Sunday, January 20, 2008

Update on Caleb

This past week has been a good chance for Sharon and I to settle in to our lives as new parents. After Sharon's parents left last Sunday, it was sort of weird to have Caleb entirely to ourselves. We had a few days to prove that we can do it on our own - but we were very excited when my parents came up this past weekend. My mom will be staying with us until Thursday, which is an especially great blessing since I have six hours of classes three days this week. Although we're now fairly confident taking care of Caleb on our own, we're definitely not going to complain whenever we have extra help. As far as Caleb's jaundice, he's still a little yellow, but the doctors aren't too worried about it for now even though they want to keep monitoring it. It's especially interesting when we put Caleb in yellow clothing, as you can't tell where his clothing ends and his skin begins. Either way, we're glad he looks good in yellow because it may be his color for the next few weeks.

On non-Caleb new, we had some sad and happy news this past week. On Thursday, we found out that my family dog Pokey was put down at the age of 15 after rapidly declining in health over the past year. For those of you who are interested and haven't read it yet, my sister wrote a touching eulogy for Pokey on her blog ( that highlights the character of our beloved pet. On a much happier note, we found out on Friday that Sharon's brother Mark and his wife Adriene had their baby boy (Mark William Maynard) who weighed in at just under 8 pounds. The arrival of baby Mark means that Sharon's parents now have three grandchildren - all of which have the middle name William. Also, we're excited about the possibility that we may be moving back into our apartment this week as the final work on it is scheduled to be completed on Monday. Although we've been so thankful for the apartment we've been able to sublet in the interim, we're quite ready to finally settle into our own place.

Caleb deciding whether or not he really wants to take a nap

Sharon having some snuggle time with her baby (note her stylish new glasses)

Caleb's not so sure what he thinks about this situation

My grandma (Nama) with her newest grandbaby (for now)

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Day at the Beach for Caleb

It's hard to believe, but Caleb turned one week old yesterday. He's had a very eventful first week, but thankfully he was oblivious to most of the drama that his parents had to deal with. This past Tuesday morning, we returned to our Pediatrician for a check-up and he had us get Caleb's jaundice level tested again. Unfortunately the results of the test required us to go back to the hospital for 24-48 hours of phototherapy. As much as we didn't want to take him back to the hospital so soon after we left it, we were glad to just get the jaundice taken care of so we didn't have to worry about it. Although we were a little worried about how Caleb would do under the lights, but he really loved his time there. We were hoping we could photoshop a palm tree and a beach umbrella into the picture and it would look like he was just out working on his tan. Thankfully after just over 24 hours under the lights, he was discharged and allowed to go home with us once again.

When we say home, we don't technically mean home because we are still flooded out of our apartment. We're hoping to be able to move back into our apartment next weekend, but until then we've made ourselves comfortable in a nearby apartment we've subletted from another student who will be returning on Jan. 24. Since having Caleb home, I've begun to experience some of the paranoia and fear of being a parent that I swore I would never let myself succumb to. Yes, I am one of those parents who has to look at my son in the middle of the night to make sure he's breathing and starting to worry about all the possible bad things that could happen. I've also begun to rejoice over three hour sleeping segments for Caleb and am already starting to forget what 8 hours of continuous sleep feels like. I can't even imagine how much more of a difficult transition it must be for Sharon, but I'm so impressed by her stamina and patience as a 24 hour buffet for our child. Her feeding definitely is paying off as he reattained his birth weight twice as fast as is expected. At this rate, it looks like he'll be full grown by the time he's in fifth grade.

It has been an incredible blessing this past week to have Sharon's parents up to help us out, and we're already beginning to dread the moment they leave. Thankfully we'll only have five days on our own before my parents come up and are with us for a few days while we move back into our apartment. The whole fatherhood thing is still a little surreal to me, but I think that it will sink in even more once we get into a regular schedule with Caleb and my schoolwork. We hope you enjoy some of these pictures and thanks for keeping up with our lives.
- Mike

Caleb working on his tan with those sweet shades (preparing for Ocean City)

Caleb sleeping on his mommy

"If I hold onto daddy's thumb, maybe he won't drop me"

I don't know what's going on with this pose - we'll take caption suggestions

This is what our apartment looks like now - notice stylish hole in ceiling

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bringing Baby (almost) Home

The past four days have been a whirlwind of new everythings for Sharon and me, so I'm finally getting a chance to share some of the details. It all started around 7:30 AM on January 3rd when Sharon had the audacity to awaken me from a peaceful slumber to tell me that her water had broken. As exciting as that news was to me, I promptly decided to lay in bed for another thirty minutes while wondering if she was sure about this. After calling our doctor's office and finally waking up a bit more, we followed their instructions to immediately head to the hospital because Sharon had tested positive for GBS, which would present some risk if the baby wasn't born within 24 hours of her water breaking.

So after arriving in the hospital, they gave us a few hours to progress naturally before they put us on labor inducing drugs around 2:00 PM. Even with the ever-increasing dosage - these drugs had little effect on Sharon. However, when the drugs started working around 6:00, they really didn't mess around as her contractions went from barely noticeable to very intense and a few minutes apart. After an hour and a half of this, which we were told wouldn't even be considered active labor, Sharon and I agreed that an epidural was in order. After receiving the epidural, she amazingly went from 3-4 centimeters dilated to fully dilated in about an hour. by 9:00 in the evening we started pushing and the baby arrived at 9:42.

For the sake of Sharon and the weak stomached, I'll spare you some of the more squeamish details of the experience that I found fascinating and stick to the general stuff. When I first saw that our Kurbis was a Caleb, I was a little surprised but excited that we knew for sure what his name would be. We both really liked the name Caleb, and the William is in honor of my grandfather who will always have a special place in my heart. Although the rather quick labor was a blessing for Sharon, her parents and sister were a little disappointed that they didn't make if for the birth, as they arrived three hours late. Even though they just missed the birth, it was impressive that they were able to get plane tickets and travel from Atlanta to Boston in less than 16 hours after hearing Sharon's water broke.

Our time with Caleb in the hospital was rather uneventful from a medical standpoint, as he has had no difficulties besides a slight case of jaundice and some breathing issues. One of the highlights of the hospital stay for him was watching (sleeping through) the Steelers game with his dad, which is the real reason he decided to come two weeks early. However, our idyllic hospital stay was interrupted early Saturday morning by a phone call from Sharon's parents telling us that our apartment (which they were staying in) was flooding. A pipe in the hallway broke in the middle of the night and water poured into our apartment and was up to an inch deep in places.

Thankfully, the flooding didn't destroy any of our property due to a quick response by my in-laws and the providential fact that most of our valuables were up off of the floor. However, our apartment is in sad shape and we won't be able to return to it for at least a week (if at all.) During that time, we will be subletting a nearby apartment and are very thankful to at least have a place to go for the time being. So although we are not really home yet, it is exciting to be together as a family and entering this crazy adventure of parenthood.

Look Mom, no neck!

Family bonding in the hospital

Caleb with our friend Dawn

As you can see, Caleb is really pumped up for the big game

Taking Caleb from the hospital to our (temporary) home

Friday, January 4, 2008

Caleb William Koerber

Caleb William Koerber entered the world at 9:42 PM on Thursday, weighing 8 pounds and measuring 19 inches long. We will have more details later, but we wanted to post a few pictures from the first 24 hours.