Friday, May 27, 2011

So our little man burps like... a man. No little burps noises for him - he sounds like he just chugged some very fizzy soda every time he burps. True story. We always say "Good Job Levi!" -- I wonder how long congratulating him for burps will last...hopefully not still going when he's a teenager :)

Levi has lots of other little quirks, like the hiccups he gets at least four times a day. Usually he's fine with them, though sometimes they seem to make him a little mad. Probably when his tummy already hurts.He's developed a frowny face that he gets right before he cries. Though he usually cries only with a reason, he does tend to fuss a bit when he first wakes up from a nap or in the mornings. As does his mommy. And, joy of joys, he's apparently a morning person. He'd stay awake all morning if I didn't put him in the moby wrap to lull him to sleep while I do chores. he's somehow chipper, sometimes smiling, eyes wide open and bright, while I struggle so keep my eyes open and get moving (it takes a good half hour for me to even move around in the a.m. and another two hours or so before I can think straight)

The Maestro
In the past few days, he's started to be able to focus a bit more. He loves to stare at peoples faces, and he can grab onto things with his little fists, sometimes so tightly its hard to make him let go. We've started to read books to him, including an old favorite, Eric Carl's "Brown Bear."

As far as little boys go, he's actually pretty good about not peeing on me when I change his diaper. If he's quite beside himself, he might start to pee (happened a total of four times so far) and a couple of times he's soaked his clothes because I haven't noticed it since I cover him with a little cloth while I'm changing him and I didn't catch it with the diaper in time. He also tends to pee while he's pooping, and I figure I'd better keep at least one of those under control :)

cutest little feet ever!
Levi was apparently born with his dad's sneeze reaction to bright light. Levi, like any newborn, hates bright lights anyway and clamps his eyes shut when around them or outside. But if he ends up a little bit near a bright light, like if I'm standing in a doorway and sunlight shines in, he'll automatically sneeze, as does Tim, as does Tim's dad. I made fun of Tim for years for his silly sneeze reflex, but apparently its a real thing. photo-idio something or other.

Being a mom is a great thing. There's been a few odd side effects - sleeping only for about three hours at a time has somehow resulted in me clenching my teeth while I sleep. If I concentrate before I fall asleep, I can make myself stop, but there've been some mornings when I woke up and could hardly move my jaw.

I loved being pregnant, but I do love having my body back, as it were. it's SO much lighter :) Particularly while I sleep. I always slept on my side, so that was no problem, but I also usually pull my legs up and sleep curled up in a ball, which was impossible while preggers. So I'm enjoying being comfortable while I sleep, being able to move around again with a little more grace and speed, and being able to hug Tim without leaning over and hurting my lower back :)

I'm learning some things about mom-hood too. I was always impressed when I was little with how my mom used her teeth - she could open any sort of package at a moment's notice with them. I now realize why - with three kids in four years, she always had a kid in her arms and had to use her teeth as a second hand sometimes - as now do I. Other than when Levi is joggling his head around (usually when he's hungry) I can hold him with one hand and use my other to accomplish whatever small task I'm doing. Other body parts have become more useful as well - I can pick up a lot with my toes, I've discovered, slam into things with my hips, hold things with only a finger, and so on.

Another entertaining thing about being a mom is the finesse that comes with handing your child off to be held by someone else. There is inevitably that kind of awkward, well, if I take him from you I'll probably brush up against some body part that I shouldn't be, or, if Levi's asleep, there's the awkward stand impossibly close to the other person while trying to transfer him without bobbling his head or waking him up, etc. I don't mind it, but it is funny to watch some people (okay, guys) try to figure out how to take him from me.Ah the little things that make my days bright.

This is getting long and as its quite random,I'll leave off until next week!

(Note: views of his newborn photos, which some of you will be getting copies of :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Levi White and the Seven Dwarves

Without actually trying, it appears I'm following in my father's footsteps when it comes to nicknames for my son. Whereas I got a heavy dose of "Ralphs," "Franks," "Chucks," and "Herberts" as a child, it appears that my brain's internal nickname-generator tends more toward adjective-based sobriquets. In fact, I rarely call the poor little guy simply "Levi." Depending on what Little Bear is doing at any given moment, I may call him:

Hicky (he gets the hiccups a lot)
or Munchkin

Levi's other aliases thus far have included "Baby Vampire" (he loves the dark cave that is our window-challenged house, and squinches his eyes shut whenever we take him outside), "Little Bear" (he had a healthy amount of facial fuzz as a newborn, giving him a distinct bear-like visage), "Windmill Arms" (unless tightly swaddled, Levi is very committed to his Jiujitsu training. Either that or he's gunning for Tim Bogar's 3rd base coach job), and many others.

And while I often call him "Buddy," "Buckeroo," and "Best Friend," the name I call him most often is "Little Angel." I mean, just look at that face...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photo Card

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Friday, May 13, 2011

y entonces había tres

Little bear...little beaaaaaaarrrrrrrr....little bear with the kicky legs!

That. is the song that Tim sings to Levi almost daily. I don't know how to quite communicate the tune - I don't think it's to anything in particular. Our little man is crazy squirmy, and I purposefully leave him loosely wrapped during the day in an effort to inspire tight swaddling = mommy wants to sleep at night. Thus, windmill arms ensue. A couple of days ago, Tim was trying to put little pants on Levi after changing his diaper, and all I could hear from downstairs was Levi crying and Tim laughing - because Levi was kicking his legs so much that Tim could not, for the life of him, get the little pants on.

Levi is quite entertaining in many ways.  For example, he is quite the magician. Though he's only peed on me a couple of times in two weeks while I changed his diaper, one morning I was working on the process when he started pooping about halfway through. I managed to catch the poo before it hit anything other than his diaper, however, as soon as I started to clean that up, I realized that he soaked his outfit from the waist up.....little trickster :)

He's a good little eater, caught on quickly to breast feeding and has a whole range of sound effects that goes with every meal :) He has both a chomping sound when latching on, and for the first time tonight he may have snorted...

As far as sleeping goes, he's pulled a couple of four-hour shifts one night. however, that's often paired with some awake time that same night and being fussed if we try to put him to sleep instead of cuddling him. Meh, you win some, you lose some. I've been a huge fan of naps since I pulled through elementary school (when naps were of the devil and a trick of my parents to make me miss out on so many important things in my day) so I am napping every day while I still can.

As for me and my own recovery from birth (which, even with the complications of Levi's delivery and how far along I got before I met the anesthesiologist was actually pretty short for a first time labor and not terrible all around), it was slow going at first. Family descended in varying stages - my mom and sister on Friday, Levi's birthday, Shawn and my dad on Sunday, Julie and John on Sunday as well, and my Grandma Norton on Tuesday. They were all gone again by Thursday morning, but those first few days were a bit of a doozy for me - not because I had surgery or was on heavy pain (read: loopy and out of it) medication, but because my hemoglobin levels were so low that it took all the energy I had just to sit up. One night I showered for about 15 minutes, and just the energy to stand up for that long and walk up and down the stairs once was enough to make me sit for an hour after, recovering from being winded. I'm on iron supplements along with my vitamins, and now, two weeks out, I'm almost back to normal.  I still get a little winded if I walk too fast for too long, but I've been doing some gardening, wearing Levi in the Moby Wrap and walking up and down stairs without feeling terrible, thank goodness.

Some of the side effects of being a mom have been rather hilarious. For example, one morning as Tim was getting up to leave for work, he leaned over to kiss me goodbye, and I threw my arm around his back and started patting I expected him to burp. oh man.

More updates in the coming weeks, of course. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Welcome to the Club

So I didn't blog last week. As many of you probably figured out, I was in the throes of labor. After being sent home from the hospital as only being in "early labor" to which I responded with some not-so-polite language, only to return two and a half hours later at nearly eight centimeters and being told that they weren't sure if I was too far along to receive an epidural. Since my pain tolerance is a -4 on a scale of 1-10, no epidural may have created some more not-so-polite language on my part to a very flustered triage nurse. With my trusty tylenol bottle in one hand (to grip during contractions, not to make the pain of them relived ;) and Tim's hand in a death grip in the other (he took his wedding ring off to avoid physical harm to himself), they didn't even bother trying to make me get into a wheelchair, just wheeled me in the triage bed straight to delivery, while I demanded drugs about every 40 seconds. Thankfully, Dr. Scholl, the calmest person on the planet arrived, and since I was already laboring sitting straight up and leaning slightly forward (the position I'd been comfortable in all week while I puked nearly every night as my babe kicked me in the stomach regularly), the epidural went in like a charm and I took a nap. I labored for about 8 hours before the epidural went in, from about 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
My midwife arrived to break my water around 3 and was back again after some baby heartbeat complications by 5 p.m., at which time we started to push. The Bill Cosby labor comedy kept running through my head "push him out, shove him out, waaaaay out," appropriately. I would proudly like to say that I was pretty awesome at pushing. Baby boy was having some troubles though - almost every time I pushed, his heart rate dropped a little, so we'd wait a few minutes for him to get back up to happy range before pushing again. For some reason he wasn't quite moving low enough even with some pretty extreme pushing, so my midwife said "how do you feel about forceps?" To which I said "whatever you need to do, let's do it." She called in one of the MDs in the practice and we got the party started, first with a little vaccuuming, which apparently did nothing b/c the doctor literally tossed them behind her on the table. At this point my mom actually arrived - she had left a couple of hours after I phoned her that morning when contractions became regular, got stuck in some nasty traffic on a Friday afternoon in Reading, but made it to Lancaster with literally about ten minutes to spare. My L&D nurses were phenomenal, one who told it like is, which I certainly appreciated and the other who was constantly making sure I was comfortable and knew what was going on. With some expert forcepter-ing, the doc was able to get baby's head out, at which point everyone realized why his heart rate had been going up and down: the cord was wrapped around his neck. Three times. In the middle of a rather heartfelt push, amidst everyone saying good job, here he comes, I heard the doc say "Cherie, GO" to my midwife, and at the exact same moment my midwife said "STOP" to me, which, I like to semi-joke that because my dad taught me to listen so well at a young age, I stopped pushing on a dime when she said that. There were about 11 people in the room at that point, from Tim holding my hand (and, okay, leg as well) to the NICU nurse they called in just in case, and everyone in between. They had the OR on notice in case they had to wheel me down the hall for a Cesarean if I couldn't push him out fast enough to keep his heart beating at an acceptable rate.

So in about 3 seconds they spun the kid around like a corkscrew, Tim cut the cord, and Levi started screaming like a banshee. The NICU nurse pronounced him at an 8 on his first APGAR test, and everybody took a deep breath and started cleaning up. One of the L&D nurses took a moment to show me Levi's cute little bottom while she tested his legs for reflexes. He weighed in at 7 pounds and 5.5 ounces, and an even 20 inches long. Full name is Levi Michael John White, Levi both because we love the name and also in recognition of Tim's grandmother, Violet, Michael after my father and Johna after Tim's father.

I did have some stitching, as to be expected, and actually had some complications myself after getting through labor: my hemoglobin levels dropped pretty severely from a combination of severe dehydration before labor started, possibly some effects of the epidural and possibly just genetics, as my body's natural reaction to trauma appears to be either nausea, low blood pressure or both. Upon my first try to sit up and make it to the wheel chair to move to the recovery room, I turned white as a sheet and had to lie down. They pumped more fluids into my IV and threw a cold facecloth on my forehead, but it still took three tries before I could make it to the wheelchair to send m up the hall to recovery. The low blood pressure continued at least through the night, where I confess I almost fainted when the nurses helped me to the bathroom :)
For the first few days after coming home, we had my mom, dad, sister, Tim's parents and also my grandma around. Everyone left on Thursday, and we've been making it on our own. I confess to sleeping in most mornings while Levi sleeps and rarely getting up before 10 :) He's a pretty docile lamb, sometimes fussing but not very often, and easily calmed with some swaddling and being able to suck on someone's finger. At night he tends to be up until close to midnight, but falls back to sleep pretty quickly as long as he is warm.

We went on a little walk last night for the first time, since I've been unable to stand/walk for more than a minute or two at a time as my blood levels recover. Levi's not so happy when there's a breeze or with the brightness that is outside, but he endured it :)
Levi gets the hiccups about three times a day, but seems entirely unperturbed by them. He sneezes regularly, which I have to admit I didn't know babies even did! We love to chat with him when he's awake and looking all around, and make him dance to any music we've had playing. I confess, we're both driven to kiss his face over and over again because he is absolutely adorable :)