The doctor also looked at baby’s tongue and checked baby’s eyes. After that, he answered our questions, gave us some sample products and gave us the news (baby’s doing just fine in our case).
Oh, yes… I almost forgot. Baby’s umbilical cord (the part that was attached to her, anyway) fell off a couple days ago. Our doctor told us to clean the area with one wet Q-tip and then apply some polysporin to the area with a 2nd Q-tip 4x/day. (disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so please don’t do this yourself. Consult your doctor or physican for best medical information.)
We’re back home now (obviously). Mom and baby are having a rest. I’ve got our lunch thawing out in the sink, the washer and dryer running and a small load of clothing waiting for me to fold it to death.
It’s only day 4, but I already feel like I’m beginning to get into the swing of things, largely due to comments & conversations from / with others and my wife’s response (read: whole-hearted agreement) to said comments.
All right – laundry’s callin’ my name. Later, y’all!
Among the many different things I remember looking forward to with our new baby were things like new baby smell (it’s intoxicating… there’s nothing like it) and hospital ice (what? you’ve never tried it? well, go get injured or sick or something & go to the hospital and try some).
Honestly, though, to pinpoint the one thing I was looking forward to the most… well… it’s a bit awkward, a bit weird, and (most of all) quite disgusting. In fact, you may want to set down anything that you’re eating or change to a different blog if you’re one of those people with wimpy stomachs.
I, (yes, me) Andrew Plait of Southern Alberta, was especially looking forward to green poo.
Let me write that again, a little slower for the people who weren’t sure what they read: G – R – E – E – N – P – O – O.
Green poo is, without a doubt, the best part of the entire parenting experience. Never mind the crying or discontent from the baby (actually, there’s usually one of three things to do when a baby cries, but that’s another post on its own) – green poo is to die for.
Why this fascination with feces? Well, I’ll tell you.
In my un-medical slang experience, a new baby dispenses green slime from his/her bottom within the first few hours of it being alive. You see it once, twice if you’re lucky, and then it disappears forever (unless your baby has a health problem or is from outer space or subsists on a formula/breastmilk/spinach diet).
The stuff is tougher than the strongest epoxy and extremely rare. In fact, I snapped a pic of it while we were in the hospital (but had the decency not to post that sort of thing on the Internet… just yet).
That’s why I’m a fan of green poo. Look for the collectible T-shirts coming out later this summer. We’ll start a poo-volution! Who’s with me?
Today I left the hospital, picked up some bananas and milk for our girls, then rushed home to grab everyone and shuttle them off to the hospital. When I arrived home my mother-in-law told me she was carrying soup to the hospital to give to my wife.
Now, one of the nurses let me know that Mom had called this morning. One of the biggest no-no’s you can make with your family, at least your partner’s mother, is not to call and update her with activities at the hospital. You’ll want to call and let her know that the baby is well, the mother is well and everything’s going well at the hospital. In fact, and you won’t read me writing this much, I would think this is one time you should actually consider lying! No matter what’s really going on, unless things are looking grim, just tell Mom that everything’s okay, everything’s fine and that she doesn’t need to worry.
My mother-in-law had seven children and six of them are still alive and kicking today. She has lots of life experience with kids, but she doesn’t let us forget that, either. Many times she might say something because she wants to be helpful, but it just sounds like she’s telling everyone they don’t know how to raise a child / family properly!
When I walked in the door and one of the first things out of her mouth was “I’m carrying soup to the hospital for ‘X'”, I reacted very poorly. Men, you may’ve heard a popular saying, “happy wife, happy life”, yes? Well, the same applies to your mother-in-law!
I reacted poorly. I stood on my “hill” and tried to defend (very poorly) a line of reasoning that said her daughter needed to eat the hospital food, not home-cooked food. I lost that battle and had to apologize for my behavior. (“bad, Andrew! down! sit! baaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddd!)
She ended up carrying soup. I ended trying some of the leftovers and remembered just how much I miss her cooking. A man could happily gain 10 pounds in her kitchen over a weekend.
The moral is “don’t argue over cooked soup.” Just shut up and eat (especially if the person who made it knows how to cook)!
I am so tired. You know how some people, like doctors, have jobs that sometimes require them to be up for 24 hours straight, sometimes more? Well, I pulled a 20-hour marathon yesterday, and my brain is still feeling it.
Twice now I’ve woken up today staring at the back of my eyelids trying to piece together where I was. Twice now I’ve wondered if I was still dreaming, then realized that I was actually still awake and really tired. Is this a sign of early onset fathernesia? I’m too young to die!
My kind wife let me come home and rest after pulling the near all-nighter. Don’t worry, I left her in excellent hands (the hospital staff, her mother, sister and our two daughters). I took advantage of that time to sleep, catch up on posting and grab some food.
Well, another night of diapers and feeding awaits. Catch you later.
Today we welcomed a new family member into our lives. Today my five- and three-year-old daughters got to hold their new sister together. Today I remembered just how much I need my own space when relatives come to visit.
The day started at 5 a.m. – much too early for most of us. Of course, my wife wasn’t in bed when the alarm woke me up. Fortunately, she had the patience not to give birth to the baby before we reached the hospital.
We’re used to big city births, ones involving waiting rooms and growing facial hair before being transferred to your living quarters for the next three or so days. That wasn’t the case here in Medicine Hat.
When we arrived, the staff took us straight to our private room, a space large enough for two beds, but equipped with a single hospital bed, a rocking chair, three plastic guest chairs, a bathroom and a sink, cupboard, tv and a foldout bed / chair thing that I’m relaxing on right now.
Even though Medicine Hat has a college with a nursing program, it didn’t occur to me that their would be students doing rotations here. You’d think they’d go for someplace larger, someplace fancy, someplace with more movie theatres or a happenin’ music scene.
A couple of 3rd year med students from Cowtown (read: Calgary) were shooting the breeze with me while we were waiting for the action to happen. Turns out they have five or so more weeks to go and no idea of what to do while they’re in town (read: city).
The obstetricians and other hospital staff did a fine job, and our sweetheart arrived at 9 a.m. on the dot. After some face time with Mommy, Talea (our new arrival’s name) and I headed off for a routine inspection. They staff did everything except change the oil, but that’s fine. Better safe than sorry.
Later in the day I gave Talea her first bath. She’s a quiet one except when someone’s trying to drown her. Apparently that’s something she objects to.
My other daughters were going stir crazy in the confines of our private room, so Auntie and I took them on a trip to McDonald’s. it was terrific, except they wouldn’t eat anything, wouldn’t play in the Play Place and wanted to run off to the bathroom by themselves. My middle daughter decided it would be a good idea to play with a rotating chair. She let go of it while standing too close and wound up whacking herself right in the face with the back.
Anyway, I can hear Mom snoring away next to me. Talea’s sleeping quietly, and I’m looking forward to my first shut-eye in seventeen and a half hours (not that it’s ever a big deal on a work night). Good night, everyone. Thanks for reading.
Well, folks, we’re coming down to the wire. After much waiting, we finally got the call… the call that changes lives.
It wasn’t a great call, really. Sure, we know when to come to the hospital so they can do the procedure, but who really wants to check into the hospital at 6:15 in the morning?
It’s not like we’re taking a flight to Australia here (love the accent, btw). There’s no baggage check, no double-booking Caesareans with the same doctor in case one of the mothers decides to take a later surgery… so why the heck do we need to be there just after six?
Few people get up at six. The grocery store doesn’t open until eight. The pharmacy doesn’t open ’til nine. Even the garbage truck operator who lives across the way gets to sleep in.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I like my shut-eye to last ’til 7 or 7:30. Maybe I’m pre-cranky because I know no one will be getting much sleep in this house for the next 18 years (if we’re lucky).
I tell ya, there’s no bottle of warm milk big enough to cure my attitude about needing to get to the hospital so early, so hospital staff, obstetricians, everyone – thank you in advance for the kind, gentle manner in which you’ll treat my loving wife of eight years. Thank you in advance for the excellent job you’ll do. Please return her and our baby safe and sound to me after you’re finished. God bless.