Thursday, July 23, 2009

Have I Lost My Audience?

So, I've done a very poor job. I'm here today to make amends. I will offer excuses and reasoning as to why I haven't updated. I will pull on your heartstrings to gain sympathy and promise to turn over a new leaf. Then I will probably slip again. just warning you. Part of it is that I want to update the blog, but I want to have time to do it well, call it pride or conceitedness. You can also chalk it up to fitting 10 pounds of sand into a 5 pound bag. Thomas is a time sucker. Plus I misplaced him for about a week and a half and I really didn't want to post that, I just think some people might get a bad impression.

Its Thursday night, about 3 weeks since I last wrote and I'm sitting in my living room, watching some soccer, relaxing. My faithful dog, Charlie, is at my feet. Its quiet, too quiet. It seems like forever since I've done this. Haven't felt like there was something looming, an impending event that I must be at the ready for. No need to keep my wits about me or decide what to do based on a schedule that has been laid out that limits you to an hour or two. So how is it that I'm without worry or care and able to be blogging?

My lovely bride (inside joke) and cutest son in the world are in Shreveport being pampered by an untold number of immediate and distant family members. They've been there since Tuesday, forced to flee Dallas because I was going to be out of town, and frankly Thomas is too much to handle for one person for more than 8 hours at a time. Not that Thomas is in anyway a problem child, or either of us incapable of handling parenthood (the jury is still out, but I'm confident we'll get a favorable ruling), but because Thomas is not ready to face the world and all of the associated germs, he is mostly home bound and therefore so is one of us. Being trapped in the house for extended periods of time, especially multiple days, is just too tough from a sanity standpoint. Fortunately, Rebecca's mom and my mom have been able to swoop in during the week to help out, but this week, that wasn't an option, so Rebecca loaded up every imaginable baby rearing object and Thomas made his first road trip. From all accounts, its been a roaring success. Thomas is a social butterfly and absolutely thrives on attention and lots of people around him. Rebecca thrives on not having complete responsibility for a little while. Its been win-win.

So, having gotten back into town tonight, I find myself alone. It is bliss, I must be honest. The last 6 weeks have been a trial. Limited sleep and even more limited freedom have tested Rebecca and me. I have discovered that I'm a much more selfish person than I thought. Giving up the things that make me happy has made me less happy. I'm disappointed in myself because Rebecca does accommodate my need to get out and exercise, but I find myself still wanting more. I sometimes feel like one of the kids staring out the window from the Cat in the Hat cartoon, only the Cat has yet to show up and outside my window, instead of rain, there is nothing but sunshine and people having the time of their lives. That is an adjustment that everyone who's been through this speaks about, but they really don't do a good enough job of grabbing your shoulders, staring into your eyes and telling you: " For the next 4 months, everything that seems like fun or was part of your day to day routine is gone, forget about it." Rebecca and I have talked about it, our conclusion is that moms have selective memories (otherwise there would probably be alot more families with only 1 child) and dads just keep their mouth shut so that other men join their ranks for commiseration.

I think I've sufficiently laid out a case for sympathy. And I wouldn't trade it in for anything. Of course there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that obnoxiously cute child that continually does really cool things that only parents can truly appreciate. Not to say that other people don't like seeing a child discovering the world, but its amazing the seemingly innocuous movements or normally unappealing bodily functions that get us excited.

The one thing that Rebecca and I both marvel at is how our moms possibly pulled off raising us.

Thomas is over 8 and a half pounds and at least 21 inches long as of last check (2 weeks ago). He is developing some meaty legs and getting some fat rolls. So things are progressing nicely. Since my last post, we've been to a doctor of some sort 4 times. Here's a retrospective of a couple of them.

Last Monday afternoon:

We're sitting in another doctor's office, because that's what we like to do for fun, waiting. Today is the eye exam to make sure Thomas' eyes are progressing from the laser surgery. This is something neither of us is looking forward to. Examining a baby's eyes is not a delicate process. The nurse has brought Thomas into the examining room once already to dilate his eyes. We're back in the examining room and we're now applying drops to numb his eyes. Its been a bout 2 hours, so we eagerly await our 5 minutes with the doctor and he doesn't disappoint. "Hello, Hello, good to see you again, let's get started." The nurse swaddles Thomas and gets into a modified 2 point stance to hold him down. The doctor puts on a headgear that looks alot like night vision goggles, and as if to verify my perception, turns out the lights. The head gear has a flashlight of sorts and the examination begins. The tricky part of examining a baby's eyes using a bright light, is keeping them open, which they do with a wire device that looks like an unfolded paper clip. it looks very uncomfortable, and Thomas lets us know that it is. Very tough to sit and watch, but its over quickly and we get a clean bill of health. The doctor hasn't verified whether Thomas can see or well he can see, unfortunately we have to go to a different specialist for that. But things have healed from the surgery.
2 weeks ago Sunday
Its 7:00 in the evening and we've had a couple less than stellar days feeding Thomas. He's uncomfortable, fussy and generally not into taking his bottle. Rebecca has placed a call to the weekend nurse. Her determination is that we go to the emergency room at Children's. I know Thomas is not sick, that he probably has acid reflux or something, but the nurse is insistent that we not take any chances. So we pack up and head to the hospital, as the dinner I was about to cook sits idly by. We arrive and Rebecca checks us in and secures the area. She is not about to let Thomas get exposed to a sick baby in the ER and is able to work us into an area by ourselves. We spend time wondering if we've done something to cause us to be in this situation. We eventually get into an examining room and meet with the doctor. Based on the symptoms and the fact that Thomas had bowel surgery, they want to take an xray of his abdomen to make sure the bowel had not telescoped onto itself. First they need to draw some blood. The doctors and nurses are very nice and offer us 7 up and Gatorade, which we happily take, since its after 9 now and we still haven't eaten. The nurse comes in to do a heel stick. This entails pricking Thomas' heel and squeezing drop by drop, enough blood to fill a tiny vial. The process takes about 20 minutes, but Thomas handles it well. Thomas is consistently laid back and good natured at all these doctor visits. There will be a day he will probably hate the doctor's office, but for now, he couldn't be a better baby. We now move on to the x ray. The nurse and I don lead coats and I grab Thomas' legs and her his arms. We stretch him out and click... The doctor comes back in and after 4 hours of emergency room, we have learned...Thomas is constipated. The doctor recommends a suppository, things work themselves out and I begin cooking dinner at 11:30.