After those first couple of days of slow going, the 24th was a day of dramatic progress, and our son, Theodore (Theo) Ainslee Hogan was born on Christmas Eve 2008 at 6:57 PM. He weighed 7 lbs., 7.5 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long. Here are some pictures from Theo's first few hours.
This is Kevin, with a brief news update: Baby Hogan hasn't come yet, but we're expecting him tonight. Keep your fingers crossed!
I had hoped to update with more exciting news, but ths has been very slow going. Sorry for the typos--I have an oxygen thingie on my finger which makes it hard to type. This is Shelby, btw. Anyway, I'm 4 cm dilated and they've started Pitocin, so it looks like we'll have a Christmas Eve baby! Wish I had more to report!
After some long conversations with my doctor and the nurse (as well as the other doctors in the practice), we have all come to the conclusion that for multiple health reasons, the best course of action is to induce and get this little guy on the outside. We go in on Monday morning at 9am to start the process. The induction could take quite a while, apparently (like 24 hours) depending on how my body responds, so it's hard to predict when little Jesus-Myrrh will make his actual appearance, but Tuesday is the most likely day. We will try to post to this blog as soon as we can, so this will be your go-to spot for the latest information. Thanks for joining us on this amazing journey!
Biff has not arrived yet, but I'm proud to announce that we've chosen a name. Well actually, I've chosen a name, but I know as soon as Kevin hears it he'll be totally onboard.
I wanted to commemorate the special season in which he's going to be born, but "Jesus" is so overdone in Southern California. Plus I want him to have a yewneek and kry8tiv name that nobody else will have. After consulting many expert sources, I've finally decided on:
Jesus-Myrrh Noel Manger Nevaeh Threewisemen Hogan
(Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backwards)
Shut the hell up. It's awesome.
Once again, nothing to report. It's very windy and rainy outside. I'm so glad Kevin replaced the fence a while ago--I no longer worry about the front fence. The back one seems to be holding up as well. Oh, did I mention that our kitchen faucet decided to spring a leak? What an opportune time! Kevin went to Lowe's and bought the cheapest one he could find, so now we're seriously stylin' in the kitchen. Ah well, what can you do?
All of my Christmas gifts are wrapped. Yay! No baby, however.
It seems like our culture has gotten safety-obsessed, especially with children. Everything from playground equipment to antibacterial gel--we wrap our children in a bubble to protect them. And while I think that some things make sense--for example, requiring bike helmets--others are quite simply fear-based and capitalize on germ-phobias like shopping cart covers. Never heard of a shopping cart cover? Apparently Oprah did a study or something and found that out of all the surfaces we touch, the one with the most and nastiest germs are shopping cart handles, which of course we touch and babies sometimes chew on. Enter the shopping cart cover:
Seriously--that's $40 at Babies R Us.
Anyway, Kevin and I are both firmly of the belief that not all germs are bad (and I can't even say how relieved I am to have a husband who feels the same way about this issue). In fact, I believe that increasing evidence shows that creating these "sterile" environments for children is counter-productive and actually harmful. You can't develop an immune system without exposure to germs. If we insure that every surface is disinfected and constantly wash with antibacterial soap and spread antibacterial hand gel over everything, all we are doing is creating antibiotic-resistant bugs that none of us will have an immune system for. In fact, I've heard extremes where people insist that anyone who touches their baby use an alcohol gel on their hands first--and that alcohol, if not dried, gets absorbed by the baby's skin and system. Not such a good idea.
At any rate, as a new parent, it's hard to sort through all of this hype and fear tactics to sell products and pick out the good information. There is one thing, however, that I do plan to stand firm on, and that's rear-facing in a car seat.
It seems like official recommendations change every day. Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics say it's okay to turn an infant in a car seat from a rear-facing position to a forward-facing position when the child reaches both 1 year and 20 pounds. However, the AAP also adds that the child should rear-face as long as possible. Most people don't know that last part--I certainly didn't until I started to do the research.
What I've read is pretty clear. In a rear-facing seat, if the car is involved in a frontal impact--which the vast majority of serious, injury-causing accidents are--the seat cradles the child and absorbs the impact. In a front-facing seat, the child's body is thrown forward just like adults are. A 5-point harness helps keep the child's body in place, but the big concern is the weight of the child's head. A child's head is 25% of its body weight (as opposed to an adult's 6%). The force of an impact throws the head forward, and with that much mass and motion, can cause serious spinal cord injury (internal decapitation) because the child's neck simply isn't strong enough to hold back 25% of the child's entire body weight in the momentum of a car accident.
The following video helped me solidify my decision to keep Biff rear-facing as long as the seat allows it. (don't worry, the video isn't gruesome and doesn't contain actual crash footage)
So says Baby Biff *sigh*. Had my 38-week appointment today and no baby in sight. And by "in sight" I mean on the outside, since as my pictures obviously show, I'm ALL baby these days! My doctor had hoped to strip my membranes today. It's not as gruesome as it sounds--just separating the amniotic sac from the cervix, which is supposed to kick the body into making the hormones that get labor going (it's not breaking the water or anything). Apparently membrane stripping has a so-so success rate and my doctor (as well as all of my online friends and Dr. Internetz) said that if the baby isn't ready, membrane stripping doesn't do anything. Well not only is this baby not ready, my cervix was so tight and closed she couldn't even get in there to strip the membranes! So we're a no-go on that one. Hopefully we'll get some dilation action soon. I'm so ready to be done, and I really want to have this little guy as far away from Christmas as possible. Plus I got the cutest little "My First Christmas" outfit for him, which will definitely NOT fit him next year!!! Come on, Biff!
Well I'm ready to have the baby now, because I finished my pregnancy video! I wanted to make a video of pregnancy pictures from the last 9 months so that's what I spent today doing. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out :).
Sorry for the lack of update yesterday...no baby yet. We did go to the Family Holiday Party at Disneyland last night, however! I was thinking it would be super-cool to go into labor at Disneyland, but no such luck. We rented a wheelchair and just soaked in the atmosphere, took a few pictures, and ate some Bengal Beef Skewers (yum!). The Family Holiday Party is Disney's annual cast member celebration. The park is closed to guests and only Disney cast members and employees can attend from 8pm-12:30am. There are discounts all throughout the park including the vending carts, which is a lot of fun, and 50% off merchandise. We got matching Christmas Mickey t-shirts as well as 2 outfits for Biff (one of which was an absolutely PERFECT homage to Kevin's favorite attraction--the Disneyland Railroad) and a little stuffed Dumbo to match the Dumbo ride poster we got for his room. The Family Holiday Party also includes a free ornament (this year's theme was Woody and Jessie from Toy Story) and a free 5x7 photograph (we got one with Mickey). We also got a couple shots with Santa and made an animated snow globe at Disney's site (I'm unable to embed it right here, so you'll have to follow the link). Altogether it was very nice to get out, and that was the first time we've been to Disneyland this holiday season! And likely the last! Haha.
We made our final (hopefully) trip to Babies R Us today to pick up the last odds and ends on our registry. We got everything except for an additional package of bottles because of course they were out of stock. Those can wait a bit, however. We have enough to carry us through at least at first. Speaking of bottles, we don't plan to sterilize them before each use, but they do recommend sterilizing them when you first get them out of the package, so I filled up our big pot with water and boiled them all. Then I set them out on the nice new drying rack. And then it occurred to me, as I'm looking at all of these bottles and nipples and paraphernalia, that we're going to have to clear out a cabinet space for them. It's those little things you don't think about, really.
I'm feeling yucky :(. It seems I've come down with a touch of the flu or some other virus. We spent a few fun-filled hours at the hospital yesterday making sure my symptoms (tummy problems, persistent headache) weren't a pregnancy complication and that Biff was doing well. Everything's fine with the baby and pregnancy, but I do seem to be fighting off some kind of bug. Hopefully this will work its way out of my system quickly.
So I decided to break out the new camcorder and give it a try. Pretty easy to use! I uploaded 2 videos to YouTube. The first is Biff as he moves around--he does this all the time and is very active.
And catching Scout doing something very cute (but mischeiveous!).
Yes, I've turned into one of THOSE pregnant women--the ones who can't do anything but bitch about being pregnant. *sigh* I'm officially full-term now, so we could go at any minute. Oh how I wish I would! I'm considering renting a bounce house this weekend. Anyone want to come over and jump around with me?
Biff/Amanda's stocking arrived today (so quickly! Go Pottery Barn Kids!). It's just adorable and totally perfect. It's nice and big, too, which is supremely important for getting the maximum haul from Santa. The UPS man has been consistently delivering Christmas for the last few days especially. I love online shopping! Except the boxes are kind of taking over at this point.
Tomorrow Kevin will be able to haul out our old TV stand and assemble the new one as well as unbox our giganto-tv. Digory is looking forward to watching the Squirrel Channel. Unfortunately the Squirrel Channel doesn't exist. But it should! Can you imagine how lucrative a channel dedicated to edible smaller animals would be for all of the dog and cat lovers in the world? I think it would be a hit.
A friend sent me a huge stash of cloth diapers for Biff so we are all set to be eco-friendly. The diaper service (Dy-Dee Diapers, serving Southern California since 1938!) drops off our first supply of diapers (plus the pail) on Monday. The nice thing about the diaper service is that we don't even have to rinse or swirl the diapers in the toilet. You just drop the soiled one in the pail and they take it away and give you new ones. I gotta say, Diaper Service Launderer wouldn't be at the top of my list of desired jobs. But it will be much more convenient for us. I get all gung-ho about cloth diapers until I think about having to wash them. Then--not so much. So we'll see how it goes.
Tomorrow I get my ICD checked. At the last check (2 months ago) the battery was started to wear down. I'm due for a replacement soon, but hopefully not REALLY soon. Heh. Actually it will probably be a few more months yet. The device is almost 7 years old, so it's served me well.
Nothing else to report here.
No baby yet! Today I officially hit 37 weeks. Still having problems with the back, pelvis, and pubic separation, blah blah blah. Very ready to be done. We have 99.8% of the "stuff" we need for Biff's arrival--our only holdouts being minor, like a additional set of 4 small bottles (we're formula feeding) and a changing pad cover. We got all of our Ikea furniture, which was very exciting. Kevin is still working on vacating the baby's room. It's turned out to be a very slow process as he works his way through boxes that haven't been touched since we moved in. He's turned up some fun treasures so far. For example, a polaroid of me and Scout from Scout's graduation from her first obedience class in 1996 at age 6 months (she was so little and cute!) and a random hospital bill from Stanford for $19,000 for one apparently exciting stay. Don't worry, it's not still due.
We also are now the proud owners of a ridiculously large television set. It's been time to replace our old set for a while now. It served us well, but it's not HD and not worth getting a converter box for it, and besides, Kevin wanted a new one. We also are getting cable in a couple of weeks--big move for us as it will literally be the first time we've had cable in 7 years. Kevin researched the flatscreen HD tv market and we checked all of the Black Friday ads looking for a good deal, but to no avail. Black Friday morning, around 8:00, Kevin decided to head over to our local Fry's to see what the store looked like (they did have a good deal going on, but it was unlikely that we'd get it as we just weren't motivated to get in line at 5am, and by "we" I mean "Kevin"). Apparently Fry's looked like a third world country and the checkout line wound back and forth throughout the store like a Disneyland ride (It's A Third World After All??). He decided to swing by Costco on his way back just to see what was going on there. They didn't have any BF specials, but did have a large tv that caught his eye. He came home and researched it online, and found that it was actually an awesome deal. So he went back and bought it, and we are now the proud owners of a 46-inch Sony Bravia LCD HDTV. The Costco price was a minimum of $500 cheaper than we could find it anywhere online. It's bigger than we had been looking at, so we will have to add on to the living room to get some distance to properly view it (haha) but it was a very good deal. And of course, it doesn't fit in our current tv cabinet and Ikea stopped selling that line in the stain we have, so we had to go back to Crate and Barrel and buy the tv stand I've been salivating over. Shucks.
In other exciting news, I found the world's cutest personalized stocking for baby Biff--on sale even! It's this one:
Oops, I guess the secret's out. Yes, we are naming Biff "Amanda." We figure that ought to toughen him up on the playground.