Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's in a name...

As we are unable to use our Mac (we have spent days having our hard drive stored), I cannot upload pictures. So I thought I would use this time to address the few questions that have come up over the past few days and give you a Felix status update.

1. Did you really embarrass yourself during delivery like you said you felt you might? I did confirm with Eric and the delivery staff immediately post delivery that despite the urge for the big "P," I didn't, in fact, eliminate my entire lower intestinal system. I had completely gotten over the fear of freshly shaven legs and glimmering painted toenails...but was still worried I would, well, you know...PHEW! Integrity--check!

2. How is your recovery? God bless women who come home with more than a 1st degree tear (rumor has it that it goes all the way to 4th degree). I definitely hurt more this time around...but am so eager to actually ambulate on my own two feet, I really don't mind the stinging. Nursing does cause contractions, and those hurt more this time. I guess with subsequent pregnancies this is common. My milk came in fast and I am so psyched about successful breastfeeding. I have taken a shower EVERY DAY! (seriously, folks, this is huge) and even flat ironed my hair and wore make-up one time, too. Despite a soft tummy and excessively out of shape general body, was surprised to only be about 15lb over pre-pregnancy weight. I don't care about the #s as much as getting myself into shape again. Overall--I FEEL GREAT!

2. How is Felix? Felix is a freakin' champ. He is a total preemie: he sleeps ALL of the time and cries like a small abandoned kitten. When he does perk up, he nurses, poops neon mustard seeds, and then retreats into his dreamland where he giggles, smiles and probably dreams of boobs. Honestly, it doesn't get much better. He has blood in the whites of both of his eyes (will for some time), but his bruised face and swollen eye socket area is looking better. He is a total prize fighter: Felix versus the birth canal. Jury is still out on who won.

Last night I timed how often he stirred to get food--every 1 hour and 45 minutes. Translation: mom is exhausted.

3. Since he isn't in the NICU, can you skip pumping for awhile? The...medela...has...returned...ugh! Seasoned blog followers know my disdain for the pump, but I had to pull it out, dust it off and start the whole ordeal. Reason being, even though Felix GAINED an ounce while at home for 24 hours (went up from 5lb 7oz at discharge to 5lb 8oz at the first appt), he was looking a little too Jersery Shore (i.e. fake tan). This indicates jaundice, so we had to go to Children's hospital 3 days in a row in 0 degree weather (no, seriously that cold) to get multiple heel pricks to see if his levels were too high and we needed to consider intervention. The first line the on call pedi suggested was supplementing with the "f" bomb--formula. NO WAY! So, knowing that the way babies get rid of bilirubin is to excrete it, I just nursed this child every hour, pumped extra milk, and had him get 2 little bottles of expressed breast milk to amp up his system. It worked as his levels aren't increasing too rapidly...but I am still pumping and overfeeding this child until our appointment on Tuesday.

4. How has Miles reacted? Miles loves Felix. I mean, as much as a 19 month old can. He points to him and says "ba" and also signs "baby" when we ask him to say baby. It has helped that like everything in our house, we created a song about baby brother Felix. We actually have created many songs. We usually just hijack the tune to "are you sleeping" or "baby baluga" or the likes and change the words. Works like a charm as Miles will insist on "more, more!" when we finish each time. Miles will also pet his hair and LOVES watching him get his diaper changed. He kindly blew his nose into one of Felix's hats and then proceeded to try to get Felix to blow his nose, too. Great germ control over at the Heintz household.

You know what Miles loves more than Felix? The medela! He has watched me pump in fascination (no interest in nursing though!) and then spent a good 10 minutes turning on my pump and playing with the settings. The best was when he took the actual parts that go to the breast, which at the time had an empty bottle on it, and put it to his own breast. Eric, my mom and I laughed so hard.

5. Is Nana Deysher still there? Speaking of my mom, she left today after "living" in Atlanta on and off for 5 weeks. I cried for a long time in the shower and cannot really talk about her departure quite yet.

6. Any other visitors? The Heintz grandparents have returned! Poor folks traveled all of the holidays only to return to Ohio and get a call in the middle of the night that we finally had the baby. Timing...

7. How did you come up with Felix's name? People keep asking about Felix's name. So far, we have had all sorts of responses to hearing his name:

"Oh! That's different..."
"Do you spell it with a 'ph'?" (are you kidding me?)
"Aw, how cute."

So, where does Felix come from? No, not the Odd Couple and not the cat. It literally came from our looking in the 10,000 baby names book. Right when we found out I was pregnant, my mother came down to Atlanta and stayed with us for weeks over the summer--during the time that only the three of us (actually, four, my best friend C also knew we were preggers) were privy to the pregnancy we spent some nights browsing the name books and looking up German names (we had already had a girl's name from the last pregnancy, so still needed to find a boy's name). Felix was read, and we paused and liked it. It meant "Happy." It was unique, couldn't be shortened into a nickname, and wasn't a family name. I know, strange final criteria, but the pressure to represent family for the first name was too much. My mom didn't love the name and I will say warned us that "anyone over the age of 40 will associate it with the Odd Couple..." but we didn't care and from that point on, were pretty confident we were going with Felix.

So, we had Felix as our #1 name from just about the beginning. Over time we did consider other names, but it was pretty much always Felix.

And Josef? That was all Eric. First, it is pronounced "yo-sef." Second, we both have Josephs in our family lineage, and he has an actual Josef. Eric has spent years fighting for his obscure, oddly pronounced European names, so I felt that it was time to honor one he really liked. Actually, Josef wasn't confirmed until right before Felix was born.

I hope to have more pictures posted, soon. Eric and Miles head back to school tomorrow, and after mid-week when the Heintz g-parental units leave, I will probably be in for it...

I think I forget how to do the dishes.

PS--skype rules. If you ever need your preemie fix and have a web cam, let me know and we can skype!


  1. Awesome to read that you're all doing so well. Keep up the great work!!!

  2. I cry, too. Much as I am glad to be back home in MA and my very own home, I am so very sad to have left all of you and my Atlanta life. Plus, it's easier to clean someone else's home and tackle their messes than to face one's own... No cute 19 month olds or preemies here, to excuse the chaos.
    I'll remind you as I am trying to remind myself to take it as it comes and things will eventually get done.
    Also, I've been perusing the Deysher name book, and so far no Felixes or Josefs. There are some Johanns and some really unusual names, though.
    Give Miles and Felix big hugs for me.

  3. my boys were born at 33w2d, and came home just before 35 weeks. those first five weeks at home i thought, "shoooot, triplets aren't bad! they sleep all the time and hardly ever cry."

    yeah. until they hit their due date, anyway. ah yes, i dare say i enjoyed their preemie weeks (of course only because they were otherwise healthy.)

  4. Wow, so apparently giving birth produces great blog posts...maybe I'll try that sometime :0)
    Congratulations again Ali on a beautiful baby boy (part deux) and on what sounds like a fantastic transition home.
    p.s. the 4th degree is a real, very very real thing...usually happens when an appendage (e.g. forearm) comes out with the head...wanna know how I know that? I don't think you do my friend!

  5. Glad to hear you're doing so well!