The labor progressed very fast. At 10pm, the doctor predicted he’d be born by 2am, which we thought was quick and too optimistic — doctors are always optimistic. We were expecting to still be waiting at 6am! But by 11:50pm, less than 2 hours into labor, the nurse called the doctor for the delivery. What?!? The doc got everything ready and by midnight, Gay was doing the breathe and push exercise. That lasted for five minutes at most and the baby was out. From my perspective, Gay seemed to be in more pain than she was with Havana, maybe because her body really wanted him out quick, so it was good that it was so short. Granted, the mother does all the hard stuff, but it’s hard to sit there and watch your wife go through so much pain and you can’t do anything about it (and trust me, nobody involved wants the father to do anything about it).
I cut the umbilical cord, something I foolishly passed on with Havana’s birth. I didn’t think much of it with Havana and I don’t think Gay wanted me to last time, but I’m glad I did it this time just for the experience and to participate in the process. It’s like cutting a firm piece of pasta.
Gay asked for him to be put right on her stomach afterwards, which she didn’t want the first time. I’m not sure what’s better… he was dark grey when for the first minute or so, then he transitioned to a dark purple. Hudson was pretty ugly, not nearly as cute as I thought Havana was when I first saw her. The second birth isn’t quite the shock as the first one, but when a human being suddenly appears in a room without entering through the door, it feels like a magic trick just happened.
After two more hours in the delivery room for some poking and prodding of Hudson by the nurses, we moved to the post-partum room. I chilled our bottle of champagne, the same one we had for Havana’s birth, and had a couple glasses of that until we could get some sleep at 5 or 6am. I got maybe two hours of sleep, Gay got less, before the next round of checkups, tests, shots by the nurses which continued throughout the day.
After dropping Ouzo off at a specialist vet in north Seattle for a diagnosis (more on that later), Kelly brought Havana to the hospital to meet Hudson.
She petted him the way she pets the dogs and stared at him a bit, but was mostly indifferent to him. She can almost say his name, though: “uddsu”.
Incidentally, after Havana’s birth last year, I spent the day watching the construction of the building next door. That building is finished now. It’s the “Swedish Orthopedic Institute”:http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=23. Whenever we drive by it, I can tell Havana that it’s the same age as her (and she won’t care).