Monday, January 30, 2006

Adventures in babyland!

Here is a not-so-rare picture of Jon Allen sleeping on my lap.

Because Esther and I are separated, I get to see Jon when I can schedule it, which is nearly every day. Last Tuesday he came down to DeKalb because Esther had a doctor's appointment, and I got to watch him alone for a couple of hours. He was fine for the first 45 minutes or so, then got hungry and started crying. He stopped crying when I fed him, but resumed shortly after he stopped eating. So I changed him. He continued to cry, and cry, and cry, for a good 15-20 minutes. I was at my wit's end. He was fed and changed. What else do babies need? Then I kissed his nose and noticed how cold it was, so wrapped him up in a couple blankets. This sent him off to la-la land posthaste, leaving a frazzled, but relieved Dad to pick up his dirty diaper and formula bottle.

Most of the time I see him in three-four hour stretches. He does what newborns do best -- eat, cry and make poopy diapers. I've learned the best way to burp him, and am getting quicker at changing him. So far, he doesn't like feeding from a bottle, preferring his mother's nipple instead. And then there's the gas to liquid ratio so important to baby feeding.

But what's been neat the last couple times I've seen him is a newfound recognition in his eyes. He knows who I am! He can tell my voice and the way I handle him. Saturday I played guitar for him. He was enthralled, wide-eyed and cooing along with the music. He also responds well to low humming and whistling. I think he's going to be like his parents and have a natural inclination towards music.

He is growing so fast. His hair is coming in thick, blonde and curly. He stays awake longer and is very animated and active with his hands and feet. He likes to grasp at things when he's feeding. He doesn't like to be strapped into his car seat, but falls asleep right away once we get moving. His neck muscles are very strong. He really tries to hold his head up when I lay him on his stomach. His leg and arm muscles are also strong and show good muscle definition.

My only concern is that he is a wheezy breather, especially after feeding. Maybe he got too much amniotic fluid in his lungs because he was born two weeks late? He doesn't seem to struggle for breath. He is such an eager feeder that he sometimes runs out of breath from feeding too fast.

I just love his smell, his feel, his eagerness, the wide-eyed looks and occasional smile. I've never spent so much time with a newborn, and it is a joy noticing all the subtle, yet dramatic changes he is going through.

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