Monthly Archives: June 2009

Week 35/So Fortunate

Your baby is standing tall (so to speak) this week at about 20 inches and continues his steady weight gain to 5.5 pounds. While he won’t get much longer, he will continue to pack on the pounds — including large amounts of baby fat — right up ’til delivery day. Something else that’s moving at a mind-boggling pace these day: fetal brain development! There’s a lot going on inside that tiny head, which is, by the way, still soft to allow an easier exit through the birth canal.

My wife and I have been regular visitors to the website http://www.babycenter.com. It’s provided good resources and a good community for soon-to-be parents.

Today, though, I read about a mother that was also due in August who lost her baby. At a regular doctor’s appointment, the OB was unable to locate a heartbeat, and an ultrasound revealed that her baby had died.

My heart breaks for parents who’ve lost their baby at any point during the pregnancy, but especially here in the 3rd trimester. I suppose in a way, I take for granted the baby boy that is growing in my wife’s stomach. Our OB just last week said that we are some of his easiest patients. Parker is progressing well, he moves a lot, and hasn’t caused any worries for us or our OB.

So often we worry about what our baby is going to look like. If he’s going to have his mother’s eyes or his father’s personality. But really what matters is having a healthy child. And that is my wish this last month. That Parker is born healthy.

And to all of those parents out there that have lost a baby. You are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

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Finding a Pediatrician

No doubt one of the most pressing tasks for new parents is finding a pediatrician/family practice doctor to look after the health of your little one.

My wife and I have been passively searching for a pediatrician for a little while now. We wanted a reputable physician/practice close to our home, that was obviously covered by our insurance provider.

Well yesterday, we found it. There is a very good pediatric associates’ office literally within walking distance of our place. Seriously, we can put Parker in a stroller and walk him to our pediatrician without ever having to go on a major road. The pediatricians are well-reviewed (two of their pediatricians are among the top 5 in Columbus).

Perhaps best of all, the pediatricians do rounds in the Medical Center where Parker will be born, so when we check-in, we just tell the registrar who our pediatrician is, and they will page them when Parker arrives so his pediatrician can do the initial examination. It’s nice to cross another task off our list.

We had another appointment on Wednesday, and the OB said Parker is progressing nicely. Our next appointment will be in two weeks, and then every week after that. Next week will mark one month until the due date. While his due date is August 3rd, my wife is predicting a July 25th arrival, I think August 1st. 

We shall see.

Week 34/Shower #1 Success

Your baby is clocking in at five pounds and could be as tall as 20 inches by now. This week, a boy’s testicles start making their way down from his abdomen to their final destination. In other baby-related developments, those tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of his fingers by now — and getting ready for that first postpartum manicure.

Yeah, so probably more information than you would have asked for…

Anyways, baby shower #1 was a success this weekend. We received a ton of clothes and accessories for Parker, as well as many of our ‘big items’ such as the baby bathtub, swing, diaper recepticle, and high chair. This weekend will be baby shower #2 and should wrap up most of our baby-buying frenzy.

As we wind down in the pregnancy, doctor visits are up, with another appointment approaching on Wednesday!

Showers and Churches

This weekend is the first of our baby showers (and also marks the beginning of the end of our traveling for the summer). My family is throwing this weekend’s shower, next weekend is the shower at my wife’s family, and the following weekend is our annual Fourth of July gathering with the wife’s family. After that, though, we are done traveling until after Parker is born (my wife has even said we won’t leave the I-270 belt).

Other than that, we did attend our first service at our ‘new’ church (i.e., the church where will we be baptizing Parker in the fall). We’ll be attending St. Andrew’s Catholic Parish in Upper Arlington a few miles from our apartment. Even though I’m not Catholic, I still really liked the church (not that being Catholic is a prerequisite to enjoying a Catholic church). And to be frank, all of my other experiences with Catholic churches have been somewhat hectic, since the only other times I’ve gone have been with my wife’s entire family, where it essentially becomes a glorified (pun intended) babysitting of 7 children.

I’ve actually thought quite a bit about becoming Catholic, because I do feel a little left out in some aspects of the service. But unfortunately, there are a lot of dogmas and policies of the Catholic church that I just don’t agree with. But in any case, I enjoy going to church with my wife and I have no problem with my son being raised in the Church.

In relation to that, we’ve also picked godparents for Parker. My brother will be Parker’s godfather and my wife’s sister will be the godmother. Both I think will make fantastic godparents to our son.

In any case, that’s the story of our lives right now. We’re less than two months away from Parker’s big day, and in about a month, we can really expect Parker to arrive any day.

Quite crazy if you ask me.

Week 33/Place to Live

Your baby is still gaining weight (about half a pound a week), and he could grow up to another full inch this week. Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one as he continues to develop his own fetal immune system, which will come in handy once he’s outside the womb and fending off all sorts of germs.

In other news, we also secured an apartment. Thanks to the wonderful property managers at my current complex, we secured a great rate on a two-bedroom apartment in the same community (literally right down the street). Honestly, it feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that Parker indeed has a ‘first home’.

But really, he probably won’t even remember. This time next year, we plan to be in a more permanent home, but we hope to take plenty of pictures this year to remind Parker of the place to where he came home.

Come on Down!

Yesterday was the first of our bi-weekly appointments with the OB.

Parker is measuring very well, and for the first time, the doctor was able to confirm that he is head-down and moving into his final birthing position. We are now under two months (assuming he’s not very late after his due date) and right now, I think the feeling is, we just want him to be here.

However, we have been getting prepared in our way. Yesterday, we compiled a list of stuff we need to pack in our bag to the hospital (which will be assembled in the beginning of July). We also have a promising lead on an apartment, which, surprisingly, may be in the complex where we already live.

We have been checking our registry, and, thankfully, many of the most essential items have been purchased, such as a car seat, stroller, and playpen. Yesterday, we found out we’re going to be getting a crib in very good condition from my mother-in-law. She had a crib at her house that was used for one of her grandchildren, and now is used just for naps when the kids are at her house, so that’s a large item that we don’t have to worry about anymore.

Other than that, we don’t have too much left to do, besides attending baby showers and packing up our current place. This is the last free weekend we have before the frenzy, so I think we’re going to sit back and enjoy it.

Week 32

Your baby is starting to get ready for his big debut, tipping the scales at almost four pounds and topping out at just about 19 inches. In these last few weeks, it’s all about practice, practice, practice as he hones the skills he’ll need to survive and thrive outside the womb, from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And speaking of sucking, your little one has been able to suck his thumb for a while now. Another change this week: As more and more fat accumulates under your baby’s skin, he’s becoming less transparent and more opaque.

Also, beginning Wednesday, we will be visiting the OB every two weeks (instead of every month), so our next update will probably be Wednesday or Thursday.

A Fun Fall

While we look to have a summer baby, it would appear that Parker’s first full season will be autumn. Which just so happens to coincide with football season.

For a while, my wife and I were a little hesitant about ‘indoctrinating’ Parker so early in his life. This year, we were just going to chill out during football season, get up and watch the games at home. But recently, we realized, what’s the fun in that?

So we’ve decided to take Parker tailgating. Just for a couple hours on gamedays, and then we’ll return home to watch the game most likely. But we feel like, “Hey, we have him. We might as well take him places.” Now obviously we don’t plan to take him out in extreme weather conditions, but since most gamedays are pleasant in the Columbus fall weather, we’re excited to get him out there.

We don’t want the birth of our child to keep us from doing things with him, especially things that we did before he was born, because that’s not fair to him at all. Plus we want our child to enjoy what we enjoy as much as possible. Sure, he may not understand anything really this fall, but it will be fun for all of us to do something together, besides sitting at home.

Plus, it will give us a great chance to dress him in Ohio State apparel.

Week 31/Maternity Tour

Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches long, he’s quickly approaching his birth length though he’s got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day. Also developing at an impressive clip: your baby’s brain connections (he’s got to make trillions of them!). He’s now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. He’s also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you’re probably noticing more defined patterns of awake (and moving) periods and sleeping (pretty still) periods.

Yesterday, we went on a tour of the maternity center where Parker will be born. Being born at a large, university hospital certainly has its advantages.

We will be checking in/registering on the sixth floor of the hospital which is designated as the Maternity Center. Following registration, we will be taken to the assessment center to determine if we are indeed ready to have the baby. If so, we will be admitted to a labor, delivery, and recovery (LDR) room:

The LDR rooms are quite large, with hardwood floors and light wood walls. Inside is everything needed for the labor and delivery of the baby, including a testing center, electronic medial recording, emergency equipment, and fetal heart/contraction monitors, along with some nice luxuries for the expecting parents, including a private bathroom with massage shower, TV with DVD player, and a small pullout sofa. Outside, a large waiting room is available for visitors on the LDR floor, as well as the main atrium for any overflow.

The nurse to patient ratio in LDR is 1:1 so expecting mothers will have their own nurse to assist throughout the labor. After we settle in to the room, the on-call OB and anesthesiologist will stop by for the initial check-up and to take medical history (in case pain medications need to be administered quickly later in the labor process), as well as contact my wife’s OB–since he is part of the on-call OB rotation. Following the birth, Parker will be given his initial tests in the LDR room, where we will remain for about one hour after the delivery (the hospital is very big on not separating baby and the parents).

After an hour, we will be moved to the postpartum center located on the seventh floor. The postpartum area is made of 40 rooms, 32 suites and 8 standard rooms (suites are filled on first-born, first-served basis). All rooms on postpartum are private, with a patient to nurse ratio of 4:1. In the suites are a private bathroom, entertainment center, table, chairs, and another pullout sofa. Visitors are welcome on the floor at all hours (though there is a 9:30 pm to 5:30 am ‘quiet time’). Our time in the hospital will be at least two nights (most likely a total length of three days).

All in all, it was a very informative–and reassuring–visit. We went ahead and pre-registered, so all that is left is counting down the days until check-in!