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Happy Conception Day!

Today, this blog (such as it is) turned a year old.

More importantly, this was egg retrieval / conception day one year ago too — the day our beloved Emerson came into existance.

Amazing. How different life is now.

On reflection, I still think our going through IVF (the good, bad, and ugly) was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It has given me a greater appreciation for the gift of having a child. It’s something I will never take for granted.

I recall–and hope to always remember–the shear majesty of it all, especially the embryo transfer. For me, it was sublime and life affirming. In short, it was a miracle (this from a a lapsed Catholic / secular humanist / Christian agnostic)… made real before my eyes.

Everyone should be so lucky.

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Long time, no post…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here.

Honestly, I’m too busy living life these days to have much time to write about it.

Overall, all is well. E continues to grow, learn, and thrive. She’s a very good baby. Last month, we all went on an overnight trip down to Sarasota (as well as L and I spending an overnight in Orlando alone another weekend). Both mini-breaks went off without a hitch.

L has finished her maternity leave and started back to work at the beginning of this month. That was a little hard on her, but it is made much easier by the fact that my mother is providing E with all of the love and attention she needs during the day.

Last weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day. This was very emotional for L (not surprisingly), as one year ago she was in the midst of stimulating for IVF cycle #1 and now she’s a mommy (and an excellent one at that). She’s really taken to motherhood, and she’s clearly grateful that we’ve been so fortunate to have E.

Harley (our doggie son) has continued to have medical issues… the diabetes and stomach issues have been resolved, but now he’s got eye problems. We’re trying to heal an ulcer in his right eye. After that, he’ll need to have cataracts removed in both eyes — all told, I think his medical bill totals will break into five figures. Good grief. But, we don’t have the heart to give up on him, because H is still a happy and loving little dog.

Finally, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few recent pics of the kiddo:



Too cute, I say!

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First month update…

Ok… so I’ve done a really, really bad job of blogging lately.

What can I say? I’ve been busy.

All is well on the home front, as both L & E are doing fine.

We had a minor issue with Emerson about a week ago. She started to get a little bit “fussy” for her and we noticed a small amount of blood in her stool. It turns out that she has a (seemingly mild) milk allergy. So, we’ve switched her to a soy-based formula and all returned to normal.

E’s been growing like a week. But, she’s still very much a newborn – meaning she’s more in “receive” than “send” mode when it comes to interpersonal communication (aside from crying and a limited range of facial expressions, of course). However, she has become more alert and aware of her surroundings (motion, noises, etc.). According to the books, she’s right on target (and sometime ahead) developmentally. For example, she learned to suck on her own thumb yesterday. I find watching her learn new things fascinating.

Here’s a picture of E at 1 month old…

Emerson at 1 Month

Life returns to usual

I’ve returned to my usual work schedule… including travel. This has been modestly uneventful, and both L and E were fine while I was gone. Did I miss them? Sure. But, it’s what I do to earn a living, right?

Last week, I went to a conference in Atlanta. I came home and managed to bring a cold back with me as a souvenir. That sticks because I’ve had (at Libby’s direction) to stay away from E while I’m sick. This is actually more frustrating than being away from home, as I really like interacting with my baby girl.

Another silver lining

In other good news, I got my annual bonus payment recently. I was very pleased, as I managed to pay myself back the entire “shared risk program” fees in a single bound. This is another example of being perhaps more lucky in life than I deserve – a fact which is never lost on me. I suppose that at least I’m grateful… and, I’ll take it!

Now, I just need to save up for private school and college. :-)

Medical update on Harley

I’ve mentioned in that past that one of our four-legged children, Harley, was diagnosed with diabetes. And, we’ve had a heck of a time regulating his insulin levels. I think we finally have that under control, but the poor dog now has GERD (reflux) and/or pancreatitis (common in diabetic Min Pins). I think we’ve actually lost more sleep due to H’s condition than we have due to E. We started some new medicine yesterday, and he finally managed to sleep through the night. So, I’m hopeful that we’ve finally got this thing on the run, which will be great for all of us. Harley’s a good little dog, and we’re hoping to keep him healthy and happy for many more years (he’s about 10 now).

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Life with an easy baby…

Emerson is now nearly two weeks old. And, life has been running very smoothly in Fatherland.

At the heart of it all, E is simply a great baby!

She eats well. After much research and discussion with our (awesome, I might add) pediatrician, Dr. Lipschutz, and experienced moms, we’re opted to bottle feed – without hesitation, guilt, or apology. She on Enfamil’s Lipil Premium (according to Dr. L — ‘premium’ is very important)… and has taken to it like a duck to water.

She sleeps well. Basically, she’s been sleeping for 5-6 hours at night since birth (usually from 10/11ish-3/4ish – when I get up to change her diaper, give her a bottle, and put her back down for another 3-4 hours). Otherwise, she has normal periods of sleep and wakefulness during the day.

She’s not fussy and doesn’t cry excessively. Indeed, she basically just cries when she wants/needs something. Once her need is addressed, she settles down immediately. I think I read that a ‘typical’ two week old infant cries on average 2 hours per day. I doubt if E cries more than 20 minutes.

She seems to be in good health and developmentally advanced. For example, she’s had excellent head control since birth. When I have ‘tummy time’ with her every night, she spends a fair amount of time lifting her head up off of my chest and turning it from side to side.

The only downside to her motor skills is that she’s also been able to rollover onto her side since the first week, if she’s just in footed pajamas or swaddled with a blanket. This made L and me a bit crazy due to the “back is best” thing. For this reason, we make sure that she’s tightly wrapped in a 2-in-1 Swaddle Sleep Sack at night. Of course, this makes her look a bit like she’s a member of the Heaven’s Gate Cult awaiting the Hale-Bopp Comet. But, at least she’s safe.

Update on Libby, too…

L’s bounced back from her Cesarian section really well. She’s now at a point where she’s able to comfortably care for E during the day while I’m “at work” in my office upstairs. Overall, she had minimal pain and discomfort in the post-operative period.

She’s also managed to avoid the “baby blues” or anything more serious. Doubtless, this has to do with the aforementioned “easy baby” observations, the fact that’s she’s well rested (since I take the night shift, she sleeps soundly from 10pm to 7am most nights), and because she had plenty of help early on as she got her “new mommy” sea legs under her.

The only glitch was earlier this week when she suffered from severe headaches for nearly 36-48 hours. Since L was feeling so good, she quite her pain medication cold turkey. Fine… still no pain from the surgery. Unfortunately, her body didn’t like the sudden cutoff from the analgesics and gave her what we’ve learned are called “rebound” headaches. I suppose this should have been anticipated, but neither of us have a lot of experience with pain meds (indeed, even when a broke my leg last winter, I took all of single Percocet and then a few Tylenol).

In the end, this resulted in L taking different pain medication directed at the headaches. But, within 48 hours all of this had passed and life became good again. She’s now happy, totally free from both pain and medication.

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Emerson’s birth story…

All is well with Emerson. I’ll post more about the first week later. But, as promised, here are the ‘notes’ I kept on my iPhone (slightly polished and edited) about Libby’s labor and Emerson’s birth story. I wanted to get them online before time slipped away and I forgot.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2:30pm – Ate late lunch at Red Lobster.

3:30 – Water ‘broke’ @ grocery store. Slow leak. Finished shopping.

3:45 – Drove home. Called doctor en route. Picked up bags. Called parents.

4:30 – Arrived at hospital. Pants soaked. Skipped triage.

5:30 – Started ‘pit drip’ (Oxytocin) to induce labor. Played UNO. Nothing happening. Called parents. Dosage kept getting increased. No ‘real’ contractions.

7:30 – Dr. Sanchez arrived (oh joy, L’s least favorite). Inserted intrauterine monitor. This hurt like hell and almost made L cry. L said “It was bad. It was bad!” L at 3cm. Monitor wasn’t working properly… screwed around with that for a while.

8:00 – At much higher dosage, contractions (and pain) started.

8:45 – L asked for epidural and nurse started setup.

9:30 – Epidural finished – went in without a hitch. Great anesthetist – former IVF patient!

9:45 – Pain gone. L happy again.

10:00 – I went for food. Got salami sandwich on onion bun and BBQ chips from UCH’s deli. Returned to room w/ food. Called parents.

10:30 – Nurse checked L: minor progress. Nurse concerned about decline in E’s heart rate during contractions. OK if at 7-8cm. Problematic at 3cm.

11:00 – Reduced drip rate of Oxytocin. Seeing if this will reduce heart rate ‘dips.’ Although it hasn’t been mentioned, we are starting to think a C-section is coming. We shall see.

11:15 – ‘Pit drip’ stopped. Dr. Rousch (now on call; never seen before) called for consult. Libby’s now very nervous and worried – she’s shaking like a leaf. I’m a bit worried too and wish I could do something. :-(

Sunday, February 7, 2010

12:00am – Dr Rousch arrived. Not an ‘emergency’ now. Two options: 1) try ‘pit drip’ again (monitor closely; move to c-section), or 2) skip ahead to c-section now. We quickly made the decision to do the c-section for the benefit of L and E. I had already made my mind up on that front around 11:00. Called parents.

12:30 – We leave for OR. I wait outside while L is prepared for surgery.

~12:45 – I go into the OR.

12:52 – Emerson is born! 7 lbs. 5 oz. 20” long. All is well.

~1:15 – We return to L&D room.

1:30 – Called parents.

1:45 – L feeds E for the first time.

~2:30 – L moved to Mother/Baby room.

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