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I [heart] Davids · Linus


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Six Months Old

Linus is now 6 months old. Here’s an update:

  • Weight: 18# 12oz
  • Height: 26″
  • Head: 17 1/8″

Linus is doing great. He’s rolling over both ways and he’s starting to rock backwards up on his knees. He’s meeting all his milestones and, as you can see by his growth, he’s clearly thriving. He sees a developmental therapist once a week, and she thinks he’s sharp as a tack and very strong. Everyone agrees that he’s the happiest little fella. One girl said “He smiles with his whole face.” He is just as cute and sweet as they come. He loves, loves, loves his big brother, and will always watch him if he’s in the room. And he loves his mommy and daddy, too.

He shows no sign of getting teeth any time soon. We’ve started solids and I think he’s slowly warming up to the idea. He eats about 6 times a day (bottles or nursing) and we’ve managed so far not to supplement my milk supply. He is sleeping from around 8 PM to 6 AM, though it’s still not that consistent. He makes good dinosaur noises and coos.

Four Month Stats (7/20/2010)

  • Weight: 16# 14oz
  • Height: 25 3/4″
  • Head: 16 1/2″

Ten more pictures after the break!
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Linus Surgery Update

You may already know about Linus’s medical condition. If not, read this.

In August, we went to the Colorectal Center of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to visit the world’s leading experts in the field of anorectal malformations. Dr. Marc Levitt operated on Linus and repaired the defect. We are so happy that we went to Cincinnati and had the best surgeons in the world taking care of Linus.

To learn more about the actual surgery and repair, click the More link below. But first, here are some pictures.
Linus’s “home away from home”

Hanging out with Daddy

Playing in his crib

With his Granma and Granpa

Hanging out with (a picture of) Henry

Looking sharp in his teddy bear gown

Snoozing after surgery

The very yummy Edible Arrangements bouquet Cristin sent!

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Boys in Action

Some videos and photos.

More Boy Photos

Some fairly recent pictures of the boys.

Sleep Rules

Somehow, against all thoughts and plans to the contrary, we’ve ended up with a baby that won’t sleep through the night.

This is due to at least a few reasons that I can think of, including the fact that Henry’s schedule is more fixed, so we’ve worked Linus in around Henry, and also that Linus’s colostomy bag prevents us from giving him a bath every night so we don’t have a good nighttime routine going.

Our current schedule has Linus nursing from 8-10, dozing and nursing on and off, and finally going to bed between 10 and 12. He gets up at least once or twice during the night to nurse, but has to be woken in the morning to get to school on time. Not a very good schedule for any of us.

Last night I re-read the Ferber book and realized there are three problems we need to work on. First, he’s getting up too often at night to nurse. (He recently had a cold and was up 3 times a night!). Second, he needs to be put on a more regular, predictable schedule so that he can know what to expect when. Lastly, he needs to lose his improper sleep associations, which generally is me nursing him to sleep.

Luckily, we have the journal from when Henry was little, and we have this record of his schedule. Using those two historical logs, we’re building a new schedule for Linus and working on these problems.

Here’s my plan of attack. First, we’re leaving the evenings alone and just focusing on eliminating the nighttime feedings. Last night he went 5 hours between bedtime and his first nurse. Every day we’ll add 30 minutes on to that until he can go approximately 7-8 hours without a feeding at night. At the same time, we’re setting a fixed wake-up time for him, 6 AM. This will set him on a predictable schedule for the day, and should align to be his first feeding of the day once we wean him from nighttime nursing.

After we’ve achieved that goal, then we’ll start trying to fix the evening. We need to institute a predictable evening ritual, a standard routine. At some point, we’ll also want to move his bedtime earlier. That would be the last step, however, in our plan.

So, we started last night and we’ll see how it goes. Wish us luck!!

Pretty Gifts

We got lots of lovely gifts for Linus. Here are two very pretty ones!
A silver spoon from Tiffany’s, courtesy of Grant and Michelle.

A gorgeous FireKing dish with a partridge pattern in red and orange, thanks to Kristy.

And here is Henry’s silver spoon from Grant and Michelle – obviously well worn.

Blog Readers: Here’s another option for pictures, what do you think? It’s pretty much what I’ve had in the past.

Linus has recently celebrated his two-month-old birthday, and soon will celebrate his third!

Here’s the statistical update from his two-month checkup.

  • Weight: 13#, 2 oz. (85th percentile!)
  • Height: 23″
  • Head Circumference: 15.5″

As of last week, he was already 14 1/2 pounds, so he keeps on growing. He is definitely getting bigger, judging by how quickly he’s outgrowing his clothes! He is wearing 3-6 month clothes, mostly, and some of them are too short already. He is pumping his legs almost every minute he’s awake, and he’s quite strong. Sometimes he’s a bit difficult to contain when he’s nursing if his legs are moving.

He is doing really well. He is on a pretty good three-hour schedule during the day, though sometimes it seems that he wants to sleep a bit longer. Concerned about daytime sleep robbing him of good nighttime sleep, we usually wake him up if he sleeps for more than two or three hours in a row. At night, he goes to bed around 10 or 10:30 PM, and then he’s up once around 3 or 3:30 AM. After that, we don’t expect to hear from him until 6 AM or later. He seems to be sleeping better, and does not need to be swaddled for naps. When we recognize his sleepy signs and respond to them quickly, he will go down for a nap with minimal fuss. Put down overtired, however, and he will more than likely need to be swaddled and will cry for 20 minutes before falling asleep. We have been really working on reading his signals right!

He is smiling a whole lot now, and will respond to you if you look at him and coo. He laughs and grins when we play little games with him, and will smile when you make exaggerated expressions with your face. His vision allows him to see farther than before, and now he’ll focus on more things like toys and people. He’s gaining head control, though he’s not all the way there yet. We try to give him some tummy time every day, but, like most babies, he hates it, and it tends to exacerbate the symptoms of his reflux.

He has managed to get both his left and his right thumb into his mouth, though he doesn’t have quite the motor skills to keep either there. However, being able to do so has made him happier and he’s better able to self-soothe. He will also gnaw on a burp cloth or blanket if one is available. Despite trying several different varieties, he does not seem that interested in taking a pacifier. We’ll keep trying, though, as he seems to need to suck to soothe himself a lot more than Henry did.

His colostomy is doing just fine, too. Dave and I are getting to be experts on bag changes. Our expertise means fewer 2 AM bag changes, which is a good thing! We usually do a bath when we change his bag, and he’s enjoying his baths more these days.

My maternity leave is almost over. I start back to work and Linus starts daycare on June 14th. I’m definitely glad to have had this time with him. Six weeks would not be long enough.

Photos of both boys in the same outfit, so you can see how they compare.

In case you can’t figure it out, Henry is on the left, and Linus is on the right.

Birth Announcement

We didn’t order too many of these, so apologies if you didn’t receive one!

My Birth Story

This is the story of the birth of my second baby boy, Linus Nelson.

Linus was born at 3:30 PM on Monday, March 22nd. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21.5 inches long.

He looked a little bit like his older brother Henry, but mostly he looked like Linus.

Monday morning I woke up and started working from home about 8 AM. Throughout the morning I had a few contractions that felt a little more intense than those I’d experienced during my two previous episodes of “false labor.” I had a little discharge that I thought smelled a little like my water breaking, though there was not enough fluid to think that my membranes had actually ruptured. I was also seeing a little bit of “bloody show”, a pink-tinged mucus, on the toilet tissue. And to top it all off, I had diarrhea that morning as well. I thought these were all good signs that labor was eminent but was so hesitant to say anything outloud for fear of jinxing us!
However, I did keep Dave informed about how I was feeling and what I was seeing. As I worked, we both gathered up all the hospital items that had gotten scattered around the house in the past two weeks so we’d be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

At one point, on a teleconference with a co-worker, I decided I couldn’t continue to have a thoughtful debate about the finer points of whatever we were discussing because the pain was a little too intense. I ended my call and called the doctor’s office. After being put on hold and transferred multiple times, I finally got someone who suggested that with my symptoms (contractions now 5 minutes apart and with a pain level of 4) I should come into the office straightaway. I was worried that we’d have to wait too long in the office, and asked instead to come right over to L&D. They promised they would expedite us and asked us again to come into the office, so that’s what we did.

We walked right in and they saw us immediately. Dr. Groff, the doctor who we saw in the hospital previously, was the doc who checked me. She asked me what my guess was for how dilated I was, and I said 5 cm. She checked me and said I was a good guesser. She let us know that she was going on shift at the hospital at 1 PM, so depending on how long labor lasted, she might be the one to deliver us!

We went straight over to the hospital and checked in. I was eager to get checked in and get the epidural process started – if you miss the window, it’s too late and then you’re screwed!

The nurses who took care of us were all very nice and very efficient. They knew it was a second baby and I was already at 5 cm, so they didn’t mess around and were quick getting my bloodwork done so they could order the epidural. They drew my blood for the labwork at 12:15 PM. I was starting to really experience the contractions, moving on up to 6 on the pain scale. Our nurse asked if I’d like something for the pain while we waited for the epidural order to come through. I had not ever thought about using more or different pain medication on top of the epidural, but as the waves of contractions hit me, I decided better living through science was a good idea. At 12:30, she gave me a dose of Stadol, which made me feel quite loopy. I could barely talk and had to ask Dave to stop swaying ever so gently on the bed because I thought I was going to get seasick. The stadol definitely helped take the edge off the pain, but the pain was still pretty intense and I felt so drunk, I would not recommend it as the drug of choice for delivery. As a bridge to the epidural, however, it was quite nice. The Stadol wore off right when the epidural started to take effect, which was great because it helped with the pain and once it wore off, I was able to be coherent and aware for the birth.

Anyway, around 1:25 PM, the anaesthesiologist arrived to perform the epidural procedure. It went very smoothly and other than having to stay very still during a contraction, was pretty straightforward and as painless as a procedure like that can be. Hooray!

By 1:35 PM I was at 8 cm and my water still had not broken. Doctor Groff came in at 1:55 PM when I was 9 CM and broke my water with a amniohook.
Shortly thereafter, at 2:30 PM, they disassembled the bed and I started pushing. It was oddly different from what I remember about Henry’s delivery. In that case, I remember being in a fog, a haze, and barely knowing what was going on. In this case, every minute of the delivery is clear and memorable to me. However, after about 30 minutes of pushing, it was starting to feel more like Henry’s delivery. Pushing felt totally and completely futile. I was quite shocked when she finally said she could see his head. I really wanted to ask about his hair but figured I could wait to see him. I started getting worried that he’d be turned the wrong way and we’d need another assist. I could also feel exhaustion starting to kick in. I’d had a well balanced breakfast of apple pie and coffee at around 7:30, and since then, the only thing I’d eaten was a banana on the way into the doctor’s office. Poor Dave was in the same situation and there had been no time for him to stop and get some lunch.

At this point, we found out that Dr. Groff was in the middle of four deliveries, and was juggling them all. Our nurse Margaret suggested that we might “labor down” and take a break while other babies were being born. That would mean we’d stop pushing and let the baby come down on his own for a bit. This sounded very tempting to me, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for a break. But something, I’m not quite sure what, inside of me decided I wanted to win first place and got annoyed at being told I couldn’t do something. So the next time I had a contraction, I started pushing really hard and with more gusto. It was when Margaret said “Get mad at him” that I did my best, lol. The doctor came in at one point and checked on me, encouraged me to push harder and then I could really feel that the pushing was making a difference.

Then I heard it in Dave’s voice, who had been chipping in with the occasional “Push push push” but it changed to a much more heartfelt, “PUSH! Ohmigosh PUSH!”. He could see the baby’s head! I reached down and I could feel his head. And then Margaret paged the doctor and asked me to stop pushing. I breathed through a few contractions, avoiding the urge to push, and said things like “Dr. Groff is going to miss the baby” and “Margaret you’re going to have to catch the baby,” untl the doctor finally showed up. She just came from another delivery (we didn’t win!) and walked right in to catch our little baby when I pushed him out.

At 3:30 PM, he came out crying, little arms and legs quivering. I was so excited to see him. I couldn’t wait to hold him and touch him. He was perfect and cried like a little baby. They wrapped him up in a towel and placed him on my chest – he was so perfect. He nursed as soon as I put him to my breast, I was so shocked and impressed! Dave held him, wrapped up in a blanket. I was so excited to meet him — I’d been waiting months. Finally we had him in our waiting arms!

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