Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This IS the beastie you are looking for!

A perfect six weeks early, the beastie has arrived!

Name announcement, made day-of by a fabulous friend

Beastie and his mama, right after birth

Oberon Christopher was born November 24, 2014, at 4:55 a.m., weighing in at 6 lbs, 2.6 oz and measuring 19 inches.  He only waited through 34 weeks of gestation, the little early bird!  He's had a busy first couple days of life, and we'll provide more detailed updates on his health and progress later.

Both Chris and Elizabeth have had a chance to hold the little guy, and there was even a quick opportunity for skin-to-skin!  Every visit to the NICU is a little different depending on how Oberon is doing, so we take what we can get.

Elizabeth was discharged today, so now we embark on the challenge of trotting between the house and the NICU.  Oberon had the omphalocele surgery already, but he's having some trouble with stable breathing.  He's currently hooked up to a ventilator to allow him to rest and let him grow a little bit without having to work so hard to get air.  In a few days, the doctors will figure out a more permanent solution to the breathing as needed.

Oberon taking a break (and a nap)

Here are a couple more pictures of our little family!

Getting weighed, with the "turkey diaper" protecting his umbilical cord and omphalocele
Morning, 11/24/14

Oberon after successful omphalocele surgery (see the heart bandage?)
Afternoon, 11/24/14

First family photo, getting a chance to hold the beastie!
Evening, 11/24/14

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Making Room

Living in California means you don't have as much space.  Even in San Jose, we've got less square footage than most of our midwest friends-with-kids.  With just Chris and Elizabeth, we have the space filled.  Now we need to make room for a whole new person, and he already needs a significant amount of space for his stuff.

We've taken trips to the Goodwill donation centers at least once a month (often twice), we've tried to give away things to friends, and Elizabeth has got to do something about her yarn.

Too much yarn.  Probably.

We're getting there, slowly but surely, and we're getting more ruthless with our cuts.  We parted with an old pair of skis, we let go of lots of wine tasting glasses, Guitar Hero controllers, dozens of books and DVDs, small appliances, gifts we never used (sorry!), and mountains of clothes.  Elizabeth has gone through two rounds of "am I too old for this" - which includes short shorts, bar shirts, miniskirts, and tank tops that are just a little too short (OK way too short).

Our value of donated goods (using ItsDeductibleTM) is already over $2,500!  That's nuts (and we had way too much stuff).

While we're trying to make room for beastie when he gets here, he's trying to make some room while he's still camping out in Elizabeth.  He's pretty smooshed these days, but he still manages to flail around a good amount.  Elizabeth's been on kick count duty for weeks now, and he's never taken more than 50 minutes to get to 15 kicks (or twists or turns) after dinner.  He kicks and pushes so hard that you can already see him move.  Sometimes he hangs out pushed all the way over to the right side, sometimes he's swiveling around and pushes way out (or up into Elizabeth's ribs).  It is very sci-fi looking and more than a bit unsettling (Chris likes to joke about Elizabeth's John Hurt).  Beastie likes to be especially pushy when Elizabeth drives home from dance class.  It's like he's mad that she stopped moving (or he's rehearsing the choreography he learned via amniotic fluid).

It's not just Elizabeth feeling like the little dude has less room, we have video evidence!  In the video you can hear the ultrasound tech narrate what's showing.  The heart is probably the coolest part, but there are also some good shots of his face.

In case the video isn't loading:

We learned that beastie's omphalocele is now about 2 cm in diameter, although they can't see as well as they used to because he's all folded up and blocking the view.  It's also harder to see things because babies develop more opaque bones and other tissue as they grow.  Those early ultrasounds really are the best time to see everything (who knew?).

While beastie's getting cramped in his current home, we've been slowly but surely making progress on his outside home.  Chris built the IKEA storage furniture, the glider, and the crib (thanks Mama and Dad!) and all that's left is to anchor everything to the walls.  We even put on our decorating hats and got decals up on the walls!

Decals are hard work!

Now it's down to organizing.  What goes where?  How much more space do we need for the stuff we don't have yet?  Elizabeth's hair dryer probably should not stay in the baby's bathroom, right?  Next up - packing a hospital bag, what we learned at new parents' class, pregnancy symptoms we never saw coming, and what we do with our last weeks of non-parenthood.