Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Christine and I are very good at sharing Aiden. Considering the expression on Grandma's face, I think it's for a good cause. Kid's not even doing anything, and she looks like he just solved a quadratic equation before collapsing in triumph and exhaustion. Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 29, 2004

A little friendly competition, part 2

Diane says, "Hah, hah, Joan, I get him for a whole week longer than you." Posted by Hello

He always was an overachiever.

Aiden has hit puberty early, I guess. Any day now, he'll need to use deodorant, and will refuse to take showers in the locker room at school. Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Aiden and me

Posted by Hello

The airport

Oma & Opa finally meet Aiden, at the Cedar Rapids International Airport. Just after this picture was taken, there was a lot of high-pitched baby talk going on. Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Thanks, gods.

Good news! My prayers (such as they were) were answered! Today, his cord dropped off. We are rid of that smelly worm forever! Left over is a gross, smelly hole, but it's much nicer than the alternative. To celebrate, let's feast our eyes on the cordless baby. Awwww... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The scary cord, continued.

Geez, this thing just gets more and more horrible. Why don't they tell you that not only does the cord fall off in 10 days to 2 weeks, but that in about a week it's going to smell like roadkill (albeit smelled at a distance of 20 feet)? I showed it to my boss today (who's got a 9-month-old), and she said it looked normal, so I guess that's alright. And it's going to fall off soon, I can tell, but nevertheless, whatever gods exist, hear my prayer:

Please fall off soon, please fall off soon, please fall off soon...

This does not bother Christine at all, despite the fact that before his birth her sense of smell was good enough to sniff for drugs and bombs at the airport. I wonder if nature diminishes the mother's sense of smell after birth so that she still loves her child despite his stinky nature. It probably helps that babies tend towards cute, too.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Indigestion is fun for everyone.

Here's his majesty screaming for some reason. I suspect indigestion, caused by one or more of the following: Chili, jalapeno corn bread; peanut butter, swedish meatballs, or trail mix. *Sigh*

Stress Reliever

This (http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards.html) has nothing to do with babies but looking at it made me feel a lot better after hours of Aiden crying. It was Dave's first day back to work today and I think Aiden missed him! He's sitting with Davey now looking pleased and cute. Maybe Dave'll have time to post a photo later...


Sunday, August 22, 2004

A little friendly competition.

Joan says, "Hah, hah, I beat you to him, Diane!" Posted by Hello


Posted by Hello

So tastey.

Let's hope DSS doesn't get a hold of this one. I'm fairly sure gnawing on your baby is frowned upon. Posted by Hello

Anne Geddes, eat your heart out.

Christine's not a fan of Anne (you have to admit there is something a little creepy about her work), but I couldn't resist this shot. Posted by Hello


Here's our little prodigy, holding his head up at 1 week old. He's well motivated, because he's hungry and searching around for a boob, which he isn't going to find because Christine's still in bed. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004

Scary cord.

I confess, the umbilical stump scares the crap out of me. I'm supposed to lift it up and clean around it, except that when I lift, it seems to pull out of his belly a little bit...I'm afraid I'm going to pull it off!

I've read, too, that one isn't supposed to put a baby on his belly until the stump falls off in 10 days or so. But, it's okay to hold him such that he's on his belly against our chests. Can you say contradiction?

I noticed last night he had some reddish brown goop at the base, and I freaked out a bit. But after some thought I decided this was probably normal and just needed to be cleaned. It doesn't smell or anything, so it probably isn't infected. What I know about cords is that they are a direct line to the baby's bloodstream, so you gotta be careful.

I hope it falls off sooner rather than later...

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Tall baby.

Getting ready for Aiden's first trip to the pediatrician.

Here are his stats: Weight 8 lb 2 oz (55%-ile). Head circumference 14.57 in (70%-ile). Height 22.64 in (>97%-ile!). Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

He's got 9 spares.

Never, ever let a first-time father use the nail clippers. Aiden didn't seem to mind much after the initial wail of pain, but I felt like Daddy Dearest. Posted by Hello

I'll bet the 6th anniversary is cement.

The fifth anniversary is symbolized by wood, for some reason. Who decides this stuff? Posted by Hello

At least it's not a look of reproach

Even when he's asleep, he makes faces like he's passing a stone. He could be filling a diaper, but I'm not interested in finding out for sure. Posted by Hello

If only adults were this easy.

Aiden cries and waves his arms about, until by chance one happens to land in his mouth. After that, it's all blue skies. Posted by Hello

First night at home

I may be a bad husband. During Aiden's first night at home, I didn't wake up to help. Christine says she just decided I'd be more useful during the day...but I can't help thinking that I, too, should have been trudging through the night with my brain half on and my eyes half open.

On the other hand, Aiden has been a good boy. Sure, he wakes up every 3 hours, but that's not bad for a newborn. And compared to his first night on the outside, Christine says it's paradise.

Meet Trixie

If I haven't raved to you about this guy's site, consider yourself raved at. Full of useful stats, info, and humor for dads and dads-to-be. When I was fearing being a father, he...well, he didn't allay any of my fears but at least I discovered that fatherhood is surviveable.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The exciting changing table photo

Two of my favorite people. Also, the most photogenic part of our baby setup. Can't call it a nursery, since it's spread out over our entire apartment.

"While you're there, take advantage of the time to rest."

Hah! A narcoleptic couldn't rest in a hospital. Every time you're about to fall asleep, someone comes by to "check on the [baby/mother/bathroom/linens/refrigerator/television/door handles]".

But, we're leaving the hospital today. Which is bizarre. How do they know we know what we're doing? How do we know we know what we're doing? Oh, well, we probably don't. We're so tired, we probably will just fall back on our long submerged mammalian instincts and forget all about Dr. Sears' advice.

Christine says: "I feel like a star. Yesterday, one of the midwives said, 'None of us (the three midwives) thought he was going to come out the bottom.' And, Aiden's a star--he's healthy, he learned how to breast feed, he can hold up his head (especially when he's hungry and looking for a boob to latch onto)."

All around, I'd say this has been a wonderful experience. I can't recommend highly enough UIHC, the midwives, the staff, and the doctors. Although the couches could use some re-thinking.

Although we don't have family here in IC, doing this has really helped us feel like our family and friends from back east are here with us. So, I'll continue to update this site (although perhaps less frequently) with photos, news, and whatever floats through my sleep-deprived brain. Thanks for your comments, advice and support. Keep it coming!

The cry of a baby

When Aiden cries, it makes me sweat with fear. I think to anyone else, his cries sound like a normal babies'. But to me, they sound different, horrible somehow...like whatever I'm doing to him (changing his diaper, moving him from one position to another, etc.), I'd better get it done fast or he's going to grow up and need a psychiatrist.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Happy, as long as he's got a mouthful of something.

Wide awake, and pacified. We asked the midwife what she thought about nipple confusion. There's no clear concensus, but she felt it didn't really apply to pacifiers. Bottles, on the other hand, are a different story because they are easier to suck on than a breast. Babies will do whatever's easiest, so it's better to breastfeed for a while until they get the hang of it. Sounds logical to us.

So, you say this is my baby?

This is what a new father looks like. Sort of dazed.

I thought babies needed sleep...

...but apparently they're happiest making their fathers panic. I had a new dad episode. If you are a dad, you probably have, too: the feeling that if you don't change this diaper faster, the baby's going to scream at a higher and higher pitch until your head explodes. So, I panicked. Then the baby wipes ran out, and I panicked some more.

After a lot of panicking and a bit of desperate shouting at my sleep deprived wife to speak up, there's a screaming baby over here, I got the job done. The midwife says baby manipulated me...can't trust those babies. Gotta keep an eye on 'em.

Now, he's asleep. *Sigh*

The blush of new motherhood...

...suddenly fades and becomes a sort of blanched white color from lack of sleep. Poor Christine. She sent me home last night to get some sleep so I could be fresh to help her today (I was practically useless yesterday afternoon because of a nasty headache that resulted from stress, no food, and no caffeine).

While I was resting comfortably, Christine was up all night feeding the little man. So, despite having wanted to see our coworkers here in the hospital, I asked the nurses to turn people away because she was so exhausted. She still hasn't slept, but at least she's no longer hallucinating.

All that practice last night had one good effect: Christine and the baby are getting the hang of breast feeding, now. Speaking of which, we're getting conflicting info on breast feeding. Some sources say to switch boobs after 15 minutes. Others say empty one, then next feeding empty the other. The second makes more sense to us, since he'll get the hind milk that way. The first way is a pain in the ass since the switch upsets both baby and mother.

The other topic that produces conficting advice is keeping the baby warm. Babies don't have much insulation, so you gotta keep 'em well wrapped. The nurses here say he should have a onesie, a sleeper, 3 light blankets, a space heater, and a roaring bonfire. Others say that if you're comfortable wandering around the Arctic Circle wearing a speedo, he'll be fine doing the same. Okay, that's a bit of hyperbole, but you get my drift.

We've adopted a provisional strategy for this conflicting info: listen, smile and nod at the conficting bits of advice, and experiment on your own. You probably won't kill anyone this way.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

When he's not crying, feeding or eliminating waste, Aiden likes to rest in his lucite sarcophagus.

Aiden enjoys the occasionally siesta.

Christine's hot tub. She might loan it to me if I'm really nice.

For the bathroom fixture afficionados among you...

Here is the new mother in her natural environment.

And that's the beginning of the story.

Well, here are Aiden's stats:

8 lbs., 11 oz.
21 inches
Apgar 8, 9
Born at 8:16 a.m. on Sunday, August 15, 2004 (thanks for the reminder, Eddie)
scream power: 95 dBA


And that's the beginning of the story.

Okay, I'm exhausted, and I can only imagine how tired Christine is. I'm telling you, folks, she made it look easy. Once Aiden found his way, Christine just showed everyone how it's done. And now...she's sore.

Due to bad planning, we've forgotten our cell phone batteries and charger. So, if you'd like to call (and no earlier than 5:00 p.m., Sunday, August 15) the number is 353-9773 -- ask for us by name!

I think that cap was knitted by little old lady volunteers. Aiden says thanks!

Big feet.

Goddamn! He's pretty good looking...of course, you can't see his conehead.

What can I say?

Just saw a bit of baby hair

Just a bit. More soon.

Pushing now.

More soon...?

Here's Aiden in action. The bottom trace is Christine's contractions (there are four contractions visible in this picture). For each contraction, there is a corresponding dip in Aiden's heart rate (top trace)...which means his head is being squeezed. It's okay, because his heart rate returns to normal quickly after the contraction finishes. He's on the move.

And now a word from Christine

I'm getting a little excited to see my baby. I'm trying not to be excited because I want to seem calm and patient, waiting for him to come out. I don't want to rush him. But, I'm very excited that it only took 12 hours to get to this point...it was very quick. And the staff agree: considering how things looked when we arrived, it was fast.

(pause for contraction)

Some people might call that pain, 'cause I couldn't keep going through that. But it's fine.

Nurse Jackie is setting up the baby accoutrements. She sorta startled me when she began bringing them out...

Unlike the furniture, the staff here rock.

I love that face! She's enjoying her epidural.


Okay, that couch sucked. It was all tilty. And don't get me started on the pillow. Flat, like Kansas. Wake up, maternity centers. Your furniture gets a bad review.

Okay, so the baby is moving down into Christine's pelvis! And, Christine is fully dilated. Finally! We're not ready to push yet, but it will happen (I personally was worried the baby'd never find his way down there, and we'd end up with a c-section).

The epidural is magic. Christine can feel movement and pressure, but no pain. And she can move and feel her legs. Way to go, Dr. Johnson.

Epidural in. Sleepy time, now

Wow. So, Christine put up a brave fight for I don't know how many hours now, but it's time for some relief. She's 3 cm dilated, but the baby's still way the hell up there. Anaesthesiologist Dr. Johnson (who was only too happy to get some credit for his work for once) was fast and pleasant...and delivered a heck of a lot of pain relief.

Now, we're all (including Dr. Johnson) going to try to get some shut-eye. I have a pillow that is literally flat. Oh, well. G'night.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Contractions suck.

They do. I can tell. And we're not even at the point where they really suck.

Christine and her new husband, Mr. I. V. Pole.


There are a lot of machines attached to my wife just now. I think Christine is obsessing about their function. Especially the fetal monitor. She keeps stressing out about whether there's a good trace or not. I've tried to get her not to worry about it, but now that the contractions are stronger she's stopped caring anyway.

Here's Christine having a contraction. Originally, the were only 30 seconds long. Now they're lasting a bit longer, maybe a minute, and she's having trouble ignoring them. So far, so good!