Friday, March 28, 2008

Packin' On The Pound

Cullen had his 2 week check-up today and the doctor was thrilled with his weight gain. He now checks in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. – up almost 1 lb. since he came home from the hospital. He’s still not fitting into most of his clothes, but we keep promising him that he will soon be growing out of most of them. The doctor also measured his head circumference and we are happy to report that he has not taken on the LaVigne trait of an abnormally large head (sorry Grandpa Mark). Cullen is a good baby and pretty predictable so far – he eats every 3–4 hours and sleeps most of his days away. He’s had a few fussy spells, and it seems they mostly fall on Dirk’s bedtime feeding (but I know my luck will eventually run out!).

Thanks again to all of you who have called or sent well wishes. Cullen can’t wait to meet all of the members of his growing fan club.

Friday, March 21, 2008

One week down, a lifetime to go

Well, the first week is in the books and everything has been going well. First, a big thanks from Lisa and I for all of the well wishes, packages, cards, etc. We are very lucky to have such caring friends and family. A special thanks to Grandma Liz, who spent a few nights here this week and helped us a great deal.

Lisa and I are doing a good job of adjusting to the life of parents. So far, Cullen has been a pretty easy little guy to take care of….knock on wood….as he sleeps the majority of the day. I’ve been informed not to get to comfortable, as this will not last. J

Cullen is doing great. He passed his first checkup with flying colors. He is eating well and definitely processing his food nicely. J He was extremely excited yesterday, as his mother got him the DirecTV Mega March Madness package for his one week birthday. He was able to tune into all of the NCAA Tourney games, although he slept through the majority. Dad is impressed that he has seemed to grasp the concepts of good and evil at an early age, as he cooed when Wisconsin pulled away in the second half of their game and cried as Duke hit their game winning shot.

All in all, everything is going very well and it has been a good first week. We are excited about the road ahead as Cullen continues to grow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Cullen Robert Swanson arrived on March 13th at 12:45p.m. He weighs 6lbs 5oz, was 18.5” long, and is healthy. It was an unbelievable experience and everything went very smoothly. It all started out early in the morning and the day is a bit hazy, but here is the story.

Lisa got up to use the bathroom at 3:45am, no big deal, this has become a common occurrence the last nine months. I thought it was a bit weird when she got up again 10 minutes later. These concerns were confirmed when there was a shout from the bathroom….”I think my water broke”. Oh shit, its go time. We arrived at the hospital at 4:30a.m. and were ushered up to the labor and delivery floor. The nurse on duty confirmed that Lisa’s water had indeed broke and we would be having a baby today. ….deep breath, deep breath, we’re good.

At 8:30 Lisa’s OB, Dr. Kuffel, made her appearance. Lisa was extremely excited to see her, almost to the verge of tears ,as she walked in. Dr Kuffel is a rockstar and as Lisa has been seeing her a few times a month for the last nine months she brought a much needed level of comfort. Lisa’s at ease attitude quickly diminished as Dr. Kuffel informed her that she was dilated to 7cm and 90% effaced. She had been at 4cm an hour and a half earlier. The tension in the room rose as Lisa began to worry that she might miss her window for an epidural. The nurses were scurrying around bringing in bags of fluid as Lisa continued asking about the epidural. They reassured her that there would be no problems and the tension subsided.
Dr. Kuffel had to take off for her morning appointments and informed Lisa that she hoped to be here for the delivery, but had a very important meeting at 1pm and there was a chance she wouldn’t be here. Lisa responded that coincidentally she had an appointment with her today at 10am and she would try her best to get this guy out in her appointment time slot. This was met with uproarious laughter from the nurses and Dr. Kuffel.

Our anesthesialogist , Dr Carlyle showed up 20minutes later to administer the epidural. The epidural is a catheter located in the spine that blocks sensation from the stomach down. He immediately lightened the mood by commenting on what a great back Lisa had. Lisa quickly responded , “imagine Dr Carlyle on vacation, sitting around a pool, commenting on peoples backs, “ooh check out her back“, or “damn look at his back.” Once again uproarious laughter. She and the Dr. went back and forth the entire time, with Lisa sharing stories of friends epidurals and he sharing some of his stories. He finished up about 45 minutes later. Although, he did come visit us in the post-partum ward later on to see how we were doing and inform us what a great time he had with us.

Lisa’s 10am appointment came and went with no baby. She sat comfortably in the bed and I sat, somewhat comfortably, in a chair watching “3 Men and A Baby”. At 11am the nurses noticed that Lisa’s contractions were coming more frequently and began preparing the room for delivery….oh shit, deep breath, deep breath were good.

The time is now 11:15 and the nurses inform Lisa that she is now fully dilated and her cervix is gone. I immediately rush to the bathroom. They inform Lisa that it is time to start pushing. For the weak stomached ( I used to be in this camp) I will skip many of the details of the last hour and a half. Dr Kuffel arrived at 12ish and informed us that things were going well. She removed her watch at 12:30 and we knew it was go time. Cullen was delivered at 12:45. Dr. Kuffel, would later inform us that she was only five minutes late for her meeting, but had a real good excuse. We couldn’t have agreed more.