Monthly Archives: August 2009

pickles and his brother

his guardian

his guardian

one thing we were a little worried about during the pregnancy was how our dog, pickles, would react to have a new baby in the house.  we took a few precautions before the baby came home and everything has worked out wonderfully.

first, julia and i tortured our little puppy for months.  we tugged on his ears, tail, the hair on his face, poked at him, prodded him, etc. we did everything that we could think a baby/infant/toddler would do.  heck, when he was eating i’d crawl over to his dish and shove my hands in his way to see if he’d get food aggressive.  to our pleasant surprise, pickles never reacted in an aggressive way to anything.  pretty much he just took a step back and looked a little sad.

the second thing we did to help prepare him was bringing home nathaniel’s cap and receiving blanket from the night he was born.  when i came home with them, pickles smelled the hat first and then moved on to the blanket.  as an added touch, i put the blanket up on the bed with us as we slept that night.  when i woke up in the morning, pickles was no longer curled up beside me, but sleeping on the receiving blanket, which he had bunched up at the foot of the bed.  our dog is awesome.

lastly, on the tuesday afternoon when julia and nathaniel left the hospital, julia went into the house to see pickles by herself.  since he hadn’t seen her in a few days, we figured it was better to let him get his crazy jumping and barking out of the way before the baby comes in.  julia then brought him outside where i was waiting with our baby so he could give him a little sniff and see what’s what.  pickles was a little bit frightened of the car seat, so he approached timidly, but once he smelled nathaniel, everything was alright.

julia's boys

julia's boys

we all went into the house together to show pickles that nathaniel is a new member of our little pack.  after the initial excitement wore off, pickles started to settle into his new role as the big brother.

the first time julia went to nurse nathaniel, pickles went a little bit crazy.  julia was sitting in her nice glider with the baby and pickles wanted nothing more than to be on her lap as well.  after about 20 minutes of barking, he finally started to calm down.  well, he calmed to the point of not barking, but instead he decided to pace around julia in that frantic way dogs like to do when something is bothering them.

after that experience traumatized our dog for the rest of his life, or so we thought, we had no idea what to expect the first time nathaniel went into one of those fantastic newborn crying fits.  pretty much as we expected, that first night when nathaniel woke us around 1:30am pickles was beside himself on our bed.  he had no idea what was going on or what he should do.  all he knew was there was some foreigner in his house and he didn’t like the noises he was making.  around 4am when nathaniel was up again, after changing his diaper, i came back into the bedroom to lay down with pickles while julia fed the baby.  this strategy worked out perfectly, as he just flopped back down and went to sleep after a quick peek around.

chillin' with mom and the baby

chillin' with mom and the baby

on wednesday, everything fell into place nicely as pickles grew into his role of nathaniel protector.  it is now not an uncommon sight when julia is nursing to see pickles laying at her feet or even sitting next to her on the couch.  always watching, keeping himself ready to bark at anyone who comes into our house to let them know that this baby is his, and you’re going to have to go through him first if you even think you are going to get to sneak a peak at nathaniel.

more to come on the first week home later.

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our hospital stay

so like i said before, i’d give an update about our time in the hospital.

getting wieghed in

getting wieghed in

after nathaniel was born and cleaned up, we got to hold him for a little while before they took him to the nursery for all of his tests and measuring.  i’m not sure what his actual apgar score was, i think i heard someone say ‘8’ at some point, but at this point it was close to 1am and i had been up for the better part of two days.  after the measuring was finished, they had some other tests to run that i didn’t stay for.  i went back to the delivery room to see how julia was doing and to help move her into her recovery room.

now, we decided not to pay the money for a private room, but looking back on it, we probably should have.  the first reason being that i was unable to stay in the hospital overnight with her, so i had the pleasure of driving home at 2am hoping not to pass out behind the wheel.  second, it’s apparently busy season for births, and our roommates were a bit annoying.  thinking about it, they may have said the same about us, but at least we didn’t have a 3 year old running around the room pulling our curtains.

the first roommate left in the afternoon on monday, which gave us a full day and night without anyone else there to bother us.  during this time both sets of new grandparents came to visit, my parents bringing julia the first turkey sandwich that she had eaten in about 10 months.  after they left, we had a steady stream of other visitors; my sister, one of julia’s brothers, a cousin, an aunt, my grandparents.  lucky for us we had no roommate for a lot of this, because i’m sure we would have been invading their space.  you know what?  screw them, it’s our special day.

semi-awake after childbirth.

semi-awake after childbirth.

i went home earlier that night to get one last night’s sleep without a baby to wake me up, and to finish any last minute cleaning or setting up that needed to be done.  tuesday morning i returned to the hospital just in time for breakfast.

around noon, a new roommate was brought into our room.  now, i can’t be too mean because she just got out of a cesarean, but my god, there is no way she could have been more annoying.  julia decided to go to a breastfeeding class at 1pm which last a little over an hour.  during this time, the new roommate wanted to try to feed her baby as well.  the baby, who has also just gone through this major surgery, would not latch on to her.  she called in a nurse, who then called in a lactation specialist.  after working with this girl until about 2pm and explaining the entire time that since it is still very, very early on, there is a good chance the baby won’t feed for a few more hours and not to give up hope.  the lactation specialist leaves our room just before julia and nathaniel return from their class.  after about 10 minutes, we hear the girl in the next bed say ‘i want to try to feed her again.’ at which point i shoot julia a look of ‘i’ll explain later’ and shake my head.  the baby, still, does not want to latch on so she calls the lactation specialist again! the look on this lady’s face when she returned to our room was that off someone off to the gallows.  this was when i explained the situation to julia and we shared a good laugh.

nathaniel crying at how annoying our roommate was

nathaniel crying at how annoying our roommate was

thankfully, we were getting ready to leave the hospital.  julia got dressed, we changed the baby and had the nurse call for a wheelchair.  after waiting close to 30 minutes, a nurse came in semi-surprised to see us.  she then got one of the orderlies to wheel us downstairs so we didn’t have to wait any longer.

overall, our experience at valley hospital was very positive.  over the last month or so we had to make a few visits for monitoring and blood work, and every time we were there the nursing staff was fantastic.  so here’s a general thank you to nurses karen and jackie who spent the first few trips with us, and to nurses beth and lisa who were there for the day leading up to the birth.

the nurses in the recovery wing were just as nice, although i honestly can’t say i remember any of their names, except for nurse debbie (i think).  the lactation lady we spoke to was great, the on staff pediatrician was terrific as well, since our doctor is not on staff at that hospital.  even if they open up the pascack valley hospital again, i’d seriously consider going back to valley if/when we have another child.  it’s really only about 5 minutes further from our house.

more to come later


nathaniel thomas

on august 23rd, my wife and i welcomed our first child into our family, born at 11:45pm weighing 7lbs 1oz and measuring in at 20½”.

nathaniel thomas

nathaniel thomas

after what seemed like an endless pregnancy hi-lighted by a constant smattering of morning sickness and culminating with 3 weeks of constant monitoring and bed rest brought on by high blood pressure, we could not by happier with the end result.

after a doctor’s visit on friday afternoon, we were told that nothing was doing and set up an appointment for the following monday.  saturday night while watching tv julia’s water broke leading us to get in touch with the doctor and head into the hospital.  by the time we get admitted and settled into our room it was close to 2am and we are told to rest up.  (a funny note – when the nurse was putting in the iv, julia’s vein decided it wanted to spurt a little blood leading nurse beth to joke about how it looks like she was trying to murder her.  this was the last laughing we did for the next 20 or so hours)

around 11am the doctor decided to give julia something to help get herself ready for labor, since she hadn’t started yet on her own.  we’re told that the cervadil will last for 12 hours and a second dose would more than likely be needed over that night as well, after that the doctor would start to induce her if nothing happened on its own.  at 4pm the nurse came into our room to find julia in a lot of pain, and after we got no sleep the previous night, offered to give her something to help get her some rest.  after a few hours of twilight rest she woke up in severe discomfort.  after being told it’s just cramping brought on by the cervadil, she was told that they could give her another dose of the stadol to sleep a little more (this is around 9pm).

a loving stare

a loving stare

after an hour of rest, the pain intensified, waking julia up and leading the nurse to remove the cervadil around 10:30 (about 30 minutes earlier than intended).  at this time it was discovered that she was in full on labor.  the doctor was called and by the time he arrived julia was moving along pretty fast.  we were told it would take a few hours for her to fully dilate, but apparently the baby had another idea.  at ~11:25 julia said it felt like she should be pushing, she was checked and told to go with it.  20 minutes later we had our beautiful baby boy.

after months of discomfort, i could not have been happier that the actual birth went as quick as it could have.  julia went in not wanting to get an epidoral and the way things were moving, even if she changed her mind (which i think she did) there was no time to give one.  a lesson for you ladies who may be giving birth, there is no shame in getting the epidoral.  in fact, julia now recommends it.

will give an update on the rest of the hospital stay and the first few days at home later.