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Thirty-six weeks is how long in gestation little Arl

Let me start over. I was just interrupted mid-sentence by a phone call from the nurse in the NICU. She said that Arlo was hungry early and ready for his bottle feed- and also that he had just pulled his nasogastric tube all the way out. That’s twenty-one centimeters of tube he decided didn’t belong inside of him.

So instead of finishing the first sentence of this post, I slammed my laptop closed, put on my SuperDad cape, and hurried the twenty-seven steps over to the NICU (because nobody else gives him the bottle like his papa gives him the bottle).

So… that’s where I’m at… Arlo, however, is being a little more realistic about the situation. Had he not come early, he would have been at thirty-six weeks in gestation today. Instead, Arlo is two weeks old today. Happy two weeks little buddy!

We are still in the halfway house, and will be for at least a few more days. Arlo is getting closer and closer to breaking out though. He’s went from multiple lines and tubes, to just one monitor wire. Sure, he pulled the last tube out himself today but the kid knows what he’s ready for. Up until yesterday he had been sleeping in a full on NICU bed- the kind that has a warmer, bells, gauges, whistles, Mr. Coffee, scale, leveler, etc. Now he hangs out in a big boy bassinet that has nothing but a mattress and walls to keep him from rolling out.

What we are waiting for is for him to gain a little more weight and eat consistently and independently- well, independent of the tube he pulled out. He weighs 5 lbs, 5oz. That’s more than he weighed at birth, which is a big deal. He is breastfeeding and bottle-feeding like a champ- it’s just every once in a while he’s a little too tired to fill his belly with the entire prescribed 40-50 mL, hence the NG tube.

But it’s go-time now Arlo! You gotta prove to those nurses you don’t need that tube! You gotta eat! You own that nipple! Whether it’s your mama’s or the bottle’s- it’s your nipple son! Let’s have my good friend Rocky give you the real pep talk…

“Let me tell you something you already know Arlo. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya suck that nipple. It’s about how hard you can suck it and keep transferring milk. It’s about endurance! How much you can suck and keep moving forward. That’s how feeding is done!”

-Rocky Balboa (kinda)

 

Balboa Rocky

No pressure though buddy, you’re gonna be ready when you’re ready, and that’s just fine.  Love you.

Silhouettes

I think we have a name picked out. But I’m not going to tell you. We’ve been floating it around to each other since sometime in January. Kylie says she remembers the exact moment we began talking about it. I don’t. I just remember we were hiking around. I will say it is not going to be Scout. Much to my chagrin, my evil ploy of that name catching on permanently did not work. Sorry Scout.

It’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it? Let me catch you up- don’t worry, there’s not much. We had a birthing class a couple Saturdays ago. I’d have to say it was quite useful and informative. I learned that once a woman goes into labor, it’s not like in the movies- she doesn’t just drive to the hospital, lie down on a bed, and push out a little squirt. It’s more complicated that that. In fact, the many many hours leading up to the pushing is filled with the woman trying to maintain comfort in awkward positions that I can only describe as being reminiscent of farm animal silhouettes.

I do realize that this is a terribly insensitive comparison. I will also accept your hateful glare next time we meet. But, as always (most of the time), there is a innocent explanation to counter this insensitivity. Let me set the scene: We were in our birthing class. We were all practicing our positions and breathing. The women were squatting or leaning on chairs or on all fours. The men were right next to them- most of them massaging or rubbing their backs (some were on their phone). There was one huge window behind all of them- meaning one light source- meaning they were all shadows to me. So my mind combined the silhouettes of people and chairs and chair legs and heavy breathing and I imagined I was looking at various farm animals. Whatever! At least I wasn’t on my phone!Farm AnimalsKylie, just so you know, you did not look like a farm animal. And if you were going to look like a farm animal you would be the cutest little… yeah right! I’m not going to go there.

What else? Scout’s room is all set to go. The carpet has been professionally cleaned. We put together the crib and a changing table/dresser. There are tiny little hangers hanging in the closet. Who knew hangers could be so damn cute!

And now we wait. Two months left. Our April is already planned out, so it’s basically done. So, really, just one month left. Although the one actually carrying Scout would probably have something else to say about that logic.

Kylie has been wonderful throughout this. Her stomach has grown a little more, but hey, there’s an actual baby inside her now. I see him move around. I see him press out against her belly. Sometimes I press back. But then it freaks me out a little and I squirm and eek out an “Ewwww!” It’s kinda like that feeling when you stick your hand in some gum that some asshole stuck to the bottom of the chair you’re sitting on. You pull away real quick and squeal out an “Ewwww!” Well, I do at least. But I also see farm animal silhouettes sometimes.