Friday, September 17, 2010

Notes from the Two Weeks After Andy's Birth

Random thoughts I jotted down into a pocket-size notebook.

Friday, September 18, 1987.
After a hearty breakfast at Arneson's (ham and cheese omelet, American fries), I drive to the hospital. JoAnna and Andy have been given the OK to leave. While Jo takes a sitz bath, Dr. Ellis inspects Andy. He's a bit on the yellow side, the doctor comments. You might want to bring him to the office tomorrow for a bilirubin test.

Not a peep from Andy on the drive home. I keep wanting to look over my shoulder to make he is comfortable. The way his head is hanging, he looks extremely uncomfortable.

Jo and I spend most of the afternoon playing with Andy, watching him sleep, letting the wonder of it all make us feel like the most special 3some in the world.

I decide to attend System Celebration at the Heritage House, glance at my watch while I'm there, eager to dash to the car and motor home in the fastest time possible.

Alice, Cindy, and Gale are visiting us on Andy's first night home. Andy is fine until 3:30, then stays up for the rest of the night. Jo is exhausted, not having gone to bed until midnight, so I keep Andy company until a 7 a.m. feeding. Sometimes he's very quiet and stares at me contently. I am able to read him all but the last page of a story. When Jo takes over, I crash until 10:30.

Saturday, September 19.
A more structured day. Andy is kept on a regular schedule. He's so well-behaved, such an angel. I call the doctor's answering service during the afternoon to follow up on Dr. Ellis's concern about jaundice. A Dr. Meyer returns my call, says there isn't much that can be done today since the clinic closed at noon. All we can do is monitor Andy's skin color.

Paul arrives for a brief (24-hour) visit and gets to see his new "nephew".

On his second night at home, Andy wakes up for his middle-of-the-night feeding, then promptly returns to sleep and wakes up again when we are ready to get up.

Sunday, September 20.
Basically a repeat of Andy's angelic behavior on Saturday. During the afternoon, while watching TV, I put Andy on my chest and let him fall asleep.

Andy appears to break into a smile when I stroke his chin, the sides of his mouth.

After an 8 o'clock feeding and playtime, Andy gets a little cranky, takes awhile to settle down. I check Spock's advice; he reminds me that swaddling Andy should help him fall asleep.

Monday, September 21.
Andy's first trip to the pediatrician's office. Naturally, he cries after the nurse pricks his heel but settles down immediately afterward.

My staff is amused when I describe Andy's efforts at a smile. "It's probably just gas," says Sheila. Actually, some of his smile-like facial contortions have been isolated, not part of a series of contortions.

Jo calls just before 1. Andy's bilirubin count is up slightly but not seriously. We'll need to go in again tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22.
Andy proves to be a bit more restless after his middle-of-the-night feeding. When I first put him back in the bassinet, he quickly complains. I cradle him for another half hour, until he is sound asleep enough to be returned to his bed undisturbed.

Don't get up til 8:15. Andy awakes at 3:00 and 6:00. The first time I stay up for an hour with him. The second time we snuggle in bed with Mom.

Sunday, September 27.
Both afternoons – Saturday and Sunday – Andy is especially cranky. He cries and nothing will keep him quiet. On Saturday afternoon, I ride my bike on a meandering route that circumferences Lake Mendota so I miss the worst of it. All of it, actually. Andy falls asleep as soon as I return. Early Sunday afternoon we take Andy shopping to Kohl's and Shopko. I consider this family outing to be a mistake. Andy starts to get cranky shortly after we enter Shopko. I return with him to the car while Jo finishes the shopping. After an extended period of fussing, I lean back on the couch in the family room, cradling Andy to my chest, his head resting on my left shoulder. He falls asleep within 15 minutes.

Monday, September 28.
Andy sleeps until 8. For awhile I thought that I might not get to hold him before leaving for work. He continues to be an angel at night. Once he's fed and his diaper is changed, he's quickly back asleep.

Tuesday, September 29.
Andy has his first physical since leaving the hospital. I was surprised to learn that even though he weighed 9 lbs. 12 oz. at birth, his weight dropped to 9-4 when he was discharged. He has only gained an ounce since then. Nothing to worry about. He's such a big healthy baby anyway. Otherwise, Jo reports that Andy behaved well at his exam. Even though he was stripped down to his diapers, he hardly cried at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My daughter was born just a few days before your son. As I read your post, it brought me back to those early days. Thank you for reminding me of those days. BTW, the last picture- we had a seat like that. When Mairin's younger sister was born,Mairin shot Nora out of the seat, after I had put Nora down after getting her coat on, to get the other 2 kids coats on.