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.