Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nora Leigh Taylor

Nora was born at 4:35 am this morning, 12/31/08, on her grandma Cathy's birthday. It was of course very unexpected...

Erin and I were watching The Office on NetFlix last night, when at 9 pm she got up to use the bathroom and found that she was "leaking." I went out to start the car and get it warmed up; when I returned to the apartment, she had leaked again, and by this time it seemed fairly obvious something was wrong - either her water had broken, or she had other issues that required urgent attention. I immediately called an ambulance and we rode over to EMMC.

Why did I call? Well, I didn't want something to happen to Erin while we were in transit. I was worried, Erin was crying, and I didn't want to do something stupid like run red lights and stop signs in my haste to get to the hospital. In hindsight, I should have at least drove my car along behind them so I would have had it there, but Tina drove me back this morning. But I'm sure I would have been honking and blowing my horn when he stopped at the red light on State Street. As it was, I almost nearly turned to the driver and wanted to scream "you're driving a Frickin' ambulance. Run the friggin' red light!" But in my head, I was much more animated and colorful in my vocabulary...

Erin was monitored for a while, started having contractions shortly after her water broke, and it most definitely broke, so the nurse told us that Erin was not leaving the hospital without delivering the baby. The question was whether we could wait a few days to do it.

They gave her a steroid to try and give lung growth a boost, hoping that if delivery could wait a couple days, it would give Nora that much more time to develop.

Nora had other ideas however. The contractions rapidly increased in intensity. Luckily by this time, Tina had arrived, and helped us both deal with childbirth. Erin was given one dose of a medication to try and calm the contractions, and then a second, but they didn't even slow down - the baby was coming whether they liked it or not. Her cervix rapidly dilated from 2 cm by the time we got situated at the hospital, through nearly 10 cm at delivery, all within a few very short hours.

Erin was awesome all night long too. The nurses kept commenting on her incredible pain tolerance and calm through the whole ordeal, she didn't yell or swear, and while the pain was considerable at times, she remembered her breathing and did everything she was supposed to do. We never had a single childbirth class - they were scheduled to start in two weeks - but she just knew it already.

Nora Leigh was delivered at 4:35 am, and sent to the neo-natal intensive care unit at Eastern Maine Medical Center. She's a beautiful baby, everyone says so. She's adorable, has a full head of dark hair. Her color is a good pink, and she weighs 5 lbs 3 ounces. Not bad for a premie, but at the moment she's hooked up to a machine that's helping her breath but not breathing for her, by increasing the pressure on her lungs slightly to help them inflate.

The nurses all commented on how mellow she is, she doesn't cry as much or as loud as other babies, and that has them a little oncerned, but considering the delivery, and her parentage, it doesn't really surprise me all that much. Some babies are just more mellow than others. She has cried and yelled a few times, and she is breathing on her own.

And no, I did not cut the cord on either occassion it was given to me to do. A shaking nervous father who worries about holding a developed baby should not be near a premie with sharp objects, there are paid professionals whose jobs it is to do such things. I have no qualms in putting aside traditions for the sake of safety, I think everyone who knows me at all will agree to that.

There is no known reason for Erin to have gone into labor, at least not yet. The prevailing theory is an unknown infection, quite possibly the urinary tract infection that she had a few weeks ago. Nora has a couple of things on her face that to me look a little like zits, I don't remember what they called them, that could just be a minor rash, or it could be an infection. In any case they're treating her with antibiotics, and we should have the results of what's going on sometime later today hopefully.

I'm at home, my brother stopped by and I got out of bed to greet him. He was in the area working anyway. It was good to see family. I got Tina a room at the Hampton because she likes it there and hadn't slept in at least 26 hours or so. She also had the forethought to bring her digital camera, so I should have pictures in the next day or so.

I've added a Paypal link to the sidebar (on the right side of the screen) where anyone who wants to can donate money to Baby Nora. No one has to, and I'm not asking anyone to, this is strictly voluntary. I'm only posting it because there may be someone who wants to help financially; our plans have been accelerated unexpectedly, and we're looking at expenses that we weren't expecting before. Do we need premie outfits? I don't know, by the time she comes home, she shouldn't be that much smaller than a "regular" newborn. We'll probably need an even smaller set of diapers than what we have, I know there are special premie diapers for instance at Toys R Us. We were just about to get cash to Tina so that she could buy that breast pump for us from a woman she knows in Waterville, that's going to have to be taken care of soon as well.

So much to do, but still so long to wait until we can actually bring Nora home.

Oh, and if anyone wants to donate time helping me clean the house, I wouldn't object. Donations of cooked meals would be awesome as well, especially after Nora is brought home. I can fend for myself, and until Nora is home we're no more preoccupied than before, except for hospital visits, but I know people like to cook for special occassions, and I can't say I would mind.

I keep forgetting: mom told me this morning that Nora weighs more than she did when she was born. That's right, my mom, in addition to my two nephews and Nora, was a premie, over 50 years ago. It really makes me wonder now if maybe there's some sort of genetic predisposition toward it?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Erin and I stayed home tonight instead of venturing out into the weather, but we will be visiting family tomorrow.

We received the Pack n' Play yesterday, set it up, and of course the cat decided it was hers and decided to take a nap inside. After a gift certificate that she received at her shower, it only cost us another $13, with one-dollar shipping. Can't beat that with a stick. Delivery wasn't bad either, even for the holiday season.

The baby has been kicking up a storm, including during the last doctor's visit when she kicked the microphone listening to her heart. Erin's into her uncomfortable, tired phase, where she isn't sleeping all that great and so is trying to sleep whenever and wherever she can. We do have a full body pillow she's using though that helps; I inherited it from my grandfather, who never actually used it apparently, and have had it in the closet for the last couple years, wondering what to do with it. Just as well I kept it!

I sprung for new tires on the car today, to keep baby and mother safe on our trips that begin in earnest tomorrow. Erin got a couple very cute pregnant ornaments.

Everyone's safe and happy. So Merry Christmas to everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lactation Part 2

I was joking around with Erin later in the evening after I posted the article about male lactation. But it was only half joking on my part: I mean, if a woman can start lactating from having adopted a baby because of the psychological desire or need to do so, then how many cases are there where the same thing happened to a father?

You never hear of it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Why? Well, think of the men in your lives. How many of them would ever - EVER - tell anyone that it had happened? This could even be a common circumstance, and still be such a taboo subject that it's simply not discussed by the men it occurs to and thus unknown to everyone else.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lactation

Ok, so I'm posting this for fun and not because I'm giving anyone ideas.

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/20193

"Mammary glands, which produce milk, are present in all mammals. In fact, they’re one of our defining characteristics. In some cases, such as with mice, the mammary glands of the males are too underdeveloped to function. In humans, however, they’re fully formed in both sexes, complete with breastfeeding ducts and nipples."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dec 13th, 2008

Oh I forgot to post earlier! The baby is far enough along so that if anything happened and it was delivered early, it could survive in an incubator. Since we're 5 minutes from one of the largest hospitals in New England with reportedly one of the best neonatal units, I consider that a good sign. It's good to live in Bangor.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11th, 2008

We just got back from a check-up on the baby. Everything looks good. I learned something interesting - the baby's heart-beat is supposed to fluctuate while you're listening to it. Did not know that. It did so, and that's good. Erin's in good shape herself, but was on an antibiotic this last week for a possible bladder infection. Test results all look good and Erin is feeling better, so there shouldn't be any problems.

Our primary physician for the pregnancy is a woman that looks a lot like Tracy Ullman, but with a thick accent that we can't place. Eastern Europe, Middle East, not sure which. Nice lady, she's also pregnant and due just before Erin is, so unfortunately it's not looking like she'll be available at the delivery itself, but Erin's taken care of that and is comfortable with the arrangements.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby Shower Picts

Here are some picts from our living room of the gifts we received at the Baby Shower in Waterville last weekend:





And here are some picts taken after we had gotten stuff a little more organized in the nursery:



This is symptomatic of what happens if we leave the door open for too long:



As far as what we still need: we're looking for more items off the registries, and diapers the next size up from infants. Gift cards are also always welcome!

Erin and I are going to work on Thank You card for everyone this week. We haven't forgotten, we've just been very busy, and a little under the weather to be honest.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby Shower

Erin's shower was this past weekend, the Saturday after Thanksgiving (and Black Friday). She got a lot of really nice stuff (thank you everyone!). I'll post pictures sometime tomorrow, I haven't had much time to myself the last week or more because of work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stroller and Car Seat

Thank you Tina! The new stroller and car seat came today, much quicker than I think anyone was expecting. They're nice too. We couldn't wait to open the boxes and set them up, so we did.



Get this: the car seat detaches from the base, and then attaches to the stroller. How freaking cool is that?


Also, Erin sent me this link that she thought was cute, and it's very interesting and entertaining.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13th, 2008

Erin had a doctor's appointment, regular check-up on the baby, and everything looks good!

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10th, 2008

Happy Anniversary Erin!
XOXOXOXO

I'm poking around online, looking at stuff for the baby. There's a neat lamp at Walmart that I kind of like, as well as a wall border. We don't think we can paint the nursery, and I know that wallpaper would be worse, but why couldn't you hang a wall border with rubber cement, or some other easily removable adhesive?


Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9th, 2008

Someone bought us a couple more items from the registry. Don't know who yet, but thank you!

Libby called to discuss the baby shower, and I got mom's address to Tina for an invite. Still working on my brother's address, but he and Alicia can be contacted via mom (Cathy) as well.

We've been working in the nursery; I think that once the crib was built, we both realized just how small the room really is. It's been used since we moved-in as a craft room and Erin's dresser, since we have just the one closet in the master bedroom (and the linen closet, which isn't deep enough for a clothes rack, as there's a heating duct running up the center to the 2nd floor). We're looking at plastic drawers for about $20 apiece, we have a few already for miscellaneous stuff, and they're a convenient, cheap, and easy to move alternative to more permanent furniture.

Baby's been kicking up a storm, driving Erin nuts, even before the 6-month point. I convinced myself last night that the baby's going to have my physique and physical ambition: up until about 6 or 7 years ago, I was in ridiculously good shape because I almost never stopped moving. I could run a mile in 5 1/4 minutes in high school, and was on the cross-country team. I was on a bicyle for 4 hours a day minimum in the summer, and would often take jaunts of 20-30 miles at a time in the afternoons. I could even vault tennis nets and could jump off the roof of my grandfather's trailer, land on my feet, and not so much as feel sore for doing it. Very strong leg muscles. Just hope she doesn't have my head!

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31st, 2008

Erin's mom Tina called last night to tell us that she bought a bunch of kids books for us. Thank you! It's just as well we have the new bookcase that Lee brought up this last weekend (thank you for that too)!

I went shopping myself yesterday, both for myself, and for baby Nora. Got her some little socks, and some long-sleeve "onesies". Erin said they were cute, and perfect for the winter. I'd like to think that I was smart by getting the long-sleeves, but honestly I think it was just happy-accident that they happened to be.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gender: Official

So I'm guessing that you're all waiting for the BIG NEWS huh? Are you ready? Can you feel it? The anticipation? Is it driving you crazy yet?

Ok, here goes:








We're going to have a daughter! It's a girl!





Erin made a bunch of phone calls, I emailed a couple people that I didn't have numbers for, and we received a lot of call backs. For everyone I didn't call myself, I apologize - I had to work audit last night, and got very little sleep before the ultrasound, and then went to bed shortly thereafter as Erin was in the process of letting people know.

Ok, so now that we've gotten that out of the way...

I've been looking up mattresses online. I'm huge on research, in case you hadn't noticed; I don't like being unprepared. I found this link online, it suggests a "reasonably firm" mattress, and it doesn't have to be expensive, they're reasonably priced in most cases.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22nd, 2008

The crib that great-grandma bought us arrived this afternoon! I think I know what Erin and I will be doing tonight. "Some Assembly Required."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21st, 2008

Third ultrasound this Friday afternoon! It was finally approved and scheduled, and we should know the gender of the baby then.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 19th, 2008

Erin's going through all the baby stuff, sorting and organizing it, as we get ready for more incoming gifts such as the crib. We've officially kicked the cat out of the second bedroom, so we can pull this stuff out of storage spaces she couldn't get into previously. The cat also likes scratching the chair we have in there, which was fine back before we got pregnant and the chair was disposable, but we want to keep it now because it is comfortable and would be ideal for nursing.

I think we'll have to work on the curtains and blinds for that room though, currently I think we only have curtains for the smaller window and not the second, larger, full-length window. There's a blind, but it's not functional: it's too narrow and prone to falling down whenever you actually use it, so for the most part we don't. This is an issue we have in a number of rooms, such as both master bedroom windows, as the blinds came with the apartment as "freebies" the landlord left behind.

I'd also like the landlord to perhaps replaster the ceilings before the baby comes. Sometime last year I think it was, they had a company blow insulation into the ceiling to insulate it from the upstairs, cutting the noise and attempting to keep the apartments' heat from being shared. It didn't work out as well as I'm sure they had hoped, and the result is that there are styrofoam filled holes in a line every 16 inches in each room.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17th, 2008

Erin's Grandma Terri bought us the crib from our registry - thank you! We're expecting it to be delivered in a few days. Erin's mom Tina brought us over a whole bunch of things yesterday, including a swing, some outfits, a couple books, and this was all after the glider she brought over some time ago! Thank you Tina!

Erin has a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and after speaking with her, we should know if Erin's been approved for another ultrasound.

The baby's also apparently been very active, and Erin thinks that it won't be too much longer before other people can feel it moving around.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30th, 2008

Erin's second ultrasound was yesterday, but we don't know the gender.

Addendum: I was tired when I posted, so I'll finish the post now.

The baby was resting on it's side with it's legs crossed; we not only didn't get a good look at reproductive organs, but the technicians that looked said that we should come back anyway for a good look at the vital organs like the heart. Or at least, that's what they'll be telling the insurance company, I don't know if it's true or not. They were pretty good at justifying a return in a few weeks. They both had a "guess" as to what the gender was, but we didn't want to hear a guess, even if an educated one, just in case it was wrong.

We do have some pictures. As soon as Erin brings them back from school, I'll see about scanning them at work and posting them to the blog.

Friday, September 19, 2008

September 19th, 2008

Went with Erin to her monthly prenatal checkup. Everything came back healthy, the baby's heart is strong and beating at a speed it's supposed to, plus we got to hear it!

Also, updates on due-date: the doctor is still convinced that the previous date of February 19th is correct, and gave us reasons in addition to the ultrasound pictures and timing. One was that the number of weeks roughly corresponds to the number of centimeters from the pelvic bone to the top of the uterus, which at this point is closer to 18 weeks at 19 cm than it would be to 22 weeks. Not an exact science to be sure, but the doc is convinced. In any case, we're well into the second trimester!

Lauren just called to let us know she had bought something (thank you!) and I talked to her for a few minutes about the baby. She brought up a point that I need to ask Erin about - is the ultrasound on the 29th based upon the earlier due date or the later? If the earlier, we'd have to reschedule, but I'm guessing they already took this into account...? Hope so! Update - Erin says that yes, the ultrasound was based on the later date, so we're all-set.

The doctor tells us that it's normal at this point to not know whether the baby is moving, or you just have gas; after a couple more weeks, movement should be more pronounced. Erin says she can sometimes "feel" something, but isn't sure if it's just digestion or not. Otherwise, I may be pregnant too, 'cause my insides are always active.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September 9th, 2008

Erin's made some alterations to the wish-list and registries, based upon items and prints being out of stock.

On the bright side, checking the registry now, I noted that there's a sale at Target.com on a number of our registry items there. The Safari Rug for instance is $3 off, and the boppy she thought of just a few days ago is a full $6 off. I'm not saying anyone has to buy us anything, I'm just pointing out the sale!

She was looking at that Diaper Genie at Walmart.com and it got great reviews. Some diaper pails don't work as advertised, are messy, or stink, but that one gets good reviews and is less expensive than some of the lesser-reviewed alternatives.

The girls-name debate has really heated up apparently. I'm pretty sure though that Erin and I are both amenable to either Kenley or Nora. I know Erin has ideas about middle names, but I rather like the idea of Nora Kenley Taylor. It sounds almost like a fashion designer, or someone important. "The Nora Kenley" Collection, found only at finer stores everywhere outside of Maine. It also sounds like a good name to yell when you're angry. "Uh oh, mom's using my middle name, I have to go home now."

Monday, September 1, 2008

September 1st, 2008

I've made a couple late night runs already for ice cream. Erin's been really good about limiting her caffeine, even at the expense of her Dr. Pepper addiction and morning coffees, so I appreciate her sacrifice for the baby's health. This also goes for her allergies which have just been dreadful all summer. She apparently can't take anything for them and has instead allowed herself to be absolutely miserable with head congestion and sneezing.

She's also revised a few of her wish-list items; the crib she's looking at now is much less expensive than our previous ideas for instance, and it's now posted as an option on the registry.

You'll also note an Addendum below to the Baby Names post. Erin added a new one tonight (Kenley) to the girl's names, and we've ruled-out a couple others (Lily - too popular, and Ilisa - which I can't seem to ever pronounce correctly, an embarrassing situation for a father). We've settled on Quinn for a boy - we both like it, and it was popular with everyone else, so I've removed that poll. We're still open to further suggestions of course.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ultrasound #2 Schedule

September 29th. Still no consensus as to due-date, but hopefully this appt. will help clarify things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Baby Names 2

I'm preferential toward Quinn for a boy; as I told Erin, I don't know any Quinns (a plus) except for Quinn Mallorey from Sliders, definetely Jerry O'Connell's best work. And Mallorey was a smart kid, so that's another plus.

As far as girls, I'm a little more open since none of the options are typical. I don't want any Jenns or Marys. Less inclined to Ansley, sounds a little more masculine, if metro-masculine. Not much more inclined to Gwendolyn, she'll always be a Gwen, and there seem to be an increasing number of those. Ilisa is probably my favorite, followed by a Lily, then Nora.

Still open to other suggestions as well, and I will enter them on the voting list as they are sent.

Addendum: Erin's considering "Kenley" for a girl. It's different. But I can't edit the voting once someone has voted, so I might start a new one and have everyone start-over with the votes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Registries and Shopping

Did a bit of shopping today at Wal-Mart, bought our first baby-related item: A Baby Book. Erin's been looking at them at Borders, online and such, but hadn't really found one she enjoyed. I thought to check Wal-Mart while we were there buying plastic totes as we reorganize and try to eliminate unnecessary items we've collected over the years (including many, many books), and they had two - one of which she really liked and thought was absolutely adorable, and just happened to match the green, unisex jungle-print that we agreed looked very cute.

Another idea is that in the bathroom, we're going to have a rubber-ducky theme for the baby. Wal-Mart has actual rubber duckies in various colors, along with a number of pajamas, towels, etc all matching the theme. So we'll be adding those to the registry.

Speaking of which, we have both a Wal-Mart (Registry ID 80522268124) and Target (Registry ID: 014399700106629) registry. Both of these include the ability to purchase Gift Cards, which would be handy for diapers and other disposables.

I would however suggest to everyone to wait until we hear back from family in regards to the big ticket items such as car seats, since we may be receiving used, good condition items from them.

This is something we looked at as a possible "blankie." Again, matches color and style.

Here are a few items from the registries:




Update: Created new registry at BabiesRUs (ToysRUs), Registry #: 90250798.

Due Date

There seems to be a bit of confusion over the due-date. There was some confusion as to the date of Erin's last period, so it could be as early as late-January, or as late as late-February.

This was an issue because ultrasound scheduling is based upon due date and how far along the mother is, and depending on who Erin spoke with, the schedule seemed to be a few weeks further along than it should have been. Speaking with one of the doctors/nurses, she found out that there was confusion as to last-period; half the paperwork had one date, the other half another date. The confusion may have been Erin's, making us due a full month earlier.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First Ultrasound

Erin's first ultrasound was a few weeks ago, but we don't have a scanner, and I keep forgetting to take the picture to work with me to scan it there.

Tina - Erin's mom - sent me a scanned copy of the copy she made, and it's not bad. I'm going to take the original to work tonight though and see what I can do.





Ha! Forgot again!

Olivia the Cat



One of our biggest concerns about the new addition to the family has less to do with the baby, and more to do with Olivia, our quarter-Siamese cat. She's a beautiful animal, and can be very cute and affectionate (sometimes down-right codependent), but incredibly strong-willed. She knows what she's not to do, but not only does it anyway, but purposefully does it to annoy us or get our attention. How would such a stubborn creature react to the addition of a baby that may further take attention away from her? And what about toxoplasmosis?

There's good news about the latter, I looked up toxoplasmosis and got a few bit of info that should make us both feel better. It also has good pointers about getting cats used to the idea of having a baby in the house before it happens.

http://cats.about.com/cs/catmanagement101/a/humanpregnancy.htm

http://cats.about.com/cs/catmanagement101/a/newbabyandcat.htm

Now, to find someone with a baby that can visit, and see how Olivia responds. It's going to be tricky, as sometimes she's sometimes averse to strangers. She's fiercely independent...sometimes...but when the landlord or other stranger appears, she sometimes retreats to underneath a chair in the second bedroom - where the baby would be. I think she's more intuitive towards friends and family though, actually interacting with them on some level and being incredibly sweet and friendly. In her "comfort zone" though of just Erin and I, the cat can turn into a raging beast, confident we won't beat her, and therefore she doesn't need to be cute. She's smarter than she acts.


(you can definately see the quarter-Siamese in this picture)

Here's something I'd like to try for when Olivia spazzes-out: "You may want to use Feliway if she seems upset. Feliway is a well-known and safe artificial cat pheremone (body scent) spray. Pheremones are what cats rub on wall corners and pants legs with their cheeks. The type of pheremone that Feliway mimics tends to have a calming effect on cats. Apply it to walls and vertical surfaces as directed."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Names

Erin and her mom have put a lot of thought into names. Me, not so much. I'm open to suggestion of course.

Potentials:
Boys
  • Jack
  • Quinn (I like this one, reminds me of Quinn Mallory from Sliders)
  • Ian (I like this one too, a good Scottish name)
  • Gabriel
  • Charlie
  • Riley
Girls
  • Lily
  • Nora
  • Ansley
  • Gwendolyn
  • Ilisa

Baby Blog

I've created this blog as a memory device mostly for myself, as a reference to subjects that Erin and I are discussing now and I may wish to refer back to later, and as a repository for pictures, thoughts, etc that we wish to share with family and friends.

For instance: baby names, furniture, toys, clothing, etc. What to buy, what to get from relatives, things like that. I won't remember all this. I'm still amazed by the concept of a Pack 'n Play, let alone the 15 pages of different models at Graco.com, just one of who knows how many manufacturers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nora Leigh Taylor

This blog is written by Eric S. Taylor, father of Nora Leigh Taylor, husband to Erin Leigh Taylor, and meant to outline the first years of our family.

Written on November 24th, 2009 and post-dated to August 1, 2008 so that it can be the first entry on the website.