Update on Jason

Jason continues to do very well. We estimate his weight at somewhere between 15 and 16 pounds, which means he’s double his birth weight here at the 11 week mark. The best part is he’s smiling a lot, and even giggling with a little encouragement, which usually comes in the form of his “Lion King” mobile, Daddy’s faces or Mommy’s renditions of Patsy Cline hits.

Jason enjoys kicking the set of chimes we bought to hang from his little pop-up gym, and his legs are strong enough that he can support his own weight for quite a while, provided we hold him steady (he still has no sense of balance).

On April 15, Jason was baptized by his grandfather and Rev. Lynch and got a warm welcome from the folks at Woods UMC.

This Thursday, it’s off to Minnesota for the Palzer family reunion. It’ll be Jason’s first trip by plane, obviously, but also the furthest he’s been from home since we brought him back from the hospital. We’re a little nervous about being “those people” on the flight…the ones who bring an infant along. I wonder if I’ll see the other passengers thinking the same thing I always used to (“I hope they’re not sitting next to me!”).

Doing Fine

Wow, long time no update.

Well, Jason is doing fine now. Once he got his bilirubin levels under control, he went from 7lbs 10 oz to 9 lbs 13 oz in the space of 16 days, so we know he’s eating well!

A couple of weeks ago he got to visit with his grandmother Patricia from Ohio and he still misses the extra attention. Work on the nursery is coming along nicely and with any luck it should all come together by the time Jason enters Middle School.

The best part is we’re getting a lot of smiles now as Jason recognizes us and just generally seems to be having a grand time.

Glow Little Glow Worm

By the first Friday morning at home Jason was showing definite signs of jaundice, so we quickly made an appointment with the pediatrician and had him checked out. The doc said Jason’s bilirubin levels were elevated, meaning I gather that excess red blood cells were breaking down in numbers too large for his system to flush out without help. We were issued a device called a “Wallaby” light therapy machine, more or less a projector that shines light through a hose down to a paddle-shaped panel. The panel goes directly against Jason’s bare back and provides the same beneficial effects he’d get from natural sunlight (except he won’t get a tan and there’s no heat).

After a few days on the machine, we got his levels back to where he could manage them without help. Still, it tugged at the heart to see him tethered to this contraption, with a one-inch hose sticking out from his blankets and a colorful glow shining through (we took to calling him our “little glow-worm”).

Apparently jaundice is a common problem for infants, one that used to be cleared up before they ever left the hospital, back in the days when mom and baby were kept there for a week or so. These days kids are sent home much earlier, and so it’s up to these medical supply companies to come door-to-door and hook them up to a machine at a cost of more than $100 a day. Another shining example of how America’s insurance industry is making the medical system more “efficient.”

Baby Jason Is Here!

Laura and I got quite a surprise on April 15 when baby decided to show up three weeks early! After a quick trip to the hospital, we were blessed with a relatively short labor (about 10 hours), a great doctor and nurse, a minimum of pain (according to Laura!) and most of all, a beautiful and healthy baby boy.

Our son was born at 3:33 pm, which together with being three weeks early to the day seems a sure tip-off to what his lucky number will be. We’d decided early on to let ourselves be surprised by the sex of the baby, and although we’d long since settled on a girl’s name, we were still debating a boy’s name until literally the last minute. As an exercise to keep Laura’s mind off her aches, we made one last run through the alphabet, trying to come up with a good boy’s name for each letter. We’d only got about halfway through when the pushing started, and as soon as Laura saw the baby’s face, she decided he looked like a Jason (one of our favorite names for months, anyway).

Years ago we decided to give our first son the middle name “Peter,” in honor of Laura’s much-loved late grandfather. So the baby’s full name is Jason Peter Morefield. The day after he was born, the hospital photographer took an official photo for announcements, shown here.

Jason scored very well on the APGAR tests (8 and 9) and got a clean bill of health, so we headed home two days later and set about getting him settled in.

Baby Face

Yesterday Laura and I went in for another ultra-sound (number eight!) and this time you could see a lot more. Not too surprising I guess, with only six weeks to go.

Anyway I keep finding myself saying stupid things like, “it’s got a little nose!” And of course, one would hope it did, along with, for instance, little eyes and a little mouth and various other little parts. But hearing such mindless pronouncements come out of my mouth, it’s beginning to sink in that I’m probably going to be one of those parents, forever prattling on about the kid and whatever adventures it’s gotten into, boring people with photos and stories that could only possibly interest myself and Laura. As if ours is the first kid to walk, talk, or make a funny face.

But it will be the first kid of ours to do it, and I suppose in the end that’s enough.