Monday, May 2, 2011

Maia Ambry is here - A Perfect Birth

Here's Brian's story:

Perhaps word has already reached you that I am now a daddy.  But I thought you might want to see a photo and some stats for the record.  Maia Ambry Cavagnolo was born on 20 April 2011 at 12:14am.  She weighed in at 5lbs 8oz and was 19" long.  Gillian's contractions started at around 3am on 18 April and ramped up throughout the day.

Plan A was to have the baby at home.  So after some breakfast and a walk we got comfortable and the contractions started setting in. Gillian's mom came over to help out, and our awesome midwife Maria joined the party at about 7pm that evening.  Gillian labored through the night like a rock star (or perhaps a miner?), but contractions weren't coming as close as we needed them.  Over the course of the next day we tried all of the midwife tricks for stepping the labor up a notch, but we just continued to cruise.  Finally, we decided to head to the hospital for some pitocin, everybody's favorite labor-inducing hormone, in order to finish the job before complete exhaustion set in.  Also, the baby's heart rate was dipping with each contraction.  While this is not completely abnormal in the late stages of labor, it's an unsettling sign in the early stages.  So off we went to Kaiser for Plan B.

At Kaiser, a client of Maria's was one of the nurses on duty!  She was just about to get off work to go on maternity leave.  But she hooked us up with Juliana, a friend of hers who was completely down with the home birth track and who has earned a special thank-you note for her awesomeness.  After getting the pitocin dripping, Gillian's contractions got pretty strong pretty quick.  She did a fantastic job! It was not long before it came time to push.  With a bit of coaching from Maria, and some experiments with position, the zeroth birthday was imminent.  I glanced at the clock between each contraction, waiting with anticipation to see if my baby would be born on boring-old April 19th, or famous 4/20.  Gillian, was not watching the clock.  She was digging deep during contractions, and then fending off the pesky interventions of the young and impatient resident OB.  After about 3 or 4 solid pushes, out popped the baby!  One of my important ceremonial duties was to announce the sex of the baby.  "It's a girl, right?", I said.  Needing some assurance because everybody was convinced she would be a boy for some reason.  Hooray!  We all celebrated.

We spent the night at the hospital, SUPER exhausted.  After my parents came by to meet the baby, I crashed so hard that I can't even report on what happened until the next day.  I don't even remember whether I slept on the bed or on the floor.  I can only imagine how exhausted Gillian was.  The next day at around 5pm, after a bunch of tests, we managed to escape from the hospital to come home for Maia's first family dinner.  We've spent the last few days learning all sorts of stuff about feeding, pooping, cleaning, and sleeping.  I'll spare you those details:)

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