Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Month

I can’t believe Riley is one month old! Time certainly goes by quickly these days. Before Kenny or I know it, we’ll be shipping the kid off to college.

He doesn’t go back to the doctor until he’s two months, so I don’t have any official stats. But here are a few things I’d like to remember about Riley’s first month:

  • He’s a good eater. By the end of week four he’s eating between 3 and 4.5 ounces at each feeding. If it’s been a long time since he’s had a bottle, he gets so frantic when we finally offer it to him, shaking his head from side to side and moving his mouth a mile a minute until he gets a good grip. It’s actually quite funny. He also started out eating with both fists tightly curled and tucked under his chin, but now those hands of his are constantly waving around when he eats. He’s spitting up a bit, so Dr. B told us to keep him upright for about 10 minutes after he finishes to counteract that. He also gets the hiccups after almost every feeding, but they don’t seem to bother him!
  • He’s been sleeping great, ever since his second night home from the hospital. He started off with three 3-3.5 hour stretches, and that has extended to two 4-6 hour stretches (most nights). Kenny and I are ecstatic about this, and we’re praying that the pattern is here to stay. He does get a little fussy in the evenings between 7-10pm, but if he continues to sleep like he has been at night, we’ll deal with it! Also, when he wakes up after a long sleep, the way he stretches is so cute. He arches his back, tucks his legs into his chest, extends his arms as far above his head as they’ll go, scrunches his eyes closed, and purses his lips together as he rolls his head from side to side. I’d love to get this routine of his on video, but I’m not sure I’ll ever catch it.
  • He likes looking at the fans and lights in the ceiling. Those things are keeping his attention more and more every day. He also is starting to focus on things better, especially our faces. He seems to love being in his bouncy seat most times, and he likes the swing on occasion. His neck strength was very impressive going into week three and continues to improve. We started tummy time midway through week three and he’s doing great at it.
  • He has not been a fan of baths in his first month, which hopefully will change once his umbilical cord falls off (yes, it’s STILL hanging around!) and we’re able to completely submerge him in the water. He developed a smattering of infant acne on his forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. It appeared at the end of week 2 and is still apparent. Hopefully it will be gone soon and his skin will be baby soft and smooth again!

I’m going to take pictures of Riley each month similar to how I documented him growing in my belly during my pregnancy. Here’s his first month pic! :)


Monday, September 27, 2010

Riley’s First Road Trip

Kenny and I took Riley on his first road trip this past weekend. My dad’s birthday was Saturday, and we thought it would be fun to celebrate with him and Mom at their house in Houston. Riley did SO great in the car on the way there: he slept the whole way! He got fussy right as we turned onto my parents’ street, so it couldn’t have been more perfect. (The ride back wasn’t quite as good, but he did sleep most of the way.)


My parents were so happy to see us. My dad was especially glad for the visit since he hadn’t seen any of us since the hospital. He and Mom had a wonderful dinner ready for all of us when we got there, and after we ate, we basically just watched Riley the rest of the night. I know I’m biased, but he is just so cute! The next morning we gave my dad his birthday presents, and Mom’s present definitely outdid ours. She gave him a guitar! He has apparently been wanting one for close to a year, and now he has one. I think he was very stunned at the gift but immediately unpacked it and started playing. I think Mom scored big points with him this year!


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Mom and I got out of the house Saturday afternoon to run some errands, as did Kenny and Dad, and everyone had their fair share of quality time with Riley, but most of the rest of the weekend was filled with football. We’re certainly exposing Riley to the joys of the game right from the start! Arkansas was so close to upsetting Alabama, LSU pulled off the win against West Virginia, but unfortunately the Saints couldn’t get the same thing done against the Falcons. Oh well; no more perfect season!

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My dad and I also worked on (and finished!) an art project for Riley’s room. I’ll do a separate post once we have it up on the wall, but I will say that I think it’s going to look great! Thanks so much, Mom and Dad, for letting us come visit you. We had so much fun and are already looking forward to another road trip!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Visitors

A half dozen more people came by at the end of Riley’s third week home to meet him. Aunt Dede, along with Jordan, drove in from Mandeville for a short visit last Friday; Grams, Bop, and QP came from New Orleans on Sunday to see him; and UJ was here on Monday for a quick overnight visit. Kenny and I are touched that so many people have made the long trip to our house to see our little boy. Every visit has meant so much to us!


And look what QP made for Riley…..too cute. Thanks so much!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nola, will you move in with us? Please?

Back when I was pregnant, my mom offered to come stay with us whenever and for however long we wanted her to after Bean was born. She arrived on Tuesday morning of this week and left early today. Let me just say it was SO wonderful to have her here, and I’m already missing her tons! That extra pair of hands was so nice to have for four whole days. And Mom didn’t just help out with Riley…..she cooked dinner for us three times, cleaned the house, organized some things in Riley’s room, and helped me decorate for fall. Absolutely invaluable.

The first night she was here we had a delicious homemade taco salad, as well as wine for everyone (just one glass for me!), while we watched Glee (Kenny was thrilled). Riley was pretty well-behaved while we ate, and then Mom decided to cuddle with him on the couch for a little one-on-one conversation. He needs to learn to talk back, though!

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The next morning Mom and I took Riley in his stroller for the first time on a walk around my neighborhood. We didn’t get out there until after 9am, so it was already pretty hot. Riley didn’t seem to mind the heat, though: he fell asleep shortly after we left my driveway and didn’t wake up until well after we got back home! Could this be a solution to evening fussiness? Kenny and I may have to try it out once it gets a little cooler.


Wednesday afternoon was Riley’s audiologist appointment, and Mom came with me. After getting the good news that our boy can hear, I dropped the two of them off at the house and went back out to run some errands by myself. I was able to get a lot done, so thanks very much for that, Mom! Wednesday night was another great home-cooked meal. Kenny and I relaxed with Riley on the kitchen sofa while Mom made peanut chicken for dinner. We decided to actually eat in the dining room, so we plopped Riley in his bouncy and put him on the table with us. Perfect!

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The highlight of Thursday for both Kenny and me was Mom insisting that we leave Riley with her and go out to dinner just the two of us. She didn’t have to tell us twice! We tried out a place we hadn’t been to before called Phares’, and we enjoyed our date night very much. Plus, we didn’t come home to a very fussy baby, which we had prepared ourselves for! Riley decided not to exhibit his usual cranky nighttime behavior and was an angel for his Nola. Kenny and I gave him a bath when we got home, and he went to bed fairly easily after his last feeding of the night. A win for everyone!


Yesterday went by entirely too fast and before I knew it, we were finishing up our last dinner together and winding down for the night.  Mom fed Riley one last time, put him to bed, and then we said our goodbyes since she planned to get on the road back to Texas early this morning. Had she really been here for four whole days already???


I cannot thank you enough for all that you did while you were here, Mom. I appreciate your help tremendously, and just know that you’re welcome to come back and stay with us anytime you want!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tummy Time

Riley was a little fussy early yesterday evening, so Kenny decided to put him on the floor on his tummy and see if that did the trick to quiet him down. It worked! Check out the video below to see how well he did on his tummy for the first time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Strong Man

I asked the doctor’s office the other day if it was okay to start tummy time sometime soon. Amy (one of Dr. B’s nurses) said they didn’t usually start talking about that until 2 months of age. However, she said we could go ahead and give it a try for a very short time during the day as long as we watched him closely. This video is what prompted me to ask; look how strong Riley is already!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

He Passed!

Riley’s appointment with the audiologist was this afternoon, and he was perfectly behaved during the re-test. The results were good: he passed with flying colors in both ears!  The girl that did the test said his ear canals had cleared out wonderfully and there was no cause for concern. We figured this would be the case, but it was still reassuring to hear officially that he’s okay. Dr. B will now monitor his development at each visit, as will we at home. Works for us!


Riley’s first two weeks at home were filled with lots of fun visits from our friends and family. Both sets of our parents, Jeff and Erin, Steve and Jaimi, Michelle and David, Trisha, Jay, and Jenn, Karen and Bridget, and Scott all came to meet the newest member of the family. Riley was very well-behaved and tolerated being passed from one person to the next with hardly any complaint!


However, after all of those visitors, our boy was mighty tired of having his picture taken:


I’m sure he’ll learn soon enough that his mother is a bit camera-obsessed and will eventually just grin and bear it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two-Week Doctor’s Appt

IMG_3436 Waiting for Dr. B!

Friday was Riley’s two-week check-up with his doctor. Kenny and I were very anxious to talk to Dr. B about a number of things, like if he is gaining appropriate weight, how his circumcision is healing, and the status of his collarbone. Here are his two-week stats:

    • Weight: 9lbs
    • Length: 21.5 inches
    • Head circumference: 14 inches
    • Temperature: 99.3 degrees

All normal! We were so excited to see he had gained almost a whole pound in a week! Wow…I hope he doesn’t keep that rate up; I’d like him to stay little for a while longer. We were also relieved to hear reassurance from Dr. B that his circumcision is healing nicely. I also asked about his very dry and flaky skin (which is apparent all over), and Dr. B said that it’s very normal for newborns to “shed like chameleons” right now. Johnson’s baby lotion, here we come!

Dr. B also checked on Riley’s collarbone by moving his left arm around a bit and gently prodding the break area. It didn’t seem to bother Riley at all, and the doc said he could feel a “knot” beginning to form, indicating the healing process is well under way. He also told us we don’t have to keep his arm pinned in anymore. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to see both of his little arms and hands now! We also decided to drop by the hospital and get a digital copy of Riley’s X-ray. Kenny and I had a hard time believing it really doesn’t affect him after seeing this picture (our poor baby!), but he really doesn’t seem to mind!

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And, in case anyone is wondering, I am doing just fine two weeks after giving birth. My pain level was never really unbearable, which I was very grateful for. I was understandably sore the first week, and I took medicine when I really needed it, but it wasn’t all that often. I was a little emotional the first few days we were home, which my doc said was absolutely normal and which Kenny handled with no complaints and like a pro. I got rid of the ridiculous number of pillows in our bed and can sleep like a normal person again (even on my stomach if I want to, no less!), when Riley lets me. I am having no trouble expressing milk; in fact, I’m pumping more than Riley can keep up with, so we’re actually starting to freeze a decent amount of milk for use later on. Score. And, I am down to just 8lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, which means I’ve already lost 25lbs! Awesome. Think I can keep going and lose 25 more??? :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More Bath Time!

Kenny and I are still trying to figure out the best way to bathe Riley while he still has his umbilical stump. We tried an actual bath in his little bathtub in the bathroom, which worked okay. Then we tried a true sponge bath, with him wrapped in a towel on the floor of the bathroom. This worked pretty well, but I only used warm water, no soap. Last we tried a bath in his little tub over the kitchen sink, which probably worked the best (good idea, Ken!). Hopefully that stubborn stump will be a thing of the past very soon so we don’t have to worry about keeping it dry during bath time anymore!


And last but not least, here’s a picture of him absolutely sacked out on the floor of his room after the kitchen sink bath. This was just before the Saints game on Thursday evening, and he slept for almost 5 hours straight! (Yes, through the whole game. This had better not become a habit. The child WILL love football as much as his parents do!) Ken and I may have to consider bathing him just before bed the next time……


Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Very Special Gift

While we were in the hospital, we received many wonderful and thoughtful gifts, from flowers to clothes for Riley to clothes for me. We were appreciative of everything we got, but perhaps the most special gift came from my dad. He surprised us with a painting he had done for Riley’s room. I can’t think of anything more perfect to hang up in there!

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It’s a painting of a bean! I love it. Now we just need to figure out the best wall to hang it on in the nursery. Thanks so much, Dad!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two Firsts

This past Saturday were two firsts for Riley: his first bath and his first LSU game. What a day for our boy!

Kenny and I decided to bathe him in his little plastic bathtub with a couple inches of water in the bottom for his first bath, being extra careful not to get his umbilical stump wet. I don’t have any pictures from the actual bath because we videotaped it, and Kenny needs to figure out how to download the video from the camera before I can post it. I will say that Riley wasn’t too happy during this milestone. He cried most of the time and kicked a lot. But I think I got him clean, so that’s all that matters! I’m sure bath time will be a lot more fun once he’s older.

IMG_3331All clean and wrapped up!

Saturday night was LSU’s first game of the 2010 season, played against the University of North Carolina in Atlanta. Riley started out the day in a little LSU onesie from my mom but I had to change it a couple of hours before game time. That’s the story of our lives these days! Luckily, my mom had also given him a really cute Saints onesie, so we changed him into that.

IMG_3337 photo Fun football outfits!

Kenny and I were so excited to watch the Tigers play (I even had my first full beer since pregnancy!), but Riley slept through most of the game. So disappointing, but I guess we’ll let it slide. He did have one of the best seats in the house, though!


The Tigers pulled off the win, but we were definitely getting nervous at the end. Carolina turned it on late in the game and almost took it away from us. They may have deserved it more, but we wound up with the W. Riley’s already pumped for the next game against Vanderbilt this weekend!

First Pediatrician Visit

Riley’s first doctor’s appointment was scheduled for Friday but we ended up taking him in on Thursday on account of his horrible first night at home. He just seemed to want to suck incessantly, and we weren’t sure whether it was because he was uncomfortable for some reason or if he was hungry or what. We were trying not to give him a pacifier until breastfeeding was more established; however, after getting some reassurance from one of Dr. B’s nurses the next morning, we gave in pretty easily and it worked like a charm. Giving it to him earlier would almost certainly have made that first night better! Oh well; you live and learn.

Dr. B wanted him to come in on Thursday so they could weigh him and see if he was gaining anything. He weighed 8lbs 9oz at birth and got down to 8lbs 3.7oz when we left the hospital. He weighed in at 7lbs 14oz at the doctor’s office on Thursday. Long story short, the doc told us to start supplementing with formula at every feeding until my milk came in, just to make sure he got what he needed. He also reinforced the pacifier use: in his words, “If it calms him down and keeps you sane, pop it in there!”

Aside from the feeding issues, Riley checked out just fine. We actually took him back in on Friday so they could get another weight on him after a number of supplemented feedings, and it was good news: he got up to 8lbs 1oz overnight! And my milk is now in, so we’re not needing the formula much anymore. He’s gone from eating 1-1.5 ounces at each feed to 2.5-3 ounces. Yay! He goes back to Dr. B this Friday for his two-week-old appointment.

The only other thing of note is that he failed his hearing test in both ears at the hospital. Dr. B (and Ashley) said that this is fairly common in post-term babies and not to worry too much. (Also according to Ashley, he may actually have been tested too soon after birth, not giving his ears adequate time to clear out the amniotic fluid.) He goes in for a re-test with a pediatric audiologist in a week, so we’ll see. He seems to respond to noises since he’s been home, so Kenny and I are thinking that the first test gave bad results. Fingers crossed that turns out to be true!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Riley Comparison to Mommy

After Riley was born, Kenny and I sent an email out to almost 200 people announcing his arrival. We got an overwhelming number of the same two responses:

Look at all of that hair!!!

He looks just like his momma.

When my parents got back home on Tuesday night, my mom pulled out my baby book to reminisce a bit. She then had my dad take a couple of pictures of shots of me included in the book because the resemblance between me and my son is so pronounced.

Do you agree?

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Coming Home

Wednesday morning dawned bright and beautiful, and my doctor dropped by for a visit very early. She gave me my discharge instructions and basically told me I was good to go as soon as Riley was cleared. Fantastic!

However, Riley wasn’t ready to leave until the afternoon (his doctor was delayed in doing his circumcision), so Kenny and I had to hang around the hospital until then. But soon we had him all dressed in his going-home outfit and were making our way downstairs to the car. We strapped him into his carseat for the first time and off we went!


We arrived home to a few surprises: balloons on the mailbox and the front porch, a sign on the door (thanks, Jeff and Becky!), and a big “Welcome Home, Riley!” banner strung across the front of the house (thanks, Mom and Dad S!). The flowers we received at the hospital were also placed around the house, and we had clean sheets and towels all ready for us. Perfect!

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Our first night at home with him was not the best, but it’s to be expected, right? No one really prepares you for that first night, especially since you’ve gotten fairly used to the routine that developed in the hospital. Want to get some sleep? Just have someone from the nursery come collect him, and it’s lights out for mom and dad! Not so once you’re home. But we got through it, and I’m sure it will get easier with each passing day. One thing’s for sure: he is so stinkin’ cute, even when he’s crying.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Riley’s Story

So here’s the story of Riley. It will likely be pretty long and detailed, mostly because Kenny and I want to remember how that day went!


I officially considered myself in labor when my doctor came by my room at 7:15 on Monday morning and broke my water. At that point, I was 3.5cm dilated. She then started me on Pitocin around 7:30am. Those first contractions felt very similar to my regular period cramps, so I was able to put up with them for a while. I asked for my epidural around 9:30am, and the drugs were on board by 10:15am. Ah, glorious relief!

A little before 11:00am I was dilated 4cm and 70% effaced. They also put in a catheter at this point. At 12:20pm my doc came back to check me, but I hadn’t made much progress: 4-5cm dilated and 85% effaced. She decided to put in a pressure catheter to determine if my contractions were strong enough, and they would adjust the amount of Pitocin based upon the results.

Around 1:30pm I was 6cm dilated and progressing nicely. I think this is when I started to feel some pressure down yonder. Not too bad, but things were definitely beginning. Just 45 minutes later at 2:15pm I was 8.5cm dilated. And only 25 minutes after that I was 9cm and feeling MAJOR pressure.

I think they maxed out the Pitocin amount and then cut it in half when my contractions got really bad so it wouldn’t start to impede my progress. And I believe they upped my epidural at some point, but I really can’t remember. I was just concentrating on getting through each contraction without pushing. That was tough. But I managed, and when I finally got to 10cm just before 3:30pm, things kicked into high gear. They got me into the delivery position and I started to push with two nurses and Kenny helping.

We were hoping to get Riley’s head a bit further down the birth canal before my doc came over to help me finish up the process. However, my body had other ideas. I pushed and pushed and made some progress, but his head was getting hung up on a band of tissue that just wouldn’t stretch enough to let him through.

My doc got there around 4:30pm and started her words of encouragement to me. I remember her coming in, but shortly after I had my eyes firmly closed through each contraction and also while I rested in between. I was getting very tired from the strain of pushing.

I still couldn’t get him past that band of tissue, so my doc ended up having to perform an episiotomy. After that, I think it only took a couple more rounds of contractions for me to finally push his head out. My doc realized that he was going to be a big baby and called for extra nurses. I think there were 6 or 7 nurses in the room at the time of delivery, but I certainly didn’t care!

Riley was twisted sideways, which also made it harder for me to push him out. One of the nurses that had been with me most of the day actually leaned her whole upper body and forearms onto my belly during the last 2 sets of contractions to help get him out. And while it was a little uncomfortable for me, it worked! Riley Scott was born at 5:03pm on Monday, August 30, 2010.

As a result of Riley coming out sideways, he actually broke his collarbone on his left side. (Our pediatrician later told us this was fairly common and not to worry. It will take 4-6 weeks to heal. He ordered an X-ray of the break and decided to immobilize Riley’s left arm somewhat by tucking it inside his shirt and pinning the sleeve across his chest. We’re still doing this today.) Riley also released some meconium while I was pushing, but my doc said it hadn’t adversely affected him. She suctioned his airways clear, and Kenny cut the umbilical cord.

Riley was placed on my chest for a bit right after he came out, and then he was whisked away to the other side of the room to be tended to by the nurses. He was cleaned, weighed, warmed, inked for footprints, and given ID bands. Kenny went with him and took lots of pictures.


As for me, I was going nowhere. My doc had to stitch me up on account of my experiencing third degree extension tearing, on top of my episiotomy. Super. I stayed on Pitocin after delivery to help my uterus contract and shrink but this time with no accompanying pressure. Thank God.

After I was all cleaned up, Kenny passed Riley off to me so I could feed him. I was still a little groggy from the epidural and also fairly weak but gave it a shot. Kenny went out to tell our families the good news and then came back to take Riley to the nursery for a more thorough assessment. He was in there for about two hours, and our relatives practically jumped through the glass window trying to get a look at him, Aunt Erin especially!


I was moved to my post-partum room while Riley was in the nursery, and we finally got to have him back around 8:30 Monday night. Both sets of our parents, Aunt Erin, and Uncle Jeff were so excited to see him up close and hold him.

What a day. I have to give enormous credit to the nursing staff at the hospital, both in the labor and delivery and post-partum departments. Carole, Barbara, and Valerie were great during my labor, and Ronda, Val, Paula, and Karen were incredibly helpful during my recovery days. The nursery staff were also wonderful, especially Jenna and her expert swaddling technique!

I also have to attribute my getting through this process wholeheartedly to my husband. He was so great the whole day, getting me what I needed, telling me when to breathe deep for a bad contraction (and letting me know when it was almost over), holding my hand when I needed him to (and not when I didn’t), bracing my leg during those last hard pushes, and, most importantly, announcing the arrival of our son into this world. He was my rock and I could not have done this without him. I love you so much, Baby!


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