Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Monster baby By Thomas A.

So mom was all freaked out because when i went to see Dr. Flinders at my 2 week checkup, I hadn't gained very much weight. I was still almost a pound below my birthweight. The Dr. said he wasn't too worried. Aunt Meredith said that Ivy and Owen were bigger babies, and they were slow gainers too. So mom figured it might be an "Engwall" thing.

Well, I went bac to the Dr. on Monday and they weighed me again. After lots o' nursing, I put on 8 ounces in one week. Usually babies gain about an ounce every two days, so I triples what i was supposed to gain! Oh! I grew another 1/2 inch too! I'm almost as big as grandpa!

{Mom's note: Seriously! All that kid did was eat! I nursed at least every two hours. I was not expecting 8 ounces in a week! Jeesh! It's a good thing, but it's really hard to get anything done! It's a bit difficult to pump and store because he eats all the time. I now try to pump whatever is left, but it takes a few times just to get a few ounces together. The more I pump, the more he eats.}

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's hard work being a baby! By Thomas A.

Sigh! No one told me it was going to be this hard! Mom LIED! She said it would be fun. It WAS fun when all I did was eat and sleep. As long as mom was feeling sore, she was moving slow and sleeping lots. But now she feels better and is taking me everywhere!

So far I've been to:
Don and Hazel's house. Hazel used to work with grandma.

Great Uncle Tom and Great Aunt Diana's house. It was Uncle Tom's 50th birthday. I got him a card and he got to hold me!

Shopping at Walmart with Grandma Engwall. I think she knows everyone in town! We couldn't go 5 feet without someone asking to see me. She put lots of stuff in my cart. I was scared she was going to try to run me through the checkout line.

I've been to Grandma and Grandpa Engwall's alot. They like being able to see me. I am working my way to being the number 1 grandkid. I will overthow my Engwall cousins yet!

I've been out to eat where Daddy works. All of the waitresses came out to hold me and tell me how cute I am. I didn't cry at all. I save that for mom when it's just the two of us. That way, no one believes her when she says I have a crabby time!

The first picture is me in my camo outfit. It's Wisconsin and the first day of deer season. Leah and Ryan gave the shirt to me when I was in the hospital. They also got me a flannel just like the ones Grandpa wears. I am not a happy boy when mom tries to pose me or makes me act like a show pony. I'm a baby boy, not a Barbie doll!
The second picture is me sleeping in my carseat. It was a long day! Mom, Dad and I had to go see Dr. Flinders for my two week checkup. I do not like the nurse. She makes me get all naked and I get cold and cry. Then they put me on the scale with only a little piece of paper on it and THAT'S really cold. I do my saddest baby in the world cry. I add the chin quiver for drama.
Dr. Flinders then looked to see how much weight I've gained. I am at 8 pounds 4 ounces, which is less than what I am supposed to weigh. I'm at 50%. But I added a whole 1 1/2 inches to my length and 1 inch to my head measurement, which is 95%. Right now, Dr. Flinders says mom needs to wake me up every two hours to eat and come back next week. If I gain a lot of weight, then I need to eat more and sleep less. If I don't then I am a "string bean" and will probably be a skinny baby like mom and dad. And since I was born like the great emperor Caeser, I might have had a lot of fluid in my lungs and the 9lbs wasn't my "true" birthweight.
After the trauma of being weighed, Dr. Flinders made mom get me all unbundled so he could check me. I was quiet but very alert and looking all over. The only time I cried is when the Dr. took off my diaper to check my hips and belly button. {Mom's note....Dr. Flinders is REALLY good at diapering. He was able to get the diaper back on better than I can, and he was standing at Thomas' head so he was doing it upside down. I said "Wow! You're a professional!" "Four kids!" he said.}
While I was crying the Dr. said that I look like mom, but that I really look like Grandpa. He was laughing because he only knows grandpa as an old man, but he says he now has a good idea of what he must have looked like as a baby. Mom commented that I was almost as tall as grandpa, and I cry just as much as Grandpa did after his gallbladder surgery.
Then I heard two things I didn't like. 3 shots at my next visit. He did tell mom to give me tylenol before we come in and to nurse me in the room as soon as they were done. And then mom asked for a refill on her vitamins.
The dr. asked her a bunch of questions and from what I was able to put together, he told her to keep taking them and if she was feeling sick to her stomach she would have to come in right away. He said "Well, it wouldn't surprise you want another baby already?" And mom said she wanted her kids to be close together. We'll see how well that works. As long as I am in my little baby bed...( see below)
After the doctor, we went home and daddy had to go back to work again (I never see him...his boss is gone, so daddy is working lots!) Mom and I went home and I ate and slept. Grandma and Grandpa then came up with Great Uncle Jim and we all went to dinner.
Last is a picture of me in my little bed. It's a special bed that fits in mom and dad's bed so I can sleep all safe and snug between them. I overheard mom and dad figuring out how much room they each get. Dad has 24 inces of bed, mom had 18 inches of bed, and I get the WHOLE middle to myself. Sometimes I have to share with Ike, but mostly, it's all mine! Mom and Dad are trying to figure out why such a little person need so much bed space. It's so I can make sure I am an only child. So ha ha to you Mom and Dad and Dr. Flinders! HA HA to YOU!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week One

Nursing a baby week one. It was hell.

Fortunately someone gave me some GREAT gifts at the baby shower and also some really good advice. We went to see the lactation consultant and see resolved the rest of my fears and concerns. Thomas is gaining weight right on schedule, so things look good.

For about three days I felt like an Iraqi at Abu Grahib. I was subjected to extreme nip torture. It's as bad as it sounds. The thing that kept ne going? That adorable little face. I have yet tp put him down for more than an hour. I can't help it. We waited a long time for him. I hope it's true that you can't spoil a baby.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


My mom with her first grandchild to be born with hair. She says it was instant flashback to when I was born.

Grandpa Thomas "Dugan" with little Thomas. Grandpa says he is already good luck as grandpa got 34 muskrat and 3 mink that day!

T-Money sleeping on the bed 1 day old. Sleeps like an Engwall with hands by the face.

Papa holding Thomas in his Babe outfit. We put him in that because my Grandpa Engwall was nicknamed Babe.
Papa with Thomas at 4 days old. First day at home.

Me and Thomas right after the c-section.

Thomas with Grandma Engwall.

Thomas with all his Engwall cousins. They adore him. Owen calls him "his baby" and loves to brush his hair. Ivy, Me holding Silas and Thomas, Cedric, and Owen on the bed.
Grandpa with Aunt Meredith, all the Engwall grandkids, and waiting for number 6 (Joseph Oscar?) to arrive after Christmas. Cedris, Ivy, Owen, Meredith holding Thomas, Grandpa and Silas. Grandpa asked Owen, "Does Thomas look like me?" and Owen said "No Grandpa, he's not gray like you!"


Thomas Cash finally made his entrance on October 29, 2007 at 6:15pm by c-section. It wasn't that mom didn't put forth a noble effort (24 hours of labor, including about 5 hours on pitocin) but I only dilated to 8.5cm. For one check they said I was close to 9, but subsequent checks showed I went to 8.5 and stayed there for hours. At one point, I got really nauseaus and asked for a puke bucket, and started to shake really bad. I asked one nurse if this was the transistion phase and if I could push yet, and she said, no, I actually was past transition, but I wasn't to the pushing stage.

I had decided that I would only go with paracervical blocks for pain relief because those wouldn't have an effect on the baby. And they did work wonderfully, the first 7 times (I'm a record holder at both the hospital and for the doctor!) But once we figured out I wasn't going much past 8.5, we decided to see if pitocin would "put me over the edge". So I got hooked up to that and it was working. My contractions were definitely coming harder and faster. I was having piggybacks which lasted over 2 minutes with about 30 seconds in between. This went on for about 3 hours and finally, after being awake for 40 hours, and having no pain relief, I broke. I asked for the epidural. My rational was that maybe I was exhausted and not relaxing enough and the epidural would help. So I got my epidural (which was patchy) and they ramped up the pitocin, so I could still feel the contractions.

At 4 the doctor and OB came in and said they thought I might need a c-section. I asked for another hour to try, so they agreed as both the baby and I were doing well. My mom went home to get my dad, so I kind of knew it wasn't a question of if, but when I was getting the c-section. They got back to the hospital about 5pm and the doctors came back in. I said that I would agree to to c section if they truly thought I wasn't going to be able to have the baby the regular way. Both doctors looked at me and said, "it looks like he is too big. We tried pushing your cervix over his head, but we can't. We have to do the c section."

It was about 5:30pm at this time and they called down to get the room set up. At this point, the epidural wasn't helping and I was having the big contractions from the pitocin. So I did what any person would do...I started crying hard. Eugene and the nurse kept trying to make me do the breathing, but I wasn't really listening. Eugene was getting all scrubbed up so he could go in with me.

At 6:00pm they wheeled me an and gave me a spinal. Due to the curve in my spine, they decided a second one would be a good idea.

They got me on the table and brought Eugene in. After a few minutes, I said I felt something on my lap, but I didn't want to know what it was. I asked them if they had started yet and Dr. Flinders said "I can see the head and he has a ton of hair! Eugene! Stand up, you have to see this!" Eugene stood up and started to get teary. After a few minutes of pushing hard on my upper abdomen, they pulled the baby out! Eugene got to cut the cord, clean him up and go to the nursery with him.

I stayed behind so I could get sewn up and look less like a mackeral laid open at a fish market.
Dr. Flinders and Dauenhauer kept saying "That was a big baby" but no one knew any numbers. So Dr. Flinders called down and asked. The birth APGAR was an 8 and the next was a 9, so he was good and healthy. Then I heard him say "21 inches long and 9 POUNDS 1 oz".

While they were sewing me up both doctors commented on how red and inflammed my muscles and uterus were. I was told that essentially, my contractions were at the intensity needed to push the baby out, but because he has turned to be sunnyside up, and he was 9 pounds, and my pelvis was just a little too narrow, it was like trying to push a baby out through a brick wall. Dr. Flinders said he though I would have been fine if he was in the 8 pound range, but a no go on the 9.

Geez, this is getting long! Anyways, Thomas Cash Allen was born at a healthy 9 lbs, 1 oz, 21 inches long. He was born tongue tied just like mama and had to get his tongue clipped when he was 2 days old. It was essential to him being able to nurse. After seeing how much he cried after that, there was no way he was getting else snipped.