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[Comments] (1) Harvest Time: (March 10, 2007): Wed, March 7, Susie and I went to the doctor’s office for her 41-week checkup. I took off work that morning to attend. The doc, however, was unable to attend. Susie had to go back later that afternoon, while I returned to work. I was pretty upset that no one called us to tell us. I understand that doctors have to go and deliver twins sometimes, but I don’t understand the underlying lack of professionalism his staff team portrayed. They couldn’t call us? Of course not. They couldn’t even find Susie’s chart.

Susie went back that afternoon, and the doctor decided our little Beet was ripe enough for delivery, and would be plucked from the womb March 9th. So I began making my preparations to take my leave beginning on March 9, including calling our NJ office to have them initiate my paternity leave, sending out emails to coworkers to assist in jobs while I was gone, etc.

Thursday morning, Susie had another stress test at Hoag. She went early because the baby wasn’t moving much. I decided I had better go to work. Little did I know that the Beet, fully ignoring her due date for over a week now, also did not want to come on a schedule. At this point, I must admit I was not very happy with her. I had to work a full busy-season week longer than I wanted to, and it was exhausting. Though I had been able to help out a lot that week at work, I was really looking forward to my two weeks off. Any sense of eternal perspective is completely washed away in the post-due date phase of life. It’s as if waiting nine months was no biggie; but whatever you do, please don’t ask me to wait another week.

So Thursday morning I arrived at work at 8 am, tied up some loose ends in preparation for the following day, and vigorously involved myself in re-tying out the a client's tax provision. At 9:45 am, Susie called to say that inducement looked imminent. Harrumph. I asked her to call back when she was sure. I had a day, after all. By 10 am it was official, we needed to induce a day early. So I wrapped up what I was doing, and began making the rounds.

Next I went home to change. I also packed up some things for myself and Susie, and shoved the baby seat in the car. I called Susie again, and she had just arrived in her delivery room. So I decided I had better start thinking like the Eagle Scout dad I am—be prepared. I ran to the ATM and took out some money. I also ran across the street to Target (against Susie’s wishes) and purchased some DVDs (“Alice in Wonderland” & “50 First Dates”) to watch and some batteries for the camera, because dads can never have too many batteries.

I arrived at the hospital just past 11 am, right in time to witness Susie be induced with hormones. So I didn’t miss a beat, or the Beet. Now we wait. Unlike Susie, I knew that inducing is a long process, especially for the father. So we settled down and watched a movie. We had the most awesome view of the harbor, including Balboa peninsula, the island, the PCH, and the water. It was quite serene and helped calm us both down.

At 1 pm the doc broke her water. Luckily I was having lunch in the hospital cafeteria at the time; otherwise, I would have had my lunch and lost it too. My worst fears were confirmed: my angel was swimming in meconium, a fancy word for poopies. Both Susie and I showed much concern for our darling, and the nurse only laughed. She said our meconium fears were irrational, but I still beg to differ. Heck, they close a pool every time a kid poops in it; how could this be a good thing for her?

Susie took to the early contractions well, which was both good and bad. Labor did not get intense until around 8 pm, when she finally dilated to 2 centimeters and requested her epidural. Epidurals are miracles. Susie tried to wait before the epidural and use the alternative stuff, but all it did was make her vomit up 5 grape and cherry popsicles. The epidural, though a little scary to witness, worked like a wonder.

By this time the Woot had arrived. She and I watched “Mobsters & Mormons” while we waited. Around 11 pm we learned that Susie was dilated 5 centimeters. This meant only two things to me: firstly, we were finally making progress. Secondly, we were in for a late-night harvest.

By midnight Susie was fully dilated, and it was time to push. By this time, the soil was no longer providing fruitions for our little babe, as her heart rate was slightly erratic. So the doc was called and we began pushing. Susie did awesome. I held one leg, and starting watching my baby’s head come towards me. She was face-up, but our new nurse was able to successfully turn her. Finally, after only an hour of pushing, the baby was in position.

Our doctor, however, was not in the position to catch her. The nurse had basically called Susie’s pushing wussy, for reasons I can’t now understand, given the fact that Susie had to hold in the baby for the next 4 or so contractions until the doc arrived.

So once the hospital staff finally was in position to bless this birth, it was time. They turned on the headlights, and Susie gave one big push. Out came a head, a lot of blood, and a collective gasp from both doctor and nurse alike. Being a proud father at this point, I naturally assumed the gasps were because my little girl was the most breathtaking thing they’d ever seen. While the above statement is not without its merits, our little Beet came out with hands firmly attached to her head. So not only was the head out, but so were the hands, arms, and shoulders. One more push was all it took for the rest to come slipping out.

There is this unit in the hospital called NICU, standing for Newborn Intensive Care Unit. For some reason, I kept hearing “ICKY Nurse” instead of NICU nurse. I thought that was pretty lame to refer to the nurse that comes and cleans off the meconium as an ICKY nurse. I’m glad to discover that I heard wrong.

Having never been in a delivery room before, I suddenly became extremely concerned. My baby was slightly yellow, and seemed unreal. I seriously thought it possible she was not alive. But then they cleared her nostrils and I saw her eyes move. Yes. Both of my girls seemed safe.

I quickly washed my hands and began poking at the baby while the Apgar was administered. She passed with flying colors—a 9. Susie quickly became jealous that I was with the baby. But EVERYONE else was with her. The doctor and nurse were still with her, while she cleared out the placenta, excess fluids (really disgusting to watch I might add), and got stitched up. She tore a lot, thanks to Beet’s little surprise move with the hands. And she had the Woot by her side as well.

So I had to remind her that I still loved her. I also reminded her that she has been to Alaska, and Beet has not. But that may not be entirely a true statement….

Little Beet came out with a full head of brown hair. Very dark, even after the blood came out. It is a beautiful color. And her eyes are beginning to turn a marvelous blue to boot. Her skin is smooth and appealing, thanks to her mother. In fact, most people assume she was born via cesarean, given the fact that her skin is so beautiful and her head is properly shaped. Brag, brag, brag.

I hogged her for a while, and then took her over to Susie and the Woot. Susie tried unsuccessfully to feed her, so I got to give her a bottle. I held onto her for a very long time, and loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it. The rocking chairs at Hoag are extremely uncomfortable. We moved upstairs (thanks to Rachel packing us up) to our new room, and lost our beautiful ocean view. But I’ll take a healthy Beet over an ocean view any day. My little Sugar Beet.

Maggie (it’s official now; the birth certificate has been processed) came out at 7 pounds, 4 ounces, 19.5 inches, and 100% adorable. She made her debut into the world at 1:44 am on Friday, March 9, 2007. And as the saying goes, Friday’s child is loving and giving.

We finally went to sleep at 4:30 am. Rachel went back to our place, and I slept on the couch-bed. The baby stayed with us that first night. By 7:30 it was time for me to change my first diaper. Shortly thereafter, Susie began the process of breast feeding again, and the onslaught of doctors and nurses hardly ceased. My hopes to salvage any more sleep out of the night were completely dashed by 8, when mom called. The phone calls never ended. Nor did the bragging.

What else is there to say, really? It was love at first sight. She sleeps awesome, loves to cuddle with her daddy, and I don’t even mind the diapers. The one hard part has been the feeding. She would rather sleep than eat. But if she’s gonna be a Chadwick, she’ll have an appetite before long.

She’s a snuggle-bum. She loves to lie against my chest, while I hold her bum in one hand and massage her head with the other. I like to give her Eskimo kisses. We both like to look at each other, though sometimes that makes her go cross-eyed.

The 9th, birthday of Margaret Susan Chadwick, was the longest day of my life. I went home and slept that night, so Rachel could stay with Susie. And the sugar beet slept with the nurses. I got home around 10 pm, went straight to sleep and never looked back. I awoke at 9 am on Saturday the 10th, feeling much better.

Back at the Hoag, we learned that fortune was on our side. Because Maggie was born after midnight, we have been booked for an extended stay until Sunday! We both thought we’d be on our own starting Saturday. Though I’m a little anxious to get home and to get established, I think we’ll greatly benefit from one more day of hospital support, and one more evening of sleep. For some reason, Susie and I both wanted either the 8th or the 10th (something about odd days) but the Beet knew to hold out until the 9th. So thank you, daughter.

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier! And the best part is, I think I’ll feel that way each and every day for the next few years. That’s why I am documenting this time. After all, she’ll be a teenager eventually….

I am also extremely grateful to EY—six weeks paternity leave is such an awesome benefit. Also, to the Hoag hospital staff. Not only are they proficient, they are also extremely smart. All of them agree that Maggie is the most adorable little girl born at Hoag in at least 10 years.

I love my little Sugar Beet!

The Beet & The Bean: (March 11, 2007): Our daughter is so much like Jellybean it’s a little scary. I suppose Jelly did live with us during the first trimester, so that may explain a few things.

For starters, they sleep alike. The Beet doesn’t care to have her arms swaddled. She likes them out and next to her face. She sleeps with them near her head. The Bean does the same thing. She likes to sleep all sprawled out with her front paws extended way forward.

The Bean is a cross-eyed kitten. The Beet also likes to be cross-eyed, mostly while looking at her daddy. Maybe I’m viewed best cross-eyed.

Both snore very similarly as well.

The Bean doesn’t really meow. She squeaks. The Beet doesn’t really cry. She just makes the most adorable little noises. Usually. The Beet actually does know how to cry. Thankfully, she doesn’t always do it.

House Arrest: (March 12, 2007): Feeding the Beet every three hours doesn’t necessarily seem like a Herculean task. But it is. She takes about an hour to feed and to be changed, which means you get two hours of sleep every three hours. Last night (Sunday March 11) we got up at midnight, one, four, five, and seven-thirty for feedings. Just as we’d get her back to bed, we’d hear either big, big tooties or crying for more milk. Never mind that she fell asleep at the tit. She apparently wanted a little TLC between courses. I’m so tired.

I also had a hard time sleeping. I wake up at every little sound coming from the bassinet. Does that ever stop? Or will I always be waking in the night to check on my children? I think I may never get a decent night’s rest again.

But I am so glad I have so much uncle experience. Rachel thinks I should be a SAHD. And the nurse couldn’t believe how I handled Margaret so nonchalantly. She said most dads carry the babies around as though they were porcelain dolls, but that I understood that, after what she’d just been through, that she’s tougher than you think. I’ve already had to show mommy that you have to hit harder than you want to when burping. And mommy’s finally getting the hang of diaper changing, which is great. Daddy could use a break.

The practical, CPA side of me wants to take a picture of her every hour and start drafting wills, organizing trust funds, and opening 529 college funds for her. But the physical side of me just wants to hold her in our rocking chair. The physical side is winning.

I’m once again continually grateful to EY for this leave of absence. I can’t imagine fatherhood without it. I think all companies should have paternity leave plans. And, looking back, I’m so glad we never had kids in school, because school stops for nothing. I love learning Susie’s role, and am glad she understands mine (she has more work experience than I do now, after all). What a great team we make.

Daylight Scare-ings: (March 13, 2007): Congress has decided that we should save an additional amount of light each year, and bumped up daylight savings 3 weeks in 2007. The Beet came out during this momentous weekend. This caused all sorts of problems. Firstly, we lost an hour of sleep. Not only this, but it really seemed to confuse the nurses regarding changings and feedings. You haven’t fed her since when? Well, we did lose an hour. And, obviously, the lost sleep goes without saying.

Also, the clock mechanisms of the world also were adversely affected by this event. At 2 am, as Susie was up for a feeding, the clock began moving in double time. Normally, this would be unusual. But funny things occur in the mind of an individual up at 2 am. It really creeped Susie out.

Gas: (March 13, 2007): In the last two weeks, gas has gone from around $2.60 to $3.10. I am told this is usually due to supply and demand (ie OPEC and other cartels limit production while demand in the USA around spring break goes up). Basic economics. However, I’ve got gas coming out my ears, and still $3.10.

Hallelujah!: (March 13, 2007): Today was our first pediatrician appointment. Maggie has gained 3.5 ounces in four days! This means lots of good news: 1) Susie doesn’t have to supplement with formula anymore, which means John doesn’t have to get up and heat it up in the night). 2) Susie’s got the basic gist of breastfeeding! 3) We no longer have to wake up every 3 hours to feed the Beet; 4 hours is sufficient at night. Music to my ears.

The pediatrician also noted that she can’t smile for a few more weeks. Hogwash. She’s smiled at me. I’ve even caught her smiling in her sleep. It may not be a social smile, but it’s enough to melt a daddy’s heart.

Diaper Genius: (March 13, 2007): Today I emptied the diaper genie for the first time. Never mind that Beet filled it in only 2 days. Never mind that all those diapers weigh more than she does. It really does contain the smell. What an awesome invention!

As I carried a bag of diapers out to the garbage, my cynical side really got to thinking of all the funny things I could do with that bag in my hands. Of course, it’s in the garbage. But in the wrong hands, what ammo!

It’s not that I like talking about this stuff. I don’t. But this is my life.

[Comments] (2) Sign of the Times: (March 14, 2007): A lot has changed in the pediatric world since Tyler was a baby. Apparently you are not supposed to use baby powder anymore. Ever. I always liked the smell of baby powder. Luckily for the manufacturers of the stuff, it has other uses. I wonder if they’ll remove the baby part out of the title. You are also not supposed to rub alcohol around the umbilical stump either. Also, rectal thermometers are now a no-no. That one I can live with.

She’s still a happy little sugar beet. She loves to sleep with her hands unswaddled up next to her head. And she loves to lay against daddy’s chest after a vigorous feeding.

We got this little newborn outfit from Carter’s that is a one-piece (but not a onesie) with legs, but the buttons around the legs and groin are reversible so that it can also be a gown. All the old outfits of Ember’s do not do that. It must be a new invention. I highly approve.


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.