Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Week One !

Baby Jude

Dreaming of the Olympic Marathon

Sleepy Time

Looking Smart

Quiet time with Oma

Jude Alexander - Week 1

Our baby celebrated his one week birthday yesterday. It's hard to believe that we've only known him for a week - it seems like so much longer! After his birth last Friday, we spent the weekend in the hospital. It was great to have the nurses and doctors around to ask our new-parent questions, like "Why are his hands blue?" (it's normal), "Why is his whole body bright red?" (it's normal), and "Why does he sneeze all the time?" (it's normal). The first 24 hours were very busy with tests and procedures, and we finally had some down time on Saturday night and Sunday morning. For a birthday present on Sunday morning, E Ben let me take a two-hour nap while he played with the iPod, making a few mixes for the hospital. I woke up refreshed and ready for a heavy schedule of visitors.

Sunday evening we found out that Jude lost a little too much weight, so we started feeding him every 2 hours around the clock. That was kind of exhausting, but much better than the alternative of supplementing with formula, which was the initial suggestion from the medical staff. After another small dip on Monday, his weight has been on the upswing, gaining an ounce a day since Tuesday. We're still feeding him every 2 to 2.5 hours during the day, but his nighttime feedings have stretched out to almost four hours, which has really helped my energy level. Between a few good stretches of sleep at night and an hour nap in the late afternoon, I'm feeling much more rested than I expected at this point.

Jude is such a good baby. He does have some fussy periods, but he rarely cries without a good reason - mainly if he is hungry, has a dirty diaper or gas pains, we're changing his clothes (he doesn't like being naked), or if he's bored. He responds pretty well to the 5 S's (swaddle, swing, side-lying, shush, and suck) and as a last resort we can always strap him into the sling and take him for a walk, at which point he passes out in about 30 seconds.

I'm going to try to do weekly updates and I'll post a link to all of our photos as soon as I get them uploaded. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes, e-mails, and phone calls. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up and get back to everyone soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hey Jude

At long last, the baby boy comes home.

Linden gave birth to Jude Alexander Cornett, born August 22 at 10:52pm. He burst into this world with personality and charm. Linden delivered him after 9 hours of active labor at 8 minutes of pushing. A miracle!

Linden had the baby through natural childbirth, a surprise to us both! She was very strong and very beautiful through the whole process. The doctor and nurses were amazed to see the baby come out so quickly!

When I saw him, I felt like it was an out-of-body experience. Even now, several days later, I have pushed away the feelings that come from watching your own child come into the world. Tests and general procedures took up most of Friday evening. We elected to stay 3 full days in the hospital to talk with the nurses about child care, diaper changing, and best practices.

Today we brought him home to our house. Welcome home, baby Jude! You will be well loved.

I'm sure that we will follow this post with thousands of new parent gushing. Please bear with us. We love him more than we thought was possible.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Heading to the hospital...

I think my water broke about 45 minutes ago!!! I called my doctor and she told me to go to the hospital. So, we're heading there now... Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Still Waiting...

We're in a holding pattern at the Cornett residence. Every day feels like it could be our baby's birthday. I've been having sporadic contractions for the past few days, a few of them painful, but nothing regular. With all of our visitors in town, there's been plenty going on to stay busy. We've been out to eat a few times, cooked a big dinner at our house one night, walked around downtown. There's also been lots of tennis and backgammon, although I haven't been involved in those activities. Last night we attempted to play Taboo, and E Ben completely lost it when he said one of the forbidden words, so we had to start a game of Scrabble to placate him.

Here's a photo of the gang from dinner last night:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

False Alarm

The contractions slowed down late last night, and I was able to get almost a full night of sleep. So far today, I've had a few contractions, but nothing regular. So, I guess yesterday must have been some sort of false labor. I'm a little surprised it lasted for 24 hours, but I guess it's pretty common. We'll see what happens next!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Early Labor

Yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year in Portland, and I think the heat wave may have helped kick-start labor. It was too hot to sleep last night, and I was feeling uncomfortable and achy. Around 3am I started having painful contractions (painful compared to the Braxton-Hicks I've been having) which repeated every 8 minutes for an hour, then every 7 minutes for an hour. E Ben hung out with me, got the fan and ice water, and packed his bag for the hospital (mine has been packed for a while now). Around 5 I decided to try to get some sleep and managed to doze on and off until about 8am.

The contractions were pretty regular at about 6-7 minutes apart for most of the morning and early afternoon. We had breakfast, bid farewell to our moms who drove to the beach for the day (we were supposed to go, but decided against the trip at the last minute), then watched a few episodes of "The Wire". Around 3pm the contractions slowed down a bit and I took a nap for a couple of hours. After waking up, we went for a walk up to the Arboretum, had some dinner, went for another walk, then I took a cool shower and spent some time on the computer. Now the contractions seem to be picking up again and getting a little more painful.

I spoke with the doctor on call this weekend, and he said we can go to the hospital at any time, but he'd recommend waiting until the contractions get more intense, so that's what we're doing. E Ben is sleeping for a few hours and I'll probably try to sleep after I read for a while. Hopefully we'll end up going to the hospital sometime tonight, and we'll try to post again before we leave!

Friday, August 15, 2008

39 Weeks

Today marks 39 weeks of pregnancy. I went in today for my weekly OB visit, and I've lost another pound and my blood pressure is dropping. These are two good signs that labor is probably approaching. I'm still hoping the baby can hold off until at least Monday when my doctor is back in town from vacation. Not much else to report from the doctor today. I declined the exam so I don't know if I'm more dilated than last Friday. I figured I didn't want to do anything that might encourage the baby to come this weekend.

It has been brutally hot in Portland for the past two days, and the heat is supposed to continue through the weekend. Today I went swimming in the morning and we saw a movie during the hottest part of the day. The movie theater was lovely and cool, enough so that we didn't even mind that Dark Knight went on for a little too long.

Here are a couple of photos of me from today:

My mom has been in town since Monday, and we've been having a nice time doing some last-minute shopping and organizing. Our neighbors gave us two big bins of baby clothes last weekend, so we've been sorting through those and organizing by size and type. Luckily Mom likes doing that kind of thing, so she's been happy to take the lead on all of the latest projects.

I'm feeling pretty good these days. I still have some bad nights of sleep from time to time, and my back and shoulder flare up every couple of days. My contractions are also becoming more painful, but they go away if I change my activity level, so I don't think any of this is real labor yet.

The Baby Stuff continues to accumulate in our house. We really have no idea what we're going to need, so we're accepting all of our friends' hand-me-downs. Our garage and house are starting to look like a baby store! One purchase we did make was an infant life vest to use with the new canoe. We want to get The Boy used to water and boats at a young age! Here's a photo of some Stuff from our garage:

That's about it for now. I'll post again next week, or when we're heading to the hospital!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


These are the official "after" pictures of my hard work in the laundry room. I claimed I would finish in one day and it actually only took me three weeks!

Note the plumbing - I changed from the old galvanized pipe to plastic and the blue pex pipe. I laid the cheapest vinyl flooring that Home Depot will sell - Linden LOVED it, of course. 44 cents a square foot? Perfect! And the carpet was a returned remnant, 12 x 17 feet. All this on sale for less than we spent on dinner out last week.

I did have some trouble working around the house by myself. I had to call in some favors from the neighbors to help me move the washing machine and cast iron sink. But now we're finished! Now the boy will have clean surfaces to crawl on with no risk of asbestos poisoning!

One final note: Linden is packed for the hospital. We've cleaned the house, mopped the floors, and generally put on our best face for the new house guest!

Welcome home, Jeep! Any day now!

Friday, August 8, 2008

38 Weeks

We had our 38-week appointment today and the baby is making some progress towards being born. I'm now 80% effaced and 1cm dilated. Two weeks ago I was 60% effaced and not dilated. My doctor is now on vacation for the next 10 days, so we're hoping The Boy will hold off until at least August 18th. It's hard to say, but 1cm dilated is not much - labor can still be weeks away.

Here are a couple of photos of me from this afternoon:

Comparing with last week's photo, I think the belly looks smaller and lower, which is a good sign the baby has started dropping. Also, I've lost about a pound in the past week, which is a common precursor to giving birth. So, we shall see! I've noticed a lot more swelling in my hands and feet recently, and my fingers are feeling numb sometimes. It's temporary carpal tunnel due to the swelling, and should go away after the baby is born. I've also started having some different kinds of contractions - more in my low back and low belly - which are closer to "real" contractions rather than Braxton-Hicks.

Our past week has been pretty nice. We've gotten a lot of work done around the house, spent a day on Sauvie Island canoeing and beaching, played games with friends, and saw E Ben's mom a few times. Also I managed to go swimming a couple of times and we walked down to the Rose Gardens to listen to the free concerts a couple of evenings. Tomorrow is our five-year wedding anniversary, and we're planning to go over to the park where we were married for a picnic breakfast. We usually go before dinner, but since it's a Saturday, there will probably be someone else's wedding going on, which kind of ruins the mood.

I also got the good news this morning that my paid leave has been approved! There was some question because usually the paid leave starts at 38 weeks, not 36 weeks. So that was a welcome phone call!

My mom arrives on Monday for a three-week visit. With any luck, the baby will be born while she is here. After so much waiting, it seems like the end is coming so quickly. We're enjoying these last days of relative calm in our house, but at the same time can't wait to see our baby finally!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fun Deck

There is a famous anecdote in the Cornett family about my father, Danel. As the story goes, he quit his job both times he found out that my mother was pregnant. I am undergoing some similar changes as the baby patiently waits for his birthday.

We've been calling the boy Jeep. This is partly because he is very active, and partly because we like the name. Of course, you can't name your baby Jeep. But you can CALL HIM Jeep all you want. Jeep's imminent arrival has stirred some strange emotions in his father.

One, I bought a canoe. I feel very strongly that this move was somehow attached to fatherhood and freedom, the promise of floating through a sunny afternoon, and the halcyon of family life. I bought it used, from a nice couple in Woodland. It is a fiberglass hulled Clipper Tripper 'S', and of course I love it.

We took it on its inaugural voyage yesterday. By all accounts, it performed well. The pregnant Momma was her usual powerhouse in the bow, as we tooled around Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. I managed to throw our camera in the water as we were unloading, but (bless her pregnant belly) she was quick enough to grab it before the damage could be done.

I have also been playing a lot of golf. My scores are dropping, consistently below 100 for the first time in my life. I am trying to take this in stride, and recognize that I may have to give this up after Jeep arrives.

Finally, I started remodeling the laundry room. I just couldn't bear to look at the old cracked tile and nasty galvanized piping running through the center of the room any more. For the past two weeks I have been destroying and slowly replacing the plumbing, the laundry, and the floors. I just couldn't stand the thought of walking to the nursery past the grimmest room in the house.

Of course, all of this seems to point to my own mania, insecurity, and general inability to sit still. Linden has been very nice about all of it. Sixteen more days until the DUE DATE. I will keep my nose to the grindstone. Between running, cooking, cleaning, giving shoulder rubs, winning at backgammon, losing at tennise, and remodeling the house, I'm sure I'll figure out the secrets of fatherhood somehow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

37 Weeks

Today marks 37 weeks of pregnancy; only three more weeks until The Boy's due date. Here's a photo of me from today:

I've been on maternity leave for a week now, and all I can say is that there's a reason I'm being paid by my short-term disability insurance. I can't really imagine working a real job at this point - it's all I can do to accomplish one or two things in a day. I'm hardly sleeping at night between back pain, a compressed bladder, and contractions. I also end up taking a nap or two each day. Everyone says to take it easy, rest, and enjoy the last few weeks of freedom. I'm ok with that in theory, but it's tough to lie awake all night and not really be able to do anything about the discomfort. Anyway, enough complaining...

We had a doctor's appointment today and I found out that I tested negative for Group-B Strep, which means that I won't need to have IV antibiotics during labor. That's good, since I'm hoping to avoid an IV for as long as possible so that I can remain mobile. We went out for a fancy dinner last night at Park Kitchen (an early 5-year anniversary dinner since we have other plans on our actual anniversary this year). When we got home, we scribbled out a birth plan on a yellow legal pad. We showed it to our doctor today and she seemed to find it amusing.

I've been swimming a few times a week, which is helping a bit with my shoulder pain. We also went to see Lyle Lovett in concert at the Edgefield last weekend, fulfilling one of E Ben's life dreams. Luckily we borrowed some short chairs, because sitting on the grass for almost 4 hours would not have been pleasant. I was impressed that Lyle sang for two and a half hours without leaving the stage or taking a break.

That's about it for this week. I'm going to try to do weekly updates until the baby arrives. Wish me luck!