I am!!! We have our baby!!! He was born at 3:01pm on Friday, September 10th 2010. Five days past his due date!
I have been meaning to write about all this for a while, but just haven't had the time to do so, as it turns out being a new Daddy is pretty hectic! So here's a quick update...
Labour lasted almost 36 hours, and was pretty awful. HW woke me up at about 5am on Thursday 9th, to say that she felt like she was having contractions. I called in to work to let them know I wouldn't be coming in. Then we spent the day in as normal a fashion as possible; going for a walk, going to the supermarket, etc. We also watched the opening game of the NFL season, and then at around 9pm HW felt like the contractions were becoming even more intense and frequent, so we called our doula, and she came over, to talk us through it all and help us stay calm.
At about 11pm we finally decided to head to the hospital. Got there, and they split us all up and made HW fill in a load of paperwork and do a blood test and a urine test, etc. Basically they stressed us all out, which totally ruined the relaxation we had been working on all day, and delayed the contractions all over again. We spent an hour or so in Triage, and were then sent down to Labour; where we were pretty much ignored, and had the least helpful nurse in the world.
Contractions continued and became even more painful, till around 6am. At this point we hadn't slept in 25 hours, and were losing our minds. So HW opted for the epidural. Our doula was sent out of the room again, and I had to sit and watch HW crying in pain, as an incompetent doctor injected her in the spine not just once or twice but SIX times, trying to find the right spot. Finally the epidural worked, and we then got a couple of hours sleep.
We woke up around 8am and carried on, contractions getting closer together again. By noon HW was pretty much fully dilated, and ready to push. But then suddenly the OB was nowhere to be found, and they told us to wait. So once again we lost momentum, and were frustrated and upset, to say the least. Finally the OB returned, and at about 1pm we started trying to deliver the baby. After much pushing and screaming and crying, he was born at exactly 3:01pm.
An incredibly stressful and exhausting experience, but most importantly we got the result we wanted: a perfectly healthy baby boy. And no C-section.
He was 9lbs 7ozs at birth, in perfect health, and with a full head of hair!
We spent the next couple of days recovering in the postpartum ward, and the aftercare was fantastic. No complaints there. We finally checked out of the hospital and went home on Sunday, September 12th.
Since then we have just been readjusting to home life, and falling madly in love with our little boy. I'm sure all parents think that their baby is perfect, and we are no exception. The nurses at the hospital all seemed very enamored with him too; and all commented on his cuteness and hair. He also seems to have a lot of admirers when we go out in public - random people stop us to comment on how adorable he is, or how sweet he looks. The other day we were in CVS (the American version of Boots) and one old lady practically started crying because she enjoys knitting things for babies but didn't have anything with her to give us at the time. It has got to the stage where we now cover his babyseat up with a blanket if we're going out in public, just to avoid the constant stream of admirers! It's a bit like going out with a celeb!
HW's Mum and sister visited us last week, which gave us some time to catch up with The Real World. We got to go to a concert and spend a couple of hours away from BB, which was probably healthy. We also got to take BB out of the house a few times; on his first trip to a restaurant, the beach, the park, etc.
So, yes, we have our baby boy, and we are incredibly happy and proud of him. I have occasional moments of The Fear, and total "Ohmygodwhathavewedone" anxiety, but 99% of the time I am just overcome by how amazing he is. He clearly doesn't realize he's a newborn, either, as he's already lifting his head and trying to roll around and crawl, and grabbing on to things. He eats and poos and wees like a trooper, too; I've gone from amateur to semi-pro ranking in the diaper-changing stakes in just two weeks. Maybe I'll try out for pro status in just a couple more months. And BB sleeps pretty well through the night too, for three or four hours at a time! At first he didn't like being put down in his crib, and would only sleep in arms, but over the past few nights he's got used to it, and now he loves to be in there. We seriously feel like we've won the baby lottery, as everything so far has been really easy and straightforward, and we haven't encountered any problems. One thing I'll say about that is that, throughout the pregnancy, HW was really careful with her diet; she ate lots of fruit and vegetables, and made sure to take her pre-natal vitamins every single day (go for the ones with folic acid), and stayed away from smokers, or alcohol. Did those factors contribute to the fact that we have a healthy, happy baby? Who knows. But why not play it safe anyway, just in case?
Anyhow, everything is great. Being a Daddy is awesome!