For you all that follow me on Facebook you probably know already that I am now a father for the first time. Our daughter was born on Monday November 30, 2009, but the story of her birth actually begins the day prior. Early Sunday morning at about 1:30 AM my wife, Miok woke me up to say she was having contractions. I called the Army hospital her in El Paso to ask if I should bring her in or not. They told me that when she her contractions are one every five minutes to go ahead and bring her in. At about 9:30 AM her contractions were coming every five minutes so I went ahead and drove her to the hospital in the midst of the beginnings of some nasty weather.
- View of snow falling from my wife’s hospital bed.
The doctor checked her out and told me to go ahead and bring her home and come back when the contraction reach every three minutes. I was a bit annoyed by this because my wife was exhausted and in a lot pain just to get to the hospital and now I was going to have to bring her all the way back home again. So I brought her back home and around 10:00 PM the contractions were hitting her every three minutes. So I called the hospital again and they told me to go ahead and bring her back to the hospital. By this time my wife was in so much pain she could barely walk and now the nasty weather had turned into a full blown snow storm outside that I had to contend with as well. Yes a huge a snow storm in El Paso! To make matters worse my wife wasn’t physically able to get into my Ford because the seat was too high, so we had to take her Hyundai to the hospital instead. So here I was driving slowly through a snow storm, late at night, in my wife’s little Hyundai while she was in extreme pain wanting to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
- Miok in extreme pain at the hospital before receiving any pain medication.
When we arrived at the hospital I had to get one of the soldiers pulling duty to come help me get Miok out the car and get her into a wheel chair. The soldier went and brought my wife to the labor and delivery section of the hospital while I went to go park the car. When I got to labor and deliver the doctor told me that she decided to go ahead and admit her into the hospital. That was a big relief.
Later on that night the nurses offered my wife an epidural because of the immense pain she was in. My wife decided to take the epidural, but the anesthesiologist would not give it to her because my wife could not understand some of the medical jargon in the disclosure paperwork. In English school in Korea they don’t teach the students medical jargon such as hemoglobin because how often what they use that word? Heck some of the words in the paperwork like clonidine and fentanyl I didn’t even know what those were much less someone from Korea. Anyway I told the anesthesiologist I could call my wife’s Korean-American friend who is a nurse to explain to her what the medical jargon is in Korean. She said no, that it had to be someone in the hospital. Get this their translator at the hospital was someone from housekeeping who was on leave for a week. So they started calling her home at 2:00 AM in the morning to translate for my wife. It took them about two hours to get ahold of the translator and she explained the jargon to Miok. This whole time I had my wife’s friend who is an actual nurse on stand by, but was unable to use her because of hospital buearacracy. Yeah, I was pretty pissed.
Anyway once Miok got her epidural she quickly began to feel much better since the entire lower section of her body was made numb. However, the baby was not ready to come out yet and the nurses were hopeful that maybe sometime after sun up the baby would be ready to be born. However, when the sun came out that morning the baby still wasn’t ready. The sun did provide us with some nice views of the snow fall outside though. The snow had actually stopped for a little while that morning, but it eventually started coming down heavily again later that day. It was the easiest the most snow fall I have ever seen fall in El Paso.
- Snow fall outside the hospital.
Next the nurses hoped that by lunch the baby would be ready, but it still did not come out. So once dinner came and passed that is when the doctor came over to see what she could do. She gave my wife some additional enducement medication, lessened the epidural medication so my wife could feel the contractions better, along with personally helping to deliver the baby. She was finally able to get the baby to come out and it became obvious why the birth took so long because the baby weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces. For those of you who know my wife, you all know she is a small woman at five feet and one inch. After experiencing the birth of my first child I have to say I have a new respect for what women have to go through giving birth because my wife went through a lot of pain during the birth and even now as she heals up, she is experiencing a lot of pain. Needless to say I am quite proud of Miok.
- Minee after her birth at the hospital.
Anyway our daughter Minee despite the difficult nearly two day labor, turned out to be a perfectly healthy baby so far. She does nothing but eat, drool, and poop just like all babies.
If you are wondering we named our daughter Minee because it is a Korean name that also has an English equivalent because I have known of a few women with this name such as Minnie Driver. It is important to us that she is able to speak both Korean and English so we both speak to her in both languages. We want her to be able in the future to communicate with all her relatives in both countries. She even has relatives in Japan so my wife may even try to teach her some Japanese as well.
Anyway we the celebrated the birth of our daughter the next day with some sparkling grape juice which the hospital was nice enough to provide for us.
Besides drinking some sparkling grape juice look at the view outside as the sun rose over a dense fog bank that had settled over the lower valley that El Paso sits in:
The Army hospital sits up on the side of the Franklin Mountains and looks down on the city. The snow storm was the worst I had seen in El Paso and now this was the worst fog bank I have seen here as well. I drove home to take a shower, change clothes, and grab a few things for my wife and I could not believe how thick the fog was that led to a few accidents that I seen as I drove home.
Anyway my wife ended up spending Sunday through Thursday in the hospital before she and Minee could both come home. Here is a picture of Minee in her car seat for the first time for the drive home:
So far Minee has been very well behaved as long as we keep her on a consistent feeding schedule. If she is full she is happy and spends most of the day sleeping in her crib.
And if you are wondering, yes I do help my wife feed the baby when she isn’t up to doing the breast feeding:
All in all it has been great so far but the real challenge is going to be when I have to go back to work next week. My wife is going to have to handle the majority of the parenting duties during the day and the tiredness of waking up at night to feed the baby is probably going to start hitting me more when I start working those long hours again. Anyway I hope everyone enjoyed the posting and pictures and hopefully you all one day can meet our beautiful daughter as well. Cheers.