Delivery was actually very easy for Paula. From the time she started pushing until the time of delivery took less than an hour. To top it off, Paula felt relatively little pain throughout. We’re still counting our blessings and thanking everyone who prayed in that direction!
See photos of Dana in our gallery.
That’s the essential outline–if you want the blow‐by‐blow, read more.
I actually wrote most of the following at the hospital (yes, I brought my laptop with me–it amused the nurses, I think), so please forgive the verb tenses.
Were having our baby at Sequoia Hospital. Its a very good hospital, especially for womens health issues.
Checking in was a breezethe nurses and staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The room is niceits well decorated and comfortable. Theres even a little rollaway bed for me to sleep in.
Im a little weirded out when I learn that this is the actual room the baby will be born in. I guess thats what they do nowkeep the mother in one place and have the dad help.
Paula is hooked up to some monitoring devices and a short Filipino nurse sticks her head in the door and says, Did you know youre having contractions? A lot of them?
Paula shakes her head noshes not feeling anything.
The nursing staff seems pretty amazed by this, but the machines show that Paula’s contractions are indeed coming quite regularly.
We go to sleep.
In the morning Paula is still contracting, and still not feeling anything. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her encounter with the IV. Shes got small, mobile veins and is pretty hard to stick. Its very unpleasant.
The doctor showed up around 9am and broke her water.
Paula started to feel the contractions after that, but the nurses were still surprised at how little Paula felt.
Then they started to hurt. Paula asked for and received some painkillers, and continued having regular contractions.
Our rather sassy nurse (not the Filipino, this one is a white girl from Philly who is quite happy that Stanford got bumped from the NCAA tournament) stopped in and discovered that Paula was progressing pretty far. Long story short, she got the epidural and then things really started to happen.
I remained in the room, and helped coach Paula through the delivery process (by which I mean that I told a lot of jokes during the delivery). Fortunately, I only threw Paula out of her groove once. I was really restraining myself, too. )
I saw things I will not speak of and am glad that I did not record.
And then I met Dana. That was cool. Paula started crying with joy as soon as she saw her head and heard her cry.
I then learned that they don’t slap the baby on the butt anymore (at least in the United States–evidently doctors in other countries still do it, and it can be quite shocking to American nurses when there’s a visiting doctor).
I called my parents and told them the name and then invited Paula’s parents to come in from the hallway (I figured since they got to see her first I’d give my parents honor of first notification).
My initial impressions of Dana? She’s quiet for a baby. At least, that’s how it strikes me–she doesn’t cry much (a fact that Paula and I are desperately hoping proves to be a tendency). She’s also very active and squirmy. She nearly turned herself over several times.
Which of us does she resemble most? Whichever of us has red blotchy skin, a pressure‐misshapen skull, and no teeth.
Seriously, I’ve been told that she has my nose. I feel for her–what daughter wants to have a prominent facial feature that was clearly derived from her father?
Side note–this hospital has some really cool security features for babies. For instance, every baby is given an electronic tag that sounds an alarm if it is removed, taken off the floor, or given to the wrong mother by mistake. There are all these sensor tiles in the ceiling that track the babies, and if they’re taken off the the floor all the elevators are locked down automatically. I think ninjas appear out of the laundry chutes, too, but I couldn’t get the nurse to confirm that last detail.
Anyway, I’m pretty tired (but nowhere near as beat as Paula, I’m sure), and so I’ll stop now.