Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Nate is 3 months old now. It's pretty wild, I think we're entering a new stage. He's a cool kid, he really is. He's kicking and punching now and making little noises. He watches the mobile with fascination. He's thoughtful and sensitive and has a killer loving warm smile. He loves food like his mom and generally is isn't too fussy like his dad.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
We tried scheduling last night for really the first time. That meant getting Nate kind of ready for bed at 7:30PM, changing him into pj's, feeding him, turning the lights down low, soothing him, swaddling him, and readying for a nice stretch of sleep. Of course, we're not thinking he could last until 7AM or even 4AM. But the thinking was that we start the routine now (computer voice... INITIATE SLEEPING SEQUENCE...), which might only help next month when the real sleep training fun begins. We were also ready for Nate to not sleep easy. He would sob for sure. But we were ready with a plan as directed by my mom: we sooth and put him right back to sleep. No more sleeping on my chest while I watch Southpark or a movie or sports or all 3! No more waking him up at 12:30AM so i can feed him and get to bed myself. We would put him on the sleeping train and see how far he rides.... So, Nate did pretty well! He went down at 8pm, got up twice -- we soothed him and put him back down -- and he slept until 1:30am. Not terrible at all. He then slept until 4AM and again at 5:30AM, his pattern thus far. But at least we grabbed a few hours of sleep in the evening so we feel encouraged. This picture is Nate this morning looking at his new mobile (pronounced mo-BEELE, NOT mo-BILE and certainly not mo'BILL). He looks rested and happy, right? We are too. Mostly, anyway...
Friday, November 13, 2009
What do you do when your wife has jury duty and your baby is screaming when you put him down and the nanny is expected at 9am and it's 8:50am and you've only got 10 minutes to go to hand him over to the nanny yes the nanny can feed him you can duck out of there no sweat at 9am it's only 10 minutes but he's sobbing in the crib and bawling in the swing and hmmm maybe he's hungry or is he just needy hmmm yes he seems hungry he hasn't fed in a few hours. What do you do? You feed him you jerk.
That's what you do.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Nate is going on 9 weeks now. When he's home and you're not holding him, the boy fusses with a capital F. Fusses! When he's out of the house -- especially in a bjorn -- he's laid back. Hmmm.... When Shana spends full days with Nate -- we just hired a part time nanny Leisha to help with these long days -- she's seriously wiped out at day's end. Nate breaks into a ferocious, ear-splitting, gasping cry if you put him down somewhere. If you hold him and let him lie on your chest, he's ok. We've taken him out to bars and restaurants and he's been a rock star. On saturday night in fact we took him to The Knitting Factory, where we had a pint and watched bands play silently through the see through glass. He wore a shirt that said "Rock Star". But he wore it with irony so it was ok.
Yesterday Nate went to the doctor. He is now more than 11 lbs and is an inch taller than he was at his last visit. The doctor poo-pooed our claim that Nate suffered from reflux. she was not moved when we told her about his screaming, arching his back and general discomfort when NOT snug in a bjorn. More or less she said we should tough it out. She also told us Nate should not be sleeping in the car seat either. Ugh. I still don't get why. Last night Shana wanted Nate to sleep in the crib per the doctor's orders and it was pretty much a disaster. Nate slept for 2 hours there but at 2:30 he was up and he would not go down after. He slept on Shana's chest on the couch until morning. Shana was exhausted.
But Nate's a good boy. He is smiling -- mostly by looking at his mom -- and it's lovely. He shadow boxes in his crib listening to classical music while watching the odd animals turn round and round on his mobile. He isn't terrified of tummy time.
Shana and I are beat but soldiering on. I think we're in the heart of the darkness right now. That's what everyone is telling us anyway. Grandma Simma and Omi Ron went back to DC. Nana Judy and Grampa Larry have made some key trips to take care of Nate since. Nate's eyes are steel blue like Grandpa Larry's.
Nate is 9 weeks old tomorrow.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Nate's personality is kind of possibly maybe coming through. He's a good eater, a decent sleeper, a bit needy and comfortable out in the world in public even in loud places. He's sweet but not a pushover. The family is getting into a nice rhythm of sorts. Nate is with Shana and Simma for most of the day. He's getting good love and attention from both and that allows him to be mostly agreeable and content. Mostly anyway. At night he's hanging with me until he eats and gets a new diaper at 1AMish, where he's then swaddled and put into the car seat in the basonnette in the bedroom. He sleeps until 4am where Shana feeds him and then brings him back to sleep on her chest until 7-8ish. Repeat. It's not a terrible schedule for both of us and I am not a walking zombie like many parents. For that I am eternally grateful. No joke.
My spirits are good these days. I feel like a real adult what with worrying about work, money and my kid. My band Brother Josephus is currently touring in Alabama and heading towards NOLA which seems especially cruel. But I'm not depressed. Shana and I are a good team and I love my boy. That feels nice.
This picture was taken this morning. Shana brought Nate into the bedroom and I took this before showering. With his white swaddle, he was lost in sea of white blankets and pillows. Except for his little green pacifier, you could miss him...
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Shana says Nate was irritable most of the day yesterday, which changed his feeding timing, which saw him gobble down milk at 8:15PM. What should we do? Should we wake him up and feed him at 10PM so as to get us to the favored 1:00AM feeding time?? What would James Bond do??? It's heavy shit!!
The answer for us was to let the boy sleep and see what happens. Together Nate and I watched HBO and Frontline and Southpark. Nate enjoyed it for sure and then passed out on the couch like a drunk, sleeping until 1AM, a nice 4 hour stretch. I then fed and changed him while he was still dazed from sleep. Then I put him down in the car seat/bassinette combo where he made “ehh” noises for 15 minutes or so while Shana and I held our breath and then he went to bed until 4 like a good little guy. Shana fed and changed him and then he woke up at 5:30AM. Those hours – 5AM to 7AM – we just can’t seem to solve.
It is the following morning now and Simma just arrived. Nice. She and Nate are looking out the window. Simma is holding Nate out in front of her and Nate is trying to clock her in her face. He does not have the reach yet. Yet.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Nate Dawg is hanging out in his crib now. It’s 9:30AM. He had a pretty good day yesterday. He was sleeping for much of it but when he was awake, he was alert and fairly happy. We play a new game where he lays on my chest trying to keep his head up. I implore him to balance himself but he has trouble, and essentially tumbles (gently I am guiding him of course) onto pillows on my left and right. He does not cry when he spins over onto the pillow onto his back. I put him right back up on his stomach and he tries to lift his head and balance himself some more. Signs of a work ethic? Signs of a third baseman who can dive in the hole AND down the line? Signs of someone who enjoys falling onto soft pillows?
Last night Nate went out with Shana, Bobby – who flew in from Geneva to meet Nate – and me to the Argentinian restaurant around the corner. Nate’s feeding schedule hinted at disaster, but the boy powered through. Very impressive. The restaurant lovingly accommodated a stroller and the night was fun. Bobby gave Nate a Swiss flag shirt and then left at 8:30pm for Alana’s, leaving Shana to sleep and me and Nate to watch the Jets play the Dolphins. Nate fed at 9ish, which put us off our little feeding schedule. Nate needed to make it to 1AM if we were to have any chance of sleeping in shifts. He fell into a deep sleep, which made changing him easy. I then put him in the car seat in the bassinette in the bedroom and he woke up hungry at 1AM. What a good kid!
But I awoke at 830am this morning to learn from Shana that the two of them had a rough night, that Nate awoke at 330am and never really settled down leaving the two to sleep in ugly 10-15 minute patches. I just changed him and put him in his crib. He’s listening to Tom Waits now.
Warm beer and cold women, I just don’t fit in / every joint I stumbled into tonight / that’s just how its been / all these double knit strangers with / gin and vermouth and recycled stories / in the naugahyde booths
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Nate just had his month birthday. He is a tick over 8 lbs and gaining some good baby fat. We thought we figured him out – scheduling feedings, pacifier, swing, swaddle would do the trick – but the last couple of days he’s been cranky during the day and night. We figured we didn’t have a mushy sleepy baby but we were breathing a sigh of relief that he wasn’t going to be super difficult. On the easy baby scale, 10 being the easiest, we pegged him for an 8. The last 2 days brings that number to 5. During the early morning and even during the day, he’s squirming around making these “this sucks”-like “Ehhh” noises, signaling discomfort. During the night, he won’t settle down and sleep. The swing doesn’t work. Alone time in the crib with the stuffed blue elephant doesn’t work. The swaddle to his neck doesn’t work. 2 nights ago I put him in a full swaddle, put a pacifier in his mouth and put him in a swing with white noise blasting into his little ears. 4 calming functions going on simultaneously! I was sure he’d be in his deepest sleep to date. But no, he was fussy. He wants contact. So I gave it to him. We slept on the couch from 3am to 7am. It sounds sweet in retrospect but at the time, it was exhausting. You don’t sleep deeply with a baby on your chest. At least I don’t.
Nate is lifting his head, showing some good strength there. He’s also shown great poise in public. Last night in fact, for Ron’s 66th birthday, we brought him to Radaghast, a German beer hall packed with people drinking beer and eating a variety of sausages cuddling with hot sauerkraut and French fries with a 4 kinds of mustards for dipping. Delicious! Nate slept in the stroller on the way there, slept while we ate, and then slept on the way home. What a rock star. Could Nate be comfortable with noise and people? And last night, we put Nate in the car seat and put that in the bassinette. He did much better. Maybe that car seat is the answer…
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Nate did better last night. He started his pre-flip out routine at 12:10 – we hoped he’d go until 1AM – but by 12:15 I had the bottle ready and my boy was feeding over 3 oz. He pooped in the middle but that did not slow him down. Changing him was like hand to hand combat – he’s very strong and determined – but I am bigger and stronger and I ultimately got a fresh diaper on him. Of course, he soiled 3 previous diapers in the process. But I am getting better at having a clean diaper ready after I remove a dirty one. He went to sleep at 1:45am and Shana fed him at 4AM. At 5:45 he was up and making noises. Rather than immediately feeding him, I held and comforted him. It was touch and go. He could explode into wails or maybe, just maybe he’d calm down. I put a cup of water in the microwave to heat a bottle, and the microwave noise seemed to calm him. White noise! I thought and darted towards the laundry room to retrieve a nasty old fan I was too cheap to toss. I plugged it in but it was broken. If nate could have look at me disapprovingly, he would have. I held Nate for a while and walked around with him for 40 or so minutes, then watched some TV while I rocked him on my lap. He slept.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
First night without Carman. We go in confident. We’d put Nate on a schedule. Feed every 3 hours and then stretch the evening feedings to 7:30pm, 11pm, 2:30pm and then sometime between 6-7. That did NOT work. Shana woke up twice during the night to feed him – I don’t think she really slept at all after 1ish – and I woke up at 5:30 to try to sooth him until 7ish. What a joke that was. He was inconsolable much of that hour and a half. His cries were shrieking and brutal. I thought I was so smart by turning on the apartment’s central fan – to simulate the womb – and that worked for like 20 minutes. Brilliant. Then it was about carrying him around and shhh’ing him while he wailed on and off mostly on. At 6:45am, I thought, fuck it, let’s feed this boy, and he’s crying his face off and I’m trying to microwave water to heat up his bottle. I had to chuckle like an imbecile at this moment before he could finally eat. He’s freaking out, Shana stumbles out to say, “I think you should feed him”, and I sigh “I know i know” and then finally the stupid water is sufficiently heated and the stupid bottle gets sufficiently warmed and finally, finally, he drinks his milk. Bingo. Then it’s time to change him after burping him. This was a disaster. Nate craps after I remove the diaper and I block it with a washcloth, the shit gets on his clothes, the changing table sheet, the washcloth, his socks. I forget to heat the water. he pees on me after I get a new diaper and wipe up all the shit spewed on the previous diaper. I give him a quick washcloth bath and change his clothes. There’s a heap of clothes and towels on the floor soiled with poop.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Below is Nate about 5 minutes old. A team of nurses and doctors cleaned him up and put him in this warm comfy place. There was much activity. Off camera, Shana is bleeding and passing the placenta. Her doctor is wearing what looks like clamming boots because -- i suspect -- she must wade through a river of blood. Between the scrum of medical people around Nate and the doctor stitching up a groaning Shana, I am lost and bewildered, a silly happy man taking pictures...
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The morning of 9-10 I woke up and found a bloody show in the toilet. I had a feeling that it would be soon but that day at my appointment, the OBGYN said I probably wouldn’t go into labor for a few days. Michael and I left the office disappointed. It was raining out and I felt sick. I wanted to take a cab but we couldn’t find one so I walked to the Prince St. subway, stopping at Dean and Deluca and treating myself to some very non-diabetic treats. Back in Williamsburg, I did some errands—went to the post office etc, and got some middle eastern food to bring home. When I got home, I felt feverish, took a bath and then ate some dinner. Michael was at his third of three fantasy football drafts so I decided to try to sleep early but I suddenly had pain in my back. Was this a contraction? I had thought it would be in my stomach. The pain kept coming and I called Michael who said to call him back in 30 minutes. I took another bath and still felt pain so I called my mom. She was just about to go into a Robin Williams concert event with dad and said she would call at intermission. Then I called Michael again and told him to come home.
By that time I felt like I was leaking. When Michael arrived home, the whole bed under me was wet. We consulted the What to Expect book—was this water breaking? Were these contractions? It was confusing. I called Dr. Friedman who was on call and said if the contractions got closer to come to NYU. I decided to wait it out and let Michael sleep. I watched the clock and counted and finally decided it was time to go. I was in pain. We got into a car service, immediately fought about which corner the hospital was on and then rode in mostly silence. In triage the nurse started to do a test to see if my water broke, but one look under the sheet and she knew. They immediately put me into a very nice L&D room and assured me the epidural was on the way.
The epidural was a major relief. The nurse then turned off the light, it was about 3am, and Michael dozed while I waited. At some point Judy came into the room and then disappeared. Around 6am I needed more epidural and they checked me –I was about 7 mm. By this time, my parents were in the waiting room (they drove from DC in a rain storm)—as was Margot, Judy, Larry and Brook. An hour or so later I started pushing, which was the most painful experience of my life—it felt impossible. I really did not think I could push a baby out. The nurse and Dr. Friedman and Michael were rooting me on, really trying hard to make me be tough and push. I heard myself screaming, grunting, making animal sounds. I was sweating. I went very far inward, trying to make myself believe I could do what really seemed impossible. I fantasized about a C section and then just when I couldn’t push anymore, something slid out. And it was the most precious thing I've ever seen--it was Nate.