Archive for May, 2007

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 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

Monday May 21st

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Alrighty then. 3 days have whizzed by. Monday was interesting as the adrenaline of the birth wore off and the exhaustion of not sleeping much for 3 days caught up with us.

 Monday we did not spend much time outside of the room as we started to settle in to a routine with the baby and started to field questions to the Dr’s and nurses. We have plenty of questions as we are new parents and this child did not come with a manual. WE are so glad we took all the classes and still realize the importance of trusting our instincts as well.

The OB Dr. said we could go home, but felt the help of the nurses and the hospital were probably worth it.  We opted to stay another day. Laura’s incision is slow healing and causing her pain.  It was a nice quiet day.

I have the greatest employees, so checking in at work is at a minimum. Things run pretty good without me there.

 Laura is out now on maternity leave and she gets 8 weeks paid time off and then can take another 4 weeks of vacation time for a total of 12 weeks off.

 Today was also the first day that Laura had to change a diaper. I have been changing them all since he was born.  In the beginning I am told they do not stink and I am in agreement. I am not looking forward to the time when they start stinking !

 He is opening his eyes and lifting his head up (actually he started this on day one) and we enjoy those moments when he looks up at you and tries to figure out who you are and what you are doing.

This is all for now, more on tomorrow.


Trying to catch up ! More pictures….

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Things are a whirl wind around here, doctors, nurses, friends, family, lactation specialist and a pediatrician through in a few hundred phone calls and only 3 hours of sleep since Friday and then the diapers and the cleaning and the ciricumcision and so on. IT is truly exhausting to keep up with all this !

Everything is good and everyone is healthy, but we are all learning on how to co-exist quietly with one another. New mommy is nervous and scared and new daddy is unsure and tentative about what squeek means what and what to do next.

 Grandma Miller (Mike’s Mom) has been waiting for this day for many, many years. So she is excited and has been present to help a lot. 


Nanny Vella has also been waiting for this day and is helping by watching our other kids.   Here is Nanny Vella with Stephen.


 Here he is with his 7th or 8th hat. His head is so big that so far we have not been able to find a hat that will stay on his head.


Stephens now 30 hours old…..

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

May 20th, 2007

Well, needless to say that yesterday was a pretty exciting day in our lives.  Tons of things going on and lots of things to learn and try to understand.

 Fortunately, we are blessed with just the right people in our lives.

 Many visitors and Stephen at this point seems very content outside of his mothers belly. So far, he only cries when you really up set him by poking him with a sharp object or other physically harmful things. He really is very quiet and pretty easy to take care of.

We had some difficulty keeping his blood sugar up last night and spent most of the night trying to wake him up and keep him awake long enough to feed and take in the nutrients he needs.  The more we kept him up, the more calories he would burn, the less energy he had and the less interested in eating he became. Finally, at 2:30am I took him to the nursery and had the nurses “cup” feed him some formula.  He took it real well and his blood sugars came way up and then he slept for four hours.

Funny story, I was asleep about an hour and Laura about two hours when the pediatrician showed up at 5am and the tech tried to sneak into the room and take Stephen out to see the Dr. and she made a tiny noice and Laura and I shot straight up out of bed and startled the girl. She blurted out “you two must live in a bad neighborhood”.  We were just happy he was asleep and so we crawled back into bed. We did not laugh or even comment I don’t think until after a bit longer nap.

 Stephen loves to sleep all stretched out, legs straight and hands above his head. It is quite a site. NO covers either, just like his daddy.

Dr D said Laura is doing fine and a discharge tomorrow is possible. She is taking a shower now and looking forward to feeling human again I am sure.

 Many many visitors and it shows how much love Stephen will have in his life. Family and friends a like.  Everyone cannot believe how big he is and they expect him to sit up and start talking.  IT would not suprise us, he already opens his eyes and holds his own head up quite often for 1-2-3 minutes and pays attention and looks around. Most times when asleep, his hands and feet are moving as if he is conducting an orchestra.  He is a busy body.

 I know you are probably sick of me saying this, but it is truly amazing to watch a human life take form and then develope right in front of your eyes. But then again, most of you probably already know this.

 Here are some pics !

Aunt Yeanori (prounounced Ja-nori)


Aunt Megan


Eyes open and looking around




Uncle Buddy


Uncle Andrew


Daddy’s lap


That’s MR fat cheeks to you  !


I will try and make a post for every day for the next week or so to keep everyone up on the progress!

 THANKS for all your love and support .

Stephen Riley Jansma has arrived…

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

At 8:16am on Saturday May 19th God has presented Stephen Riley Jansma to the world. Are we ready?  So far everything seems to be just about perfect. Laura had a C section at 39 weeks and 1 day as all indications were showing a large baby.

 Well, they were right. He measured 22 inches long and weighed in at a heft 9 pounds and 12.5 ounces. 

 Both the mother and baby are doing fine. Mom had some minor complications, but nothing at all to be concerned about.

 Here are some pictures of the events:

Laura checking in


 First cuts on Laura


Dr D is pulling Laura open and cutting her way to where the baby was !


Here  he comes, he came out screaming as if to announce his arrival with thunder ! It was a great sound.


Then after his head was out, they cleaned out his nose and began pushing and pulling on him.


 More and more of him appears pretty darn quickly !


This is about where the Dr said “he looks great…and HE IS PEEING ALL OVER ME”

Laura’s OBGYN is pretty fun and good looking to. We have made friends. Here she is pinching my boys  butt. I guess she is a flirt as well ! I will make sure and show this picture to the girls he starts dating!


 And then they cut the cord. They would not allow me to because of potential risk of infection into Laura’s abdomen.


Here is where Laura first sees him all wrapped up.

Here he is on the scale for proof the winner of the contest. I have not looked, but I am sure someone has guessed the right number !


And here I am holding him, a little tired of course !


 Here is the Dr D with the baby. We have all bonded. A boating trip is going to be needed to celebrate this momentous occassion. Especially after he just pee’d on her.  I don’t think he will be able to do that again in his life and leave em smiling !


And then the mother is returned to the room and gets to hold him.


Here he is all stretched out. Even in Laura’s belly he wanted to stretch out. Trying to wrap him up is like trying to wrestle an octopus !


And another shot of him in the two shirt warmer !


So far in his first few hours he has eaten, burped and soiled his first diaper. Which I promptly changed. It’s lots of fun and everyone was watching me  ! Fortunately, all those classes I took paid off !  I passed the test with many nurses watching !

The Laura’s best friend Diana got to hold him.


We all enjoyed the relief of a healthy baby boy and a successful birth with very few complications. Then I started on the phone calls.
I cannot thank you all enough for the wonderful caring friends that we both have and the great friendships.  The love and support is spectacular. 

I will post more later !

 Enjoy, Michael, Laura and Stephen

Here we go…..

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Hello Everyone!

We finally have our surgery time.  It will be at 7:30 am, 5/19/07.

But, we need to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 am.  That’s right…5:30 am. Those who know Michael know he is NOT a morning person.  Not that I’m much of one either.  So, right now, I’m thinking this will be the hardest part of our day.  Getting up and to the hospital by 5:30. :)   But as Michael said when I broke the news of the time to him, “It will all be worth it”.