Elliot Alvarez Tran

November 5, 2015

The Beginning

It was a bright, yet cloudy day, perfect for the marching band competition. It was then, when I met Jonathan Alvarez. She was beautiful, but she was also our rival band's drum major. It was taboo, but I couldn't stop thinking about her excellent conducting skills. It was fate when we met again while waiting on the results. We started sharing our marching techniques and everything clicked, like a metronome. We were in love and got married after years of dating.

Our passion was marching band, so we continued through Drum Corps International; this time, together. It was around the time to get our physicals, making it another year of DCI. However, Jonathan wasn't going to join me in DCI this year...she was pregnant. I was about to be a dad!

Time passed, and it was around the last days of her pregnancy. It was when we were watching our old marching shows together when her water broke. It took about 8 hours for the baby to come. It was 5 pm on November 5, 2015, and everybody was tired. While my wife rested, I held Elliot Alvarez Tran in my arms. He was perfect, just like his mother's conducting skills. I would do it all again; after all, I wasn't the one giving birth.

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The First Day

The first day had its good sides and bad sides. The good things were that Elliot was a very quiet and obedient baby. Whenever he showed signs of frustration, his mother and I would calm him down and feed him. He was fed about 12 times a day with 1 hour in between. We changed his diaper around every 2-3 hours which was a new experience for me. Elliot was overall a really good baby; the only bad thing was the night time.

When it was time for everyone to sleep, my wife wanted to sleep with the baby. However, I told her that we shouldn't, and it led to an argument. She was so determined, and we argued for a couple of minutes until I told her about SIDS. She was able to come to her senses as we only wanted the best for Elliot. We let him sleep separately and throughout the night he cried because he needed to be changed. We changed him and his mother sang to him to put him back to sleep. All was resolved.

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The Scare

It was a normal morning when my wife and I were taking care of Elliot. We fed him his milk, but then he started spitting it back up. My wife was freaking out. She wanted to take Elliot to the pediatrician. We didn't want to take any chances, so I made an appointment.

When we went to Elliot's appointment, we found out that he was diagnosed with reflux. He only brought up small amounts of milk and hiccuped a little bit. It was a good thing that was his only symptoms because he could have vomited after eating. We decided to treat him with antacids to neutralize the production of stomach acids. We also decided to hold Elliot upright after his feeding.

It turns out that reflux is normal in babies. Babies never seem to outgrow reflux, but they tend to spit up less as they mature. At first, I was scared for Elliot, but I'm relieved that it wasn't a more serious issue.

Formula or breastmilk?

Parents try to decide on how their baby will be fed. Two options are formula and breastmilk. People try to point out one's superiority to the other; however, both have their pros and cons. Breastfeeding can develop bonds with the mother, and it's cheaper! Formulas can be used publicly and allows the father to bond with the baby; however it's very expensive. My wife and I decided on breastfeeding, as it's more cheaper and builds up Elliot's immune system.
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Our family

(left to right) Dad: Thanh Tran, Mom: Jonathon Alvarez, Baby: Elliot A. Tran

The Band hall is our home

The Experience

The past week with Elliot was a struggle, but it also had its perks. Elliot was a very heavy baby. Carrying him was tiring; however, it was good exercise and gave me arm muscles. I was worried and cautious for Elliot, as I didn't want him to get hurt. Those around me were excited about Elliot. My friends and band family wanted their turns with Elliot. He was really popular. My wife was the most excited, chanting "It's a boy" over and over.

I liked how carrying a baby around helped me bond with others. People would help me babysit Elliot, making me less stressed. However, I didn't enjoy people that would try to take Elliot from me. They need to learn that babies don't enjoy strangers. The hardest part with Elliot was to make sure he was happy and healthy. Even though he got a little sickness a while ago, his immunity got stronger, and now, he's the happiest baby!