Archive for August, 2008
Asynclitic birth

Finally got the correct spelling on this after 2 months.  Apparently when I was delivering Holden, his presentation was asynclitic, meaning that his head was tilted to the side (also explaining why I had back labor and why it took me 2 hours of pushing to deliver him).  Having read a few things about asynclitic births, I now realize I am SO LUCKY to have only had an episiotomy and not a caesarean section.  Had I been delivering with a regular OB, I am sure that things would have turned out differently (and not in a good way).  These births seem to usually require some sort of intervention.  Yay for midwifery!

Two months

Holden took his second trip to Maine this past weekend as he reached the two-month mark.  He was great in the car as usual, aside from the 20 minutes of fussiness after stopping for lunch and a diaper change.  Once in Maine, we celebrated with Oma for her 50th birthday.  Our pal and wedding photographer Doug Haley took some wonderful family shots.  Here is our first real family photo:

Holden is oddly serious in this picture—he is usually smiling his little face off.  Wonder what’s going on inside that little head of his?  Contemplating Obama’s choice of running mate?  Holden’s expression clearly indicates “Do not want.”

Holden had his two-month check-up on Monday.  The fact that I’ve breastfed my heart out for the past two months was evident from his stats—he is 25 inches long and 15 pounds heavy, in the 99th percentile for both height and weight.  He is the same size as an average 4.5 month old infant.  In other words, he is huge!  He had his first round of immunizations on Monday as well.  We got everything except the rotavirus vaccine, which I didn’t feel confident about from a cost-benefit perspective.  It’s a relatively new vaccine which replaces an older version.  The pediatrician didn’t question our decision to forego that vaccine—in contrast, I know she would have said something if we’d opted out of the polio vaccine for example.  I know that vaccinations have been a hot topic in the media lately, but geez, the outbreaks of measles in the past 12 months should be a clear sign that if we keep neglecting to vaccinate our children, we could be faced with yet another icky public health crisis.  Don’t even get me started on the vaccine/autism debacle.  I gave a lecture in the spring to my psychopharm class about autism, and I began by telling everyone that they need to read scientific articles about these issues instead of watching “Ellen” to get the real scoop on this stuff.  The fact that most people get their scientific information from morning news programs scares the shit out of me, but that’s another post for another time.  Holden cried for his shots, but he settled down within 30 seconds or so.  Poor little guy.  He did well until several hours later, when he became unusually fussy.  He doesn’t cry very often or very hard, so it was somewhat alarming to have him cry his little heart out, obviously uncomfortable or upset about something.  I don’t know whether it was the stress from having the shot or was a side effect of the vaccines themselves, but he wouldn’t settle and sleep unless I had him laying directly on my stomach.  He was fine after a few hours, and by the next day, he was back to normal.  He never even developed a fever as the doctor’s office warned us might happen.  But the crying—-oh my.  During his brief period of hysterical crying, I felt like a total asshole for protecting him against all of those life-threatening illnesses.  It was a million times worse than having a sick pet.

The past few days have been a time of almost constant behavioral change for Holden.  The other day I noticed that he was making a fist with his right hand and had his hand really close to his face, inspecting it carefully.  He seemed to be thinking, “This is attached to the rest of my body.  I have control over it.  This thing has been needlessly bopping me in the head for the past several months.  Dang.”  I figured it was the perfect opportunity to see if he would grasp something if I offered it to him.  I held one of his small, colorful rings near his hand, and without further prompting, Holden opened his little fingers and then closed them around the ring.  He started flailing the ring around in the air and then brought it purposefully to his mouth to suck on it.  Of course, he doesn’t yet know how to rotate the ring to really get it in his mouth properly, and sometimes he hits his nose with the ring instead of getting it squarely into his mouth.  It sounds stupid, but I felt so much pride for this little accomplishment.  I wonder how I’m going to react when he learns how to read—I’ll probably be a blubbering mess.

Here’s a picture of Holden staring at admiring his fist:

And here is Holden playing with the rings (notice how he continues to stare at his fist):

And here he tries to unite toy and mouth once and for all:

Another one of Holden’s recent accomplishments is in the realm of breastfeeding.  By 8 weeks old, he had acquired a perfect latch.  No more pain, no more aborted latch attempts.  Equally exciting is the fact that he can now breastfeed sitting up!  I just put my hand behind his back for balance, and he feeds just fine!  He is getting too long to comfortably breastfeed in the back of our hatchback in the normal position laying across my lap.  Because of his height, I decided to get him to use vertical space to his advantage, which will be a necessary skill for our flight to West Virginia in 2 weeks.

Holden has been vocalizing and “talking” since he was a week old, but it has increased in frequency over the past few weeks.  His new thing to do is to deliberately cough when he is happy.  We think he is trying to laugh, which is especially funny since he laughs in his sleep all the time effortlessly.  Since he was a newborn, he would be sleeping and then all of a sudden I’d feel his little body start quivering.  Initially I was alarmed until I looked at his face and saw a big smile.  I realized he was dreaming and was laughing about something in his dream.  This led me to contemplate what a newborn might find amusing.  A world full of people with breasts for faces?  Mobiles hanging over the couch, the comfy red chair, the dining room table, and the bathtub?  Riding the kitty cat around the house?  It’s hard to tell, but something is certainly amusing to him from time to time. 

Yesterday we had more tummy time, which Holden usually dislikes.  So I decided I’d get on my tummy too, which seemed to make him appreciate tummy time much more.  I demonstrated rolling over for him.  He watched in earnest, but merely bobbed his head from side to side.  I’ll keep showing him how these things are done—at least that way he won’t get exasperated while he is laying on his tummy and I am sitting up comfortably with the rest of his stuffed animals.  

Two weekends ago I took Holden to a postnatal yoga class and we both enjoyed it.  I will probably buy a 10-pass class and continue to take him on Sunday afternoons.  There was a woman who would hold any of the fussy babies who were preventing their mommas from practicing yoga.  Mostly for that reason, I will go back to that class.  Holden doesn’t like to lay on the floor while I do yoga, so it was really helpful to have someone else there to make sure I actually got to exercise for once!  Some of the activities included the babies—Holden liked that part.  He was smiling at the other Mommas and babies, and nursed for the first 20 minutes of class.  Big surprise.  He was the youngest baby there at 8 weeks of age, but was as big as the 3- and 4-month old infants.

Earlier this week, Holden & I headed out to the country and had a “playdate” with little Ella and her momma, Susan.  It was great!  We took the babies for a 2-mile walk around their neighborhood.  Holden had to eat twice during our walk but was otherwise in good spirits.  Ella is 6 days older than Holden.  I neglected to take our camera, so I unfortunately don’t have photos from our visit.  But, there will be many more visits with Ella, so I’ll be sure to snap some pictures next time.

Last but not least, Holden slept in his crib last night until 2:30 AM when he awoke to eat!  This is a first!  He has NEVER slept in his crib at night.  He is only just beginning to take little naps in there, so this was a huge surprise for us.  Now that I am properly rested, I’m off to have some coffee.  Enjoy the weekend everyone!

silly things

Mr. T Celebriduck

I can’t wait for H. to be able to sit up.  So we can give him a bath in the tub and put this in it.

Special thanks to Sarah and Joanna for this gift.

friend or faux

Holden is creeping up on the two month mark.  Every day, he shows us more and more personality.  He loves going new places, being around people, and listening to music.  Holden knows the difference between familiar and unfamiliar people, but still loves attention from strangers nonetheless.  He has enjoyed two hikes already.  He slept for most of the first hike we went on, but during the second hike this past weekend at Elmore State Park, he stayed awake and alert during the ascent and most of the descent.  As we came back down the mountain, he tilted his head up and stared at the canopy of leaves over our heads.  Holden continues to enjoy his swing, but only for 15 minutes at a time; he gets easily bored and likes to be entertained with novel things all day long (which makes my job as entertainer rather challenging).  We recently got him a mobile for his crib, thinking that it might increase his interest in sleeping somewhere besides our bed.  The mobile has a “rainforest” setting that captivates Holden for entire 10 minute intervals.  When set on “rainforest,” the mobile projects sounds of crickets and birds, making us feel like we live in a sparsely populated region of South America, rather than on a busy street surrounded by drunk college students.

In other news, I finally saw the ophthalmologist last week.  He confirmed that I have an abrasion on my cornea and believed it was from that Wal-Mart incident back in 1996 since I couldn’t remember ever injuring my eye at any other point.  He instructed me to use an over-the-counter ointment every night, and that it would take 3 months to heal.  If it doesn’t heal during that time, I will need surgery to have the damaged tissue removed.  I really hope the over-the-counter stuff works because I REALLY don’t want eye surgery.

Things on the job front have stalled.  I have felt pressure to get this manuscript out, so I have been working on that in my free time.  It has been very slow-going, as I’ve done almost all of the writing with a baby attached to me.  In the meantime, I’ve opened up my job search to basically include the entire continental U.S., thinking that this might afford us more options.  I am not holding my breath in this economy.  Seems it’s a mighty bad time to be looking for a job.

the boy likes hiking

hiking party