Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One month old - can you believe it!

Jonas was officially one month old yesterday! I can’t believe it. For all those years when I rolled my eyes when I’d hear my mom and other parents say, “Oh, they grow up so fast…” I can really this appreciate now. And, maybe... I regret rolling those eyes now.

This is what we call Jonas' koala bear pose. He loves to be held. He starts up high near your shoulder and gradually makes his way downward until he's scrunched up in a little ball. He'll sleep like this for hours.

Jonas noticed the mobile in his crib for the first time! I've put him in the crib a few times before and turned on the mobile, while I was tending to something else, but he always seemed oblivious to it. Yesterday he actually followed the characters on the mobile. It's so exciting to see him grow and reach new developmental milestones. Wow, I can just imagine what it'll be like when he says his first word or takes the first step.

We've been out for walks every day now that winter is giving way to spring. Sure, I have to get Jonas all bundled up, pack him into his car seat (which he is not fond of) and pull down all the shades around him, but he enjoys the walks. And it's good for both of us to get out there and enjoy the fresh air.

I really thought back when I was pregnant that I might be able to get out for a walk-run by now, but it hasn't quite worked out that way. I didn't realize how long the whole healing process takes. We'll get there... eventually.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Three weeks old

Our little guy is three weeks old today. He's growing well now. He's a regular eating, sleeping and "eliminating" machine. I'm thrilled to report that he has finally gained back his birth weight. He had me worried there for a bit. In the beginning though he wasn't eating all that well, so I guess it makes sense. No worries about eating well now though. He eats frequently, consequently *I* eat all the time, which suits me just fine! When else will I be able to eat this much and not have to run 5 miles?

Jonas has also gained two inches. He's up to a sky-scraping 23 inches. He's managed to make it through 1 or 2 diaper changes without ratcheting up in hysterics in the past week and Monday's bath had only low level crying. Could he be adjusting??

He loves to be held near your chest. And he scruches up in a little ball. He looks like a koala bear. I've started carrying him around in the baby bjorn, which basically puts in him in that position, and, it frees up my hands, which is another great benefit. Typing with one hand, or scouring the sink with one hand, or making lunch with one hand is kind of a drag, not to mention wicked slow.

More photos soon...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The first bath

Oh, were there tears and screams and wailing going on for the bath. In all fairness to Jonas I hated baths, too, and that lasted until I was about 8 years old! Hopefully, he'll get over it sooner than I did.

The calm before the storm.

Occasionally Jonas flashes a smile. When he does, my heart just melts.

Unfortunately, this was only to last about 2 seconds--that was before we put him in the bath.

Oh my! We even saw the lower lip trembling. That's when we know we've really done it.

I'll never forget when I watched the nurse bathe him after he was born how his lower lip trembled and there was something in his cry that made me tear up. I occasionally hear this specific cry every now and again, and it still has the same effect on me.

A brief moment of quiet submission. Key word = brief.

Even putting on the dinosaur towel after the bath wasn't a consolation, but at least we were done. For now, anyway...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Jonas' first week home

Jonas' first week at home was filled with adventure--for him, yes, but even more so for us. We started at the base of a VERY steep learning curve last Friday when we came home from the hospital trying to figure out baby language, sleep needs, eating needs and the like. This week (2nd week) things are starting to settle a bit, as we all learn more about one another.

Jonas' expression captures how I too felt that first week.

Grammie (my mom) stayed with us for a week, which was fantastic. I don't know what I would have done without her. The days go by so quickly! With 8-10 feedings a day and endless diaper changes, who has time for cooking and laundry?? Nevermind paying the bills and catching up with emails. Grammie made tasty meals, rocked and played with the baby, walked the dog, and basically took really great care of Joe and me.

Mima (Joe's mom) came down for a day to meet Jonas and she'll will treat us to yet another visit soon. We're all looking forward to it.

Although Jonas has lost weight since he was born, he no longer fits into the newborn size diapers, which is really convenient since I just happen to have those coming out the wazoo and hardly any size 1 diapers. You just never can predict how these things will work out.

We're blessed that he loves the swing and the bouncer. I've heard tales of woe about babies who hate one or the other. We try to carry him around most of the time, but it gets hard on the upper arms after awhile.

Changing the diapers has been eventful and memorable. Jonas HATES getting diaper changes. He screams the whole way through unless someone, or some thing, is plugging up the mouth--like a pacifier or a parental finger. Listen kid, I can't say that we're terribly fond of it either, but we gotta make peace with this. This is going to be a daily occurrence for a few more years!It seems to work best when we tag team him. Once that diaper comes off the feet go everywhere. It takes one person to hold the feet and another to deal with the mess at hand. I've learned to remove socks first, otherwise he inevitably manages to smear the contents of the diaper all over his heels. Dealing with the diaper is challenge enough.

Thanks for checking in. Stayed tuned for Jonas' first bath. If you think the diaper changes are rough, the bath set a whole new precedent for hysterics.

Welcome to the world, Baby V!

At last, I have a chance to update the blog! These last two weeks have been jam packed, as you might imagine, with feedings, screaming fits, diaper changes, small and infrequent stints of sleep, and more joy and wonder--and exhaustion--than we've ever known. And as nothing that Joe and I ever do can ever be simple and straight forward, our son certainly gave us our fair share of surprises and curve balls.

Jonas Mathay Vinciquerra made his way into the world and into our hearts on February 26, at 4 a.m. He weighed 9 lbs, 7 oz. and was 21 inches long.

My water broke at 5 am Monday morning the 25th of February. I naively thought (or was it hoped?) that this whole process would take me not much more than through the afternoon. That'd be about 12 hours, pretty good for a labor, I'd say. Besides, my mom was in labor with me for only 4 or 5 hours. I was hoping to have inherited some kind of speedy childbirth gene from her.

After my water broke, we stayed at home for another 4 or 5 hours, weathering regular contractions by making the rounds around our dining room and living room. I remember this part pretty vividly. Where I got lost in a time warp was once we got to the hospital. Once I got all set up in my room, time began to fade away. As the day progressed, I began to feel great pressure and pain in my back. Contractions intensified and became more frequent. I was even fortunate enough to experience double and triple contractions--lucky me! The midwife had me try a myriad positions to get through and help me progress faster, only I was in this for the long haul, little did we know. Thank God for Joe and the midwives (there were two by the second half of the labor). Joe supported and encouraged me brilliantly. He was an amazing coach!

Somewhere between 12 and 15 hours, I had reached full dilation. They kept asking me if I had an "overwhelming urge to push". I had been waiting (desperately!) for this sensation to happen, but I can't say that I ever felt it with the kind of certainty that I've heard others talk about. What I did feel was the most intense pain and pressure on my lower spine that I've ever felt. It was crippling. Although I didn't have a great physical urge to push, emotionally ready to do anything! Anything to get this baby out and alleviate the back pain.

After an hour or so of pushing and making relatively little progress, I made a quick (and rather unpleasant, I might add) trip to catheter-land. Let me just say there's nothing quite like getting catheterized in the midst of your contractions! Needless to say I was not excited at all by this detour, but what else could I do? Apparently a very full bladder can inhibit the baby's descent.

The pushing resumed for another two hours. It was now nearly 11 p.m. I ended up laboring drug-free for 18 hours with back pain that had reached the point of being excruciating, only to have it confirmed that the baby's positon was occiput posterior, or "sunny side up" as my friend calls it. They weren't even sure that if I continued, I'd be able to deliver him naturally anyway. Close to 11 pm that night (18 hours into this ordeal), we made the call to do the epidural. At midnight, the anesthesiologist administered an epideral (amidst two more contractions) with hopes that it would eliminate the pressure of the baby's skull from my spine.

After "going numb" we rested for a while. With the back pain gone I was up for anything.

Recharged and ready "to be done with it" 3 more hours of pushing brought Jonas into the world!

It was night and day difference. I was able to make much more progress on the pushing without the back pain, and it went by pretty quickly since I was no longer in agonizing pain. We were all laughing and telling stories for the last few hours.

We were also very happy to be able to avoid a c-section, although by midnight I was so desperate that I was open to whatever options were available to me. At one point, it was looking like a c-section might become the only alternative. Joe and the midwives encouraged me to first try delivering naturally with the epidural and see what would happen, and then we could make the call to do a c-section if it were necessary. Fortunately, it was not.

I have the greatest respect and admiration for our midwives. They were fantastic. I truly credit them, and Joe my greatest advocate, for helping us to achieve what we wanted: a natural childbirth. They were with us every step of the way, which is so unusual in today's highly "efficient" hospital situations.

We spent three days in the hospital and finally returned home on Thursday to our cozy home--oh, how good it felt to be home!--and Jonas' new friend, Auntie Ginger. Now the fun really begins.