Well I’ve been a dad now for about two and a half weeks. It has been an exceptionally emotional, exhausting, exhilarating ride. First off, there are a few things I wanted to let you all know up front. Baby stats, for one.
- Name: Gryffin Danger
- Weight (at birth): 8.0 lbs
- Length (at birth): 20.0″
- Head Circumference (at birth): 14.0″
He was born at 2:36PM on May 5th. We had really, really been hoping for a May 4th dlivery, as that is Star Wars day and it would have been completely amazing. When my wife went into labor on the 3rd, we really thought it would happen for us, too. Unfortunately, labor didn’t progress as we would’ve liked, and ended up taking nearly 44 hours to complete. Yikes. My wife has mentioned wanting to write up our birth story as a guest post on here, and I’ll let her take care of that when she feels up for it.
I also wanted to talk about a few choices we made regarding Gryff’s post-natal care. We did not have him circumcised, for one, and that’s a topic I still want to go into in some detail in another post. We also refused the Vitamin K shot, the glucose test, the Hepatitis B vaccine, the eye ointment, the bilirubin screening, and the genetic screening test. Here’s why: Since we weren’t circumcising and the baby didn’t have any significant bruising from delivery, we weren’t worried about giving him the clotting factors immediately after birth. We ended up giving him the Vitamin K orally the following day, mostly because my parents were kind of freaking out about our choices and that seemed a harmless way to alleviate their concern. We didn’t get him a glucose test because he started nursing right away. We knew that we weren’t going to allow formula under any circumstances, so the test was useless to us. We weren’t going to change our actions based on the test, and since he came out at a healthy weight, alert, and began nursing right away, there really didn’t seem to be any reason to worry about his glucose levels. We refused the Hep B vaccine because we’re going to try to keep him away from intravenous drug use and bareback sex for at least the first six weeks of life. Both his mom and I are vaccinated against Hep B, and we’re by far the most likely source of it for him in this early stage of life. We’ll definitely be vaccinating him, but he doesn’t need it right now. He didn’t need the antibiotic eye ointment, since my wife and I are not diseased. He doesn’t need the genetic screening test at birth because he’ll be getting it today at his 2-week pediatric appointment.
So that was our plan, right? And it worked well. The hospital we went to is about as natural birth-friendly as you can expect a hospital to be, and we had some great nurses who really respected our wishes. We did have one hiccup, unfortunately. A lot of our choices were about avoiding any unnecessary pricks and pokes to our baby in those first few days. He already had a hell of a time getting out, and almost everything they want to do that requires a poke can be done later or not at all. Unfortunately, someone didn’t get the message and a lab tech came to the nursery and did both the genetic screen and a bilirubin test on him. Or rather, they came in and took the blood before our night nurse saw them and told them to stop. Our nurse the following morning told us what happened and filed a complaint on our behalf (without us even having to ask, which was nice). We also said that since they’d already drawn the blood, they might as well run the tests. We weren’t opposed to the tests, just the methods required to get the blood for them. Anyway, everything came back looking totally normal, so it was all a moot point anyhow.
I mentioned that Gryff spent some time in the nursery, which wasn’t originally part of our plan either. We wanted him to room with us as much as possible, but due to some events that my wife will hopefully explain, both she and I were in pretty desperate need of sleep the night after delivery, and even the following night. I tried to take care of Gryff next to my bed the first night, but I was still so amped up that I was literally out of bed and on my feet next to his crib the instant he made any kind of noise, without even realizing that I’d gotten up. This is not a recipe for rest and recovery, so we let the night nurse take him to the nursery for us with explicit instructions that he was not to be fed formula, or given a bottle or pacifier of any kind. They did have to feed him twice that first night, but they finger-fed him with donor breastmilk. Our night nurse was incredibly sweet and caring, and completely on board with all our hippie nonsense, so we felt comfortable letting her take him so we could try to sleep a little. It didn’t work especially well, but it was better than it would have been with him in the room with us, for sure.
So anyway, our birth plans and our baby plans both changed quite a bit from what we wanted them to be in the beginning. Some of it was beyond our control, and some of it was just based on unanticipated changes to the situation. We made the best choices we could given our options, and I think we did pretty well overall. There are a few things that I would change now, being of clearer mind and knowing more than I did at the time, but hindsight is always 20/15 (I’ve had LASIK).
This is Gryff in his little “going home” outfit and strapped into his car seat for the first time. So cute! He’s already changed so much from this picture, which is crazy.
That’s probably good enough for now. I’ll post again tomorrow with Gryff’s checkup results and a few other things I’ve been dying to talk about with you all. Thanks so much for reading!