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5 crazy days… the newest team member is born!

what follows is excerpts from a journal i kept for the 5 days we were in the hospital for the birth and aftermath of our beautiful daughter, avery, joining the world and the team. yes, this newborn baby story is a bit personal and sappy, but my hope is it might help/entertain some anxious soon to be first time parents out there and drum up some good memories for you already parents about the most exciting, surreal, and scary time of your life: welcoming a newborn. advertising alert: don’t forget to pick up a pair of baby shades as a stocking stuffer for all the babies in your life, we need to send this girl to college (and of course, continue to support the autism research institute).

as always, remember: little people deserve big people shades. enjoy some baby delivery stories!

11/10/13. getting ready for avery. we leave for the hospital tomorrow to bring you into the world. we are packing this morning for what feels like a very strange vacation. we are going to be in the hospital for 5 days with you starting tomorrow, so we need an entire suitcase of clothes and other things in anticipation of your arrival. the next time we will be at home you will be with us! very strange to think about. we definitely have some anxiety setting in as we think about having you, mostly about how the surgery will go and whether you will be healthy and happy. we always took for granted you would be healthy, but now that the day is here doubts inevitably creep in. to take our mind off of it today, we had some friends over to watch the chargers-broncos game. chargers lost 28-20 (of course). the night before we left for the hospital we had homemade cheesteaks and watched homeland trying to take our minds off it. very excited but also nervous. mom’s surgery is scheduled for 3:30 tomorrow afternoon, so she can’t eat or drink anything after 7:30 am tomorrow. her ‘last meal’ is chocolate chip waffles, yogurt, and fruit. you’ll quickly learn about your mom’s chocolate addiction, she tried to temper it while pregnant with you,  but it won out on occasion.  here you two are the day before you are born! mom’s a bit uncomfortable.

11/11/13. your birthday! 11 am: it is a beautiful 80 degree day in san diego in the middle of november. we had planned for fall weather and only brought warm clothes for you to come home in! leaving for the hospital is surreal. after check in we are taken to a delivery room and mom is hooked up to an iv and monitors. the nurse has to do a platelet test so we had to be here an extra hour early. mom’s platelet count had been low, if it is too low, should would have to go under general anesthesia for your c-section – not what we want because she wants to hear and see you as soon as you are born. luckily, the test quickly come back with good news, mom can have the local and be awake for surgery. first hurdle cleared. strangely enough, while waiting for surgery, mom started having severe contractions every few minutes that were really intense, i guess you really wanted to be born on the 11th after all! we had asked to have you on 11/12/13, but that day was already taken! 3:30 pm: mom is wheeled into surgery and i follow in my scrubs. i have to sit outside the room while mom’s spinal is given. the nurse talking to me was an awesome guy with tattoos everywhere – we shared a juicebox and he told me he had done over 10,000 c-sections. made me feel better, but still nervous for you. when i am allowed in to the or, a curtain is up by mom’s head and i am given a seat next to her. in what felt like no time, dr. greenberg is telling us that you will be here any second – she even commented on what a cute little butt you had and that you had a really tight grip on something (i didn’t ask) and did not want to let go! 4:30 pm: there is a loud cry and you join the world! my heart races and i kiss your mom on the head. we are both terrified but so happy. i am invited over to meet you and am instantly in love. you are so perfect, big round dark blue eyes, puff of black hair and so tiny! 5 lbs 15 ounces with a great set of lungs. such a little peanut! while they are cleaning you up you grab my pinky with your little hand, then i cut the umbilical cord. very strange, like cutting through thick rubber. love you so much already baby girl.

4:50 you are wheeled out of the operating room on a little cart, all wrapped up, warm and happy, and your grandparents met you in the hallway, they love you too and comment how beautiful you are. we wheel you into the delivery room where we wait for mom and get to know you. 5:30 pm: mom is back in the room recovering and the nurse has to give you a couple of shots (vitamin k i think) -nooooo! so horrible, you cry so hard you even have a little tear. i can’t stand to see you in pain. me you and mom are given some family time alone and you try breast feeding. we spend about 2 hours alone getting to know. you are perfect and we are so happy you are here. your mom did so great in surgery and i can already see her motherly instincts kicking in. my girls are amazing, love you both. 9pm: first night – absolutely crazy. after sleeping a long time after surgery you were up and hungry. your second attempt at breast feeing wasn’t as smooth as the first, you had some trouble latching and are not sure if you are getting anything. over the next 6 hours we kept trying. had a scary incident at about 1:30 or 2 in the morning, you spit up a bit of blood and it looked like you were choking. the nurse assured us it was “left over” from the womb because c-section babies don’t get some of that liquid squeezed out of them. crazy, but we feel better when the nurses are not at all concerned. the nurses suggested they take you back to the nursery after that to keep an eye on you so we could sleep. neither of us could get any rest because we were so worried about you all the time. we managed about 2 hours of sleep. look at your tiny little hand!

11/12/13. figuring it out. 5am and you are on your way back in from the nursery. your mom is doing such a great job caring for you. we both love you so much. i would write more, but i’m sooo tired. 7am: had a great feed then promptly threw it up all over the place. excellent. 9:05am: dr. warner came in to look at you, said you are perfect, but we already knew that, not even a birthmark to note.  you still haven’t pooped yet, you have about 6 hours until it’s a concern. grandpa harry had to go home to work this morning, but grandma didi is staying for a couple weeks to help out. grandma cindy is coming at 10 with a roberto’s carne asada burrito for daddy, the hospital food is terrible. we are all so lucky to have such helpful parents that love you so much! 11am: grandma cici came to say hello before work. she picked you up and you immediately took a huge #*%$ as soon as she picked you up to welcome her – well done little lady. 11:20: you wouldn’t eat, so we did daddy daughter skin time to calm you down… i had an awesome time with you, you just stared up at me with those dark blue, almost grey eyes. you are so precious. we had a family nap, you on my lap, momma sleeping and we played lullabyes to put us all to sleep. heaven! 4:25 pm: 5 minutes shy of  1 day old! you’re growing up so fast! dad’s law school friend mike derksen overnighted you a package of michigan wolverine gear – a michigan novelty birth certificate, onesie and cute blanket (mike is your crazy uncle with the michigan tattoo that daddy runs detroit city distillery with… fyi readers, look us up on facebook if you are a spirits drinker, my other business endeavor is nothing like this one :).

5pm: your mom and i watched the movie “serendipty” in the afternoon while resting. on our first date in september 2001, we saw that movie in the theater in westwood while students at ucla, it has always been “our movie,” so i brought it to the hospital to watch with you. it’s a cheesy movie, but it brings back good memories for us – we’ll show it to you someday when you can appreciate it a bit more. i had to sneak out of the hospital for a couple hours to send some shades out to customers (customer service never rests!) and get our mail… full disclosure: i even snuck in a nap – didn’t realize how tired i was until i laid in our bed – the cot at the hospital gave me a horrible pain in my neck. that was the first time i was away from and i missed you so much! 5:30 pm: poop problem solved! you had your first one this morning and have been on a roll since then, this last blowout makes it about 4 in a a few hours. really picked up the pace, well done little girl. not really sure where it is coming from because you are constantly falling asleep when your mom tries to feed you.

11/13/13. ouch. too early am: you were pretty good last night (you are up every couple hours to eat but generally go right back to sleep), but your mom had a forgetful/busy (we’ll give the benefit of the doubt) nurse last night that screwed up her pain med schedule and generally forgot about her. poor momma had to wait hours to go to the bathroom and it caused so much pain when she finally got up she was shivering and crying in her bed. dad came to the rescue though and held you for a couple hours while mom’s pain meds kicked in. she is doing better this morning and we got a little sleep. you went to the nursery from midnight until 2 am at the nurses suggestion because we needed sleep so badly, then came and ate while dad slept, then i held you and mom was able to sleep from 5-7 am. never thought such little sleep could feel so good. i have a horrible pain in my neck from being in a strange position on a lumpy cot holding you for hours last night, but so, so worth it. dr. warner came again, you have lost 7% of your birthweight already (seems to me it’s all in the poop… you can lose up to 10% and still be “normal”), so we have to keep an eye on that. every time you try to eat you put your hands in front of you mouth and accidentally block your mouth, annoying, but i’m sure you’ll get it… 5pm: you are a pooping machine. the nurses have 2 poop boxes on the chart per day we are supposed to check when you poop. you have dropped 5 already today. very little peeing though, that is a concern, you could be dehydrated and not getting enough food. you do always seem hungry.

11/14/13: losing weight. early, early morning: kind of concerning that  avery keeps losing weight. down to 10.9% of birthweigth as of last night. probably because you keep falling asleep when mom tries to feed you. we were hoping to go home today, but we want to make sure we take care of your eating before we do. mom is going to start pumping milk to help feed you. mom tried to feed you every 2 hours last night, then i would change you (one poop per feeding still despite the weight loss so you are getting something!) and hold you until you fell asleep. generally that would give us about 30 minutes of sleep until it would be time to start over! daddy loves holding you after feeding and lulling you to sleep, you are so pretty. we love you so much baby girl! afternoon: you don’t want to work for you meals – you do 2-3 sucks then stop and usually fall asleep. we are told you have to do 7-8 sucks to get any milk flowing. we had to have a lactation consultant come in to help out. we have to feed you through a little tube and syringe to make sure you are getting enough food! it’s so sad, like feeding a little baby bird. it is really stressing your mommy out. 6pm: came back from picking up grandpa harry at the airport and picking up dinner at pf changs and found your mommy in tears because you are not eating. even the tube and syringe didn’t work tonight. after some trial and error we found a good way to get you to take it though and you had your first really big meal of your life (about 20 milliliters). what a relief and then you passed out immediately. poor mom has to pump for 20 minutes after each feeding and dad has to stand over mom with the syringe while you eat, but whatever it takes to get you eating we will do. when you got weighed this afternoon you were already up 5 grams! woo-hoo! 

11/15/13: let’s go home! 1am: you had a great feeding, another 20 cc out of the tube and then you slept in your bassinet until 3:45 am, exactly when you were supposed to eat again and let mommy and daddy sleep for nearly 3 hours, felt like forever! we are getting ready to go home today and feel a lot more confident now that we know how to feed you until you can do it on your own. can’t wait to get you home baby girl. you and mom have done so good, i love you so much! 4pm: we are home!!! finally. you are putting on weight and doing great. as soon as we got you in the car seat you started screaming. you hated it and cried the whole way home in rush hour traffic. tough start to leaving the hospital, but you were fine once we got you home and fed.

6pm. all the grandmas and grandpas came over and brought dinner for everybody – pork loin and cheesy potatoes and mommy had a well-deserved glass of wine to celebrate. to top it off, ucla had a rare friday night game just for you and we beat washington. as far as dad is concerned, it is no coincidence his chargers, ucla bruins and padres are all undefeated in your lifetime (albeit only one game played so far, but i’ll take it). great day and can’t wait for the rest of them! your mom and i love you so much and can’t wait to see where your life takes us and you. we are terrified and excited and know we’ll make a lot of mistakes, but one thing we do know is that we will always love you and support you in everything you do (especially your pending career as a sunglasses model for our little family company…). if you are ever frustrated with us or we are ever frustrated with you, read this journal and remember that this is always how much we love you, no matter how you feel right now. can’t wait for the rest of our lives. welcome home, avery. xo, mom and dad.


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