The dude arrived March 15th at 11:31PM, weighing in at 7 lbs, 11 oz.
[This is JEFF BTW, since Saydi is sleeping]
[Please skip this next section unless you are a female relative, or really trying to kill some time—I can’t imagine this is of interest to anyone else]
The poor midwife and nurse at the Cambridge Birth Center, being unfamiliar with Saydi’s past exploits in the realm of competitive speed birthing (see here) were unwilling to admit her right away, though dilated to 2cm. We hung out for a while with Saydi strapped up to the fetal heart monitor and ‘contraction meter’ from 9–10PM. It was showing mild / moderate contractions.
I was timing the duration and intervals and getting 35 second contractions every 2 minutes (which is par for Saydi’s serious labor), and starting to have visions of spoiling the birth center’s nice waiting room rug with another hurried birth like Charlie’s. They eventually realized that the contraption / sensor wasn’t strapped on quite tight enough, and with that corrected, found things were progressing a bit faster than they thought. Of course Saydi was chatting away and being generally cheery all the while, which probably threw them off as well.
Fortunately, her crack pit crew (myself, L the super-doula, her mom, and HK the doula/photographer) commandeered the master suite anyhow and put her in a warm bathtub around 10PM. The nurse and midwife then succumbed to the ‘facts on the ground’ (that’s a reference to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict, kids) and admitted her, checked her, and found she was dilated to a 3cm and set to launch.
This is the part where Saydi really excels. To carry the automotive metaphor to its absurd conclusion, she wasn’t quite as fast off the line this time, but MAN—she went from 30MPH to supersonic in about 30 minutes. She was just hanging out, doing a pretty regular pattern of 40 second contractions every 2 minutes like clockwork for awhile, and then it was ‘hey, I feel like pushing' [10 second push] ‘Saydi, the head’s right there’ [10 second push] ‘heads out’ [5 seconds] ‘Done!’ I may exaggerate slightly, but I would bet the whole pushing phase was less than a minute.
Saydi has always been amazingly poised and calm through childbirth, but this time she was so (outwardly) relaxed about things until the last 10 minutes or so that I really wasn’t sure if anything was happening. In talking to Saydi afterwards, it was clear that it was more intense that I could tell. But Saydi and her super-doula L are really good at keeping her calm and in the zone through really rapid labor.
The little guy seems perfect in every way, and in fact did really well with the water birth format (which we had never fully tried before). He and Saydi hung out in the tub for quite awhile, where he turned from a strange purple to a healthy pink really quickly, and did everything else like a champ.
Saydi’s mom and dad brought the kids down around 9AM the next morning and we had a great time introducing Hazel, Charlie, and Emmeline to the new guy. You will note that 1) he has really massive hands, so I’m hoping for either the NBA or concert pianist, and that 2) Emmeline was unclear on her feelings about this little doll that moves on its own.
She soon overcame her hesitation and held him for quite some time, pushing my hand away every time I tried to steady her or support his head a little more. In fact she bounced him and ‘shushed’ him and pretty much took over the mommy role while we let her.
The other two are thrilled, and truly affectionate towards him when they are not fighting about who gets to play with him next.