A Little Slice of Kevin
Okay, so we haven’t written in a while. We’ve been busy adapting to our new lives with our little bundle of joy, Kevin James LeRoy. Our lives have been turned upside down by this little bundle, but we are enjoying every minute of it.
Pictures are constantly being uploaded to the “Baby Pictures” directory, organized chronologically. You can find them here
This post is rather long, so I’ve divided it up into sections so you can chew on one piece at a time, if reading the whole thing is too much baby for ya.
Kevin was born on August 22nd, at 11:58am. He weighed in at a whopping 6 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 20 inches long. (That length measurement, by the way, is a bit subjective. It all depends on how much the nurse wishes the stretch the little bugger out. A strong nurse makes for a longer kid.) I had a scheduled c-section, because Kevin was a Frank breech (meaning, he was in the pike position, bottom down, head and feet up). The doctor didn’t have a lot of confidence he’d turn, nor did I want to take the risks, so Kevin was born 10 days early. He’s healthy as a horse, cute as a button, and Mom and Dad are doing well too.
Being the planner that I am, I loved the c-section. There are lots of pros to a planned c-section: instant gratification (no long, awaited, dramatic, painful labor to go through), predictable birth, longer hospital stay to help you recover, delivery at a normal hour of the day (none of this 4am birth stuff!). Emergency c-sections are an entirely different story and I would never wish that on anyone. I went to the hospital at 9:30am Wednesday morning. They prepped me for two hours – IV of fluid, catheter, lots of questions, get Dave and I in the right “bunny suits” for the operating room, etc. I was sooo excited!
Then at 11:30am, the anesthesiologist gave me a spinal block to numb me from the chest down. That took twice as long as expected; something about two vertebrae of mine being fused together so he had to “try again” in a different spot? When he hit the spinal nerve, ooof, I wanted to jump out of my skin. The drugs went into effect quickly and the doctors started. They rubbed me down with iodine and started to cut through layers; 7 in all. They pulled the baby out, announcing it was a boy and that he had 10 fingers and 10 toes. Dave and I sighed a bit of relief that this part was over. The NICU nurse took Kevin out of the OR, Dave followed, and they scrubbed Kevin down, cleared his stomach of fluids, checked him over, etc. He scored 8 and then 9 on his APGAR tests. We knew he was gifted. J
Meanwhile, the doctors spent the next 25 minutes stitching me back together. The surgery went without a hitch and my numbness was gone in a couple hours. Incidentally, Dave captured much of the c-section on video. He held my hand with his left hand and the video camera with his right. It is pretty cool to see. I think Kevin will enjoy that 20 years from now…
Four Days at Good Samaritan Hospital…
The next few days in the hospital were a whirlwind. The nurses come and go, checking and rechecking me, Kevin, the linens, the diaper stock, how breastfeeding is going, how many poopy diapers he’s had, etc. We stuck Kevin in the nursery the first night and they gave him formula. The second night, he again slept in the nursery, but they brought him to me to feed. The third and fourth nights he stayed in my room. I sent Dave home to our house to get some real sleep. One of us might as well be sane, right?
We learned a lot every moment we were in the hospital. Nurse Anita taught us the best way to make a “burrito wrap” – wrapping Kevin so tight we think he can’t breath, but that’s the best way for him to sleep. Nurse Natalie taught us how to give a proper sponge bath and the best way to burp a baby. Lactation consultant Emily came and helped us “teach” Kevin how to suck properly. Now he’s a pro.
We came home on Sunday morning, Kevin’s 5th day of life. We were so very excited to be home, on our own schedule, in our own bed. That said, I was so tired I was nearly delirious and really couldn’t focus on much of anything. In the past two weeks, we’ve settled into a pretty nice routine. I feel like a big boob attached to the couch, since I feed him, on average, every 3 hours around the clock. (Now, “every 3 hours” is starting time to starting time, and it takes 45 minutes to feed him. So, all you math geniuses out there can figure that I’m sitting on the couch feeding for… well, you can figure it out. I’m too tired.)
Kevin gained nearly 1 pound from his birth weight within two weeks, so the pediatrician was pleased. That also gives us permission to let him sleep as long as he can during the night hours, without my having to wake him to feed. He’s gone several 4 hours stretches between feedings, which is great for Dave’s and my beauty rest.
All about Diapers…
Now, about the diaper changing. Holy cow, what an adventure. Kevin poops about 8 times a day, if not more that we don’t know about or hear. That is a lot of diapers! Between his circumcision and his nasty umbilical cord stub, diaper changing is an arduous process! For about 1 week, diaper changing required BOTH Dave and I 20 full minutes to Vaseline everything up, alcohol everything down, pin down his kicking legs, etc. Quite a dramatic affair! Add to that, Kevin’s knack for shooting poop several feet across a room when you aren’t ready for it, or peeing up and over your arms onto the pile of clean clothes below…and things are really hectic. But, we’ve learned. We have old carpets on top of our new carpet. And a washcloth covering his you-know-what in case he chooses that opportune time to pee. Now, only 1 person is needed for a few minutes per diaper change. I’m not able to do a one-handed diaper change yet, but that probably isn’t required until kid #2.
All about Laundry…
Now, about the laundry. I think we’ve run the washer and dryer no less than 100 times in the past two weeks. (And I hear water rationing is going to start soon…?) In fact, we did 3 loads of laundry between the hours of 9pm and 7am the first night we were home! Clearly, we were unprepared for the amount of slobber, poop, pee, milk, spit-up, and other random fluids to soil nearly everything we own. And we just didn’t have enough burp rags, onesies, etc, so we ended up washing everything to quickly re-use it again! Dave made a mad dash for Babies R Us on day #3 with a long list of “must haves” and now we are fine. Oh, and he’s purchased a LOT of packages of diapers too (see previous paragraph).
All about Kevin…
Kevin is a pretty cute kid, if I do say so myself. He doesn’t do much yet, but he’s getting bigger, stronger, and more alert every day. He’s doing a few minutes of “tummy time” each day to ensure he gets neck strength by lifting his head. (Sometimes, he just lies there with his face in the carpet, quite peacefully, with no desire to work on the neck muscles at all!). He makes funny faces (a pseudo-smile after eating or passing gas), funny animal noises (snorts like a pig before eating, chirps like a bird while sleeping), and cries a fair bit (pretty much every night between 7 and 9pm…sigh). It turns out, babies are not peaceful sleepers. They grunt, groan, chirp, snort, and even cry while sleeping. Kevin has a bassinet near our bed, but we’ve actually moved him to the hallway around the corner so we can sleep. When he’s hungry, he cries and some motherly instinct rouses me awake. Otherwise, I don’t need to listen to each little grunt and groan.
Kevin is quite the world traveler. He’s been out walking the Los Gatos Creek Trail and the neighborhoods around our house every day. He’s been to Grandma’s house, Oakridge Mall, Babies R Us, Target, two doctor’s visits, and Kiku Sushi Restaurant. This weekend will be big: he’s going to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to watch his Uncle compete in the Big Kahuna Half Ironman.
We’ve had a number of visitors to see us, both in the hospital and at home. We’ve also had a number of wonderful home-cooked meals brought to us by friends. We thank you for that! This is a fun and special time in our lives, and we’re glad that we have so many great friends and family to share in it.