I’ve long been on the fast track to being an old man, but now I finally have someone who can call me his Old Man:
This is our baby, named William Benjamin. Angela had him today, and we’re both obviously very happy, although a bit surprised and in shock still, since he wasn’t due until April 11th! But like they say, when you gotta go, you gotta go. He was born today at 12:15 pm. He is 51 centimeters long and weighs 3170 grams, whatever that means (I just hope that doesn’t mean they were weighing him on drug scales, since that’s the only thing I know of that’s measured in grams and kilos). Here are a few more pictures; they were all taken through the plastic of an incubator, though, so they’re not amazing quality…but I still love them:
So, that’s our baby. You can stop reading now if you want and I won’t be offended. However, I’ve also been informed that my mom wants ALL THE DETAILS, so this remaining section will be the Director’s Cut of this blog post.
ALL THE DETAILS
Angela went to bed sometime on Friday night, but I stayed up doing exercise till about 1:50 am (no one ever accused me of making good exercise decisions), when Angela informed me that her water had broken. Sure enough, it had, but it wasn’t a flood like we both thought it would be, but was relatively reasonable, inasmuch as any fluid leaking from your body can be considered “reasonable.” So we both showered, got things ready, and finally got to the public hospital in San Ramon around 3 am. She checked in, got bounced back and forth between receptionists and doctors and security guards a couple of times, but was quickly taken into a sort of pre-labor room around 3:30 or so.
At that point I had to wait outside, so I spent my time sending the first and only text messages I plan to send in my life. Really, texting is so lame. But when it’s 5 am, it’s still probably nicer than calling doctors or your brother in another country. I also read a few hundred pages of a couple books on my Kindle, so that at least kept me busy. People kept asking if I was nervous, hungry, or tired, but the biggest emotion I was feeling for a lot of the time was indigestion. When your wife passes 37 weeks of gestation, you should not eat spicy egg salad sandwiches at 11 pm, no matter how good they are.
In any case, I wasn’t nervous because I know Angela is strong, and she’d practiced the breathing exercises and everything. I wasn’t tired because of the adrenaline and my normally-lax wake up hour. And I wasn’t hungry because of the aforementioned egg salad sandwich. Seriously.
Where was I going with this? I should probably mention that now I’m on about my 15th wind, since it’s Saturday evening and I’ve not slept since Friday morning. I was re-energized by some coffee, but now it’s flagging a bit.
So, after she was taken to the pre-birth room, I was able to check in on her with messages and calls, and then when she was about to go into the birthing chamber or whatever they call it, they called me back and had me put on scrubs and stuff. She was dilated and all ready, but the baby just wasn’t coming out, so they decided after a bit that they’d have to do an emergency C-section, so she was taken to the operating room.
They got the baby out quickly and took him to “neonatales,” where I was able to stay with him for 3 hours while she was coming out of the general anesthetic. He was in an incubator, which I guess is standard procedure if babies can’t go right to their moms, but I was able to touch him by putting my hands through holes in the side of the incubator, like the scientists you see working with aliens, plutonium, or dangerous chemicals in movies. William was awake and looking at me, and he held my hand while I told him his mom and dad loved him. I rubbed his hair, telling him never to shave it, because it just wouldn’t grow back afterwards. Really, though, it was pretty sweet, especially since he couldn’t be with Angela for the first few hours, so it was great they let me in to be with him.
When she came out around 3:00 pm, we got to take William Benjamin (aka Willy B. aka Will Be aka Billy Benny Sitzmenez…really, the possibilities are endless, and that’s why we gave him two names ideal for making DIY nicknames) to see Angela. She’s still there with him now, and will be until Monday, probably, since it’ll take a bit longer to recover from the C-section. Many of her family members were able to visit her, too, so that was really good for her, and I also made the rounds telling other friends and family members.
All in all, we’re very relieved and happy, although Angela is understandably tired. Everyone who we interacted with at the hospital was friendly, professional, and helpful, which was very comforting. (The public hospitals here are free, since you pay for them with your insurance contributions from work, but all it takes to lower your confidence is a few stories or rumors of misunderstandings. But everyone treated us very well, and I think it was the ideal place for Angela to give birth to her first baby.) And most of all, we’re very excited to start this new stage of our life!
So, mom, that’s ALL THE DETAILS I can think of for now.
Thanks to all of you for your love, support, prayers, cookies, and advice during this pregnancy. Please feel free to keep them all coming in the future, too! We’re looking forward to you all getting to meet him soon. I’ll also try to get more pictures of both William and Angela in the coming days. Thanks again!