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Monday, June 27, 2005

Here’s looking at you..


here’s looking at you..
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

This was Oliver at about 6am this morning - still wide awake as you can see. Mumma is exhausted today - despite two naps. Aye yi yi! Still learning this parenting thing! Note to self - more feeds late afternoon and no long naps in the evening without feeds - need to feed him up for a long night’s sleep. That’s today’s theory anyway! Anyone else any ideas let us know.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Papa’s got a brand new boy

the little guy is growing like a weed. despite losing a pound or so following birth, he’s catching back up to his original weight. I am anxious take take him on walks in the Baby Bjorn but it says I need to wait until he is 8lbs in order to do so. At the rate he’s feeding, it should be in no time!

It has been warm and sunny everyday since Oliver was born. Perhaps that is LA weather, but I have had a warm and sunny disposition everyday as well.

Sal continues to be a brilliant mum. Altho she may not know it — she’s a natural. I find myself grinning watching her with Oliver. I’m so proud of her.

Loring and Claudette were here for a week. Good to have the grandparents visit him so early. Michelle and Damon also stopped by for a little visit yesterday. It feels so good to have family so close at times like this. Of course, Sue is here and continues to be a tremendous help to us. We have had lots of laughs in the past few days - we are so fortunate.

It’s hard to imagine how profoundly our lives have changed in the last 2 weeks - and all for the better. I’m heading back to work on Monday and wonder what impact Oliver’s birth will have on me in the workplace. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying being a new father, a husband, and happier man than I have ever been.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

First trip to the beach


First trip to the beach
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

And the first public feeding - a big day for the Kydd family!

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Random Musings

Our second week has begun to have that random feel, with days running in to each other in a sleep-deprived fog of domesticity. Sad as this may sound, I find myself reluctant to venture out right now. As soon as we’re out and about in the traffic and the chaos, I yearn for the peace and safety of home. Our new house is so comfortable and just a pleasant place to be in, that it’s a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle. I’m sure this will change in time and I’ll be dying to get out into the real world with the grown ups, but for now this is what I need.

But venture out I did, the other day Mum and I went to the Pump Station to buy some much needed supplies. I was somewhat dreading it - fearing a meltdown in the car - Oliver or me ;) - but we fed him and changed him before we left and he was good as gold the whole time. so it is possible I thought. They have breastfeeding support meetings there which I might trot along to next week, meet some other new Moms.

Emboldened, yesterday we took a walk to the beach - he did start to fuss at one point - but the good thing about breastfeeding of course is that nourishment is never far away. So we sat and fed him to the sounds of the Pacific ocean lapping at our feet - well, maybe I’m embellishing here - to the sounds of skaters, teenagers and other Venice beach goers whooping and enjoying the summer weather anyway! So that was fairly straightforward, I fear a nappy change might not have been so easily accomplished!

Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a big deal. BUT. I think, so far we have been very lucky. Oliver can sleep for 4 hours at a stretch at night which gives Steven and I a chance to really get into a deep sleep before feeding him again. Last night for example we fed him at 10.30pm, again at 1.30pm (when I woke up and woke him) and then nothing until 6am. Now that is manageable. He feeds in clusters, so when he wakes it’s usually an hour of feed/diaper, feed/diaper before he’s fully satisfied, but then he slumbers for quite a while so, so far it’s going well.

I quite enjoy our nightime activities really, I say that somewhat guiltily as I’m not sure Steven would share the sentiment! But it’s an opportunity for us to be together, just the three of us in a quiet space. I wake to feed him and then Steven will burp him and change him. Steven always take a little time to put him on his belly and have him push his legs out, (his exercises!) which is a great way of getting him to burp himself and also finish any pooing that needs to happen - in the vain hope of changing the diaper and not having to change it again 2 minutes afterwards! He’s usually quite alert and calm at this point so it’s a great time to connect, if somewhat sleepily. But the best time is the morning feed for this. Oliver then gets to sleep in the big bed for those first couple of hours in the morning, it’s a wonderful, special time.

I’m making a promise to myself today to take a nap every day, it’s not always easy to stick to, but I feel SO much better when I do, I can almost function normally. I sleep easier when he’s beside me, rather than in the bassinet.

Character

Who knows how much of a person’s character is defined at birth, but it is interesting how right from day one all the various medical folks ask about his temperament. So here we go - let’s see how much of this bears out! Chime in all you existing parents with your learnings on this one! Our Oliver is a sweet natured boy. He doesn’t fuss unless he really wants something - which at the moment is to be fed. He self-soothes easily and is generally pretty serene. He is attentive when alert and curious about his surroundings. All in all we are blessed. Apparently my parents tell me I was much the same as a baby - so you can draw what conclusions you may!!!

Forgotten Random Information

- Contractions started after watching “21 Grams” on DVD. Not sure how that one ranks with my nephew’s experience, whose mother’s waters broke whilst watching Kill Bill 2.
- Popsicles in hospital were a big deal. I think I had about 10 of them over the same amount of hours. Cherry flavor - yum - will always have that association.
- Our boy was welcomed into the world to the soulful sounds of Mr Springsteen and Dido helped me through the worst of the contractions.
- Oliver is now one week old - amazing - already I can’t imagine life without him! - and on a vain note - my belly has contracted enormously - not quite my pre-pregnancy self - but not half bad either!
- I did say these were random!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Father & son


Mutual yawning
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

7am photo op!!

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Our angel


Our angel
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

Hey good looking!!

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Sue & Claudette (Grammy & Meme)


Sue & Claudette (Grammy & Meme)
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

Grandmas enjoying the afternoon on the porch!

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

First Week

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already and our darling boy is almost a week old! So much has happened this week, the days are merging into one another as we stagger about in the early morning struggling through some breakfast before heading back to bed to crash.

Milestones

- Oliver was cicumcised June 15 after he was born by the dapper Dr Frumovitz, who was wearing a Seersucker suit and pink shirt and tie when the noble act was performed. Steven went up to the nursery for this - thankfully I did not. It broke my heart to see his it after the fact - poor wee mite! But now it’s all healing nicely and peeing like a bandit.

- The same day he had his Drs visit. we had not gotten around to chose a pediatrician so just asked the hospital for a recommendation. it ended up being Sr Sterne from 10th St pediatrics and she was wonderful! The first thing she did which endeared us to her immediately was the shushing. I believe this is from Dr karps book “Happiest baby on the Block” (which I still need to get around to reading). the basic principle is about the fourth trimester and to soothe your baby you need to try and immitate that womb experience. So when Dr Sterne was with us examing Oliver, he got a wee bit agitated as you would expect with all the poking and prodding, so she swaddled him tightly and rocked him shushing at him really quite loudly. 30 seconds and he was soothed. we used the technique later that night and it worked a dream! thankfully Oliver so far has proven to be a pretty clam baby. He self soothes easily and really only cries if hungry or needs changing - he’s not fussy at all or grouchy.

- Thursday June 16 we went home - I count my blessings every day that we are in our new home - what a joy it is. full of light and air and comfortable places to relax. I cannot imagine what a different story it would be if we were still in the rental - eek!! the transition home was great. It feels good to be here and to be in our own bed again. Michelle and Damon came to visit their new nephew - bringing THE BEST GIFT for new parents - a hmaper of goodies from Marmalade on Montana - we have dined like kings on it all week - with Mum cooking some light tasty soups to complement - but it has saved us all so much effort!!!

- Friday was a big day. My milk came in as they euphemistically say - I felt like I had two juggernauts on my chest - very tight and uncomfotable and hot. We also had our first visit to the pediatricians where we met with our pediatric nurse Kitty who is FABULOUS! An older woman from Maine of all places (of course!) she is super - very down to earth and had heaps of great advice for us. One thing she noticed immediately was Oliver needed to have his tongue clipped - he was tongue tied quite literally. She did this painlessly in a matter of minutes and his tongue is now a lot freer - which has made feeding him a lot easier too!! Amazing! He was a wee bit jaundiced too the day after birth, but that appears to have righted itself with no problems. He now weighs just under 7lbs which I think is good, they expect a drop in birth weight in the first week before it starts picking up. The way he’s feeding now I don’t think that will be a problem! So Friday night with my breasts feeling like concrete I was highly motivated to feed as much as possible! The result being that Saturday I felt SO much better - Oliver is feeding a lot better now his tongue is freer and the milk is flowing fine. Phewee!!

- His first bath - or rather body-wash was also on Friday. He squealed a fair bit but it otherwise went well, until his cord drops off we can’t give him a full immersive experience so that will have to wait.

- First walk - also on Friday - just around the neighbourhood - I think he enjoyed it - he likes the bumpy ride anyway - sends him right off to sleep!

- First interesting peeings! A lovely stream straight over the head on friday - impressive to behold but of course came right at the end of a diaper changing so we had to start the whole thing from scratch - very impressive velocity though I must say! Also managed to pee all over me this morning - which was somewhat less impressive - but very funny for everyone else!!

- Fathers Day - My lovely husband’s first - Happy Fathers day darling! Thank you Morgan for your delivery services. Steven is now in posession of a very good bottle of scotch which I feel will come in very useful in the months ahead!

- Meeting more grandparents - Loring and Claudette arrived and came over on Saturday. we had a lovely day together - Loring and Steven running around fixing and doing things, me Mum and Claudette doing the same, or just enjoying sitting on the porch and relaxing. all the neighbours kept coming by - lots of ooing and ahing! we all sat down and watched the video of the birth - or the vide of everything just before and just after the birth. I hadn’t seen it before and couldn’t stop crying reliving the moment they placed him on my chest. We had a lovely lunch with champagne to celebrate the wee one’s arrival. Family feels good.

Biggest surprises

- The biggest surprise for me is to discover that everything they say about your child and you and how you feel is true. I had never been a huge maternal type before, never really yearned for children in the same way some of my friends always had, I had never had many younger nephews and nieces living close to me that I could go through that learning curve with what having a baby was all about. Until living here and Michelle having Carter really, and that was my first really hands on experience. Thank heavens we at least learned how to change a diaper! So we both were going into this with open minds about how we would feel emotionally - I’d read about falling in love with your child and the strong feelings that go with it, but knowing myself I knew also that it might not happen immediately, that it takes time to adjust to this new person and your new role. So discovering the joy that every waking moment brings, be it painful (latching on when engorged!) or exhausting (getting to know what dawn in your part of the world looks like on a daily basis) was a really wonderful surprise. Feeling myself smiling all the time, reveling in this new role was a wonderfully welcome discovery.

- Surprise number two was Steven. I always knew he would be a wonderful father, and partner through this - he has always been such a supportive husband and we work well as a team. But to see the transformation in him has been wonderful to behold. I don’t think I have ever seen him smile as much or as broadly and to see how he loves loves loves his new son and the pride he feels makes me weep. I have fallen in love with him all over again.

Key Learnings

- Changing his clothes does not mean they will stay clean for any significant length of time - and by that I mean the next 5 minutes. Last night entailed 5 wardrobe changes with various peeings, milk and poop related incidents. Thank heavens we are stocked up on the onesies!

- Feeding is good. Mother nature works in mysterious ways - how clever is it that if I don’t keep feeding him, it becomes physically very uncomfortable for me very quickly - so in the wee small hours when 10 minutes seems ample time feeeding - I have a very good incentive to try just another 10 minutes to ensure he’s really done!!

- All diapers leak and poo up the back is not a sign that we’ve some how put it on wrong!

- Take all the support you can get! My mum has been a godsend staying with us - doing laundry, cooking and generally helping us cope! Don’t know what we would have done without her!

- He’s not just our son - Oliver is a nephew, a grandson and a cousin. Seeing the excitement on his grandparents and uncles and aunties faces, hearing it in their voices even if they can’t be here in person, makes me realise what a wonderful family our boy has - and all the people who now have a relationship to him and will love him as we do. Community is a wonderful thing.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Our family


Our family
Originally uploaded by The Kyddsters.

Introducing Oliver Sylvester Taylor Kydd

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oliver Sylvester Taylor Kydd

June 14. How magical a date that now is. I was happy when it began to look as though labor would be heading into another day, the 13th didn’t sit as well with me, whereas June 14 sounded like a robust, solid date for my son to enter the world.

Happy Birthday

I always wondered why women raved so much about the epidural, but knowing so little about childbirth to begin with, it was all very much a mystery… All I know is that when Dr Miller came to give me some relief, he could not have been a more welcome sight. The contractions at that point were coming at regular intervals - every 3 mins or so and I was 4-5 cms dilated, so I felt I’d achieved what I really wanted to, which was to hold out and stay as active as I long as I could, to give the baby the maximum opportunity to drop down. Even though I was quite dilated, he was still quite high.

Another benefit was that with the epidural came the chance to rest. I think everyone was feeling tremendous relief at this point now the pain had been allieviated. I know I was positively elated! I knew that the worse of the pain was over - but had no real concept of what the “pushing” stage would entail. So we all managed to get some rest, Mom in the visitors lounge and Steven on the couch. The contractions were still going strong, but mercifully I couldn’t feel them. It was great to have a chance to rest. Our nurse was superb, Debbie, very kind and supportive, makes such a huge difference! Unfortunatly she was only on until 7am the next morning when a new shift began.

At 6.20 I had another exam, he still hadn’t really dropped down. Debbie suspected a pocket of water was still there, so when the Dr came in on his morning rounds he checked me out and agreed. He decided to rupture the remaining membranes and a gush came out - quite a feeling I can tell you. I was pleased there was a reason tings weren’t progressing as quickly as we’d thought. The nurses at that point wanted me to start pushing, but I really didn’t feel ready, so I had another epidural top up and sat up in bed staying as active as I could, moving about to Dido on the ipod hoping he would move down. I was on Pitocin as well at this point to speed things up a bit. By 9ish I was 9cm but the baby was still too high to push, so more moving about, had another epidural top up.

Another exam at 11.30 showed he had moved down - yea! So now we were ready to push. I remember feeling really confused about what we were trying to achieve at this point, it didn’t really dawn on me that this was active labor and we were at the point of pushing the baby out - maybe I was just so out of it. and what was on the playlist now I hear you ask - Mr Springsteen’s Devils and Dust - my friend. Moving, soulful inspirational music kept me going.

Pushing was the strangest thing, I think I expected it to be more painful than it actually was. The epidural was wearing off enough for me to really feel the contractions but the edge was off the pain. It was quite frustrating as with every 3 cycles I could feel everyone getting super excited that things were happening then he would slip back a little bit again. Aye aye aye - so close!!! It was so amazing to have Steven and my mom right there. To hear their voices encouraging me was incredibly motivating. Steven is my rock, my foundation, what makes me grounded, and nowhere did I need this more than through those contractions.

After an hour pushing at 12.32pm, out he came, my darling boy, with a full head of hair and long legs and long fingers! 7lb, 3 oz, 21 inches long. He is perfect in every way and not looking two squashed either. Right from birth he was alert, bright eyed - looking around taking in the new world around him.

Day One

Now the next day, he is a handsome devil. Steven and I are both exhausted not getting enough sleep last night of course! I have completely fallen for my baby boy, with his perfect rosebud lips and button nose he is a treasure munchkin. I am already finding everything about him totally engrossing and fascinating. He is perfection itself. Watching Steven and him together is a new joy I never expected. It’s a wondrous sight to see them together and to see my husband becoming a father. We have grown so much together in these last few days, few hours, I look at photos from Sunday evening, Monday lunchtime and realise we aren’t the same people anymore. Everything has irrevocably, wonderfully been transformed.

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