Monthly Archives: August 2009

Campus Life

Yesterday, we took Parker on his first trip to the campus of The Ohio State University. We figured since Ohio State was and is a very much a part of his parents’ lives, and promises to be a big part of his life, it was necessary to get him on campus early, or maybe just to get us out of the house. I’m not sure which.

We took him by my office first to meet my co-workers. Of course everyone was excited to meet him for the first time, and in typical Parker fashion, he was really mellow and non-fussy.

After that, we walked around campus, visiting our favorite spots, taking his picture in interesting locales. Overall, it was quite fun, even if he didn’t really care. Last night, we took him to the marching band’s summer session to meet our former rowmates in band and see the band for the first time of many.

Other than that, we haven’t been doing too much, just relaxing and enjoying our time with him. And right now, he’s sleeping in his swing.

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Trip to Paulding

We just returned from Parker’s first trip to visit his extended family. What a delightful little boy we have.

We left on Friday morning after his first feeding and he slept the entire 2 1/2 hours to Paulding. Once we got there, he got to meet two of his aunts, uncles, and 8 cousins. There was only one stressful moment on the entire trip, and it was the first night as we were going to bed.

The room in which we stay when we visit was really hot, and Parker prefers to be swaddled with two blankets at night, but with the heat, that was just undoable. But in the end, we decided to move out into the family room, turn on the fan, and made it a much cooler environment for Parker, and he slept, well, like a baby all three nights we were there.

This week marks my last week at home before I head back to work. We are going to go down to campus and walk around tomorrow with Parker in his stroller. Then on Friday, we’re heading to my hometown so Parker can meet his paternal grandparents and extended family.

So far, so good. And seriously, I couldn’t ask for a better child.

First Trip to the Pediatrician

Today was Parker’s first trip to the pediatrician.

Thankfully, there is a pediatric office literally within walking distance of our house that has a reputable staff of six pediatricians. So yesterday afternoon, we put Parker in his stroller and walked him down to the office. My insurance provides full coverage with no copay for all well-child visits/lab tests/vaccinations so basically, as long as the trip is not related to an illness, it’s ‘free’.

We went back into the exam room where a nurse checked him out, weighed, and measured him. While he was born at 8 lbs., he went down to 7 lbs. 10 oz. in the hospital. But in the past week, he gained back all his weight, plus some more, which put him at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and put on a half-inch to his ‘height’. In all, he’s in the 50-75th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height.

His pediatrician is spectacular. We seem to attract laid-back physicians and she is no different. She said that Parker’s color was very good which means that breastfeeding is going well. She spoke with us over certain developmental goals we should be noticing, things/quirks babies have, etc. In all, it was a very good first appointment, and we scheduled another for next month where he’ll be getting his first round of vaccines (he did get his first Hepatitis B vaccine in the hospital).

Parker has been sleeping very well lately, and last night was the best night. We put him in his crib at 9, he slept until 1, ate, slept until 5, ate, and slept until 8, and with the last time, he put himself to sleep.

This weekend we’re heading to my wife’s family in Paulding, and then next weekend, we’re going to Hurricane/Ironton to visit my side of the family. But now, I’m going to go spend time with my son (who looks spectacular in yellow, by the way).

The First Few Days

Parker is officially to his first weekend!

We made it home from the hospital Thursday afternoon, and have just been enjoying our little boy ever since. He has been such an excellent baby. Besides feedings, he doesn’t wake up at night, he’s minimally fussy during the day, and really likes to just spend time in the living room with us, either in our arms, chests, or on the floor in his little play gym.

Obviously we’re very early into our experience with him, but I don’t think we could’ve asked for a better baby.

One thing I’ve really learned during these few days is how much my parents really do love me. My mom used to always tell me that I would never really know until I had one of my own. Last night, I was rocking Parker in his room before laying him down for bed and couldn’t help but think about being his father. There is literally nothing I wouldn’t do for that child.

As parents, I think we’re  doing very well. Again, it’s very early in a lifetime of parenting, but we’ve really remained low stress about everything. And really, it’s been a lot of fun. We took him on a walk in his stroller last night and tomorrow we’re taking him to his very first Mass at church. Monday is his first pediatrician appointment and then following that, we’re going to visit my family in West Virginia and Ironton for a couple days.

Other than that, I’m just trying to enjoy my paternity leave to the very fullest. And, finally, being a millennial dad.

I obviously plan to continue writing this blog as much as I can. So stayed tuned, because it’s only the beginning.

Parker is Here!

Parker Nathan was born at 6:25 p.m. He weighs 8 lbs. and is 20 inches long.

I don’t necessarily want to post the ‘nitty-gritty’ details on this, but let’s just say that after 9 hours of labor, we were still sitting at 2 cm. Following an epidural administered and the water breaking, Parker was born about 2 hours later. It was seriously like going from 0-60 just like that.

And we have the most beautiful little boy we ever could have hoped for.

D-Day

Today is the day.

Tonight we will head to The Ohio State University Medical Center’s Doan Hall at 8:00 p.m. for our scheduled induction. And with good luck and prayer, Parker should be born sometime Tuesday afternoon (though it could stretch into Wednesday morning).

I think we’re feeling a lot of emotions right now, we’re both anxious and excited, nervous and elated, exhausted and rejuvenated. But most of all, I think we hope that we have a healthy, breathing baby.

We have greatly appreciated the comments, and the 3,000 hits on this blog since it was started late last year. And this blog isn’t going anywhere. Just because our pregnancy may be over, it’s just the first chapter in this long book called Parenthood, and as long as there are readers, there will be this blog.

Stay tuned the next few days, because I’m going to try and blog from the hospital, even if it’s just one short post. Again, thank you for your support and we’ll see you on the other side.

One Last Weekend

Our last childless weekend is upon us. From here on out, every weekend for the rest of our lives, we will be parents.

We’re both looking very forward to parenthood. I specifically am looking forward to my three weeks of paid paternity leave (thanks OSU!) so I get to spend a good amount of time at home with my son in his earliest days. But I look forward to my future weekends as a parent.

This fall, we get to use our Saturdays to take Parker to campus for tailgates and Ohio State revelry. Even though he won’t remember or even care where he is, we feel like it’s important to take him to the things that we hold most dear.

In the winter, we’ll stay warm inside as we usually do, spending the day wearing hoodies and watching movies, or maybe going to the mall.

Next spring, we’re going to buy a season pass to the Columbus Zoo so Parker can start to learn and appreciate animals. We also want to take him to some of the local parks, as well as campus, to play and walk.

In the summer, we should be in the process of buying our first house, a permanent place for Parker to grow.

I think, all in all, we’re just excited for him to be here. To take him places with us. Having fun at tailgates, shopping at the mall during Christmastime, going to church on Sundays. Of course there will be hard times; times when parenting isn’t so fun. The restless nights, the fussy days. But I know all the good times we’re going to have with Parker are going to make it all worth it.

Induction Set!

I seem to have dropped the ball on promising another post yesterday…

But anyway, yesterday morning we went to the OB for Parker’s non-stress test. In short, the mother has fetal monitors fastened to her stomach which are then hooked to a machine. These monitors track the baby’s heartbeat and the mother’s contractions. What the doctor wants to see is a strong baseline heart rate that increases during movement and stays steady during contractions. In the nurse’s words, Parker must have read the book on non-stress tests, because he passed with flying colors!

With that out of the way, we were able to see the OB much earlier than expected. After his examination, he decided that we would best be served by scheduling an induction. For three straight weeks, there has been no noticeable change in my wife’s status that would suggest that Parker is going to be born on his own, at least before the 42-week mark.

After waiting anxiously while the doctor scheduled a date, he told us that we will be checking into the hospital Monday at 8:00 p.m.

Induction, in this case, is going to be a two-step process. Monday night, my wife will be given prostaglandins to sort of ‘ready’ her. In some women, that’s enough to induce labor, but most likely, Tuesday morning, she will then be given the synthetic hormone Pitocin in order to actually induce the labor. While Parker could really be born anytime between Monday evening and early Wednesday morning, the OB seems to think it will probably be sometime Tuesday afternoon.

But to us, it doesn’t matter. It’s just nice to finally have a tangible date to look forward to. While labor could still occur on its own over the weekend, and we certainly hope it does, to know that we’ll have our son no later than Tuesday or Wednesday, it’s a good feeling.

Finally.

Last Appointment?

Since I’m writing this, it’s obvious Parker has yet to arrive.

Today, we’re hoping, may be our last official appointment at the OB. This morning, my wife will be having a non-stress test just to make sure Parker is doing well and to help determine if and when an induction may need to be scheduled. Then, this afternoon will be the weekly appointment with the OB.

On the bright side, at the very latest, Parker is no further than 10 days out. I know our families are sitting on edge, perhaps even more than us, just because we’re experiencing this all live as it happens. I imagine my mother just anxiously waiting for the phone to suddenly ring. I’ve tried to keep my calls out to a minimum this week, just to ease any anxiety.

I plan to post again after I return from this afternoon’s appointment, so for the first time, a two-post day!

Full Moon

Another day, and still no Parker. However, if you follow the old wives’ tale, tonight at 7:55 pm EST, there will be a full moon, so I suppose if there was any time to go into labor, it would be tonight.

Last night, we returned some extra items Parker received from the baby shower and bought a new mattress pad for his crib, a box of 500 wipes, some baby ear swabs, some CFL light bulbs for his room, batteries for the monitors and swing, and some stickies to put his wooden animals on the wall.

When we got home, we just sat in the floor of his room for a while, I think both hoping that he would just somehow arrive. I know this is rather sappy, but I think back to what my parents used to say to me when I was younger, that I would never understand their love for me until I had my own child. Well, it’s already starting to feel like that.

As expecting parents, everything we’ve done for the last nine months, in some way, has been affected by Parker. We shop at the store differently, we travel differently, we spend our money differently. And just sitting in his room last night, I think it was just a moment where we wanted our son to be there with us.

As my wife said last night, it will never be easier to take care of him than right now. But I think we’re looking forward to the challenge of parenting. It’s going to be hard, and trying, and sometimes I’m sure we’ll be pushed to our limits, but we’re finally embarking on a journey that is more life-altering than anything else we’ve ever done.

And I guess we can’t help to be excited.