The Light at the End of the Soother

I know, it’s been too long.

A lot has happened over the past week so I’ll do my best to get everyone caught up. Without further ado the following announcements have been approved by Emilia’s public relations office: the Ministry of Official Media (M.O.M for short).

Last weekend Emilia’s two aunts, one great-aunt, and her grandmother got to come visit. They each took turns holding Emilia and singing to her, greatly increasing the quality of her musical therapy compared with what mom and dad have been trying lately. It was nice to have the guests and fun to see Emilia interacting with some of her family.  Having myself grown up living cross-country from the majority of my relatives we plan on doing our best to make sure Emilia gets time to know her family. Not too much time of course, anyone who knows my mother knows my waistline wouldn’t survive it, but enough so that she feels welcome from coast-to-coast.

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Emilia with Nanny Angela

This week Lauren reached her breaking point and it was kindly suggested by the staff at the hospital she take a bit of a break. With all the pumping, nursing, travelling, and taking care of everything else that has been going on she hasn’t been getting enough sleep nor enough time for herself. The nurses told us that they had been waiting for this and that she should just take a day or two for herself (weird how the same advice from the lips of a husband invokes such an opposite reaction). I volunteered to take a shift at the hospital (hence my ability to write this today) so that Lauren could just enjoy herself for a while. The only problem with suggesting a break is that Lauren WANTS to be here. Going home and leaving Emilia alone at the hospital is just as emotionally burdensome for her as wearing herself out by being here too much. In any event, we will see how today goes and hopefully Lauren feels a bit refreshed afterwards.

To add to the chaos our rental property in another city flooded this week which caused damage across all three storeys. Thankfully my brother-in-law lives nearby and was able to assist; however, the developing storm between my insurance corporation and the condominium association’s insurance corporation has been quite the treat, one I’ve likened to a pleasant day picking cacti in the desert heat. Oh well, in the end I’m sure it will all work out. Besides, I’m pretty sure this will have exhausted our supply of surprises for the week at least so we should be in the clear now.

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Bath time with mommy!

Today marks Emilia’s 29th day of life and she has reach week 35 of gestational development! Over the past week she has been growing like a weed, reaching 4.7 lbs and putting on an average of an ounce a day. The fortifier has been removed from her milk to encourage her to feed more from Mom and today is the last day she will receive her “Florababy” (a type of probiotic to help digestion). It is crazy to think Emilia has been here for a month already. Looking back through the photographs of her you can see how much she has grown but for us, being here each day, the difference is largely noticeable in the steadily increasing output of creamy-yellow-baby-poop (also the name of a hit lullaby I sing). Emilia has also graduated to her next bed now that she can regulate her temperature on her own!

I wrote too soon (see above paragraph re: surprises). In a cruel coincidence (not irony! thanks tenth-grade English!) on a day I’m here trying to relieve stress from Lauren the word came down from the top; mom needs to start spending the night. Using a delicate vocabulary of grunts and squeals it appears to the nurses that Emilia has decided enough is enough, night-time isn’t for sleeping anymore. Apparently she has been waking quite regularly before her feeds and staying quite alert throughout. Tara, the NNP, tells us this is a sign Emilia is ready to start breastfeeding more and accordingly she has been switched to a semi-demand feeding schedule. All this means is that they will wait an extra half-hour before feeding her to see if she wakes up and demands food herself. Sounds like questionable interrogation tactics to me but we will see how she does.

There is a fold-out bed here for Lauren and the hospital supplies a room to shower in. When I told Lauren she was requested to spend the night she didn’t sound thrilled but I think we both realize this is just another step towards the finish-line. The nurses have told us that if Lauren has too much trouble sleeping in the hospital (the alarms often bring to mind a Star Wars dog-fighting scene) they can bottle Emilia during the night. I’ve been told by the staff here that bottling does not affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed, contrary to the popular myth. That being said they suggested Lauren trying sleeping here to start off with; the more time Emilia gets at the breast the better (redacted joke).

Although things are about to get a little crazier we can now see the light at the end of the soother. I don’t want to get any hopes up, including my own,  but the general feeling here is that within two to three weeks we may be going home.

Thanks for reading,

Damon

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