Alton, not quite three days old

Here's a video from 8:30 this morning. We three will go home tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.


Welcome Baby Alton

After 18 hours of induced labor resulting in no more than 4 centimeters of cervix dilation and a very tired Katie, the baby's heart's impersonation of the stock exchange just wasn't funny anymore. He just didn't have enough amniotic fluid to keep him and his umbilical cord cushioned during contractions. Low amniotic fluid is why we decided to induce in the first place. (Induction was all but insisted upon by numerous doctors.)

So at 11:50 am (PST), on October 24th, Alton Pendragon McMullen was born. Healthy and pretty cute. In the operating room, a nurse shouted out that his birth weight was 3485 grams (7 lbs 10 ozs), and that's the official weight that got recorded. But! When he was re-weighed twelve hours later, the scale said 3895 grams (8 lbs, 9 ozs). The nurses were shocked. Did Alton gain 11 ozs in 12 hours? Nope. That's impossible. The nurse who re-weighed Alton (on two separate scales) concluded that a number must have been transposed in the operating room. Someone shouted out "3485 grams" when they should have shouted out "3845 grams" (8 lbs, 8 ozs).

Mother and baby are doing fine. I'm recovering well. He's learning to breastfeed like a hungry genius.

He does look a little old-mannish, but not too wrinkly or alien. He is already starting to hold up his neck a little. And he has beautiful eyes.

Thanks to all of you who sent out warm wishes and prayers. We can't wait to introduce you to our son.

Here's Dad bonding with his little son with some skin to skin contact.

One of Alton's proud grandmothers.


Still Pregnant

This baby is officially two days late. And I am officially getting tired of being pregnant. I think on average babies born to first-time mothers come about four days late, so it's not at all abnormal. I am not comforted, though, by the people who keep telling me things like, "my daughter was 14 days late," or "I was born three hundred weeks late." I don't care. I want this baby out now.

Hopefully within two days or so I'll be able to report that there is a new little person in the world and we won't have to have any induction talks with doctors next week. I took two power walks today and I just might have to take our laundry down to the beach tomorrow and wash it by hand on rocks if that's what it takes to get this thing going.

On a slightly different topic, I'd like to say an overdue thank you to everybody from Brooklyn who got together to send us a baby shower in a box. What an amazing surprise and what amazing gifts. Thank you. Thank you. Way to answer the call for Brooklyn baby clothes before I had even dropped my oh so subtle hint in the last post. You guys are amazing!

I only wish I could have been in New York with you all so you could help me eat the cookies you sent. Mo was so excited by all the smells of home that her laser eyes kicked in and she almost caught the carpet on fire. Thank you so much. I can't wait to bring the baby to New York and have him meet all of you.

I'm not thinking about much else besides the baby lately (well, the baby and and the presidential campaign, but I don't feel up to writing about debates and candidates with these 30 extra pounds sticking out in front of me and getting in the way of my typing), so I feel like all my posts are lame and belly-centric. Hopefully that will change soon and in the midst of all the exhaustion of the first few months with a newborn I'll be able to "eloquently" tell you all how impressed I am with Joe Biden's history of standing up against genocide — not really a politically advantageous thing to do — or how afraid I am that too many people will say that they will vote for Obama and his promise of hope and change but when they close the curtain of their voting booth, remember that he's black (or something) and get scared and change their mind. But until then I will end this post by showing you the baby stuff that I've spent my "nesting" energies putting together. It's less scary and takes a lot less brain power.

Here's the baby's play corner. It's full of toys that are totally inappropriate for an infant. He won't be able to play with most of this stuff for years. But it still looks exciting and I love it, even though the easel is completely inaccessible.

Here is the baby's corner of our bedroom — changing table and crib, a Diaper Champ, and some fairly-traded stars on the wall. I'm pretty excited about how nicely it all fits. I will tell you, though, that I first put the crib together in the living room while watching a movie, not giving any thought to the fact that it was way to big to fit through the door frame. Oh well, what woman who is nine months pregnant doesn't like to spend an evening taking newly-built furniture apart, carrying the disassembled parts 30 feet east, and putting it all back together again?

Finally, a close up on the crib and crib stuff. I think his little hippo-gator is super cute. Now if only he'd come out, I could show him all his wonderful toys and lay him in his cozy crib and change his diaper on his sturdy changing table. Let's go kid!