Saturday, December 31, 2005

We're ready to quietly usher in 2006, with the one member of our family who wasn't even supposed to arrive until the calendar flipped being the only one assured of being awake when the clock strikes midnight. Edward's internal clock is stuck in some sort of bizzaro world where daytime is for sleeping, and nighttime is for fully alert wakefulness. We're slowly getting the hang of things, and Edward is being very patient with us as we do. Days and nights have been filled with sleeping, eating and that other thing that babies do so well. Still, we found time for a nice visit with my folks today and will see Mary's folks on Sunday. Meanwhile, we rest up to see what the next day -- and year -- with our cute little guy will bring. 2005 hasn't been the easiest year for us, but I can't imagine a better way for it to end. Or for 2006 to begin.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Our follow-up appointment went well this morning. We even managed to get there almost on time at 8:30. The instructions are to feed Edward every 2 hours continuously until our next appointment--his one-week check on Tuesday (two days after his one-week bday, because of the holiday clinic schedule.) This means he and I will do little but sleep and eat from now until Tuesday. This should keep the jaundice at bay as well as prevent further weight loss, allowing him to bulk back up to his birthweight by next week.

I am eager to chat with so many friends and family, or at least to respond to the dozens of emails. But that will have to wait while Edward eats.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Edward was very demure and Kenyon-like during most of his stay at UI Hospitals, but Wednesday night, thanks to some lax diaper fitting by his Dad, he had an accident that required a change of clothes. We're not sure if Jerry Garcia or Jimi Hendrix once had a child at UIHC and left some things behind, but suffice to say that Edward was a very colorful, but mellow baby until checkout. He took what they had available at the late hour and wore it well.

He changed into something a bit more fitting of his buttoned-down style for the trip home, and is now sleeping comfortably in his own cradle in his own home. We're thrilled to have him here. Both he and Mary got a clean bill of health and we headed home around noon. He'll head back Friday for a check to make sure his weight is headed in the right direction; otherwise, he's home for good.

We stopped by the NICU on our way out to introduce Edward to some of the people who took such good care of his big brother while he was there. They were happy to see him only in passing rather than as a patient, and noted the strong resemblance to Will (they're both very cute, we're told, and who are we to argue?).

So, now it's time for a little nesting and some well-deserved rest all around.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Edward had a good third day today as we figured out a few things about what makes him tick. We learned that 35-weekers often fall asleep while feeding, for instance, so a little supplemental formula helps to fill him up. We learned that he's small enough that he needs a few extra layers to stay warm, so a double layer of sleepers and an extra blanket or two keep him toasty and warm. With these things figured out, everything seems to be working as it should. After losing a bit of weight his first two days -- something that is entirely expected -- he put a few ounces back on today and should have no trouble regaining his birth weight by the end of his first week.

Mary also is doing well, and is feeling good. She'll be discharged tomorrow, and Edward should come home with us at that time. On the off chance they want to keep him around to watch his weight or temperature, he might stay an extra day or two. By the end of the week, however, the three of us should be home and getting settled in together.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Here is our first family portrait, taken Monday in Mary's room at UI Hospitals. Edward is stylish in his new penguin stocking cap while Mom and Dad look much more alert than they would be day's end.

Here is the first of what promises to be many photos of Edward. Here he's hanging out with me in his Mom's room on Monday. We keep him bundled up tight to keep him warm.

He's doing fine today, as is Mary. He still isn't convinced that nighttime is the right time for sleeping, but otherwise we're all getting along great.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Day two for Edward has been good. He's had the chance to meet all of his grandparents as well as two aunts and an uncle. He held up well under the flashbulb barrage that accompanied these visits, and once I'm able to get our camera hooked up to a computer, you'll be able to see those cute poses. His biggest challenge thus far has been staying warm, but a double layer of blankets seems to be doing the job and he has comfortably slept most of the day.

Mary also is doing well. They had her up already to see how she would do, and she defied expectations by taking a couple of laps around the wing. We're all pretty exhausted at this point, so a Kenyon family nap is on the schedule.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

We had quite a Christmas today with the birth of our son, Edward Jesse Kenyon. Edward is 5 pounds, 7 ounces, and, if the cries he has let out so far are any indication, has very healthy lungs. Mary is doing well after the surgery, and we're just moment away from her being able to hold him for the first time. It's safe to say this has been our best ever Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Good thing no one started obsessing yesterday, because it was definitely TSTO. My blood pressure was better today--still not perfect at 114/87, but good enough to be sent home to wait for the lab results. Dr. Kennedy called later with the results which were also in the acceptable range so for now we're in the clear. I will go in on Sunday at some point for a blood pressure check and non-stress test, possibly repeat the labs, and see where things stand. If we stay on an even keel, I'll be checked again at my regular Wednesday morning appointment next week. If anything changes between now and Sunday or between Sunday and Wednesday in terms of how I feel, I will not wait for those scheduled times. Basically, I'm on the verge of preeclampsia and there's no way to tell how or when it will escalate. Dr. Kennedy did say not to expect to go all the way to Jan. 6. John and I had thought even before this that it was a little unrealistic to believe that we could actually plan and control on some level. We should know better!

Yesterday and today they gave me the two steroid shots that will help the baby's lung maturity. And at 35 weeks tomorrow, it's safe to assume this baby will be strong enough to face the world whenever the time comes. And we can't wait to meet you Pele! In the meantime, keep kicking...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

In my family we have an expression: TSTO. It stands for Too Soon To Obsess. My sisters and I invented it for my mom but admit that it often applies to us in equal measure--we all tend toward advance planning and contingency planning (a.k.a. worrying.)

So let's just start by putting everyone on TSTO alert and then admitting that my blood pressure was a little high today--130/97. The non-stress test was perfect so the baby is just fine, and at nearly 35 weeks now, would be fine outside the womb if that becomes necessary. After the blood pressure alert, they ran some labs, which came back normal. So they sent me home and will have me back tomorrow to repeat the tests and re-check blood pressure. Sorry to leave you in suspense, but there really isn't more to say at this point. It's a wait-and-see day. But again, TSTO. Stay calm and I'll report back tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

All's well that ends well.

Today's non-stress test was not the snap that the first two had been. After kicking vigorously for the half hour I waited to be called in for the test, the baby was apparently worn out or feeling some performance anxiety due to being the third of three babies being monitored simultaneously. The goal of the test is to see the heartrate "accelerate" from the baseline and stay that way for about 15 seconds twice in 20 minutes. Starting from a baseline of about 140, they wanted to see an acceleration of at least 160. Pele thought it was halftime and just hovered between 140-150 beats per minute for almost an hour. The steady heartrate was good, but not the performance required for Dr. Kennedy to sign off on the test, so she ordered a "biophysical profile," a type of ultrasound that also measures movement and general baby well-being. That came out perfect, so nothing to worry about.

I think the external conditions just weren't ideal for the non-stress test. The room was noisy with two other moms--one of whom had a two-year-old with her who was being entertained by a VeggieTales video (ugh!) and the other who had the radio on to stimulate her baby. Our baby likes it quiet--most active moments are while I'm trying to fall asleep at night.

On the plus side, I got another "picture" of the baby. The first time she brought a full-front face shot up on the screen we saw the baby jam a hand fully in his/her mouth. Pretty funny. Then she took a profile shot, and you can actually tell it's the face--outline of the nose and lips and a little hand waving off to the side. Usually those ultrasound pictures are so hard to make heads or tails of.

In other news, my blood pressure was fine, 102/70 and we scheduled the C-section for January 6 at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Two posts in one day?! Unprecedented, but I thought I should practice posting photos so we're ready to show off come January. So here, for those who care about such things, are the before and after shots of our bathroom.

You'll notice the lovely 60s-era harvest gold fixtures. I hear these are retro-chic now. I've never been chic and don't need to start in my bathroom. This photo shows the two primary reasons for the project beyond just plain ugliness: the floor tiles peeling back next to the tub and the makeshift shower.

We still need to chose a paint color and paint the walls that haven't been tiled (not really visible in this picture.) And the light fixture arrived the day after the workers left, so it will wait until they return for the final touch-ups next week. Other than that we're done. Very glad to be out of our temporary bathing quarters in the (unfinished) basement.
Another week, another all-clear. I'm fine (BP 110/72) and so is the baby, whose heartrate ranged from the high 130s to low 160s during the non-stress test. Interestingly, the physical exam revealed that the baby is laying crosswise (I believe the official OB term is "transverse"), which would be a concern if were not already planning a C-section. Having the baby in this position at this point in the pregnancy would likely mean a vaginal birth would not be possible--the head should be down by now for that to work. But since that's not in the cards for me anyway, it's just sort of an interesting thing to know--explains the side-to-side kicking pattern.

Now it's time to vote on birthdays for Baby Kenyon. Target is first week of January. January 1 is out (if you have a choice, why pick a holiday?) as is January 7 (Holly's birthday--everyone should have his/her own day!) So if anyone has any "good vibes" or knows something about numerology that would point to anything between 1/2 and 1/6, share now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I ordered a stroller, car seat and car seat bunting (to be used instead of a snowsuit) online and all arrived simultaneously today along with 2/3 of John's birthday presents. (Talk about eleventh hour! Lucky I get home before he does so I had time for a quick wrap job so I wasn't quite the slacker wife I thought I was going to be as I watched nothing happening on package tracking for the last week!) Our porch looked like a mail room!

Now I have conflicting urges to tear into the boxes to see and touch and assemble it all, but at the same time wanting to keep it all packaged so it could easily be sent back. The logical part of my brain knows that even if the baby came now, starting life at 32 weeks is a world away from starting at 24. There would still be some NICU time, but nothing like what Will went through. But emotionally, I can't let go of the fear. I guess I probably won't until I'm holding the baby in my arms. Even then, I'm sure there's a whole new set of fears waiting in the wings, but I'm hoping that unadulterated joy will be the antidote.