Monday, March 3, 2008

Christophe: Part III

So, once Christophe was born, they put him on Pierrette's chest, vernix and all. Although it's not uncommon to move right into initial breast-feeding at this point, that couldn't be done because Christophe couldn't reach -- his umbilical cord was shorter than is normal.

As an aside, umbilical cords are lumpier than I expected. I expected something pretty smooth, but it was twisty and lumpy. I wish I'd gotten a clearer picture, but you can google-search for it. So we waited for the cord to stop pulsing, then clamped the cord and I cut it.

Having the father 'cut the cord' is laden with symbology I wasn't entirely keen to explore, but there are so few parts of the delivery process I can really help with, so I caved to tradition. It was sinewy, like, well, sinews. Or rope, maybe. Gristly muscle. All that sort of thing.

After that, some of the vernix was rubbed in, and Pierrette got to hold Christophe while the placenta (which, to be honest, looks like the bag of organs that comes in a turkey, but bigger) was birthed. Watching my new son and wife interact was pretty emotional. We called a few people -- mostly relatives. After that, Christophe got to practice his first latch, he was weighed and measured, and we dressed him.

The midwives did their best to cram a few more bits of information in my head, but lack of sleep and being a little dazed drove most of it back out. By about 3:30, we were all set to leave, so we bundled up all our belongings, said our goodbyes, and went to the front desk to pick up Christophe's new baby health card, then from there to the car, and home.

Early in the morning, I left messages for Pierrette's parents and my parents, but also for Kim and Baz, who live close enough by, and have been through this experience, so it wasn't incredibly inconvenient (we hope) to ask them to pick up a few things for us -- in particular, the infant car seat, which I had left behind at Pierrette's request so as to not "jinx it," but which we obviously needed, and a few other things from the important to the inconsequential (cake!)

They arrived with those items when Pierrette was in active labour, so we didn't get to see them, although I could hear them from the tub-area where Pierrette was, including little Sebastian. When we returned home, we discovered that Kim and Lisa had set up the bedroom for us -- baby clothes, some diapers, quite possibly even some tidying, and baby's name all laid out for us. Considering we were dead tired at that point, it was a very welcome and pleasant surprise. For those of you following the last few posts, it was the setup I documented on our return and put in the first Christophe blog post to announce his name:

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