Saturday, January 21, 2012

Daniel's Story

On November 22nd, 2011 (11/22/11) at 2:45 pm, my son Daniel was born at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns. I arrived at the hospital at 2 am at 3 centimeters; my triage nurse instructed me to walk around the hospital for an hour or so to see if I would dilate a little bit more. I was admitted around 4 am and labored 4 to 10 centimeters over 10 hours and once I was fully dilated, I pushed for less than an hour. I planned on an unmedicated labor from early on in my pregnancy; sometime between my water breaking and Daniel's head putting increasing pressure on my cervix, I begged his father for an epidural. Fortunately it really wasn't up to him and he knew what my true desire was. I powered through transition with the support of my boyfriend, mom, and nurse when I was finally allowed to push and be one step closer to meeting Daniel.

False labor on Sunday pm/Monday am.

Real labor Tuesday am.
Suit up!
My little boy, my pride and joy, was born with a shock of dark hair and a very Asian appearance. You see, both Daniel's dad and I are half-Japanese; while I expected my son would resemble us in many ways, I always favored a more caucasian look courtesy of my dad's genetics so seeing him look so very Japanese was a huge shock to me (as in I almost said aloud, "I don't think that's my baby"). Within days of his swelling going down and looking less newborn, however, he looked more and more like he definitely belonged to me.

My sweet little 7 and 10 (almost 11!) boy!
Making sure all the goods are present.
My brother and Gary with a Daniel burrito.
My amazing team sans Gary: nurses, myself, MD, and my mom.
Nice and clean in post-partum with David Beckham hair.
Hi, I'm Daniel!
First week home sweet home.
I have tried to do everything as natural as possible in these first few months of his early life. Along with my natural birth, I have been breastfeeding exclusively. Every 2 to 3 hours of the past 8 weeks have been dedicated to nourishing my child and I am so glad I stuck with it. The pain that turned to discomfort is now gone completely and the uncertainty of him not getting enough is soothed by his expanding body mass (which I can't get enough of... CHEEKS!). The one thing I have yet to accomplish is the transition from disposable diapers to cloth, which I had hoped to have done by this point. I'm not sure if it's the uncertainty of using cloth diapers or just the convenience of disposable ones, but my insistence of using cloth diapers is dwindling.

He loves laying chest to chest.
Learning to smile.
Another favorite sleeping spot of his.
The past few months of motherhood has taught me more than I ever thought possible; in these early stages where his eyes notice everything but his hands yet to interact, the value of the mobile we bought him is priceless. Thank you Fisher Price for giving me a means to entertain my son so that I can stand a few feet away to wash my face in the morning and if time and baby attention span allows, run downstairs to start my pot of lifeblood. Baby Bjorn, you are a god-send for those times when he is unconsolable for much longer than my arms can handle. Soothies are his pacifier of choice and while I feed him by much different means, his father can feed him with comfort and ease with Breast Flow bottles. SwaddleMe and Halo Sleep Sacks are my saviors as I never could get the hang of swaddling regularly. And of course, the white noise machine will forever be our favorite tool of the trade.

6 weeks later! He's growing so fast.
I don't consider myself to be the most patient person but slowly, my little boy is teaching me to breath deeply, keep my cool and regroup when I get too worked up. In his 2 short months on this earth, he has shown me a person I never knew I would be: his mama. Now, every time I get up in the wee hours of the morning to nurse my ever-growing child I find myself in awe of his adorable face, his little hands, his pudgy tummy, having to remind myself that yes, in fact, I did make this beautifully tiny human inside of me (with the help of his father, of course) and pushed him out in a way I never knew I had in me. He is mine.

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