Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby John

"'Pan, who and what art though?' [Hook] cried huskily.
'I'm youth, I'm joy,' Peter answered at a venture, 'I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.'" -- J. M. Barrie

John at 33 weeks

It's hard to believe it's been a year already.

John was born by c-section on June 3rd, 2008 at 1:49pm. His birth was uneventful as c-sections go. Tom and I arrived at the hospital around 11am and did all the pre-birth preparations--signing consent forms and getting into a gown (me) and paper scrubs (Tom). The operation was scheduled for 1pm, but there was an emergency c-section before mine, so mine was delayed about 15 minutes. Based on what the doctor and anesthesiologist said later, they had a hard time getting John out because he was wedged beneath my rib cage. While my c-section was largely speculative (we were basing the decision to do a c-section on my past birth history and his unwillingness to give reassuring NSTs), it was roundly agreed that if I'd attempted to birth him myself, things would not have gone well.

John -- June 3rd, 2008 -- Birth Day

Things went well in the hospital for the next day or two, but then suddenly John stopped nursing. Tom and I tried everything we could think of-different positions, undressing him, shocking him awake with cold washcloths, but he just got drowsier and fussier with each passing hour. Plus, I was getting seriously engorged, as my milk had come in and he refused to take it. The lactation consultant at St. Francis thought that maybe he had a weak suck and needed to do some mouth exercises. She sent me home with a breast pump and her best wishes. I was back in the office the following Monday morning. Mouth exercises weren't working. Lactation consultant #2 suggested that he had a short frenulum and told me to have it clipped. I went through the whole rigamorole going to the pediatrician to get a referral to the ENT, who eventually clipped his frenulum, but with no success. Meanwhile, I had a 22 month old at home to deal with and was exclusively pumping and feeding John. I went back to the lactation consultants, and this time they were out of ideas. They suggested occupational therapy. Back to the pediatrician to get a referral. It took 8weeks in total, and lots of concurrent therapies, a diagnosis of torticollis and an overactive fencer's reflex, plus borderline plagiocephaly, but we finally got John to start nursing again.

We continued to see the occupational and physical therapist for a few months, mostly to make sure the issues related to his torticollis were under control, but by the time John was six months old, he'd been released from all therapy.

John -- December 3, 2008 -- 6 months old

It's hard to describe John. He has a very gentle, jolly, laughing soul. Like a fairy (a masculine one, like Peter Pan, or Puck from a Midsummer Night's Dream), he gets into his fair share of mischief, but does it in such an innocent, joyful way that you can't fault him for his curiousity.

Also, like a fairy, he notices tiny detail and textures that you'd think would escape the naked eye. Even as a tiny baby, he was always observing, always touching everything. He definetely got his detail-orientedness from Tom, and I just marvel at what must be going on in that mind of his. I was pregnant with John when I saw the movie August Rush, and sometimes I imagine that instead of music, John sees everything in terms of pieces and parts. Since I've made predictions about Sam, I'll say that if he continues to love the little details of life, he will make an excellent engineer or chemist (his grandfather (and namesake) was a PhD chemist, so it's not outside the realm of possibilities either).

I'll admit a feel a little sad at the prospect of my baby not being a baby anymore. It makes me feel old, and sad, and older and sadder still now that I've become the doddering old biddie who gets teary around babies and wants to hold them and smell them and says to mothers of infants "They grow up too fast."

But I also feel very joyful. Today, while John was at his week of camp, I took Sam out for special one-on-one time with me. I thought that he would like the extra attention and the ability to do things that aren't really possible for me to do with him when I have two children to take care of. But it didn't work like that. Sam missed John and asked me over and over where he was. And then over lunch at Fuddruckers (where Tom joined us), we felt incomplete as a trio, even though a year ago it was totally normal. John brings us so much joy. I can't imagine life without him, and am thankful every day that he's one of my boys.

Happy Birthday Little Man


  1. doddering old biddie here, with a toddler only 2 mos older than john, is all teary, too.

    happy birthday, little man, indeed!

  2. I'm glad you figured everything out with the breastfeeding. Good job on finding help.

    I barely even remember life with just one child. I really wish I had taken advantage of just having one and done more fun things with her.

  3. Yeah, I do too. Except I got pregnant with John when Sam was only 13 months old, so he wasn't into the fun stuff yet. And by the time he was, he had a baby brother.

    Luckily, by having them so close together, they both like doing the same things at basically the same time.

  4. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Hope it was a happy birthday. My husband's was June 2. :) I am already getting sad that my baby is going to be 1 in August.

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