Monday, April 21, 2008

Leo's 1st Photo Shoot - 12 Days Old

We just got photos back from Leo's 1st photo shoot. He was 12 days old when the photos were taken and we are so pleased with the results. Amy, a former co-worker's wife, took the photos and did a great job. We have hundreds and I just posted a few of my favorites. I am so thrilled that we were able to capture images of Leo in his first few weeks of life.

P.S. Could he be any cuter?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Grandma Laurel Arrives

Leo is now 23 days old and we are starting to get the hang of this parenting thing! Everyday he seems to get cuter and cuter and my main goal is to fatten the boy up. Recently we have had a couple of key events happen too. Yesterday, Leo visited his Daddy at work and he was a big hit with his co-workers. Joe was a very proud Papa. Also, today Leo had his first full-fledge bath and he loved it. Until today, we had been giving him sponge baths, which he hates, but today we set up his baby bath and he was super happy (and squeaky clean).

On Tuesday, Joe's mom, Laurel arrived from Pittsburgh to meet Leo and she will be visiting for the next couple of weeks. Leo has really taken to her and smiles for her all the time. She confirmed that Leo looks just like Joe did as a baby, minus Joe's dark hair. I have a feeling that Grandma Laurel will be one of Leo's best buddies!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Leo is 17 Days old

It is now day 17 with Leo and we are really getting to know our son. He is a joy, but what a handful! Joe is going back to work tomorrow and he has been a huge help, so we will see how I do without his capable hands. We are definitely on Leo's schedule and our lives are dictated as such...but it is all worth it. We usually get up twice a night and although this is very difficult for me, I am hoping to adjust soon. I typically try to nap either in the morning or afternoon with Leo to catch up on missed sleep. Despite the sleep deprivation, we love having him as part of the family. We are very proud parents and all the crying, fussing and lack of sleep is worth one of his smiles (he does smile in his sleep at times).

Leo has gained tons of weight and at his 2 week pediatrician appointment on Thursday, he was at 6 lb. .05 oz. This is great news and he is exclusively breastfeeding, so I feel a real sense of accomplishment. Leo is a pretty good eater, but he gets frustrated if he doesn't receive immediate gratification. Every once in a while, me give him a bottle of breast milk. As the photo above indicates, we have a baby genius on our hands. On day 10, Leo took the bottle himself and grasped it with both hands. I don't know a lot about babies, but this seems rather impressive to me. Joe and I have also been christened with Leo's little sprinkler system and is has his comedic timing perfected for gas attacks. He loves to make plenty of ruckus when we have guests, but you gotta love him for it.

Leo also had his circumcision performed at his 2 week pediatrician appointment and it just about broke our hearts. Poor little guy! I was too wimpy to be in the room, but Joe was brave and comforted our little boy. He is still recovering and I just feel horrible seeing the pain he is in. How could we have opted to put him through this? I am sure that in the long run, it will be a good decision, but for now, it just feels like undue torture. I just hope and pray his pain is almost over.

On Tuesday, we had a photographer, who is the wife of my ex co-worker Brad, come to the house and take photos of Leo. She took a couple hundred and to our surprise, he was awake for most of the shots. I will get some of those photos up when we get them (I can't wait)! As for taking photos of Leo, I am quickly learning that photographing a newborn is next to impossible...especially with his eyes open. I did manage a shot in his carseat, but it doesn't do him justice. Trust me, Leo is gorgeous (I am the mother, but he really is!). Anyhow, even if I catch him in a peaceful awake moment, usually the red eye reduction feature on the camera is enough to make him cringe and this is without use of the flash. Let's just hope the our photographer Amy got some good shots. Also, I included a few shots just to show how truly small Leo is. People are always quick to comment on his size, so I figure I better catch him at this size while I can. On a happy note, Leo is now sporting some of his newborn sized clothes. Way to go Leo!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Day 8

Leo is now 8 days old. We try to have little adventures everyday and whenever we take him out, he is the center of attention. I don't think people are used to seeing such a small baby and such a cute one at that! He makes friends everywhere he goes and is quite the lady killer already.

We love being parents and enjoy almost every moment with him. Of course 3 a.m. feedings are never fun and I have to learn more about baby water works (Joe and I have both been christened by Leo during diaper changes). Despite the challenges, he is such a joy. We had our first family nap today with Leo and the cats too. These are the moments I will never forget.

Quick Video of Leo

Hello All!

Joemo here making an impromptu post on the blog. Here is our first attempt at a short video of Leo. Of course he's asleep and the file is HUGE but it is a start. More to follow...


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

6 Days Old

Is this not the sweetest thing you have ever seen? I caught these images on Leo's sixth day of life and as you can see, Daddy and Leo have really bonded. I have spent most of my bonding time with Leo at his feedings and Joe has spends a good deal of his time taking care of feedings, diaper changing and cuddling up with Leo for naps.

Leo went to the pediatrician on Monday (day 4) and got very high marks. He also scored an A+ with the lactation consultant on day 5 and she said that he is a breastfeeding champ. He is growing rapidly and is almost back to his birth rate. Joe and I were concerned that Leo would not be able to continue breastfeeding because he had to be supplemented with bottle feeding and syringe tube feeding (which is a complete nightmare and a 2 person operation). Leo was born with low blood sugar levels and because he is so small, formula supplementation was a necessity. Unfortunately, his first 2 days of life required blood sugar heel prick tests every 2 hours and as a new mommy, that was heart wrenching. I always tried to breastfeed prior to bottle feedings, but these newborns are insanely smart and figure out rather quickly that the bottle gives them the most food for the littlest effort. Luckily for us, by day 4, we were told that we could stop supplementing and Leo is now exclusively breastfeeding. We caught him just in time and he is really catching on.

In addition to Leo's low birth weight and blood sugar issues, Leo also was slightly jaundiced. For a couple of days in the hospital, he had to wear a blanket that glowed a vibrant shade of green. He looked just like a glow worm and it was completely adorable. After a day or so and a few tests (these tests required a small vile of blood taken from his heel and nearly caused a Mommy meltdown), Leo's jaundice levels were low enough to remove the blanket. Just when we thought we were in the clear, on day 3, Leo developed a rash around his mouth. It quickly spread down his chin and we were terrified. Nobody could figure out what was causing the rash, but before we were discharged, a doc from the NICU evaluated Leo and said that since he was healthy and striving, there was no need to be too alarmed, especially since we had an appointment with his pediatrician the next day.

Since we have been home though, things have been great. Leo is very happy and healthy and he seems to really like us. We couldn't be more smitten too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Welcome Leo Joseph Morris

He's Here!!! Our gorgeous little boy! Leo Joseph Morris arrived on Thursday, March 27 at 8:16 a.m. and he is healthy, happy and completely adorable. Sorry I haven't posted sooner, but I am sleep deprived and so busy with our new little guy. I promise to get more photos up here soon, because these really don't do Leo justice. He is, in our eyes...perfection.

It all started when Joe and I went in for our 38-39 week appointment with ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that Leo was measuring comparable in size to a baby of 34 weeks gestation, which meant he had fallen way behind with his growth. At our last ultrasound appointment, which was at 26 weeks, Leo had measured at the 50% for his age, so something had obviously gone wrong. Next they checked my amniotic fluid levels, and unfortunately, they were dangerously low. Dr. Davis, who was the doctor on call for my doctor, Dr. Barrett, had to break the bad news to us. He explained that my placenta probably hadn't been functioning effectively for a while and that Leo needed to be born right away. We went home, grabbed our things and headed for the hospital. It wasn't an emergency, but action needed to be taken soon. He ordered that a test be conducted that would determine how Leo dealt with contractions. Once at the hospital, we had an awesome RN, Candace, who administered Pitocin. The goal was for me to have 3 contractions within 10 minutes to see how well Leo dealt with them. When a baby has low amniotic fluid, they are put under more stress and therefor have a difficult time with the contractions. Well, our little man did not like contractions one little bit. Every time I had one, his heart rate dropped and that meant only one thing.... a scheduled c-section for the next morning.

The next morning, they prepped me for surgery and everything went great! Leo arrived at 8:16 a.m. and weighed 5 lb. 7 oz. and was 16.75 inches long. Yes, he is small, but he is extremely healthy and is the cutest baby I have ever seen. I plan to write a more in-depth account of the delivery and my stay at the hospital later, but for now, I must keep it brief.

Having Leo has been the most amazing event of my life. The love that we have for him is infinite. He brings us pure joy and it has been wonderful watching Joe fall in love with our son.

I have been feeling good too. Sometimes I forget that I just had major surgery, so I am trying to take it easy. Of course, we are both exhausted, but it is those moments when Leo just stares contently at us that make it all worth while. I am just so proud to be his mom and can't imagine life without my little angel.