Category Archives: Parenthood

Welcome to Parenthood: The Murdoch Kid

On Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 3:14PM our friends Rob and Beth Murdoch welcomed their son, Lance Robert Murdoch. Lance, being a bit of an overachiever, was born about five weeks early and will have to spend a little time in a special nursery before he goes home, but both he and his mother are doing quite well. At birth, Lance weighed 5 pounds 5 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long.

Lance, for those who are wondering, is the kid Kyle is supposed to beat up all through childhood. Methinks, however, the tables have likely turned. I’ve seen firsthand how scrappy kids who are born a few weeks early can be, and Lance may have the upper hand. Steps must be taken.

So, congratulations to Rob and Beth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to start Kyle on his endurance training.

Welcome to Parenthood: Colic? Maybe not so much.

So much for amateur diagnosis. Kyle is definitely a gassy lad, which sometimes causes discomfort, but we’re pretty sure he’s not colicky. More than likely, he is a “lazy nurser.” Though he nurses for 30-40 minutes at a time, he’s simply not getting enough to satisfy him. This led to a lot of crying and a lack of pooping. We’ve taken steps to correct this, which has resulted in a reduction in crying and an increase in poop. Stinky, stinky poop.

Welcome to Parenthood: Colic and Your Baby

Kyle’s had a rough couple of nights, and it would appear that he is rather colicky. Colic, for those who don’t know, is “severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines.” The lad is a noisy feeder, and the amount of air it sounds like he’s sucking is enough to make me belch just listening to him. He tends to be kind of a hit-or-miss burper, and it can sometimes take a good ten minutes to coax a good, manly belch out of him.

The air seems to be getting into the intestine (as evidenced by infantile flatulence), and causing no small amount of discomfort as it makes its way to the exit. This makes Kyle unhappy, and leaves his parents seeking some way to soothe his pain. Of course, the worst possible position for Kyle to be in during periods of discomfort seems to be flat on his back. Last night I found that cradling him in my arms and bouncing him ever so gently seemed to work pretty well. Alas, when I returned him to his bassinet at 2:30 this morning, he soon awoke and began crying. It’s not a little cry, either; it’s a full-fledged wail, and it tears my heart out, because there’s clearly pain behind it.

We’ll see how the weekend goes. Colic generally only lasts a couple of weeks, according to something Laura read to me last night. Of course, he’ll have something new to cry about Monday night, as he’s slated to be circumsized Monday morning.

Kyle Half-Elven

Kyle Half-ElvenLaura and I have noticed that Kyle has somewhat pointy ears, as shown in the photograph below. This leads us to believe that he is at least part elf. ((Keep your Vulcan mouth shut, Trekkie.))

If Kyle is part elf, then it stands to reason that one of his parents also has elven blood running through their veins, but which one? Neither of us has pointed ears, nor do we seem to resemble elves in any other respect. ((I have a goatee. Have you ever seen an elf with a goatee? Didn’t think so.)) We’re not terribly graceful, and we’ve achieved maturity ((I’m using the term loosely.)) far more quickly than the long-lived race normally does.

Laura is half Colombian, but she is also very fair-skinned. Could the lack of melanin in her dermis be explained by heretofore undiscovered elven heritage? Perhaps, but Laura has done some fairly extensive research into her genealogy and has yet to stumble across anything to suggest that she is descended from the Firstborn.

I, on the other hand, can only trace my ancestry back a couple of generations, ((Granted, I haven’t exactly researched my lineage.)) but what I do know about my forebears is that they were primarily Finnish. This is very telling, because it is well-known that the High elvish language, Quenya, has striking similarities to the Finnish language. ((Really. It’s well-known.))

Is this enough to conclude that I am the source of the elven blood coursing through Kyle’s veins? Probably not for science, but it’s enough for me. When the boy comes of age, he will accompany me across the sea to the Grey Havens, which I imagine will be a lot like Disney World.

Welcome to Parenthood: Home Sweet Home

As I mentioned last Friday, Kyle is now home from the hospital. He spent six days at the Children’s Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him. the best guess anyone could give us is that he had a bad reaction to the formula he was given at LakeWest to bring his blood sugar up.

We’ve now had a four-night sampling of what is to come, and we’ve seen both extremes, I think. On Friday and Saturday night, Kyle slept in four-hour stints, which is pretty much what we were shooting for. Sunday and Monday night, he was a bit fussy. He’d cry, we’d pick him up and take care of whichever orifice needed attention, get him all settled down, put him back in the bassinet… and five minutes later have to do it all over again. This did not make for a very restful night. Or two.

In related news, my mother was babysitting my eldest brother’s (that’s you, Thagg) boys in Toledo over the weekend. Toledo is about eleven hours from my parents’ house and about two hours from ours, so it seemed only logical that she swing by for a visit before heading back to the U.P. It also gave my sister-in-law and nephews an excuse to see their newest nephew and cousin, respectively.

So, while I catch up on my correspondence, Laura has been making phone calls and my mother has been cuddling her newest grandchild (she has seven, now) and cleaning the floors. She also made coffee and cinnamon rolls this morning, which made for a pleasant treat when I finally got out of bed at noon. Hurrah for mothers and grandmothers!

Coming soon: a return to the type of nerdliness you may have come to expect from me. I’ve got a review of The Forty Year Old Virgin in the works and the TiVo is recording Mr. and Mrs. Smith from pay-per-view as I write this. Also, I’ve been tagged by Codeshaman to discuss five of my weird habits, and I want to prattle on about George R.R. Martin a bit.

Welcome to Parenthood: Progress Report 2

The days are kind of blurring together, and I didn’t realize that it had been so long since I posted an update. Kyle has been eating very well, so the doctors have been changing his feeding schedule and the amount he is fed throughout the week. He started on 10cc of milk or formula every three hours, which was elevated to 20cc, then 50cc. Now he is “ad lib, on demand,” meaning he gets fed as much as he wants, as often as he wants it. When I called to check on him this morning, the nurse said that he had been eating 100cc at a shot through the night, but backed down to about 60cc (2 oz.) this morning.

The nutrient and lipid IVs were turned off a couple days ago, though they haven’t removed the IV tube just yet. After Kyle kicked the IV out a couple of times, the nurses put the tube in his left hand, where it has stayed pretty well. I’m hoping they’ll actually remove it today, though.

The nurse I talked to this morning said Kyle would most likely be discharged tomorrow, but it has been very frustrating to have one person tell us “Thursday or Friday” at 2PM, then another say “Friday or Saturday” at 6PM. The difference between Thursday and Saturday may not seem like much to them, but it’s huge to us.

That’s about it. Hopefully, the next time I post it’ll be to say that Kyle is home with his mom and dad (and Rosie & Gil).

Welcome to Parenthood: Progress Report

First off, let me thank everyone for the congratulations, well wishes, prayers and warm thoughts. Spending the last couple of days running back and forth to the Cleveland Clinic hasn’t been fun, and Laura and I have both been very frazzled, emotional and exhausted. But we’re also feeling incredibly lucky. All around the NICU are babies who are in far, far worse shape than Kyle. One little girl was on a respirator until this afternoon. Today, two more babies were transferred from other hospitals, one of which was born only twenty-four weeks into the pregnancy. A baby in the room Kyle was moved to this evening has been at the Clinic for two months, and may have had a stroke. As gut-wrenching as this whole experience has been for us, we realize that it could have been much, much worse.

This morning, the tube that was draining Kyle’s stomach (I forget what they called the thing, but it sounded like one of the moons of Jupiter, or something) was removed. Also removed was the antibiotic from his IV. He’s still getting nutrients and lipids intravenously, but the doctors are now confident that he doesn’t have an infection.

This evening, Kyle took another stab at nursing. Though that didn’t go quite so well as we’d hoped (he was too impatient), he did get some breast milk mixed in with his soy formula at 9:00. We’re hoping to deliver another dose of mom’s milk when we head over to the Clinic tomorrow morning. We’re also hoping that he doesn’t have any further digestion issues so we can take him home ASAP.

Welcome to Parenthood: Our First Speed Bump

Things have not gone very smoothly since Friday. I guess once in a while we need a little reminder that we are Not in Charge.

Kyle had some trouble keeping food down Saturday morning. He was spitting up and his stomach was noticably distended. An x-ray revealed what appeared to be a blockage in the small intestine. A neonatologist decided that it would be best if Kyle were moved from Lake West to the Children’s Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic, and that’s just what happened Saturday afternoon.

Once we received a call indicating that Kyle had arrived safely, Laura’s mother and I went to the Cleveland Clinic (Laura, still recovering from her c-section, had not yet gotten out of bed). Though hooked up to an IV, a tube to drain his stomach and a host of sensors, Kyle did not appear to be in any distress or uncomfortable at all.

The Clinic performed an upper G.I. as well as a barium enema, and we were greatly relieved when they told us that there did not appear to be any structural problems with Kyle’s intestines, and that they could almost certainly rule out the need for surgical correction.

Laura was discharged from Lake West yesterday morning, and we drove down to the Clinic shortly after that. Kyle was sleeping, but the nurses removed the sensors as well as the tube from his stomach so Laura and I could hold him. Apart from the wires and tubes and a few spots of rash here and there (which I’m told is normal in newborns), he looks to be perfectly fine. His situation isn’t life-threatening, but it’s serious enough that they are watching him closely.

As of last night, doctors were not certain whether the problem is an infection or a severe feeding reaction. There is also still a slight possibility that it is a blockage that must be corrected through surgery, but the doctors we have spoken to seem to think it is highly unlikely. Whatever the case, he is on antibiotics right now and is not being fed orally (which had a tendency to make him a little cranky now and then).

I called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) this morning and the nurse told me that the tube has been removed from Kyle’s stomach, and the distension has not increased. I also learned that Cleveland Clinic was apparently unaware that Kyle had been fed formula on the 13th. He was given formula (by me) because his blood sugar was low. The formula seemed to take care of the blood sugar problem, but may ultimately have been the cause of his digestive woes.

We’re going to head over to the clinic a little later today, and maybe they’ll feed Kyle a little of Laura’s breast milk, which she has been pumping on a regular basis for the past couple of days. (Laura and I considered staying at the Clinic last night, but the lactation consultant thought it would be best if Laura slept in her own bed, so we came home.) The earliest Kyle is likely to be released is tomorrow, but nothing is certain at this point. We would certainly like to be able to take our little guy home with us as soon as possible.

Presenting Kyle Abraham Johnson

At 12:54pm on the afternoon of 13 January 2006, Kyle Abraham Johnson ((Not “Diamond Neil Johnson.” I’m afraid that was a little mischief Laura and I cooked up for the benefit of those who really, really wanted to know his name ahead of time.)) was delivered by Caesarian section. Kyle weighed 8 lbs, 5.9 oz. at birth, and measured 20″ in length. His hair is dark blond, his eyes are blue and he has ten fingers, ten toes, two ears, two eyes, one nose and one mouth. ((And two testicles. I was there when the nurse counted them.))

Kyle has a healthy set of lungs, which he put to good use mere moments after being removed from his growth chamber. He is doing very well, as is his extremely proud (not to mention entirely awesome) mother.

As today is Friday the 13th, I thought there was really only one way to properly present my son to the world.
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