Archive for the ‘Daily Reports’ Category

I am a happy baby !

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

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Stephen is starting to talk. We spent the first few months of his life trying to teach him to talk more, then we will spend the rest of our lives trying to teach him when to be quiet.

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I guess he did not like our response. This is the scornful look of a teenager in a 3 month old. We might be in trouble.

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What’s in that camera anyways? Any food in there for me? I can smile real big for food !

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I am a cutie !

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As you can see, Stephen actually seems to like bath time. Or maybe he likes feeding time which comes right after bath time!

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Ok, this is a stick up, everyone put there hands UP!

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Some notes about Stephen sleeping. He goes to sleep quietly, to my knowledge he has not yet had to cry himself to sleep.  Which I think is good.

 He grunts, snorts, squeeks, talks, moans, farts, burps and makes many other noises pretty much constantly throughout the night.  I have had to banish him and Laura to the nursey cuz I cannot get any sleep with all the noise he makes.  Laura can seem to sleep through it. Probably cuz she is more tired than me!

 This photo shows the way he lays during all sleeping events. I have very rarely seem him sleep another way.

In case you did not know, you can click on any photo and see a much large version. You can also “right mouse click” on them and use the “save as” and save one of his photos to your computer ! 

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After a nice car ride and nap.

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

 I love it when he wakes up when we get to our new destination and he casually opens his eyes and his head looks around and if he is surveying where he is and then he closes them and goes back to sleep. He is like his daddy, needs to know where he is at all times.

 ”Your not going to take pictures of me now, are you ?”

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Ok, since you are insisiting, I better look awake !

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Ok, that is enough now, go away, I am going back to sleep !

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Saturday, July 28th, 2007

This is Stephen as he is waking up. This is a few days after coming home. He is a very good baby. He does not cry very much and he is very happy all the time. Even when he is hungy, he makes a fuss, but really does not scream his lungs out very much, not even once a day. When he wakes up , he  just fusses and grunts and squeeks.

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Trying to catch up….

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Ok, I apologize. Many of you have been complaining to me that they keep checking this blog and finding nothing new. Well, it has been a chore to adjust to life with Stephen and solve all the new little problems that seem to pop up. Then trying to spend time to write on here as well. It’s been tough. More tough on Laura than me.

 Here are some pics for you:

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This is when we brought him home. Some how I missed posting this then.  Yes, that is a Buccaneers outfit.

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This was after getting him home and placing him in the “daytime” bassinet which is where he spends most of his daylight hours napping in while we run around and try to prepare for the next “go round” of feeding drills.

Notice the dogs, they are very attentive to him as well. Especially Titan, the Tan and Black male, he is funny. He wakes up from a nap and if Stephen is not in eye sight, he gets rather panicked and then franticly searches the house until he finds him. Then lays down next to where ever he is and goes back to sleep. Here is a picture of how Titan sleeps.

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 Laura had some problems getting Stephen to feed consistently on the breast so we had to resort to renting a hospital grade pump and then pump 12 times a day to keep her volume up (that takes 30 minutes) and then pour into a bottle and then spend 30-45 minutes feeding him with a special nipple designed to train him to suck right. Then wash everything. Then it was time to change him and start all over.

 Needless to say that Laura became frustrated pretty quickly. Lack of sleep and feeling like a 24 hour chinese buffet in a labor camp will do that to you. We talked with local lacatation specialist and tons of friends who are nurses (pediatric and L & D) and many other experienced people. WE heard that we were doing the right things and that we would just have to grin and bare it as long as possible.  We continued on.

I would try and help when I could by feeding Stephen, but I could do nothing in the pumping process. God forbid he got hungry 1/2 hour early, then you were behind and the on man 10lb drill sergent was screaming at you until you got him his dinner.

Here is what he looks like right after a feeding. Happy and content.

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 Here he is with his eyes wide open. Notice in both pics (above and below) that I still have my hospital band on. They told us not to take them off for a few days in case he needed to come back.

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Caption for above. “Who are you and what are you doing staring at me?…Stephen says”

Here is shot of Stephen after his session at the pump.  If you could see Laura’s face, it is not nearly as relaxed. Bleeding and in pain is not the ideal “mother son moment” that all the advertising made breast feeding out to be.

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Stephen says “Hey, turn off the lights, it’s nap time”.

 Finally, here is how I help best.

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Ok, that is all for today. The internet connection here (Anna Maria Island) is slow at best.  We are on our first vacation with Stephen. A whole new set of problems and responsibility’s. Ever imagine packing up your entire house and moving it with you??? MY GOSH. I will give you a play by play on what it takes to pack up a new born, in case you forgot. Good thing I got a truck.

 Bye for now !

Michael, Laura and Stephen

Saturday May 26th - The Calm Before the Storm

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Saturday was an enjoyable day. No visitors and we just hung out with the family. We let the dogs play with Stephen on the floor some and it is fun to watch them get adjusted. It is obvious they notice the change in the “family unit” but so far, they are just fine. Titan (male - tan & black) is over joyed at the new addition. If we leave the room with Stephen and he does not notice, he will frantically search the house til he finds where Stephen is.  When Stephen makes noise, Titan is very interested. He loves to lick Stephen. Does Titan know that Stephen is the future crumb feeder? Maybe. Nikita (black -female) is much more reserved and in her usual fashion, she is hanging back to observe what role Stephen will take before rushing to a deep friendship. She also gives Stephen kisses, but not nearly as often or vigorously.

 We decided to pack up the family and go out for a bit on Saturday evening. All five of us left the house in the truck and headed towards the beach. We took a nice drive down the beach with the windows open and enjoyed being out of the house.  Because we were near saltwater, the dogs were very excited thinking they were going to the beach to play ball.  Guess they are having to make adjustments to ! A few times the dogs made Laura nervous, but I was not worried.  I think the difference comes from having confidence in knowing that if I say stop, the dogs will respond.  Laura and I are going to work on her control of the dogs and concentrating on using the right words.

 Dinner at Laura’s favorite Thai restaurant after dark. It was kinda funny how when trying to decide on where to eat, Laura said that we need to make sure they have a high chair. My initial reaction was “what the heck do I need a high chair for” and then quickly realized why.  Because she goes there so much, they recognized her and were all amazed at Stephen. They made comments about how old he was and how big he was. They could not believe he was only 7 days old.

Home for our nightly ritual of feedings and diaper changes.

Friday May25th - Let the Games Begin!

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

I think that Laura is finally catching up on her sleep. Through the night, I am the one who hears Stephen and gets up to check on him. Usually followed by a “what happened, was he crying” from Laura. She seems to need the sleep, so I am grateful to be able to provide the opportunity for her. My mom said after he was born, we would never sleep the same again, I doubted her.  When he cries in the night, it feels as though it is a shreek that pierces through me. I wake suddenly to them all. I think?
Question: When he cries in the night, does it mean he has a dirty diaper or is he hungry? 

Answer: Probably both!

 Friday we wake up and begin our regimen. The plan is to get some other things done that day.  I need to get my truck washed and oil changed as it is way over due.  In addition, Laura’ s rental breast pump is not working on both cylinders so I need to procure some additional parts.  My first chance to demonstrate to Stephen “how to fix things”.

After a check up call to Lucile, we settle in for a pump/feeding session. This is really quite an ordeal. Stephen has his own will and agenda. It does not coincide with what is best for him. The more I try to impose the solution, the more he resists. I smirk and realize this is just the beginning.  This is an age old battle between father and son and I am just being inducted into the process. It is amazing at 6 days old, he has already such a defineable personality.  He is smart to, he gets what the game is and how to “checkout” when he is tired of playing. He just pretends he is not hungry and clamps his mouth shut then turns his head away from me as if to say ” not so fast Mr. New Dad”.

Am I going to be a smart enough father to properly school the new and improved Jansma throughout the next 18 years? I am suddenly awakened to the daunting task at hand.  The responsibility of it all suddenly hits me.  Being a father is not all just pride, but work and lots of it. I better do some more reading and enlist the help of those I respect who have traversed this path before me. I quietly pray to God for help in the next 18 years. Guidance and wisdom please.

My mom stops by for another visit. She is obviously smitten with young Stephen. It is good to see her so happy.

IN the afternoon, I get a chance to take shower and head out of the house. First to the hospital to pick up the needed parts to create a double pumper breast machine and then to get my oil changed. I stop off and have a steak and cheese sub and some onion rings, it is bright and sunny. I yearn to get home to see my boy.

I drive by the car wash and there is a line, getting home is more important, I drive on by.

A new friend of mine asks to stop over and bring a gift. She comes with a “time capsule” including newspapers and magazines from the day/week he was born. It has his name on it and she encourages us to continue to fill the box with lots of things having to do with Stephen.  What a great idea and gift !  She also brings a giant buffet of Italian food from her favorite Italian restaurant. It is fabulous.  So much of it that we continue to eat from it for several days. Each dish is better than the next. Two great gifts. THANKS Patricia !
Laura’s sister Joanne and husband Gary stop by along with Nanny Vella (Laura’s Mom). It is good to see such a smile on Nanny Vella’s face as well. 

The bottle feeding by days end is improving. I am actually seeing progress and he is mimicking what I am doing and in fact occassionally opening his mouth more and more.  I feel some satisfaction in having made a difference.  Maybe I am smart enough after all. I pray to God for humility. This is just one small battle, there are perhaps hundreds if not thousands more to come.

Friday night is pretty calm. Some ice cream and cake and the mother and I are feeling a bit better. Her pain is easing and we are adjusting. 

Laura decides to change him around 10pm. So far, I have been doing most of the dirty work and she is anxious to get started (I don’t know why) . I hear her laughing from across the house. She re emerges into the family room and inquires if he has “gotten me” yet. I chuckle and say no. Apparently he pee’d on her, twice.  I guess so far, he and I have mutual respect. He must know he is outgunned with me. Or I hope so.

I retire to bed with the satisfaction of progress and the idea that so far, he has pee’d on the Dr, Susan the nurse and his mother. He is certainly showing me some respect thus far? Or is it dumb luck? Time will tell.  I will now be extra vigilant in preventing the primal markings of a young baby so I can relish the thought at least of him having some mutual respect !  Denial is a powerful thing!

Thursday May 24th - Out and about

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Today was the original due date for Stephen. The day we thought we would welcome him to the world. This was before his giant growth spurts.

 We wake and decide to try and take more action with the breastfeeding. We call the lactation station and make an appt at 10am to see Lucile. Susan (friend, ex employee and L & D nurse at the hospital) makes the call for us.  We take showers and rush around trying to pack Stephen up for his first trip out of the house.  I take the tags off of my diaper bag and stuff it with what I think we might need. WE have a 10am appt with the lactation station, a 12:45 apt with the pediatrician and then a 3pm appt with the OBGYN as Laura’s swelling has not changed.

 Off to the lactation station where we meet with Lucile who is very helpful, patient and understanding. She identifies Stephen’s problem, he is not opening his mouth wide enough. She states the plan is to teach him to open his mouth more while giving Laura a chance to heal.  She explains that I need to bottle feed him and while doing so, teach him to open up.  She shows me what I need to do and then watches me do it. Wrestling with a hungry baby whom you are trying to entice into opening his mouth very wide and stick out his tongue and then trying to race the bottle to his mouth before his hands get there is quite a task.  My son is stubborn as well (whodya thunk it) and we start to clash as I try to restrain his hands in an effort to win the race. It is comical to watch him exert his will into the situation. The first of many times I am sure I will be faced with his personality.

Lucile teaches Laura how to use the breast pump and we go downstairs and rent the “hospital grade” breast pump for $22.50 per week.  Pack that stuff and our little bundle of joy out to the car and now off to the pediatrician’s office.

I comment that we will spend the next few days (or week) teaching him to open up his mouth more and the rest of our lives teaching him to keep it shut more.

We arrive at the pediatricians in time for our apt and meet some friends in the waiting room. Then we are whisked off to the exam room. Undress him, weigh him and then back in the exam room. A few quick questions and a joke or two and then we are out of there in like 20 minutes. One of the reasons we chose this Dr was because we had heard how efficient their office was and how easy he was to deal with. He wears shorts and loud shirts and he and I get along great.

 Stephen had lost about 14 ounces since birth, completely normal. We have to come back on Tuesday for a re-weigh to make sure the feedings are going well. Heart mur mur is gone and all seems well.

Now what do we do? Dunkin Donuts for a large coffee and back home for a small break before heading out to the OBGYN’s.  We get to that appt on time and see the Dr who explains that Lauras swelling may continue for upto 8 weeks.  She made some suggestions and then back out the door.  Home to pump/feed and take a nap, if possible. We are exhausted.

 My mom comes over and spends a few hours just holding him. Big smile on her face, we are grateful for the break.  A heat and serve meal and then dishes for me. (Yes, I do laundry, cook and dishes) She leaves and we stare at the TV.

Not so fast, around 11pm I realize that we are almost out of diapers. I find myself on the way to the grocery store at midnight in search of the necessary diaper.  I notice the store is busy and there is a feeling of excitement in the air. It is the night before a holiday weekend. I have no plans, nothing,  no cookout, no friends, no trip to a foriegn land, nothing.  I start to read all the offerings. How can diapers be so complicated. Complete wetness protection. Isn’t that the purpose of a diaper?  I am picking up an 84 pack of huggies. I am to tired to decipher the best deal. (write that down in your calender) I think to myself on the way to the checkout “my life has forever been altered, diapers at midnight”…… I smile at the thought of seeing his face when I get back home. I officially feel like a father comfortable in my weekend agenda.

Wedsneday 5-23-07 - Our life is a blue haze

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Our first full day at home. It was nice not to be woken by all those dr’s and nurses.  Stephen is really a great baby. Very predictable at this point. (we know this won’t last)  We change him which wakes him up and then feed him and then change him again and then put him down for a nap. Rinse and repeat every 3 hours.

We basically spend the day adjusting to our new life, our new love. We each comment on how oogling him is so much fun. We also admit that we feel ourselves falling in love with him. It is a strange and wonderful feeling.  He opens his eyes and your heart jumps. He looks at you and the world stops turning.

We have the TV on, but are mostly fumbling through our day in a stooper.   In awe of the task at hand, feeling inept even though we took every class that was available to us. He would make a sound or a face and we would spend 30 minutes deciding if or what it meant.

Laura is having a very painful time breastfeeding. This leaves us frustrated. Everyone at the hospital said he was latching on just fine. Yet the pain is getting worse by the minute. She is in tears and wincing at the thought of feeding again. I contact the le leche league by email and call the lactation station at the hospital to seek help.  Each of them offer help and consolation to our situation.  She is in more and more tears and I feel helpless and unable to help.

We are speeding through diapers. We got a bunch of free ones from Diana and quickly realize that we are going to run out pretty soon.  The laundry is piling up very fast. Fortunately he is small enough that in one load of laundry we can fit a lot of his clothes and blankets.

Laura had the fore thought to go to a place called “Get cookin’” where you can use there kitchen and ingredients and recipe’s to make two weeks worth of meals (main dish only) and then freeze them, ready to heat and serve.  I am able to cook dinner pretty easily, read the directions on the of the package and make a salad or other vegetable.  Then I do dishes.

 We move on into the night, waking at every peep he makes. We are sleeping in his room. He is sleeping in his crib.

Tuesday May 22nd - Going home !

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Again, I am trying to catch up.

We were woken up at 4:45am as usual by our pediatrician who I think has  coffee addiction and he gets started unusually early.  I really like him, just not that early in the morning.

 Anyways, a littany of visitors including the hearing tester and a photographer who wanted to charge me like WAY to much for some photos.  I think she was quite unaware of who she was dealing with.

 Anyways, after lugging a ton of gifts down to my truck I ran home and took a shower and dropped off the gifts, picked up the car and headed back. Now, you have to understand in this day and age, liability and procedure take precedence over any common sense.  So before we could take Stephen from the hospital, we had to watch a 30 minute video that covered basically nothing and then sign a whole bunch of forms. In addition, we had to demonstrate A.) that we had a car seat and B.) that we knew how to put him in it.  So, after placing Stephen in the car seat, we were then instructed to remove him from it and place him in Laura’s lap for he ride down to the front door. Along with Stephen, Laura had to carry the “suction bulb” for the trip. Mind you, this is hospital regulation. SO - I (semi patiently) went along and carried the car seat and the remainder of the gifts and flowers and follwed the nurse down to the front door. Alas, we were almost free of their watchful eye.  I was shocked to learn that no one even bothered to verify that we had the base in the car much less belted in the car.  So I made my getaway with Stephen safely belted in as we had the fire department install our car seat.

 So, the ride home was uneventful with a stop at a pharmacy to pick up the needed prescriptions for Laura. I stopped by a friend of mine who owns a pharmacy as any proud papa woud do and showed him off.

 Then home to meet the dogs ! Nikita and Titan were excited to see us and to meet Stephen.  We let the dogs out of the house to run around the yard and burn off some energy and then introduced them to Stephen, who did not flinch, but only made a “yuck face” when Titan licked him right on the lips ! No crying and no problems.  Nikita, did a bit of sniffing (the diaper) and then marched on as always.

 He came home in his Tampa Bay Buccaneers outfit and the new car seat.  We set up the bassinet (?spelling) and plopped him in. It was SOOOOO nice to have him home in our house.  Laura’s mom who had been watching the dogs stayed for a bit and then left. Laura and I basked in the glow of having our baby at home.

 Next we would see just how well (or not) we had set things up in the nursery.

Later on that night, she started feeding and we all know what follows that. All and all, changing him was about the same as at the hospital and I like using “baby wipes” much better than thick paper towels that are moistened under the faucet. Not quite sure why the hospital has yet moved into this past century and garnered some baby wipes.

Anyways, pretty uneventful, I ordered my favorite pizza and then Laura and I took nice long showers and off to bed. We have a fairly large nursey which you can see more of at  http://stephenjansma.com/?cat=3 and we smartly agreed to keep the nice queen size bed in there. This way, we can spend the night with the baby and not have to move him and all his stuff into our room.  It was a grand idea.

We actually got about 4 hours of sleep in between feedings and besides having to tear the tags off of many items, things went smoothly. Again, the diaper genie is spectacular.

More to come on Wednesday