Apparently there is some truth to the fact that this Internet thing is viral — I understand that my blog is being passed around to a bunch of folks — so I’ll be sure to keep the blog “rated G” and I’m sure I won’t share, ahem, intimate details.
BABY YOUNG is officially Walker Douglas Young. He has papers and everything (which includes an SSN so take that you big bad privacy stealin’ felons out there…). Walker is a family name from my side, Douglas is Larry’s (and his father’s and grandfather’s) middle name (and of course, Larry’s last name is Young). My sister-in-law’s friends rightfully pointed out that the name was perfect given all the walking I had done.
He’s really perfect if I do say so myself. I had the EASIEST birth I could have imagined. It was virtually painless and there was no screaming or swearing or anything. Take THAT Tom Cruise. OK, not completely fair because my blissful birth experience was brought to me courtesy big pharmacutical company providing the magic Epidural .
Larry and I spent all day at Pier 39 hoping I’d get contractions. I had some on Thursday night and I was all excited, expecting them to get stronger and stronger. I fell asleep and then was cranky that they disappeared. The walk on the Pier and the early dinner didn’t seem to do anything. So, we went home and watched the PINK PANTHER, FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, and the Carolyn Porco video on the Cassini mission to Saturn from this year’s TED Conference. I sewed together a knit sweater that my Grammy Mary (who passed away 6 years ago) started and I finished. (The sweater-in-progress was in the knitting bag I inherited.) Still. NOTHING. Disappointed, I went to sleep knowing that in only a few short hours my mother-in-law would arrive and then Larry, Shirley and I would begin THE WAIT together.
About an hour later, at 11:30 pm, I wake up with a pretty severe pain. All Larry knows is that one moment I’m asleep on his shoulder and the next I’m saying “ow. ow. ow. ow.” About 10 minutes later, the same thing. I tell Larry to get out his stop watch. I start pacing. Contractions are STRONG and are quickly at 5-7 minutes apart. We’re supposed to wait an hour before calling the hospital. We put in a DVD of SPORTS NIGHT episodes so I can be distracted by Aaron Sorkin’s witty dialog.
By 1:30, the contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart. I’d been thinking that I might try to do this whole thing without drugs but somewhere in the second SPORTS NIGHT episode I decided that drugs were invented for a reason and I wasn’t trying to prove anything and, well, “ow.”
We get to the hospital and it’s a well-oiled machine. Three people decend on me to register and measure me. They tell me we’re at 4 cm dialated and I burst into tears, “you mean I can STAY?” — so relieved that I wasn’t going to be sent home for a night of agony. “Do you want an epidural?” YES!
Within an hour I had my drugs and I began the process of being made into a Borg. I was hooked up to so many machines and tubes by the end of the whole ordeal and I’d lost any sense of modesty I ever had but what the hell.
The entire process went very smoothly. After getting hooked up to the drugs, they found us a cot and told us to get some sleep. They cranked up the fetal monitor so we could hear the heartbeat and it lulled Larry to sleep. While not in any pain or discomfort, I didn’t sleep as I was a bit wound up with the prospect of what was to come. At one point Larry wakes up with a start because the monitor suddenly went silent as the sensor was dislodged as I adjusted my big ol’ body. Without getting into too much detail, things progressed quickly. We were really lucky that our nurse, Kalamai and Dr. Kim both decided to stay after their shifts were over to see Walker into the world. For the tension that was to come, it was great that we were with people we trusted. There were some small hiccups — there was meconium in the fluid so the NIC Unit needed to be present when Walker was born just to be sure he didn’t ingest any of it. While I was in active labor, poor little Walker’s heart rate wasn’t recovering after the contractions so they also called the NICU to come in and vacuum him out and gave me some oxygen. As soon as they got there, Walker smartened up, his heart rate got super strong and we sent them away with their unused vacuum. We decided he was going to be a cheeky kid from the very beginning… After only about 1 hour and 45 minutes of active labor, Walker was born with a perfectly round head and no blemishes or anything. I seriously thought the stork brought him and I just passed a football or something.
The NIC Unit and Dr. Kim were amazingly fast getting everything situated. Walker’s umbilical cord wrapped around his neck only once and between all of them and all they had to do, it was a well-orchestrated ballet. Despite all the potential drama, there was an incredibly relaxed feeling in the room and Dr. Kim asked Larry to tell me if it was a boy or girl — but Larry didn’t have the right angle to see and I exclaimed “it’s a boy” for everyone to hear. Walker was disconnected from me and taken over to the special baby area where he was rinsed off and weighed and measured and tagged with an RFID tag. I think he may have been equipped with a USB port as well but I’m not sure.
My stepmother, Jane, arrived 30 minutes prior to Walker’s arrival and Grandma Shirley was arriving from the east coast in 2 hours. Larry was able to go to the airport and tell her in person she had a grandson who was 2 hours old. He made sure he was there to support her as her legs gave way, just a little. My father rushed down from Sea Ranch and I called my grandmother as I was, ahem, still getting worked on. My brother came by and I blogged, all before noon.
The hospital stay was GLORIOUS. I loved our nurses. They were all very helpful teaching us the “burrito wrap” and giving us BABY 101 lessons. The biggest gift they gave us was helping us sleep through the first two nights. One of the most amazing things was I WAS ABLE TO SLEEP ON MY STOMACH FOR TWO WHOLE NIGHTS! Now there are other things that are big and sore so I’m back on my sides but wow, it was great while it lasted.
Walker is now home and the cats (which are enormous next to him — one weighing in at 16lbs, the other at 13) are becoming acclimated to him. Poor Miss Moxie did spend a lot of the first two days in the garage and in the closet but is now a bit more prepared for the random ear-piercing screams. The first night home was a bit rough with Walker waking up about every 90 minutes to eat but then falling asleep mid-meal. I had a bit of a melt-down last night after dinner — anxious that the night to come would be like the last one and I just wasn’t going to be able to handle it gracefully. Thankfully, Walker got the hang of being at home last night and slept at longer stretches. I feel a bit more human. Walker had his first doctor visit today and all systems are operational.
I’m feeling great. Been walking up and down stairs with no problems, I have the same amount of energy I would normally have with only 5 hours of interrupted sleep, and Larry and I even grilled dinner last night for Greatgrandma and grandma. I feel really lucky. However, I did get on the scale the other day and was shocked to find that although I gave birth to a 7lb 7oz child, I only lost 5lbs. I don’t get the math but given my hands and feet have blown up like a balloons and are bigger now than at any point in my pregnancy, I guess I can chalk it up to water retention.
Grandma Shirley has been amazing with the laundry and cooking and entertaining. Gigi (great grandma) is spending a lot of time singing to Walker and making up songs with bad puns. She loves bad puns.
We’re starting to find a routine (I hope) which will keep us relatively rested and satisfied. I’m hoping Walker continues to be as blissful and content as he has been but I know it’s all up in the air.
We’re looking forwared to introducing Walker to all of you.