We got to check out of the hospital yesterday and head home. Everyone is doing well…Margaret and Hazel are sleeping, and this is the first time I’ve mustered the energy to get back in front of the computer since being home. Some more details below the fold…
Margaret started going into serious labor at about 1am Monday morning as she was getting ready for bed. The birth center was pretty busy, so the nurse was setting expectations about possibly sending us home. After the examination, there was a sudden shift in the tenor, which now included the comment “looks like someone is havin’ a birfday!”
We moved into our room, and from there, Margaret labored sans epidural until 3pm, which given that she’d now been awake for 30 hours and laboring for 14 hours, she really needed the break (for that matter, I did too). Once she had the epidural (and subsequent fiddling to get things right) and a chance to rest a couple of hours, she spent another three hours pushing, but to no avail. At around 9:30pm, the doctor wasn’t seeing the kind of progress that would be necessary for Hazel to be born before she became a teenager, so she advised us to go with the caesarean before Margaret was completely exhausted. That Margaret wasn’t completely exhausted already is a bit of a mystery to me, but I guess that’s why guys don’t get assigned this whole birthin’ babies duty.
One really nice thing about the caesaean approach is that things get a lot more deterministic. We went from vague estimates of dialation and effacement to having a very detailed (and short) timeline of how things should (and did) play out. Hazel was born at 10:10pm, weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces, without having the “I just got squeezed through a garden hose” look that most newborns have (another caesarian benefit).
The downside, of course, is that a caesarian is abdominal surgery, with all of the fun things that go along with that, so the new mother had to spend an extra day in the hospital, pushing around an IV and generally feeling like someone that just had surgery. That said, she’s been bouncing back from that remarkably quickly. I have to repeatedly remind her to stop doing some things for herself, and she’s routinely turning down pain medication that I lived for when I had surgery many years ago.
Naming Hazel was an interesting endeavor. We had a fairly long list of names, but a short list of two or three that were the likely ones. “Hazel” wasn’t on the short list, but was one of Margaret’s favorites that seemed pretty fitting to me once I got the chance to meet her. Dunno what it is, but she’s a “Hazel”. “Mae” is actually Margaret’s old initials (back when her last name was “Eyrse”). It was so obvious this kid comes from her mother that even our preselected middle name went out the window. Anticipating a new FAQ, here’s the answer: “no, you can’t see the list…Hazel doesn’t even get to see it until she’s 14, if we can even find it”.
Anyway, mom and baby are doing fine, other than the sleep deprevation that everyone tells you about, but you never really understand until you are experiencing it firsthand. Since I have a much more limited role in the feeding, I’m getting more sleep, but that’s all relative. Even though I’ve got the easy job, it still feels remarkably like finals week in college.
Our job this weekend is to fatten Hazel up. We’ve got a couple of appointments in the next few days to make sure we’re on the job, so I’d better get to bed so that I can help where I need to. Thanks everyone for the emails and comments here…we are reading them all, and you’re all in our thoughts. We’ll hopefully be getting more sociable as we get the hang of this.