Wow, I'm a Dad

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Mark and Just Arrived Baby MiloMark and Just Arrived Baby MiloAfter 9 months of waiting, I'm a Dad! We've uploaded a photo album of his first week. Like most proud parents, we've probably included too many pictures in it (45ish). Take a look. There are some good ones!

Jessica did a tremendous job bringing baby to term. It is a boy! Baby Bun is now Baby Milo. Milo arrived in this world just over one week ago on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 3:43am. He weighed 3730g (8lb 3.5oz). Jessica and I were so excited to meet him!! Jessica labored for over 27 hours, and then had to deliver via C-Section because Milo's head was not quite aligned properly.

Even though Milo came in to this world the modern way, Jessica and I were old-fashioned when it came to knowing whether our bundle of joy was a boy or a girl. The few moments between hearing the baby cry and knowing the baby was OK and the time when we found out what we had were filled with great anticipation! Even though it is clichéd, I'll never forget when the doctor brought the baby around the curtain and I announced to the world that it was a boy!

The one thing that struck me as I carried Milo from the operating room to the nursery for his tests was how special it is to be a father. There is no other feeling like it. Changing poopy diapers, consoling the crying, and the lack of sleep don't really matter. I love Milo and that is that. I'll do what it takes to make sure that he is happy and healthy.

One of my favorite things to do is to take my shirt off and hold Milo. Skin to skin contact has been shown to provide tremendous benefits for newborns. And I'll tell you what - it can provide tremendous benefits for the parents too :-) When I have skin to skin contact with Milo, it feels like I am forming a much stronger bond with him. It just isn't the same if he has an outfit on or if I have a shirt on. I feel such a strong connection to someone who is made up of the best of me and the best of Jessica.

Jessica and MiloJessica and MiloWhen holding him, it is mesmerizing. Time flies by. While this is typical of all parents' thoughts of their babies, Milo is the cutest baby. Ever. Check out the pictures. Both Jessica and I are getting to know his personality. So far he seems like a mellow little guy. He takes after me! Though when I was young I had "ants in my pants" according to my grandfather -- I couldn't sit still. So lets see what happens which way he goes as he gets older.

I think I've become sensitive pony-tail man as a result of this experience. I've cried many times since he has been born. And I'm not ashamed to say it. I don't know if it was the lack of sleep, or if it was some other factor. But for whatever reason, the waterworks just kept coming. Lets list some of them:

* When Milo was born and we heard his cry and found out the baby was a boy
* When driving home from the hospital one day while having to leave Jessica and Milo behind so I could feed the dog and the cat. I didn't want to leave them
* When thinking about all of the things that I'd teach him as he grows up
* When I had to put him back in the incubator with UV light on it as he was treated for Jaundice. I didn't want to put him in there. I wanted for Jessica and I to keep holding him

Milo Under the UV Light for JaundiceMilo Under the UV Light for JaundicePoor Milo developed a case of Jaundice a few days after birth. It got bad enough that the doctors had to treat him. 60% of babies develop Jaundice. 2% have to be treated. We'd been in the 50th percentile for everything throughout the pregnancy, so we weren't surprised he had Jaundice. But we weren't happy he ended up in the 2% that had to be treated. The treatment is to put the baby in an incubator with a UV light on top of it. The UV helps break down the red blood cells that are no longer necessary to handle nourishment coming from the umbilical cord that the baby's new liver can't handle. It wasn't fun to place him in an incubator. I felt terrible doing it, because it meant we couldn't hold him. Neither Jessica or I could bond with him during the non-feeding times during the 24 hours on his third day of life he was in the incubator.

Feeding has been tougher than we would like. While Milo had Jaundice, we had to really put the food in him. And the only way to get him the food he needed was to give him formula. A lot of it. At regular intervals. We had to wake him up and give him as much as he would take. Jessica and Milo are only just now finding their footing when it comes to feeding.

Sleep. It has been a valuable commodity during the past week. I do miss it so. But, Jessica and I believe we now have a routine that will get us some sleep. It means that we have to feed formula to him for a feeding at midnight. But that is OK. What we do is after 9pm, we both go to bed. I wake up for midnight. And she wakes up for 3am. That way we both get some good long sets of sleep. We've also taken ourselves off of the regimented feeding every three hours. Milo was very hard to wake up and didn't seem to be feeding properly. Now we let him wake up when he is ready and we feed him. All three of us have been much happier :-) He is on his way back to his birth weight!

In the pee/poop category, lets just say that I've been the lucky one to have been peed and pooped on first. Man, it is a surprise when it happens, but it isn't as bad as all that. Back in my pre-baby days, I was dreading changing diapers, and being the inevitable pee and poop receptacle. But is hasn't been that bad! In fact, I actually feel good doing it because it helps Milo. Wow, I never thought I'd say that -- it feels good to change diapers.

Mark, Jessica, Milo, and JessicaMark, Jessica, Milo, and JessicaI want to give special thanks to Jessica Ludgate. She is our Midwife. She took tremendous care of Jessica and the baby during the delivery and after Milo arrived. Both Jessica and I would recommend her and the rest of the Midwifery Group of Ottawa to anyone having a baby. You get personalized attention that helps see you and your partner through the amazingness of pregnancy, birth, and care for the baby during the first six weeks of life.

As Milo gets older, you are bound to see a lot of Milo-related postings here :-)

Just wanted to send a shout out to you and these great writing about eing a father. My waterworks started all over again about our births and the joy of yours. The announcement of Elliot as a boy, just knowing that one little thing about him was so priceless. My heart breaks for you about the jaundice, what a gut wrencher. Most of all I am so greatful that the world has another perfect love generator in the special thing that it is to be a parent. Remember it when you sneek into his room when he is 3 to watch him sleep because its the only time he's quiet and looks like an angel. It never gets old. Much love to you and your whole family.
Grandma Lupita- I'm stoping by for a hug sometime soon.

Baby Milo:

You are so cool. Welcome to Mother Earth. You won your parents over in an instant.

Your mom and dad, in the great photos, exude such a level of joy and love for you.

There are several photos which are such winners, both of you alone and of your mom and dad. I especially like the one where your dad is carrying you down the hall as you head to your home with 2 super loving parents.

In only a couple of months, I will come to visit you.

Love from Grandpaw.

Dear Mark, Yes, the birth of your child is a very wonderful and loving experience. Even though we are far away, we have rejoyced and cried with you and Jess through the birthing process.

Thank you for sharing your joy with all of us. Paw and I are very proud to see what a wondeful husband and dad you are and cannot wait to meet Milo.

Blessings and much love for the three of you.

Grandma Lupita

This is a beautiful post. I've had tears and smiles all the way through. Thanks for letting us into your experience. The pictures are amazing and tell the story in a very special way too.

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