Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quick Update

Originally uploaded by melissataurus
Ruth went to the pediatrician today for a weigh-in and for her follow-up PKU test.

We thought she'd gained some weight since her last visit but I was surprised to learn exactly how much -- 13 ounces in eight days! Ruth now weighs in at 7 lbs., 7 oz. and sort of fits into her cloth diapers.

Just off to the right is today's obligatory photo for the grandparents.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yep, More Pictures

Day 9 - Getting ready to go for a walk (we promise there's a baby in there!)

Day 10 - Off to the Farmer's Market!

Day 10 - Daddy's nose is delicious and nutritious
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Friday, April 25, 2008

Our Daughter, the Prude

 Day 7, with grammy and grampy Levine again

Ruth does not like being naked, even a little. This makes diaper changing difficult. As soon as you uncover her, she starts bawling.

This is not boding well for our plans of raising a hippy-dippy anarcho-free-lovist after our own hearts.


Day 9, zonked out and trying not to inhale dad's chest hair

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Sleepy Baby

Day 5 - Ruth meets Grammy and Grampy Levine

So, we spent much of yesterday in the hospital. Things seem to have resolved themselves mostly by now. Ruth was having a bit of trouble feeding - her latch wasn't great, and she'd gotten a bit dehydrated and sleepy. She's still well-behaved, but no longer sleeping 22 hours/day like she was before. And, of course, now she's producing dirty diapers, which was our tip-off. You'd think that breastfeeding would come natural to all babies, but it turns out it doesn't really.

Anyway, today Ruth got have a big adventure while I went in to work - Melissa took her to see the lactation consultant on the bus, in a sling. It turns out that there's a consensus among small old ladies on the 8 bus: either Melissa is a bad mother because she didn't wrap Ruth up enough to be outside, or Melissa wrapped her up too much.


Day 5 - Ruth hangs out with Mom, in the sling

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Story of Her Middle Name

Since people have asked, here's the story of the name "Zcharya," as I remember being told from my childhood, with additional material/insight from my Aunt Sandy...

In Jewish families (my Dad's side), it's considered an honor to name a child after a dead relative, but bad luck to name her after a living relative (I'm sure there's some ancient superstition about the mystical power of names tied up in this).

My paternal grandfather had always liked the name Zachary (it was a favorite uncle's name), and wanted to name a son that, but... when my uncle Stan was born, his grandfather Samuel had just died, so they named him that to honor his memory. Then, my dad was supposed to be named Zachary, but right before *he* was born, his grandmother Esther died, so he got the male version of her name (Edward).

Then, my grandmother promised my grandfather that if they had a third child, he could definitely be named Zachary... but my aunt was a girl. They really didn't like the female versions available (nor do we really - basically you've got Zacharina and Zelda), so she ended up being named Sandy, after her other grandfather Samuel.

My mom apparently said she'd consider naming me Zachary, but then decided she'd rather name me after my (recently deceased) "uncle" (actually, some variety of cousin) Daniel. My grandfather really liked the name, though, so named his house, boat, etc. Zachary in the absence of any children or grandchildren with the name.

Anyway, we were going to go with Zachary, were we to have a boy. We were originally just going to name her Ruth Zachary (since it's not such a big deal if she had an odd middle name, rather than a slightly odd first name), but I found Zcharya, which is the old Hebrew form of the name. It's still technically a boy's name, but it has less of a masculine sound to modern ears, and we also just thought it was kind of cool. If Ruth doesn’t agree, it’s just a middle name.

And that’s all.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig


Day 3: Home! (With Jeremy & Leigh)

Friday, April 18, 2008


On day 1, Ruth achieved enlightenment.

First, a reflection: it's got to be pheremones. Generally, I find babies a little bit boring. If you came to me and said, "Hey, Dan, do you want to go watch some babies sleep?" I'd tell you to get lost. But man, when it's my baby, I could have hours of fun just watching her sleep on my chest. I did this morning (much to the chagrin of Melissa, who had kind of a rough night with her).

But, I wanted to tell the story of the birth, for those of you who might care, at least from my perspective. I'm sure when things settle in a bit more, Melissa will tell her version.

Since Monday, Melissa had been having vague, disorganized labor. We'd actually been all set to cancel having some friends over Monday evening to head to the hospital, and I'd joked that if Ruth was ready to go around 11PM, one of them could give us a lift. But, no Ruth.

Tuesday, same thing.

By Wednesday morning, the contractions were getting more regular, but we still hadn't hit the 5 minute interval benchmark. So, I tried to work some while Melissa reclined upstairs and tried to breathe through contractions. Around 2:30 (PM), they started becoming pretty regular, and around 4, we called the cab.

Our first couple of hours at the hospital weren't great - though Melissa has a midwife practice, the midwife she normally sees wasn't on, and there was no midwife immediately available... and, in any event, we were in the hands of the Ob/Gyns until the hospital decided to admit. Obs are, I'm fairly certain, just jerks about everything. Plus, she brought her med student with her to ask questions (dude, quick tip: you probably want to look up from your checklist and notice that the woman you're asking the ten inane questions of that the last nurse just asked her is in incredible pain and, like, pause or something), despite our explicit request in the birth plan for no non-medically-necessary personnel. Anyway...

They finally admitted and moved us upstairs to a delivery room, which helped. The only midwife on that night was one that Melissa hadn't seen before (same practice), and who had a bit of a drill sergeant vibe, but who was ultimately pretty good. Unfortunately, a few days of contractions and bad sleep had left Melissa pretty drained by the time we went in. The midwife wanted her to walk around a lot to encourage Ruth to come down, but it was really hard for her, and standing just made things more painful. Still, Melissa tried really hard. She (we both) went in preferring a natural or at least minimally-medicated birth - but we're also big believers in the power of SCIENCE!, and so knew that we had no interest in holding out against drugs to the bitter end. At the end of the day, we just wanted a healthy baby and mother (dad was unlikely to become unhealthy except via flying placenta shrapnel or something, so he wasn't a big planning concern).

Anyway, Melissa tried really hard. I spent a good few hours supporting her on the balance ball, and then she tried sitting in the shower, but when she got out of the shower (I had to help her walk back to the bed) and the midwife asked her to walk around for another hour, she just couldn't. I talked to her a bit, trying to make sure that she wasn't going to be disappointed for having gone off the birth plan, and then she asked for an epidural.

I slumped in a waiting-room chair for an hour so as not to compromise the clean environment for the set-up. Fortunately, the epidural let her get some sleep (not me - they anesthesiologist's cart meant that the room's only comfy chair needed to be wheeled out). Ultimately, it was a good thing - it let Melissa get some rest, so that she could push without being totally stressed and exhausted, and she seems happy with the decision. Just before 5:00AM, she was fully dilated, and could start pushing, and pretty soon thereafter, Ruth was born. I was too busy to take a photo at the time, so the beautiful memory of the look of shaky elation on Melissa's face as they put Ruth on her chest will have to be my memory alone.

Day 2: Zonking out on Dad after keeping Mom up all night...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quick Update on Stats

Ruth is safely down at the nursery, waiting for us to be moved to the mother-baby ward. That means I now have stats: she's 6lbs 12.8oz (3.085 kg for our European readers), and 21" long. Also, she has the Fugere chin.

We Have Baby! (Also, we have wireless in the hospital room!)

5:25 AM, 17 April 2008. No weight yet...





Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Waiting for Ruthot

10 minutes... 10 minutes... 6 minutes... 6 minutes... 6 minutes!... 6 minutes!!... 6 minutes!!!... 10 minutes... 12 minutes... 10 minutes...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baby Delay

Hmph. We had been given 50-50 odds of Ruth arriving today, given how M was progressing, but then... progress stalled. So, no idea when she'll show up.

It's like Christmas Eve - B-day had been arriving gradually for a while, but now that we had a day in mind, the anticipation was heightened, and I'm antsy.