Mother-Baby Check

We had our 2nd day “Mother/Baby” check this morning and Ella has already gained back her birth weight like a week early! Risk of jaundice is way down, she’s nursing fairly well and really doing a splendid job of dirtying diapers. We’re signed up for a diaper service, but the newborn sized diapers are just way too big for the little girl. Luckily the hospital gave us a bunch of diapers to use until we figure this poop thing out.

The girl re-dirties her diapers without fail just minutes after I change her. We’re going to need to talk. Plus, there are so many different outfits, each with a different way to remove them that I’m ending up with some 2am challenges.

Oh, and some more photos

On Ella’s arrival

Ella was slated to arrive on August 14th, but clearly didn’t show up on time. As such, Michelle was scheduled to be induced on Sunday, the 20th. We had our last meal at Thai Noon (Siam Society was closed) and packed up the car and drove out to St. Vincent’s Hospital. The check-in, introductions, and pretty much every encounter with the medical staff since the arrival was excellent, and helped to quell many of the fears we had.

Michelle was induced at about 9pm on Sunday using some indigestion medication. That started things off, but the contractions were too fast and frequent, so she was moved to pitocin around 5am. Things were progressing slowly until around 8am when the doctors realized that the baby’s heart rate was dropping after every contraction. The pitocin was stopped and Michelle’s waters ruptured around 10am. This set off some rapid increases in dilation, pain, and concern. Michelle got an epidural around 11am once the doctors felt the baby was doing well enough responding to the contractions and Michelle regained composure shortly thereafter. The nurse anesthetist is on her christmas card list.

After the epidural, Michelle’s progress changed rapidly. Just as soon as I would update people on her progress, I would be told that things had doubled (or more) while I was gone. She was dilating logarithmically. The doctors (the entourage consisted of a doctor, a resident and a medical student) were all still concerned about the drop in the baby’s blood pressure following contractions and theorized that the child was sporting some neckwear. Most of the morning included debate over whether or not to use a c-section to get the baby out. Once Michelle was ready, the doctors decided to have her push to see how the baby responded. She responded well, so we cleared the room of family and Michelle pushed for less than 20 minutes and out popped our beautiful daughter – wearing her umbilical cord around her neck. The resident who performed the delivery quickly maneuvered the baby around, untangled her, cut the cord, did a quick check and passed her on to the NICU nurse.

Because of the concern over the cord, I wasn’t allowed to catch the baby or cut the cord, and a NICU nurse took the baby for a quick inspection right after delivery to make sure everything was ok. Sure enough, little Ella came out crying, had a strong pulse, good color, good activity and ultimately scored an 8 on her first APGAR and a 9 on her second. Woohoo!

I watched as the nurse cleaned up, listened to, and inspected my daughter, and was filled with a new kind of joy. She was beautiful and crying and grimacing and kind of bloody. I looked back at a glowing Michelle who was looking across the room to see what was going on and felt a little guilty that I was able to see her and touch her first. Soon we brought her back to mom, who got to hold the tiny little girl. After some cleanup, family were allowed back in and everyone was allowed to see our daughter. They all agreed she was perfect.

Michelle and I stayed at the hospital for 48 hours and tried to adjust to the new schedule we’d concocted 41 weeks prior. The second night looked like it was going to be a little easier since Ella was feeding, but the pediatrician had ordered a night with a Biliblanket. The light pad was strapped to Ella’s naked back and helped reduce the biliruben count and lower her level of jaundice. It worked, but was warm and uncomfortable and kept our baby on an odd schedule for the second night.

Homecoming was a welcome change – and despite the amazing care (our first three nurses were Susan, Kathy and Debbie – same as all 3 grandmas), it was nice not to have the frequent interruptions. Ella seems to be adjusting well and we’re finally catching up on some much needed sleep. Welcome home baby.

Changing of the armbands

I was just looking at Lindsay’s photos from Tour de Fat and realized that on Saturday I was wearing a “I’m old enough to drink” armband, and on Sunday I was wearing a “I’m about to be a Dad” armband. Quite a contrast.

I’d be a little worried about the change if I didn’t see people just like me out having fun with their kids. Life doesn’t end…

Welcoming Ella

Michelle and I welcomed Ella Freed to the family this afternoon at 2:22pm. She is far more beautiful than either of us imagined and is just the most amazing thing I think I’ve ever seen. Michelle is recovering well despite being thoroughly exhausted.

Ella was born 6lbs, 12oz at 19.5 inches. She’s slight and fits perfectly in our arms. I’m not sure what I expected, but I’m just smitten. Several friends and family members have been on hand to see our little girl, but here’s a quick preview. You know more pictures will follow once we start thinking straight.

Michelle and Ella


Michelle is scheduled to be induced tomorrow night. This last week we have looked for any distraction we can and have done quite well. We’ve accomplished a lot around the home, beat Super Mario Bros 1 & 2 and are 90% done with Super Mario 3, brewed some beer, cleaned, walked, fretted, talked, ate, chilled, and now there’s not much else to do.

Today I hung out at Tour de Fat because it was my distraction of choice. Michelle ran some errands and watched some Tivo for hers. Then we hung out with the Walz’s, Jasper/Nailor-Japsers and Dunlaps and sipped some brew, ate some bratwurst and had some truly satisfying “old friend” time. Plus, the brats were awesome.

Now what? We still have 23 hours to kill. We’ve planned tomorrow’s breakfast and dinner so I suppose lunch still needs some structure. All the planned and prepared for stuff is done so only the unknown is left. Its a whopping unknown though. The Walzes helped relieve some of the apprehension, but there’s still the unknown. The biggest change in either of our individual lives and the biggest change our our life together is about to happen. Someone ought to tell the animals. Cheers.


The dirty secret is that we were given 2 due dates. The 14th and the 19th. We preferred the 14th because it was earlier, calculated by a brand new ultrasound machine and confirmed by a great doctor. Then, Michelle’s work changed health insurance carriers and we got switched back to Kaiser, who pushed the date back and has been much less involved than the previous doctor.

I didn’t think to take a picture with no fingers up, and I’m not sure how to signify limbo with just fingers. I’m going to wait until at least Wednesday until I start counting back up. Depending how our next doctor appointment goes, I may decided to work a day or two just to spare some time.

As mentioned – we decided to completely redo the bedroom walls and ceiling figuring that tearing the room apart would invoke Murphy’s law and force the baby to come. Turns out “winning” when you gamble with Murphy’s law isn’t much of a victory. The room is back together and looks nice, and now we have a very quiet ceiling fan as well.


holy shit, two!

We’ve tried a number of home remedies for inducing labor, but what seemed like the sure fire method has so far failed. We took down our bed, moved it in to the living room, scraped plaster off the ceiling and reapplied a skim coat. I primed it tonight and we’ll paint it tomorrow, but the lack of a bed, the incomplete project and the chaos of the whole affair didn’t quite had the intended effect.

We got each other a super Nintendo for our anniversary and we beat Super Mario Bros. this evening and will move on to “the lost levels” and Super Mario Bros. 2 tomorrow. 8-bits of joy. Well – 16 actually. Its the Super Mario All-stars version.


Last day of “work” for a month! Today is our annual technical staff retreat. I set my extended voice mail message last night so no one can leave me messages…. whooooo!

holy shit, three!