August 26, 2005

One Year

Today is our first anniversary! Gary and I went to Europe for a month for our honeymoon last September, and we finally have some pictures uploaded! They only cover the first week of our trip (Benelux), but it's a start.

Posted by Jen at 08:43 AM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2005

more on growth charts

Here are the current growth charts (from 2000) from the CDC.

And here's a website that will calculate the percentiles for weight, length, and head circumference.

This morning Elliot weighed 7 lbs, 12 oz, which is between the 10th and 25th percentiles.

Posted by Jen at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

August 23, 2005

growth charts

I just read an article saying that the WHO is planning on releasing new growth charts next spring. Apparently the current growth charts are based primarily on bottle-fed (i.e. formula-fed) American babies. It wasn't clear from the article if there will be different growth charts for different countries, or if data from around the world is being collected for an international chart; I wasn't able to find anything on the WHO website about this.

I doubt this will affect Elliot's percentiles much, although they'll probably go up a bit.

Posted by Jen at 03:04 PM | Comments (1)

August 22, 2005


Our local grocery store already has Halloween candy out. Yum...stale candy (or at least it will be stale by the end of October)!

Posted by Jen at 05:16 PM | Comments (3)

August 14, 2005

Week 2 (almost)

Elliot's not quite 2 weeks old, but we've got new pictures to share. I asked Gary why I wasn't in any of them. He showed me the pictures he had taken this past week, and I don't look so good. :) Even though I've showered every day (and even washed my hair), and have not been hitting the bottle, the camera tells a different story. We'll try again next week.

I bought a pouch today, so I can carry Elliot around the house (and outside) more easily. I haven't done a lot of research on different carriers, but this one looked easy to use and should be good for a few years. It will arrive next week, and I'm looking forward to trying it out. We'll most likely buy a Baby Bjorn carrier, too, but that's more for walking around outside.

Posted by Jen at 04:36 PM | Comments (5)

August 13, 2005

Elliot update

There's not a lot to update since last week.

lost his umbilical cord stump on Wednesday
is much better at breastfeeding

went to the supermarket by herself for the first time today
is becoming more adept at typing with one hand while feeding Elliot

got 6 hours of sleep in a row last night (a record, I think!)
has become an expert at changing a diaper at any hour of the day

Posted by Jen at 05:57 PM | Comments (1)

August 09, 2005

Elliot's First Week

It is standard practice in California to test bilirubin levels (the stuff that causes jaundice) when babies are 24 hours old. Bilirubin levels tend to rise in the first few days of life because the newborn's liver can't process it yet. Elliot's bilirubin level was a bit high at 24 hours, so the doctor put him under phototherapy lights to prevent his bilirubin level from getting dangerously high later.

The phototherapy light is basically a bright blue or green light that generates almost no heat. The light penetrates the skin and breaks down the bilirubin (a yellow pigment) so the baby can eliminate it more easily. Elliot's bilirubin levels dropped on the second and third days, so it doesn't appear that he was ever in any danger. However, seeing him isolated under the phototherapy lights at the hospital was a bit stressful on us.

We brought Elliot home on Thursday. We spent the next couple of days figuring out a sustainable sleeping/feeding rhythm. Gary and I found that it works best if we tag team throughout the night, then Gary sleeps late in the mornings and I take naps between feedings in the afternoon and evening.

On Friday, we took Elliot to his first pediatrician visit. He weighed in at 6 lbs. 1 oz., which was a 1 ounce gain from his final hospital weighing. (Breastfed babies lose a bit of weight after birth before the mother's milk comes in.) The pediatrician checked him over thoroughly and gave him a clean bill of health.

On Saturday, Elliot's grandfather (Gary's dad) came over to visit, along with his girlfriend Emily. Emily cooked us a large pot of yummy chicken noodle soup, and the grandparents gave Elliot his first bath outside the hospital.

Gary put some more pictures on the web. You can view them here.

Posted by Jen at 03:50 PM | Comments (8)

August 08, 2005

labor and delivery

I apologize in advance for the incoherent nature of this entry. I want to write as much as possible about my labor and delivery, but I either don't remember, or don't know, most of the details.

My labor on Tuesday was extremely short. I don't remember most of the details, but this is how I recall it. I woke up at about 12.45 am, and after about 15 minutes woke up Gary because I thought I was in labor. We decided that my contractions were pretty irregular, and that we should try to get some sleep, or at least rest. From what we had heard, I might be like this for quite a few hours, and the best thing we could do was rest. But, the contractions got stronger and closer together, so Gary suggested I take a shower to help relieve some of the pain. The shower was great, but I started having major contractions every 8 minutes, with lesser ones halfway in between.

At this point I think Gary called the doctor to see if we should go in, but she told us to wait (contractions were still a bit irregular). By the time he got off the phone they were much more frequent and severe, so Gary decided it was time to take off for the hospital (especially since I started saying things like I didn't think I could sit in the car for 30 minutes!) I threw up at one point (which surprised me, but I'm happy it didn't happen in the car).

We got to the hospital around 4.30am, at which point I was already 5-6 cm dilated. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural; the anesthesiologist was busy doing a C-section, but I would be next. They gave me an IV drip and fentanyl, a narcotic, to take the edge off the pain. Meanwhile, another women was admitted who was in much worse shape (we could hear her down the hall, and she sounded miserable). The nurse asked if I would let her have the epidural first, and I agreed (only because I was a bit drugged, I'm sure).

Around 6.30am my doctor came around to check on my progress. I told her I had to use the bathroom, so she said I could get up after the next contraction. Then I realized that this sensation was only during contractions, not in between. She did a quick check and discovered I was 10cm dilated, and I didn't have to use the bathroom, I was ready to push!

This is the part that is most blurry to me, and I really only know what happened from what Gary has told me. The break between contractions was increasingly shorter, and at one point one lasted close to 20 minutes. This was starting to cause problems for Elliot, since his heart rate would drop dramatically during a contraction (from around 120 to 40 beats per minute). I got another drug (I think terbutaline, a muscle relaxant) to slow down the contractions and was put on oxygen to help get his circulation going. Apparently the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, which was causing the problem. Finally, the doctor decided that Elliot's signs weren't improving, and she told Gary that if I couldn't get him out in the next couple of pushes they would have to do an emergency C-section (and since I hadn't gotten the epidural, they would have had to knock me out completely). Gary encouraged me to give it my all (I didn't know about the C-section), and after a couple more pushes, out came Elliot at 7.24 am!

They wiped him off a bit and put him on my now much reduced belly. He was very purple (but the nurse assured me this was normal). Gary got to cut the umbilical cord after a couple of minutes, then they took him away briefly to clean him up. I delivered the placenta, and I got to breastfeed him (well, try to, anyway) a few minutes later, while my doctor stitched me up (I had a second-degree tear, but not an episiotomy). Then all the staff left us alone for about half an hour so we could recover. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world, having Gary next to me while I held our son.


I remember what happened at home pretty well, although I'm a bit hazy on the order of things. The trip to the hospital I sort of remember (it was very fast, since it was early in the morning). I brought a pillow from home to hold while in the car, and I lost it somewhere in the hospital. Except for very early, I didn't want to be touched during contractions, which surprised me. We had learned about different massage techniques during labor, none of which I wanted. I remember very little about being at the hospital. While there, all I wanted to do during a contraction was focus on a spot on the curtain; I yelled at Gary a few times when he stepped in front of me and broke my focus.
Having the oxygen mask helped me a lot, I think, even though it was meant for Elliot's health. I remember feeling safer behind it for some reason, so it calmed me down (probably because I couldn't see what the nurses and doctor were doing).
I remember being pretty concerned that I wasn't going to get an epidural, but everyone (Gary, the nurses, and doctor) assured me that it wouldn't do me any good, I was already past the worst of it (and they were right...the contractions were much less painful while pushing).
We had brought a huge bag of stuff with us to the hospital in anticipation of spending much of the day laboring. We had music, books, snacks, tennis balls (for massage), and other things to pass the time. We used absolutely none of it. I had planned on asking for a mirror so I could see the crowning (I was too out of it, and behind the oxygen mask, to even remember I wanted this). I had also planned to ask if I could push in a squatting position (instead of on my back), but again I was too out of it (and pushing was so brief) for this.

I have absolutely no recollection of what the contractions felt like. I don't think I even remembered them in between. I remember that they hurt worse than anything I had felt, but I can't remember them otherwise.
I also don't remember (or maybe I never knew) most of what was going on around me. In a way I envy Gary (not just because he didn't have to labor himself) because he actually knows what happened the entire time.

Posted by Jen at 07:42 AM | Comments (3)

August 04, 2005

Gary Elliot Snethen

Just a quick note to say that the three of us are back from the hospital!

Gary Elliot Snethen (we are calling him Elliot)
born 2 August 2005, 7:24 am PDT
6 lbs 8 oz
18 1/2 " long

A few pictures are here.

Posted by Jen at 09:50 PM | Comments (21)