" /> Toads-in-the-Hole: March 2006 Archives

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March 29, 2006

Small Town, Big Stork

The benefits of living in a small town like Vermillion can be subtle. Things like waving to at least one acquaintance on any giving outing, knowing children as well as you know adults, or having easy conversations with total strangers about all that you have in common as Vermillionaires all combine to generate a gentle feeling of well-being.

Less subtle benefits sometimes pop up out of nowhere, however, like the appearance of an eight-foot tall stork in your front yard celebrating the birth of your daughter, courtesy of Tim and Teri Bellis, our castmates from Into the Woods.

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March 28, 2006

Sated

Have you ever eaten so much, for so long, that you felt like falling asleep right at the table; your head nestled in the cooling remains of your repast as the other dinner guests continue to chat over your head?

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It happens to Adelaide all the time.

Weighing In

Adelaide had her one week check-up at the clinic yesterday. We learned that Adelaide has successfully re-gained her birth weight plus an ounce, and has grown 3/4ths of an inch already! Just imagine, in some other universe, she still might be in utero growing so rapidly ...

Note to Fussy Followers: This image was snapped <i>before</i> the scale finished weighing her, so it reads 7 lbs, 2 ounces, instead of 7 lbs, 2.5 ounces.

Birth Weight (3/18/2006): 7 lbs, 1 ounce

Birth Length (3/18/2006): 20 inches

Weight at Hospital Discharge (3/21/2006): 6 lbs, 8 ounces

Weight at One Week (3/27/2006): 7 lbs, 2.5 ounces

Length at One Week (3/27/2006): 20 3/4 inches

March 25, 2006

One Week

Cheers!

Adelaide is one week old today (in the picture, one week old at that minute!).
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(From left-to-right: Mary [AKA Marmee], Joel [AKA Papa], Adelaide, Aimee [AKA Mama], Kelli [AKA The Professor], and Charles [AKA Squiggy].)

March 24, 2006

Adelaide's Bits

During this first week of her life, many people have gone out of their way to compliment Adelaide's beauty. On some occasions, they've been so struck by it as to wander into the realm of hyperbole, like when my classmate enthused, “She’s the most beautiful baby in the world!” or when that crazy old lady grumbled, “She’s so gorgeous, she makes the dawn of spring look like crap.”

As new parents, we feel concern that Adelaide’s stunning visage may be overwhelming when grappled with all at once. Aimee’s parents, Don and Mary, have been able to spend quite a bit of time with Adelaide, and show no signs of developing a tolerance for it.

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So here we have a web-experiment: Adelaide’s Bits provides small doses of Adelaide’s features that we hypothesize will allow viewers to develop some tolerance to her otherwise blinding perfection. Along the way, we’ll point out those few imperfections that enable the gods to keep from destroying our whole family out of jealousy.

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Here we have her nose, which we suspect may share a common ancestor with Martin Luther King Jr.’s While it is a nose of generous proportion, it actually serves an important function: that of allowing Adelaide to breathe even while really crammed up against Aimee’s breast.

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There's really nothing we can say about her eye. Just try to withstand it.

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While at first, and even second, look her hands may seem like unbearably precious tiny fragments of shell-colored transcendence, when she's deeply asleep they actually look kind of puffy.

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Do you see that tiny dot on her ear? There. She’s not perfect. Put away that thunderbolt, Zeus!

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Her feet are actually pretty big for her size. We’re not sure if the same rule that applies to puppies’ feet works for humans, but if it does, she may grow up to be about the size of a brown bear.

Her leg has yet to achieve that pleasing Michelin-man sausageness that will come with additional feedings. When she snakes it unexpectedly out of her swaddle, it can alarmingly resemble a tentacle.

So, are you ready for the test? Look at this next picture and see if the rest of the world seems a drab grey in comparison.

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March 21, 2006

We're Home! Post Script

(You'll find two new entries below this one)

And now it's time for bed.

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We're Home!

Found the camera! On it were some exciting photos detailing our Adelaide's move-in to her new digs. We think she'll be a great roommate, though she does have a lot of stuff and occasionally smells funny.

Our region of the world had received the usual, but still always surprising, March blizzard. We had... a great deal of snow (JD, weather tyrant that he is, can perhaps give us an exact figure), but by the time we'd received all of our last-minute instructions by the hospital staff and had our car seat thoroughly inspected, it was all shoveled up and grandly melting great dirty rivers throughout the town.

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Nine, however, hadn't heard that we'd acquired another tenant (she regularly skips our House Meetings), and was a little surprised when she found Adelaide in the living room, still in her carseat.

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After investigating the new arrival, Nine retired to the office to do some sulking, and probably some complaining to her friend Toto via instant messaging.

We all had some adjusting to do, including Adelaide. We helped her get her bearings by providing the security of a really tight swaddle, one of the "Five S's" that we learned are key to activating Adelaide's "calm reflex".

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But what really sealed the deal for Adelaide was spending time with Aimee, her favorite roommate (indeed, the person who convinced her to come live with us).

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After getting her all settled in, everyone (except Nine) was pretty tired, and grabbed an hour's sleep.

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Thusly refreshed, we woke pretty hungry, which is why it's fortunate that our friend Jill had decided to bring us supper. We were so busy telling Jill everything that came into our heads about Adelaide that we didn't think to take any pictures.

At the end of the day, even Nine decided that Adelaide would fit right in, so long as she didn't try to encroach on the sacred territory at the foot of the bed.

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Lost & Found

Eeeek!

We've made it home from the hospital, safe and sound, but in all the going-home commotion seemed to have temporarily misplaced our camera!

In the interim, visit the Baby Gallery at the Sioux Valley Vermillion Hospital to see a couple more snapshots ...

Hang in there ... I just know the camera will turn up and we'll be able to share a great many more photos of Adelaide with you!

March 20, 2006

More Pictures!

We were all able to clean up and eat and sleep a little today (though I'm pretty sure we're not making any gains, sleep-debt-wise), so we took a few more pictures! I'm not going to bother with captions, but for your enjoyment I've gathered just a few of the many nuanced moods and characters of Adelaide's repertoire such as Deep Suspicion, The World Is Not Enough, and I Think I Miscounted the Trumps. Also, the one with me looking somewhat concussed was taken when she was less than an hour old. If you look carefully you can see her hands are still a touch lavender.

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There's no medical news other than to say that we're all doing fine, and that we'll stay one more night at the hospital on the State of South Dakota's dime.

And JD's right, I had the date wrong on yesterday's post. Adelaide Esther was born at 6:15 pm on March 18th, which was Saturday. And no, JD, I'm afraid we didn't have a doula.

I'm pretty sleep-deprived, and, given the opportunity can fall to sleep at any moment in any position, but I feel strangely untired. I do feel euphoric and often catch myself laughing a kind of choking chuckle that can develop into sobs if left unchecked. Aimee'll has asked me, "What's so funny?" at these times, and I find I can't explain. I'm sometimes thinking back to specific moments of the delivery, but mostly I'm just thinking, "There she is!"

March 19, 2006

Adelaide Esther

She's Here! Adelaide Esther Miron!

All I have time for right now are the bare facts: She was born 3/19/06 at 6:15 pm.
She weighed Seven pounds, one ounce (she's dropped down to six pounds, 14 ounces since), and stretched out to 20 inches long.
She has very dark brown hair, charcoal-colored eyes, and a terribly loud voice.
After taking a bunch of pictures at the hospital, I realize know that I'm at home that the only one suitable for posting is this somewhat out-of-focus shot:

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Once Aimee and Adelaide are a little more rested (they're both doing fine, just a little tired) I'll post more.

Gee whiz!

March 12, 2006

Five for Five

It’s Sunday. The final day of our Spring Break holiday from the classroom. And our day has been fraught with turmoil.

Last night, I began having friendly, regular contractions at about one o’ clock. The painless tightening and pulling continued until five o’ clock, when the alarm was scheduled to buzz awaking me for my second-to-last twelve hour shift at the hospital where I’m completing a one hundred-hour clinical internship this semester. Instead of jumping in the shower and bolting a bowl of Cheerios, I rousted Joel from his slumber and asked him to accompany me for a morning round-the-block stroll, to see if my contractions might improve with activity. On our early morning walk, my contractions increased from one every twenty minutes to one every ten minutes. Promising! So, I called in “crampy” to my clinical instructor, explaining the situation (somehow I knew I’d love working one-on-one with a labor and delivery nurse). After a piece of cinnamon toast, Joel and I decided to hop back in bed and catch some rest with the rationale that if today is truly the birthday ER’s choosing, we’d need a bit more sleep to cope with the roller coasters ahead.

But with rest came the relaxation of my uterus.

My contractions have slowed to a snail’s pace (one every hour or so) and my mood has plummeted. Having vague signs and symptoms of impending labor is frustrating and depressing.

To console ourselves, we ventured downtown in the sleeting March lion-ish weather to our local video store to take advantage of the Five for Five deal: any combination of five films or games for five days for five dollars. We’ve determined that distraction will be our best friend during these lingering, crampy final days. We are set up with a couple of Playstation games (The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), a couple of new televisions series (Lost and Band of Brothers), and one good old fashioned fun flick that we’ve been charmed by before (A Knight’s Tale). And, of course, all the pathophysiology and pharmacology reading that we can stomach.


March 6, 2006

We Are Still Very Pregnant

As of today, we’ve rounded the corner into what is supposedly our last week of pregnancy. The gravid journey has been far more interesting than unpleasant, and in some ways we’re a little nervous to let it go. It’s certainly been far less unpleasant than most stories we’ve heard from friends and neighbors or read of in books, stories that sometimes make us wonder how the human race ever became self-perpetuating, and we’re excited but scared for the next Event.

Let us take a moment, then, and salute the state of pregnancy. Aimee’s been lucky to avoid the worst symptoms often associated with a bun in the oven, she hasn’t had a lot of nausea, joint or muscle pain, illness, or high blood pressure. She’s been busy, but also has had enough flexibility in her schedule to take the occasional nap. And we’ve had a happy year, free of major crises. Like so many things in our lives, a great many things have turned out for the best.

But now it’s time to have this baby! We’re on spring break, EthelRed’s lungs are ready and she’s only going to get bigger in there, so let’s get going! To give her the idea, we’ve tried a few homemade interventions like:

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Walking,

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relaxing with some light reading at the library,

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eating well,

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and painting the "house."

Come on out, EthelRed, we can't wait to meet you.

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March 3, 2006

Joel’s Labor & Delivery Brown Bag

As we prepare for our imminent labor and delivery adventure, one important thing has been at the forefront of my mind: Joel’s stomach.

Joel’s always had a sensitive stomach. Not in the sense that he is fussy or colicky about what goes in, but that it is simply vital that something – anything – goes in. He generally becomes very weak and short-tempered if forced to tarry too long between meals.

I always thought Joel’s behavior as something of an affectation, being quite able to resourcefully and happily subsist on my body’s own stores of glycogen at a moment’s notice, until Joel’s predilection was recently supported with scientific evidence. 90 minutes after ingesting a 500-calorie lunch of leftovers, Joel’s blood sugar was measured at 93 g/mL. The average person’s post-meal blood sugar, measured two hours after that last bite, is usually in the 170s. This means that Joel’s pancreas, keeper of that all-important metabolic minder insulin, is terribly efficient … Perhaps a bit too efficient.

In our resource-abundant, low-threat world, we often concern ourselves about our personal metabolic efficiency. We worry about whether that 560-calorie Big Mac and its companion 570-calorie large French fry will wander from our mouth to a more permanent home at our waistline in an afternoon. We’re curious about how many scoops of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream we can have before needing to hire a personal trainer. And, we’ll find ourselves power-walking up and down each aisle of the supermarket just so that we can justify the purchase of that big bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos on sale this week.

But, such is not the case with Joel. He’ll eat the Big Mac, the fries, the ice cream, and half the bag of Doritos – suffer horrible heartburn for a half hour (Joel’s not immune from everything), but still find room for supper.

Lately, I’ve been tormented by a scene in which I’m finally in the pushing phase of labor, and my dearest, my life’s companion is passed out a gurney next to my hospital bed with a giant IV pumping 50% Dextrose into his arm.

In an effort to stave off that nightmare, we’re packing a lunch with all the other hospital-overnight bags …

Here are some items from Joel’s lunch bag:

Stretch Island Fruit Leather (45 calories)
Raisins and Spice Instant Oatmeal (170 calories with 2% milk)
Blueberry Nutragrain Bar (140 calories)
Microwaveable Buttered Popcorn (80 calories)
Snickers Bar (280 calories)
Chex Trail Mix (140 calories/handful)
V-8 juice (30 calories)
Minute Maid 100% Grape Juice (100 calories)
Starburst Lollipops (50 calories/pop)

If Joel manages to eat all the snacks I’ve packed, he’ll have consumed nearly 1450 calories (Recommended Daily Allowance = 2000 calories for the average bear).

I doubt it’ll be enough to cover all the energy expenditure in labor’s highs and lows, so I’m adding the telephone number for our favorite local sandwich shop to the Important People to Call When the Baby is Born list.

They deliver.