Friday, December 01, 2006

A Father's Perspective

This is what Eric wrote in his journal the day Zari was born:

So. I am a father. As of 11:23 this morning, I have earthly posterity, a beautiful daughter. We haven’t named her yet, probably won’t until we find something that suits her. What an experience! I think this calls for exclamation points! Rixa woke me up around 6:30 this morning saying that she had been having regular contractions since about 1:30. She told me to cancel my classes, which I did. And take out Zeke, which I did. After a brisk run, Rixa continued to have regular contractions and they got stronger and stronger until about 9:30 when she started pushing.

Pushing took much longer than she thought it would—the baby’s head took a while to mold and move down the birth canal. I did my part by giving Rixa a blessing when she needed it and basically by staying out of the way and helping only when she needed it. She really was amazing. Rixa spent most of her time on the toilet but she also went on the floor and used the birth ball for stability or she went in the tub. I was sitting in the bedroom most of the time, trying not to focus too much on the loud vocalizing that Rixa was doing. Like from the belly of the beast. They were about a minute apart for most of it and when she got close to the end I thought labor was stalling. She wasn’t making as much noise but breathing heavily. Then I heard, “OK, the head is out” and I came in to help catch the baby. She came out smooth and slick, bright pink with a full set of lungs. She cried for about a minute or so but calmed right down when we put her on Rixa. Her head was very molded from the birth but already it looks round and normal. She has a full head of hair and the little Freeze nose crinkle. She looks very much like Freeze babies usually do. Same eyes and forehead going on. Still, it is hard to distinguish characteristics from newborns.

After she was born we took pictures and a couple videos. Rixa went probably prematurely to the bed because it took her a couple hours to get the placenta out. She continued to have strong contractions like she did during labor, but these were for the placenta which stubbornly would not come out. Rixa didn’t want to force it because that could cause unnecessary hemorrhaging so we waited it out. We decided to cut the cord and then Rixa went to the bathroom to labor and get it out, which she did after a short prayer. She even had a small chunk of it to chew on to help stop the bleeding, etc. She really felt great, looks great, and has been recovering nicely. We had Bernice over at the end to help stitch Rixa up and do some blood work. It was very nice to have her just to verify that we did everything right (which we did). Rixa has had pretty minimal bleeding and she can walk, etc. Very functional for a woman who just gave birth.

We put pictures on the family site and we had phone calls all afternoon and evening. We’re dead tired. Right now it’s about 10:45 p.m. and we’re sitting with the girl (still not sure what to call her—Jezebel was the winning vote on the family site and that isn’t going to cut it for long) and changing her diaper. She has already had a couple good meconium poops. Slick and black as fresh tar. We’re just so happy that everything went so smoothly. I gave Rixa a couple blessings that helped both of us feel comfortable and happy about going forward. She is such a beautiful baby and her whole body turns beet red whenever she cries. Now all we need is a name. A NAME! Bonne nuit.


  1. Wow, Eric! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. Very matter of fact, and yet obviously the point of view of a concerned and loving husband. Thank you again.

  2. Thank you so much, Eric. I've searched all over for a father's birth story like this: clearheaded, compassionate, warm, and calm. This will be the perfect first for Peter to read about a UC from the husband's perspective. Finally!

  3. Glad to hear from the proud papa.


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