Maybe a window

December 9, 2008 at 12:40 am 7 comments

We spent much of the day at the hospital today. Al and her dad were there first, while I was off at Neil and Toni’s baby shower up the road a ways. Then I came back in time to join the pair for lunch, and then be present for the 2:00 and 5:00 feedings/changings. The world revolves around feedings, and they go something like this. 2:00, Satchell’s turn. Grab a temp (every other time now), change the diaper, set up and fortify his food (the nurse does this), and then assume full kangaroo position and have the boy lowered upon you. (This story is necessarily from my perspective – Alex, who also has nursing and pumping duties to attend to, has a somewhat different, and doubtlessly more taxing routine). I’ve been kangarooing on the couch mostly, which means that Satch and I both lie there, he on me, and let the 31 cc of fortified godly brew drip through a long plastic tube into his tiny nose, down his throat, and into his waiting tummy. It takes about 20 minutes for all of it to flow in, and by the end, generally, both he and I are fast asleep. My sleep is a thin and oft-fractured number, though still most certainly sublime. I start at each whimper, or alarm bell, or hiccup (of which there are many). Sometimes I read a little bit while kangarooing (usually the Happiest Baby on the Block or some similar title), but the real bonding is in that body-to-body induced stupor, the woozy end of the nutra-drip, when we just meld and lose ourselves in the expansive afternoon or evening. 

On a day like today, there was business at hand, so the snugglefest was of necessity limited in scope. At 2:30, it was time to raise and replace the boy, back to his warm isolette where he was to be dressed and then swaddled. I do both the dressing and the swaddling, but at this stage I require copious assistance (as I’ve never quite mastered the art of fastening my OWN snaps, let alone those of a gnome.) If the nurse does the swaddling, the boy – be it Satch, Pabs or Levi – looks like a burrito. My work is burritoesque too, but with a few bites taken out, maybe some sour cream here, lettuce there. I emphasize utility as I pack, and concentrate more on air ducts than aesthetics. Alex’s swaddles have been, from the outset, better, but then she’s a sculptor so it’s not entirely a fair contest. 

I lied about the window, a whole 14 hours have elapsed since I wrote the above paragraphs. There is news today that little Pablo will, once again, have his oxygen gently bolstered. According to the doc this is very normal preemie behavior and nothing to be too alarmed about. He was just laboring a little too much with room air, so it’s back on a c-pap to keep him alert. We ought to expect the same for the others, though it may not come to pass. And there will be more brain ultrasounds – still just a matter of routine – on December 19, which is earlier than scheduled on account of the approach of Christmas (which all signs indicate the five of us will be spending in hospital. Fear not, our menorah will be blazing!)

I was saying. I mean before the above interruption. After Satch goes down, in theory, it’s time for Levi, and after him, Pablo. With a little lateness,  and some prolonged cuddle time for Pabs (just because he’s last), that takes us to about 4pm. Time to clean up, wash pump equipment, stretch out, take a short walk, eat a triple-decker peanut butter/graham cracker sandwich, and then – lo and behold – it’s 5pm and time for Satch again. Doing the math is interesting – with two of us and a nurse or two, we can make it through the 3-man cycle in about two hours, which gives one hour for regrouping. So then, subtract the nurses, leave Alex and me to our own devices, and tally it up. Each time I do the equation it comes out to: trouble. But we have a few more weeks before we really have to reckon with the final figure.

I am covertly blogging from school – and must run. Sorry for no new recent pics, but they’re coming. Thank you, dear reader, for tuning in yet again – the boys feel your wind on their sails. 

-D

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Entry filed under: update. Tags: , , .

weekend update Exhibit A – Levi as a burrito

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lauri  |  December 9, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Another book you might enjoy reading during your kangaroo-ing leisure: CRAWLING by Elisha Cooper. It’s the memoir of his first year as a dad, and it’s a charming mix of love and fear. Mostly love.

    Reply
  • 2. shnootre  |  December 9, 2008 at 3:58 am

    Thanks Lauri – that sounds great.
    I am also trying to make it through another book that came highly recommended: Happy Sleep Habits Healthy Child. I can firmly state that it is the most poorly written, poorly organized, and poorly edited book I’ve ever seen. I’ve actually been trying to read it for months – and I finally figured out the way to read it is just how it’s written, open up a random page, read for a few pages, and then flip randomly again. Several people I trust swear by it, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever scale this one.
    Crawling, however, sounds terrific!
    D

    Reply
  • 3. Erika M.  |  December 9, 2008 at 4:53 am

    Dan–one way to save time (though I’m not sure you can do this in the hospital as they might be more anal about sterilization)–in-between pumping sessions (at least at home), rather than cleaning the pump parts each time, you (or Alex) can bag them in a big ziplock and toss them in the fridge. Then you can just clean them once, in the evening. A very lovely lactation consultant taught me that, and I think collectively, it saved us hours. I too was among the kinesthetically swaddling-challenged. I love seeing the boys grow (literally) on-screen!
    : )
    sending love,
    erika

    Reply
  • 4. shnootre  |  December 9, 2008 at 4:56 am

    My word Erika – that may be the best news I’ve heard in a while. Gotta see if Alex will buy it – but it sounds too good to be true! (those little pump parts are starting to drive me nuts, especially the all important little white rubbery things that always hide in the wash basin).
    Thanks for the advice and for being here!!
    xo
    D

    Reply
  • 5. Robin  |  December 9, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I’m not sure which entry this is filed under, but in reference to your (Dan’s) feeding Satch, you are fortunate in the style of the process – it seems to match the feeling moms get when they nurse thier little ones – so relaxing and so close. It is wonderful.

    Reply
  • 6. Tonya  |  December 9, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    And we were honored to have you at the shower! Thanks for making the trip only to see another giant belly.
    p.s. the new math is tricky, but maybe you have the equation wrong? keep working at it.

    Reply
  • 7. shnootre  |  December 10, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Robin – thanks, I had a feeling that I was getting a little sneak peek at the nursing experience. It really is quite wonderful.
    Toni – yeah, well…I hope you’re right! But definitely great seeing you in all your grandness!

    Reply

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