As most of you know by now, thanks (or no thanks) to my facebook and twitter, we’ve had our baby. In keeping with the trend of announcing big life transitions here I wanted to let you all know that my wife Emily gave birth to our daughter this past Friday. Her name is and we will be calling her by her middle name (just ‘M’ here on the web) like her dad. It was an amazingly beautiful and quick birth. We had been sick all the past week. First, L got croup the weekend before Thanksgiving and we ended up taking her to the ER for fear that she was showing signs of having received my asthma genes. Thankfully enough that is most likely not the case, so far as they can tell now. Though she definitely did have that patented croup cough. Well we’re not sure if being at the ER is how Emily and I got sick but either way last week was awash. No turkey for us on Thanksgiving or the day after! Happily a friend from our meeting brought us some turkey soup after the birth.
Anyways, Friday rolls around and Emily said she was having contractions off and on every 15-25 min. in the morning. (I was happy to hear this mainly because three months ago when Emily and I picked days we thought the baby would be born on November 27th was my day!) By 1pm the contractions were steadily 10 min. apart. so I called and canceled our 2:00 appointment we had that day to go and sign for the title of our new house. Then, at 4pm I ran L over to the sitter (her first night away from home without us), went back to pick Emily up and got her to the Southwest Medical Hospital in Vancouver at 4:45pm, when her contractions were just about 7min. apart. Once we got to triage and her vitals were checked, we gave them our birth plan: a quiet, simple, all natural baby birth please. They happily supported our wishes and even went out of their way to provide really good care that was personalized. The midwife, who was still on the clock for a short time, said she was 6 centimeters dilated and progressing perfectly. The nurse started filling the tub in our room for Emily to labor in and we were off.
Laboring in the tub was something Emily was particularly looking forward to, but we didn’t have any idea it would be the scene for all the excitement. After being in the tub for a short while labor really picked up and she said she felt like she needed to push. When I say awhile I am talking, it’s about 6pm at this point. Our main nurse, Coby, came in and said to go ahead and try a “soft push” (whatever that is), she did and he said that Emily was complete. Our doula, Melissa Brewster (who was fantastic btw), noticing labor was progressing fast asked if need be, could Emily in fact give birth in the tub? The answer was an immediate no. But then Melissa asked how would it change things if the water was drained first, the answer was a yes, if necessary they could do it in the tub. So she started draining the water, just in case. By the time the water had drained, the nurse realized Emily was too far along in labor to get her out of the tub and told one of the other nurses, “I know I just told you to get the bed ready, but there’s no time, bring those things here we’re going to have a baby here in the tub!”
Coby was completely ready to deliver the baby, which nice and kind of surprised me given the experience at our first birth. Two years ago, where we were in LA, the nurses wanted nothing to do with catching a baby, let alone in a tub! They told Emily to lay on her side and not push while they called to wake the doctor at 4am (he got there 20 min later). That was one thing that made our first birth a lot different from this second one. Another interesting feature to last week’s Friday evening was that our mid-wife was off at 6 and the next mid-wife wouldn’t be in until 8. We knew there was no way Emily would last that long and we hadn’t met the OB on call, and at that point I wasn’t even sure there was one available.
They quickly prepped the very tiny bathroom for the birth! I think there were about 5 or 6 of us crammed into that room. At one point there were three of us crouched over the tub helping Emily! Then the baby’s head crowned, the next contraction brought her head half-way out and it paused. Emily made some comment about the “ring of fire” and I started humming the Johnny Cash tune (to myself of course). Right then, out of nowhere the OB swooped into the room, slide past the growing multitude of people crammed together awaiting or assisting in the birth, shook my hand and briefly introduced herself, “Hi I’m dr. so and so, let’s deliver this baby.” She knelt over the tub, Emily had another contraction, and out came M at 6:34pm! She was measured at 6lbs 7oz, and 19 inches long.
It all seemed really effortless on my end, my wife is awesome! I couldn’t believe we were only at the hospital for 1:45 mins. before M was born. I told Emily she really makes it look easy, maybe I should give it a shot one time around (Sike!). It was a great birth, we’ve got another healthy, lovely little lady, and we’re all at home settling into to life as a growing family.
There is much to be thankful for this year.
Here are some more pictures if you’re interested: