Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pictures and Labor Story

I am finally finding the energy and the time to make a post. I probably could have done so several times in the past few weeks, but Benjamin was doing such a great job that I didn't feel it necessary.

We are doing great! Abigail is a good baby and she really takes care of herself most of the time. She sleeps a lot and is very pleasant. Ben and I are learning how to be parents and we have gotten the hang of changing diapers (although Abigail seems to think that the time to go is when the diaper is off and not when it is on--we've gone through a LOT of diapers). We are still working on dressing her quickly so as to minimize screaming. We love how she cuddles up against us and into the blankets she is wrapped in. We love everything about her. We usually get sleep in three to four hour intervals during the night, which is new for us but doable. Benjamin gets more sleep than I do, sometimes it's more effort to wake him up than it's worth. :)

We took Abigail to her second doctor's appt. and she is doing well and gaining weight. So far she weighs seven pounds ten ounces (she started out at 7 lbs .6 ozs.).

Here is a picture of her in the warm coat that her grandmother Lora (Knoll side) gave her.

This is her on Christmas day in her cute Christmas dress that her Aunt Jenny gave her.

Ben made it seem like I went through a long and horrorific labor when he mentioned that I labored for 32 hours. This isn't really true. I wish that I could say I was brave and patient through that entire time, but I wasn't that heroic.
We went in for a routine doctor's appointment on Monday, December 8th. I was only a day late and I assumed that I would still have to wait at least a week before my little girl would decide to come. Unfortunately my blood pressure was high when I arrived at my appointment. After they found protein in my urine and Abigail failed her non-stress test (she was sleeping and wouldn't move) I was sent to labor and delivery on risk of preeclampsia. My doctor had to pass me off to them because she was flying out that afternoon to Dallas to take her oral boards. Figures, the three days she's gone out of the whole month is when my baby decides to come. Anyway, even though my blood pressure returned to normal, the doctors didn't want to take any chances. They decided to induce me. I DID NOT WANT TO BE INDUCED, especially because I understood that the labor would be long and that it could result in a possible c-section.
They started the medicine at 1:00 p.m. I didn't even get to go home or anything. By 11 that night I had progressed from a 1 1/2 dilation to a 2. AAAAHH! I wasn't in pain, but I was frustrated with the whole induction thing. They decided to try several invasive procedures in addition to starting me on pitocin (while I was only dilated to a 2). That was enough for me, any thoughts of natural labor were thrown out the window and I asked for the epidural. Not heroic, but wonderful. I was given the epidural at 1:00 a.m. and I slept like a baby until 7:00 a.m. Never have I been so comfortable. Wow! They checked me again, little progress.
I wasn't ready to push until 8:00 p.m. I didn't feel any pain until the last twenty minutes or so before pushing because I let the epidural wear off enough to allow me to know when to push. I pushed for 40 minutes and she was born. How exciting to finally have her here. The doctors (I don't even know the name of the resident that delivered her - I saw so many during the 40 some odd hours I was there) were considering a c-section, but somehow my body kicked into gear at the end and I was able to deliver. Again, my experience was relatively painless, but very emotionally frustrating. I must add here that the nurses were amazing and I was well taken care of. Ben was FANTASTIC and very supportive. He rarely left my side and he did all he could to make me comfortable.
The good news is that my parents were able to arrive in plenty of time for the delivery. Thanks to Rachel and Samantha who braved the ice storm to drive to the train station to pick them up.
Here are some pics. 1) Me on the December 8th, 2) Me relaxing at the hospital, 3) Me with Abigail right after her birth.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Next Yawn Picture

I think these are funny.

We managed to make it through the holidays with no major incident. Katie's parents have hopefully arrived home by now. We very much appreciate their help over the past two weeks. Now we're on our own to take care of a baby! At least, we are for a few days -- Katie's sister Kimberly will be visiting us for a day next week.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Iowa Native

Since Abigail's the product of a mixed marriage (USU Aggies and BYU
Cougars), we compromised and decided to begin her early socialization as an Iowa Hawkeye because both parents are now Hawkeyes as well.

And even though her parents are both Rocky Mountain transplants to the Midwest, Abigail is a bona fide "Iowa Native" by virtue of her birth location.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

November 30, 2008

December 8, 2008, admitted to hospital for induction.

Report from Week 1

Abigail Elisabeth is now in day 11 of her post-natal existence and has been home from the hospital for one week now. So far so good. She's a wonderfully good baby. She sleeps most of the day and some of the night. For the few hours a day that she's awake she's fairly alert and active with her eyes wide open, looking all around. She doesn't cry except when she's 1) cold, or 2) trying to eat (she seems to put up a fight whenever Katie tries to breastfeed her, but people say that it takes a while for new babies to get the hang of it...) One of our major lessons so far has been: never leave her uncovered without a diaper - even for a few minutes! We've had to do a few extra loads of laundry lately... At any rate, her parents and grandparents have been doting on her full-time over the past week. She's an adorable little baby.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Even more baby pictures...

This album contains an assortment of other baby pictures that we've taken throughout the week:


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best baby picture of the day...

By the way, we spent the weekend thinking about several different ways to spell her shortened name (i.e. Abbie, Abie, Abi, Abbey, Abby, etc.) and we decided to spell it "Abby." The closest runner-up was "Abbey" but figured that since it is an actual noun that means "monastery," it would be good to keep it as unambiguous as possible.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby Pictures

By popular demand, here are the first "batch" of baby pictures.
Right after birth. Still attached is the monitor that they placed on the head to make sure she was okay during the labor.

First diaper change by daddy. Still in the oxygen tent.

We loved having Nana and Papa in town for the birth and weeks after.

Ben's sweet sleeping accommodations during the week. It was difficult to hold her when she was connected to so many monitors.

Finally going home. Hope we know what we're doing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Announcement

Katie and I would like to officially announce the birth of our daughter, Abigail Elisabeth. She was born on Tuesday, December 9th at 8:51 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs. and 0.6 oz and measured 20 inches long. After a lengthy 31 hours of induced labor, both Katie and the baby are healthy and doing relatively well. Abigail had a slight hiccup as she started post-natal-hood: she has a very small “hole” in her lung that makes it difficult for her to stabilize the air pressure to breathe regularly. They took her to the Newborn ICU at the University of Iowa Hospital and they have her in a little oxygen tent while the hole in her lung heals up -- they say it shouldn't take more than a day or two. Other than that, she's doing fine and passed all of her other tests. We'll be sure to post updates as events warrant.

We named her “Abigail” after Abigail Adams, wife of the second U.S. President. We hope that she’ll emulate Mrs. Adams’s strong faith, values, and work ethic, her intellectual aptitude, her dedication to her husband and family, and her unassailable sense of civic duty to her country.

We gave her the middle name of “Elisabeth” in honor of Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. In doing so, we hope that she will emulate Elizabeth’s egalitarian character in always being genuine and sincere with others while maintaining a healthy repugnance of pecuniary elitism and social pretense.

We're excited to have her in our family.

UPDATE: The technical name of her condition is
pneumothorax. The nurse in the NICU this morning told us that it’s very mild and that most babies with this condition recover within 1-2 days. They don’t expect anything different with Abigail.

UPDATE 2 (9:00 AM): The neonatologist said her second x-ray looked good. The hole in her lung seems to be sealing up well (if not already completely sealed). They’re going to keep her in the NICU today and gradually wean her from the 100% oxygen tent to regular room air throughout the day and see how she does.

UPDATE 3 (6:10 PM): Abigail went off the oxygen tent around 3:00 this afternoon. Her breathing is fine and she's doing great. The little leak in her lung apparently has sealed up nicely. She's still in the NICU, however, because Katie ran a fever while in labor they're giving Abigail a treatment of antibiotics and doing some tests just to make sure that she doesn't have an infection of any kind. We'll probably be here in the hospital until somewhere between Friday and Sunday.

UPDATE 4 (11:00 PM): She's still doing fine off of the oxygen tent. They're continuing to run tests for possible infections. It looks like we'll be here at least until Friday evening, assuming all the tests come back negative. Abigail's a good little trooper with all the poking and prodding that she's getting! And here are some more pictures:

UPDATE 5 (Thu 11:00 AM): Abigail's second day of cultures came back negative = still no sign of infection. They're moving her today from the medical bed to a regular baby crib and  are going to try to wean her off her IV by the end of the day. So far so good. Hopefully she'll be ready to go home late tomorrow or early Saturday.
UPDATE 6 (Fri 8:00 PM): Abigail seems to be in good health. They removed her IV today and she still has no signs of an infection. They recommended that we stay in the hospital another night to monitor her eating activity - she's not quite eating when she needs to be. But hopefully she'll get the hang of it over the next day or so and be ready to go home on Saturday.
UPDATE 7 (Sat 10:00 AM): We may just get to go home today. She was able to eat a little better last night and the nurse practitioner and various nurses have all indicated that they're trying to get us out of here as soon as possible today. P.S. I'll of course be posting pictures in a few days when things slow down a bit... you'd think staying 24 hours/day in a hospital would leave you with lots of free time, but between the baby and baby-related tasks and various nurses, consultants, etc. stopping in every few minutes, we barely have any free time, and most of that is used to try to sleep! And our apologies to the many of you whose phone calls we haven't returned yet. That's why.
UPDATE 8 (Sat 4:30 PM): Abigail Elisabeth was officially discharged from the hospital at 12:30 PM today. We brought her home and she's now napping in her new bed. Thanks to everyone who helped us out this week - we're grateful for all the friends that we have here who were able to help us a great deal. After being in the hospital since 8:00 AM Monday morning, her parents were sure happy to breathe some fresh air and return to their home where they no longer have to sleep on a chair in the hospital room or live out of a suitcase...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Still here. . .

Just wanted to let you know that I am still here. I know many of you check my blog often hoping to find cute pictures of a newborn, but unfortunately she seems to be quite comfortable in the womb. We'll probably be lucky if she's only a week late and not two. Keep checking back. :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly...

A follow-up on the comments I posted earlier about Sen. Clinton and Gov. Richardson as candidates for Secretary of State. It's looking like the spot will go to Sen. Clinton while Gov. Richardson's consolation prize is the Dept. of Commerce. Columnist Ruben Navarrette today commented on the silliness of this selection, and I agree completely:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10th Anniversary

My dad passed away ten years ago today. I thought I'd post some pictures of us when I was a little boy:

Here is his obituary, that was published later that week:
LOGAN, Utah -- Richard Raymond Knoll, 41, died Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1998, at the Logan Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Logan after a 13-year battle with cancer.
Richard was born Sept. 5, 1957, in Billings, Montana to Donald R. and Florence Buck Knoll. He married Lora Lee Wight in 1981 in Boise, Idaho. They had three children. They later divorced.
Richard loved the outdoors and spent as much time as he could in the mountains. He was a talented photographer, artist, and writer and was an avid rock collector. He loved music, Star Trek, and most of all, his children. He took many pictures of them and documented all their milestones.
Richard had a great talent for making lifelong friends. He showed tremendous perseverance throughout his trials with cancer. He bore everything he was faced with, and did so with a wonderful sense of humor and touched the lives of many of the people he came in contact with. Richard will be missed.
Richard leaves his children: Benjamin, 15, Michael 13, and Jennifer, 12, all of Hyde Park; his mother, Florence Knoll of Boise, Idaho, his father, Donald R. Knoll of Billings, Montana; his close friend, LouAnn West of St. George, Utah; and numerous extended family and friends.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, 1998, in the Cranney Mortuary Chapel, 420 E. 1800 N. in Logan with Bishop Lynn Jaggi conducting. A visitation will be held at the mortuary following the memorial services.

Finally, this is my father's headstone that is now in the Logan city cemetery next to the Utah State University campus. As can be seen, he passed away almost ten years ago now. My siblings and I designed this over the summer in honor of my dad's great affection for Star Trek. (Any knowledgeable Trekkie will recognize this as the Original Series insignia.)

My father (and mother) instilled in his (their) children an appreciation for science fiction. When most little boys were out playing ball with their dads, my dad was building models of the Enterprise with me and teaching me the Vulcan Neck Grip. When most dads were out teaching their boys how to change the oil on a car, my dad was helping me make a toy tricorder. Consequently, I still don't know how to throw a ball or change the oil on my car, but I can recite memorable moments in Star Trek history and cite examples from relevant episodes in graduate school political philosophy seminar papers. What can I say? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

When my brother and sister came out to visit us last summer, we made sure to make a pilgrimage to Riverside, Iowa where the official Captain James T. Kirk birthplace is located. We did this in honor of our father, who would have enjoyed such a venture. Riverside is located approximately half-an-hour south of Iowa City. Behind a little barber shop on Main Street is a stone monument that reads: "Future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk: March 22, 2228". It should be noted, however, that there is some disagreement over the accuracy of that date. Others calculate a birth year of 2233, but I digress...

So here's to my father, Richard Raymond Knoll. He would have been 51 this year. He was 25 years old when I was born. Coincidentally, I am currently 25 and this year I will become a dad for the first time. I'll be sure to pass on my father's legacy by making sure his granddaughter is well-instructed all about Captain Kirk, Spock, the Enterprise, and the Vulcan Neck Pinch.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maternity Pictures

This morning my good friend Jessica came over and we took some maternity pictures. She did a good job and we had a lot of fun. :) Ben was a good sport and only made funny faces in some of the pictures.