Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hello, sister!

Anika and Saskia are getting along splendidly. Right after we got home from the birth center we picked Anika up from day care and spent some time together just as a family. After getting through the first night, Anika wanted to hold her new little sister for the first time. Right now the sessions are short but sweet as you can see from the picture above.

For an unabridged version of the last 48 hours you can visit our Kodak Gallery.

Saskia Melver Debut

Saskia Melver rode home from the birth center just 2 and a half hours after she was born (which would have never happened if we were in a hospital). She pretty much slept all night and through several visitors.

Saskia is still working with mom to get some milk flowing but has had some amazing diapers already as the meconium (baby's original tar-like poop) makes it's way out of the system. Here she is just after a diaper change on day 2 of life in the big world.

That's dad's thumb there next to Saskia's right foot. She had really great color right from birth which is a good sign of normal circulation.

And she's got character (look at those eyes and cheeks!) and Anika's knack for turning away from flashing cameras.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Birthday: 1:38, June 22, 2007

Saskia Melver
Born: June 22, 2007
7 pounds, 10 ounces
20 inches
14 inch crown
Brown hair
Steel blue eyes

Birhday, 12 noon...contraction traction!

Contractions are coming short and frequent. They are intense and cause Heather to stop mid sentence and focus on a breath.

Birthday: 10:30am, Water broken

No turning back. With Nancy's help, we broke the water on the amniotic sac surrounding the baby. The fluid is clear (a great sign) and dialation is now at 3-4 cm. Heather commences walking and pacing to help guide the baby with gravity towards the light.

Annelise comes in just afterward bringing groceries; the first of our birth party to arrive and help with the days events. This is starting to ramp up!

Friday, June 22...Labor underway

Stay tuned throughout the day as we attempt to give an update of the birth as it unfolds.

A few of you may have got a call two nights ago when we thought things were kicking into high gear. There were contractions but not frequent or hard enough to rush off to the birth center.

So fast forward to this morning and now we have had a couple good nights of rest, Anika is at daycare and we have been sitting with our midwife at her beautiful birth center on Lake Tapps having another check.

After we arrived at 8:15am we did a regular check up: all is well, baby is very happy and heather is dialated to 2-3 cm. After a brief discussion of the options we decide as a team to go ahead with a birth today.

We played scrabble for an hour while we waited for the ivy to hydrate. Heather enjoys a nice cup of tea.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baby on it's way...Friday, June 22 or before.

We had our midwife appointment on Monday morning. Heather was dialated to 2 cm already. We have our next and (most likely) final pre-baby midwife appointment this Friday at 8am. Word is that we should have a new baby delivered by dinner time Friday night if all goes as planned. Keep sending us your positive energy everyone.

Baby will be born at the birth center on Lake Tapps. In attendance will be Heather's sister Annelise, our doula (and best friend) Jenny Jacobs, Jenny's husband (and our other best friend)Aaron and of course midwife Nancy. Anika will be in daycare for most of the day and will join us as soon as the baby is born or by 6pm whichever comes first.

Fingers are crossed and everything is prepared...cheers to all our family and friends for the encouragement and support always.

Friday, June 8, 2007

West Side Story: What a trip!

One of the perks of my job in the Alumni and Parent Relations Office is getting to participate in some pretty swank events with high profile clientelle of the university. Last night we were invited by my boss to check out West Side Story at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Since the tickets were paid for, it was an excuse to take my wife out for a much deserved night on the town. The plans were simple: babysitter, nice dinner, dessert and a show. Dinner was at THE KEG...fine wine, steak, seafood...delicious.

After THE KEG it was over to ROCK BOTTOM PASTA for dessert and coffee in downtown Seattle. We entertained ourselves with conversations about different names for the new baby, syncing-up on preparation lists for the move to Hong Kong and playing some video poker.

Finally we got into the theatre and caught the show.

After the show, we had the opportunity to stick around for an exclusive talk-back with the entire cast. Louis Hobson, a 2000 grad from PLU, plays Tony and was instrumental in getting us behind-the-scenes access to his show.

And then it happened.

On the way down to the front of house, Heather got her heel caught in her pant leg and took a spill. She went down hard but managed to take all of the impact on her hands and knees. She got right back up and dust herself off. We sat through the talk-back. As soon as we got back to the car, Heather called our consulting nurse who referred us immediately to St. Joes Hospital to get checked out as a precaution.

So to cap off the night we spent 2 hours with a nurse getting Heather and the baby monitored to rule out any possible trauma a fall can cause on a 37-week pregnancy. Fortunately, all that was shaken was some pride and we left feeling a lot better knowing we had done everything we could to make sure we were still on track and the baby was fine.

There was one remarkable moment in Heather exam that smacked of a sit-com, though.

After lots of questions and thourough physical exam-- with monitors still ticking off the baby's heartbeat and documenting Heather's mini-contractions in the backgroud-- our nurse looks up from her reports.

Nurse: (Smile) Sorry to ask so many questions and seem repetitious but we just want to make sure that we cover everything before we let you go tonight.

Heather: No problem.

Nurse: (Suddenly somber) Because last week I treated a lady that was almost to term that took a spill, came in and got checked out and we sent her home. Everything looked fine. She monitored well and by all accounts her fall wasn't that hard: a slip on the stairs onto her rump. Four days later she was back and lost her twins.

Me: !!

Heather: Oh dear. That is awful.

Nurse: (Smile) So everything looks fine here and we want to you check in with your midwife first thing tomorrow morning. Other than that you are free to go.

Me: !!!!

Heather: Definitely. Thanks.

Of course, this a condensed version of the conversation but you get the idea. Did she really just say that and send us home?

As we left the hospital, I had Heather tucked tightly on my arm and walking slow. Just before we got to the car she caught her heal again and would have gone down for sure if she wasn't holding onto me. It started feeling like we were in some Seinfeld episode or something.

We made it back to campus just after 2am. Even though it was late we both slept easier knowing we had checked in with our little bun and everything seemed be cooking right on schedule.