November 15, 2006
McMaster, natalie's doing great so far! we've had some complications getting her on the right formula but overall she is really a great baby. she's generally not fussy unless she's hungry (she's eating about 5 oz. now) or tired (she fights sleep). The worst part is not getting much sleep at night but she's gotten to the point now where she'll sleep for at the least 3 hours and sometimes 4 or 5. She's about 5 and 1/2 weeks old now so that's pretty good the way I see. Apparantly the general rule is that by the time a baby double's their birth weight (natalie was 6lbs. 13 oz. so by the time she is about 10-12 lbs) they should be sleeping through the night (6-8 hours).
Good luck to you and your wife on Sunday or before that if the little one arrives before then. Everything for us went smoothly up until my water was broken but after that it kind of plummeted with pain...here's a few tips for your wife:
1) if your hospital has a jacuzzi or whirlpool in the room, USE IT - it'll help relieve a lot of the pain in her back and general pressure.
2) If the hospital has popsicles - eat them - they are especially good in the whirlpool!
3) Ice chips are the best treat in the world going through hard contractions - feed them to your wife she will love you forever
4) Ask the hospital for a birthing ball if there isn't already one in your room - the most comfortable position for me was placing the ball on the floor at the end of the bed and while sitting on it, resting my head on my arms on the bed - I actually slept for about 45 minutes this way because I was able to get so relaxe - and moving my pelvis back and forth horizontally.
5) movement, movement, movement - don't stay confined to the bed unless you really have to. walk around, get in the tub, be on the ball, pace back and forth, whatever you have to do to stay mobile, it will help a lot.
6) This is the most important one - GET THE EPIDURAL. I was planning on going naturally or just with the small injections of the narcotic that they can give you into your hand to ease the pain (tell her to get this too - it makes you feel drunk and takes the edge off and lasts about an hour per dose - generally they give you two doses an hour apart). However, after they told me that they could no longer give me doses of that narcotic, the epidural sounded like heaven even though i was scared of the thought of the needle - i swear all your wife will feel is a small sting when they numb the area and that is it. It'll take ALL the pain away and all she'll feel is pressure. Plus, the great thing about the epidural is you can administer it yourself by pushing this button attached to the IV.
7) A tip for you personally - don't say "i know how you feel" or anything like that (you might be in the hospital bed down the hall if you do!) and let her complain about whatever she wants to whenever she wants to.
King was such a great support by making suggestions to walk around or asking me if i wanted juice or anything. make sure your wife stays hydrated as much as possible and if you guys have either a portabled dvd player or a laptop that plays dvds, bring it. you might not use it before the baby is born but the hospital i delivered at had a standard rule of keeping you there for 2 days after....that two days gets pretty boring afterawhile and you'll need something to keep you occupied. also, my advice would be to have the baby sleep in the nursery at nighttime and let the nurses take care of him or her all night if your wife is not going to nurse and if she is, just bring the baby in for feedings - both of you will want and desperately need to sleep after going through what you will be going through. we were up at 6am on friday morning and never got to bed until about 4:30am on saturday. you will be totally bushed.
Overall, tell your wife to keep in mind that each contraction, no matter how bad, is working toward something very important and each one that she goes through she wont have to go through again - take one at a time and don't think about how long she might have left.
For after the baby is born, pick up the book "What to Expect, the First Year" (from the series "what to expect when you're expecting") - it's been a great help and has great advice.
If you all have any questions feel free to email me, i'll be happy to help!
Good luck to you all. It's definitely an experience that neither of you will ever ever forget.