Afternoon tea party
Daddy has a lot on his plate when he comes home for lunch break.

The hostess pours.

And something for Jack too.

How are the dogs doing with the new addition?
Asks Wermit.

Does this answer your question?

The floor on the back porch has always been Beaker's "happy place." Both of our dogs are very sensitive to our moods. If anyone in the house is pitching a fit then the dogs retreat to their happy places. Beaker's is in between the dryer and the storage shelf, Jake's is under the kitchen table. Beaker had never actually shoved his head under the storage shelf until the arrival of the baby last week. He steers clear of the baby. Jake, on the other hand, is very curious. He's always trying to worm his way up to sniff Jack right in the face. We're very watchful of Jake.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Boppy love
Like sister...

like brother.

And one more to make a mommy's heart melt.

For comparison
I was asked for Emma photos to compare to newborn Jack. Here ya go:

This would be the same day to compare as the Jack Smiles photos.

A look at the dark hair Emma came with.

24 lbs.
That's how much I've lost in one week. Awesome. I was pretty happy when I stepped on the scale this morning. This was way better than expected. I still have some bloat in my belly and chestal region. This inspires me not to squander my good luck by gaining a bunch while I'm home with the kids over the next nine weeks. Only 16 lbs. to go to starting weight. Not too shabby.
Proud Sister
And the Pop-and-Swap brigade, her present from Jack.

My ankles are back
I got to see those narrow little buggers for the first time in a very long time this morning. I suspect by evening they'll be gone again. But by golly, I just knew those buggers were once thin!
First pediatrician visit
We went to the pediatrician for the first time yesterday. And I mean the first time. We've always taken Emma to the local medical center for her checkups. They do Family Medicine so she's never really seen a pediatrician. Recently I learned that there was an actual honest-to-God pediatrician within 35 miles of our home. I debated a while and then decided, based on the recommendations of some very large families, that I'd try this pediatrician to the north.

I'm so glad I did. What a world of difference. It always bugged me at the medical center the indifferent ways the nurses would weigh and measure Emma when she was an infant. Don't they realize that new moms live and die by growth charts??? This pediatrician was thorough. Ask Noni. She sat in the waiting room with Emma for an hour and 45 minutes. I swear at least and hour and fifteen of those minutes was the pediatrician interviewing me on my pregnancy, my delivery, and Jack's health status. I learned so many things that I hadn't been told at the hospital. I really think I'm going to like having an actual children's doctor caring for my baby this time. Thank goodness Emma has been healthy as a horse, poor thing. I wish I'd known then what I know now and she'd have gotten better care all along.

Our next appointment for Jack is for his 14 day follow-up. The doctor thinks Jack is a little bit jaundiced so he'll be keeping his eye on that. If it doesn't improve Jack will be in for the heel stick.
Jack's Apgar
Yesterday when we went to the pediatrician I finally learned what Jack's Apgar score was when he was born. This is a number to interest of most new parents, although it doesn't signify all that much, only the conditions on the ground of the baby's first five minutes of life. Here's the Wikipedia definition:

The Apgar score was devised in 1952 by Dr. Virginia Apgar as a simple and repeatable method to quickly and summarily assess the health of newborn children immediately after childbirth. Apgar was an anesthesiologist who developed the score in order to ascertain the effects of obstetric anesthesia on babies.

The Apgar score is determined by evaluating the newborn baby on five simple criteria on a scale from zero to two, then summing up the five values thus obtained. The resulting Apgar score ranges from zero to 10. The five criteria (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration) are used as a mnemonic learning aid.

Here is a breakdown of the Apgar scale:

0 - Baby's entire body is bluish-gray or pale
1 - Baby's body has good color, with a bluish tinge to the feet or hands
2 - Good color over entire body

0 - No heart beat
1 - Fewer than 100 beats per minute
2 - More than 100 beats per minute

0 - No response when airways are suctioned
1 - Baby grimaces during suctioning
2 - Baby grimaces and pulls away, coughs, or sneezes during suctioning

0 - Baby is limp, no detectable movement
1 - Baby displays some flexing of arms and legs
2 - Baby moves vigorously

0 - Baby is not breathing
1 - Baby cries weakly, may sound like whimpering, with slow or irregular breathing
2 - Baby cries strongly, with a normal rate and effort of breathing

So you understand that in each category the baby is given a score and then the total is determined at one minute and five minutes. So, if I recollect correctly, Emma's Apgars were 8/9. So she was looking pretty good at one minute and at five minutes she added a point in one category or another.

Jack's Apgar score was 2/9. The pediatrician was a bit shocked when he saw it because (in 22 years) he'd never seen a one-minute score that low jump to a nine like that. The spread was impressive to him. I was a bit shocked myself. I was shocked to learn that at a full minute of life my baby had been so lifeless. Look at the categories above and figure that Jack scored zeros in at least three categories and ones in two. Or zeros in four and two in one. That's a pretty damned bleak picture.

Never in my life has time slowed down more than the few seconds it took in the operating room when Emma was born for her to start breathing and let out those first outraged cries. Time. Slowed. Way. Down.

Imagine waiting on Jack, who apparently didn't cry for more than a full minute. Who had to be carried to a resuscitator and bagged before he came to life. It was a blessing that I was under and that M wasn't in there. Ditto when the forceps came out. I'm sure M would have about croaked to see that too.

The irony is that it was the general anesthesia that caused the problem. The general goes to the mama and then to the baby. That's why it became a race for the surgical team to get Jack out as fast as possible.

So with the Apgar Giant Leap we have another great story (now that it's safely behind us!) of Jack's smashing debut into this world :)