Yes, internet friends, there is a reason why this blog has been so neglected these last few months. Mark and I are thrilled to report that we have been upgraded to parental status with the birth of our first child.
Baby G arrived on October 30th at 10:59am. He was, by the midwife’s calendar, exactly two weeks early, but by our estimations at least three! He was tiny at birth, weighing only 5 pounds and 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. We have not yet measured his ape index, but his finger are long and strong, perfect for climbing!
It’s been six weeks now since his birth, and Mark and I are just now starting to feel like we’re hitting a groove. These past few weeks have been an incredible roller coaster of energy and emotion, with stress and worry, joy and love, frustration and breakdowns, peace and bliss, all in nearly equal proportions.
I know it’s somewhat customary to share the birthstory over the internet, and I’ve been wrestling with how personal and detailed I want to get here. Rather than get into the whole nitty gritty of the story, I think I’ll just share a few fun facts about G’s entry into this world.
- Fun Fact #1: My water broke at 4:30p on Friday afternoon, October 29th. I’d had no symptoms of impending labor at all. Luckily I was on the potty when it happened, so there was no mess to clean up! I was just about to leave for yoga in 15 minutes, and I’m thankful that it didn’t happen in the middle of my yoga class!
- Fun Fact #2: On Friday, Mark left his cell phone at home, his car was out of gas, and he was planning on being away from email and chat for a Halloween party all afternoon. He told me “Don’t have a baby in the next few hours, I might be hard to reach.”
- Fun Fact #3: It took until midnight on Friday before my contractions were strong enough to feel, and organized enough to measure the time between them. Mark and I hung out in the hospital, ate Jimmy John’s for dinner and watched a James Bond marathon on TNT (corollary Fun Fact: G’s name was almost James Bond).
- Fun Fact #4: My parents were leaving for a camping trip that night. I called them just before they lost cell coverage to tell them I was going to have a baby soon. They turned around and bought plane tickets on their way back to their house. They arrived at the hospital in Fort Collins about 45 minutes before G was born the next morning!
- Fun Fact #5: There are no windows in the birthing suites at our hospital. Also, the only clock on the wall of my room was broken and said “10:00p” all night long. I was pretty sure that time had, actually, stopped.
- Fun Fact #6: My labor pains were concentrated low in my hip joints. They felt like horrible, horrible muscle cramps in my hip flexors. I spent all of Friday night standing up, because that was the only position where the pain was manageable.
- Fun Fact #7: You can’t have a baby standing up. Sometime around 8a on Saturday morning, my contractions were 90 seconds long, with only 30 seconds of break between them. I had no pain meds, and when they checked, my cervix was only dilated to 3cm. We decided it was time for the epidural.
- Fun Fact #8: Epidurals don’t always get rid of all of the pain. Even after mine, I could still feel intense pain and pressure deep in my hips with every contraction. I also had feeling and control over my abdominal and pelvic muscles (though my legs were giant, limp, numb things that I couldn’t move at all).
- Fun Fact #9: Sometimes all you need to do is lay down and “relax” a little bit. After the epidural helped get the pain under control, I dilated the last 7cm in about an hour and half. My midwife, who was wonderful, supportive and with us through the whole process, and who is not as hippy, new-agey, all natural as you might expect from that title, declared us ready to push and exclaimed “God bless epidurals!” Right on sister.
- Fun Fact #10: Pushing was the most fun part of the process. I felt like I was finally able to help things along, and make some real progress. It took about 45 minutes, but G was born, healthy, pink and screaming, without much drama. He was so tiny that I had no tears or incisions, and was able to walk around without much problem the next day! We got to spend the whole afternoon cuddling and falling in love with our new, sweet, lovely baby.
So that is the beginning of his story in a nutshell. Even after only six weeks, the birth just seems like a prolog to what is destined to be a long and wonderful tale of adventure, love and happiness.