Friday, February 26, 2010

First Time for Everything

The past two weeks have been filled with firsts: some lovely, some quite the opposite.

It all started when Aimee, TJ and Ethan got to meet Finn and we gathered our three boys for the first Pfleger-Noon playdate. (Ethan's on the left as you're looking at the photo.)

Don't you love how Will is so over it?

Then we got to see Finn's first smiles, although of course I have no pictorial evidence--but my mom and I will both swear to their existence. They present as these crooked grins, one cheek pulling up in a half-smirk, his eyes folding into merry crow's feet. He's a precocious smiler, starting at about 4.5 weeks, so naturally he has also been a precocious screamer, angrily shrieking at decibel levels better suited to a three-year-old when he wishes to register a complaint.

At the end of his first month, Finn went in for a checkup and weighed 10 lbs, 4 ounces and measured almost 23 inches long.

Then Grandmom, Grandpop, Uncle John, Aunt Jean, Megan and Michael all came to town for their first glimpse of little Finn. We were so excited to see them all and witness Michael's army crawl in person, and Will was fascinated with Megan's flurry of activity. Finn loved sleeping on Grandmom and Will just wanted to play and dance with his Grandpop.

So clearly there was no other option but for Will to come down with his first real illness. Great timing, buddy! His fever spiked up to 103 on Sunday and Monday, his productive cough (that was for you, Lauren) got noisier and noisier, Motrin and Tylenol were wearing off after an hour or two, and saddest of all, Will was just not himself. His low energy kept clashing with his motivation to keep moving, and he kept getting frustrated and exhausted, and it was hard to watch. He was still sleeping well, so we hoped he'd just recover on his own, but alas he was diagnosed with bronchities at a Tuesday doctor's appointment. Amoxicillin ahoy!

As the antibiotics began to take hold in Will, his poor little brother started exhibiting some signs of the same cold that had started it all. On Thursday we saw the pediatrician again and were told to watch the baby carefully for a fever over 100.4. At one a.m. it had risen to 100.9 and we were off to Children's Hospital. Oh, after our basement flooded to a three-inch watermark, prompting Dave to say "What else could possibly go wrong this week?" Bad move, Dave--cue Finn's first fever and our subsequent first trip to the hospital with a sick kid.

Because it's basic protocol for a five-week-old, Finn had to be catheterized to check for a urinary tract infection, which seemed ridiculous since he was coughing and clearly just had whatever his brother had. He also needed a blood draw and (shudder) a spinal tap. To be honest, as hard as it was to let him go for that five-minute procedure, especially at four in the morning after we hadn't slept a wink, I think it would have been much more difficult with Will. We sort of knew even in the most anxious moments that Finn was fine. Plus, I have to hand it to the Children's nurses and doctors. They were friendly to us, gentle with Finn, and comforting throughout the night.

Do I even have to tell you that Finn didn't have a fever once we were at the hospital? He was discharged with a clean bill of health, and we got home at seven a.m., where our toddler was just waiting to pounce and spend the day with us--after our first all-nighter in roughly seven years.

(Gratuitous shot of Mamp with Will in healthier days)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finn at One Month

It is so much easier this time. It's easier to enjoy the newborn stage and easier to lose track of time altogether. At today's three a.m. feeding, I poked Dave and whispered, "It's the seventeenth. He's a month old already!"

Cherishing the early days, even in those early hours; it comes more naturally this time around.

Finn is good at nursing. His birth was calm and he breastfed right away. BUT: I also had collected a support group for the inevitable hiccups and requisite troubleshooting. I saw a lactation consultant prenatally, then two days after Finn's birth, then a week later. The third time she told me we were official graduates, that everything looked great. I left feeling elated and equally--sadly--wondering if she had misread the ultra-precise electronic scale. That's how downtrodden I felt about nursing, so unwilling to get my hopes up, even when I was told by a professional that Everything. Is. Working. Go. Home.

I've been having an anxiety attack every few days that even though things were good "then," perhaps my milk supply has dropped and I don't know it and we're going to go to our one-month appointment and find out that Finn is malnourished. This despite the ever-chubbier cheeks, the loooong body, the cycle of eating and sleeping that produces a completely content baby. Thanks to breastfeeding drop-in group at Isis, reassuring words from my sister, and the best email ever from Bee, I believe I've turned a corner and am finally feeling consistently confident. We'll see if it lasts.

Now I know both sides of the coin, at least a month's worth. I know how traumatic it is to get mixed messages, to feel like a failure, to *know* that you're doing the best you can, but to also know that something has to change. I know how agonizing it is when something you've been looking forward to evaporates. I know what Plans B, C and D look like, and how giving up the fight can sometimes be the best cure.

And now I've experienced a full month of the nursing my baby the way I wanted the first time. I don't think I've worked harder at anything in my life; I can still hardly believe my luck.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Three 1/2 Weeks

He eats, sleeps, eats, repeats. Sometimes we turn on the microwave fan and jostle him for a minute or two...and then he sleeps. Every day he spends a little time studying our fingers or his big brother's face.

Will still calls him "Goo Goo" and rushes to pet his hair and kiss his feet.
"Nose!" he says, jabbing at Finn's face.

And what a face it is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Day Old...?

My name is Joanna Noon, and I'm a second-time mom. I must make this confession as a preface to saying: I'm not sure when these pictures were taken, and therefore don't know how old Finn is. I think it was our first day home, which would be the day after he was born, so January 18. One day old.

(I think.)

More to come, but I thought I should quickly respond to the increasing demand for photos or, you know, the townspeople would come with their torches and whatnot. Enjoy!


I know I owe a bunch of posts, including Finn's birth story, but even though this story broke the day after he was born, I had to post the news before it got any more belated:

Lauren and Chris are engaged!

Congratulations, you two!