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Announcing the arrival of the first Tate baby

Alexander Burton Tate was born on Wednesday 29 June 2005 at 11:44 PM EDT. He measured 22" long and weighed in at 10 pounds, 3 ounces. His cranial circumference was an astounding 14 3/4". He was discharged from the hospital today along with his mother. They are both doing very well. I have established two galleries with pictures and hope to post a video or two soon.
Wow, what an amazing experience. Nichol and I went to UNC Hospital at 8:00 AM Wed morning for labor to be induced. X was a week overdue and given our families' tendencies towards large babies we wanted to make sure he wasn't too big to be delivered. It was a busy day in Labor and Delivery (L&D) and so the Pitosin wasn't administered until 11:45 AM when another shift of nurses came on duty. Lois was our nurse and Susan Nickle was the attending Midwife. Sharon Orr was our wonderful doula. (A doula is a special, non-medical caregiver who helps coach a woman through labor using a combination of massage, encouragement and birthing position advice).

Things went nice and easy for the first several hours. We played cards, listened to some music and chatted, interrupted every 5 minutes or so by a contraction. These contractions became more and more intense as the afternoon turned into evening, and Nichol asked for an IV fed pain killer as she transitioned to active labor. That happened at about 6:00 PM (I can't be sure of any times as the clock fell off my attention queue). Lois was relieved at 7:00 PM by another nurse named Nicole, which made for a bit of confusion and a welcome distraction.

Labor continued and built in intensity until about 10:30 PM. By this time all of the pain killer had worn off, and Nichol was in serious pain from the contractions, and the fact that the baby was in the posterior position (face forward as opposed to face towards the spine, which offers a smoother exit track) caused significant back pain on top of the normal labor pains. Nichol asked for her bag of waters to be broken, and wanted to jump in the bath to alleviate her back pain. Susan did break the water, and also attached a fetal monitor to the baby's scalp since the external monitor was not adequately tracking the baby's heartbeat (which remained steady and calm during the whole ordeal, at least what was tracked of it). However, when doing so, she noted that Nichol's cervix was fully dialated, and that it was time to deliver the baby.

Nichol pushed as hard as she could for about 45 minutes with an average of three twelve second pushes per contraction with about a minute to rest and relax before starting up again. It was exciting to see the baby's scalp and touch it for the first time, and then to see more and more. Finally the whole head came out and the rest of him followed easily. Susan caught him, cleared his airways, saw he was breathing and set him on a towel on Nichol's belly. He barely even cried. Just a bit of a whimpering complaint for the treatment he'd been given, and his eviction from his lap of luxury. In a few minutes though, he settled to his new surroundings, opened his eyes and began scanning the room to figure out what was going on.

What a wonderful thing to watch a baby come into the world! What a marvellous thing when that baby is your own! I am extremely proud of my wife for being pregnant for months, and then, for her twelve hours of labor. For putting up with pain and save for the pain killer at the beginning of active labor to have a completely natural birth (with no epidural). I am amazed and ever more appreciative of her. Both are beautiful and I'm extremely grateful to have them in my life.


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