Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 5: Live from New York!

Lemon began this week with a visit to the regular pediatrician, where we found out that he gained a further 11 ounces in the last week, bringing him up to 8lb 11oz, and either the 19th or 23rd percentile in weight, depending on whether you believe the iOS or Android version of the baby tracking app that Papa Bear and I use.  His pediatrician thinks he may reach the 50th percentile for weight by his next check-up (mid October) which is great news.  His next weigh in will be October 2 at his visit to the CF clinic, so we're hoping that he continues to make good progress.

We were glad to hear that he was doing so well and had a clean bill of health, because we had big plans in store for Week 5: Lemon's first inter-state voyage.  Way back when I was still pregnant, the idea of traveling to New York City with a one month old infant seemed entirely rational.  I mean, infants are small and spend most of their time sleeping, right?  Plus, they only eat one thing, which I'm making in-house, so to speak.   And, we had a particularly good incentive to visit New York: to introduce Lemon to his Great Grandma Virginia, who turns 89 years old today.  Since her health is a little fragile, we didn't want to delay the visit.  And, Lemon is so cute at his current size.

So, we booked train tickets, made reservations at a little bed and breakfast (really more of a vacation apartment), and then didn't give the trip any further thought until late last week when we realized, "Holy cow, we're going to New York with a newborn.  On Thursday."

I'd read on a travel blog once that the first time you travel with a baby, it feels like you're moving because of the amount of stuff you have to take, and this is certainly true. 
What may be difficult to appreciate from the photo is that we packed about 150% as much stuff for 5 nights in NYC as we did for 2.5 weeks in Russia last summer, back when there were just two of us.  Lemon got one suitcase, while Papa Bear and I shared the other.  A subway ride, a train ride, and another subway ride later, we arrived at our tiny (really tiny) apartment in Greenwich Village.   The trip itself was quite smooth and Lemon slept for large portions of it.  We fed him and changed his diaper twice on the train which was a little awkward and undignified but totally manageable.
One little issue we hadn't fully resolved until the day before we left: where was Lemon going to sleep?  Our accommodations did not come with a crib.  Fortuitously, just before our departure, I'd exchanged email with Lemon's doctor about sleep positions for CF babies.  We'd noticed that Lemon has a hard time keeping his throat clear while lying flat on his back (the recommended sleep position for infants).  She suggested that we get an inclined sleeper for him that would support him at a 45 degree angle with his head up to help prevent reflux and facilitate swallowing.  So, I went online amd ordered one to be delivered to the Babies R Us in Union Square where we picked it up when we arrived.   How people raised children before the Internet is a great mystery to me.  In any case, the incline sleeper is really fantastic.  Lemon sleeps in it more soundly than anything else we've tried so far.  He loves it so much, in fact, that we're leaving this one in New York with his grandparents for future visits and buying a second one for our house.
In New York, we've been on a busy schedule of visits with friends and family.  First, we met up with Grandma and Grandpa for lunch at one of their favorite restaurants, Olive's in the W Hotel in Union Square.  The hotel has a nice lobby, so we hung out there for a while afterwards to give Grandma and Grandpa some more quality time with Lemon.

We also met up with my old grad school friend (now known as Professor Nick) and had a delicious breakfast near where we're staying.

Finally, we made the epic journey out to the far reaches of Queens to see Great Grandma Virginia.  Of course, the A train was undergoing repairs so we had to take a shuttle bus for the last third of the journey, just to make sure that Lemon had the complete New York public transit experience.  It was worth the journey, though--Virginia was really delighted with Lemon (who wouldn't be?) and it was a great experience to see two people, one of whom is three orders of magnitude older than the other, holding hands--in this picture, Lemon is one month old and Virginia is 1068 months old.  We wish her a very happy birthday and another year of health and happiness.  We hope to be celebrating the big 90 (and Lemon's first birthday) with her next year.

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