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Baby Axel Arrives!


  10:17:22 pm, by Nimble   , 1207 words  
Categories: Announcements [A], Distractions

Baby Axel Arrives!

Arrrrr! At 6:56 pm on September 16, 2007, Axel Duma Annand transitioned from the world of womb to the world of people.

Axel the Giant Has A Posse

To recap a little bit...

We went to the Peter Lougheed for a scheduled induction. Our baby was eight days late with an estimate of anywhere between 10-13 pounds. They started Dena up on the induction hormone, but in discussing with the practitioners, with the prospect of quite a lot of baby and mother injury, we decided that a planned C-section would be safest for mom and tot alike.

I had fed Dena a tiny bit of marshmallow square at 10 am, and that was enough to delay the procedure from 2 to 6 pm. Augh! If I'd know, I'd have made the food worth it... poor Dena went hungry for quite a while.

I had to stay outside the operating room in rather too-tight scrubs while they prepared Dena before they would let me in. I came in to find Dena's face just behind a blue cloth screen, feeling no pain but some nausea and pressure, especially when it came to the three people pressing down on the top of her uterus to help push down the baby.

Unfortunately, the uterus contracted at that point (it hadn't before!), and we're not sure whether that was the cause of also needing a vertical incision (you're not eating dinner right now, are you?) - which means we now need to have all future children by C-section - but it was a factor in the doctors needing to use forceps.

I saw him moments after he came out, and took pictures on the digital camera to show Dena, who couldn't really turn her head to see the baby in the first place. Faced with following the baby to the nursery and staying to console Dena in the stage where they put her back together, Dena told me to go... because she couldn't go, so I did, and got pictures of the baby and was present at the statistics-gathering.

Axel weighs 4720 grams, or 10 lb 6.6 oz. His head is 37.5 cm around (ouch!) and he's 54.5 cm long.

He had such doll eyes, it reminded me of that hyper-doll-like look they used for Gollum's eyes in Lord of the Rings. (Scott and Helene from our pre-natal class showed up in the ward the next day. Their baby has similar eyes, and Scott made the observation that with the typical "turtle-like" way babies hold their lower lips, that it might be closer to the turtle from Never-Ending Story)

Dean and Sharon came in to visit, but Dena wasn't out of the post-op recovery area until past visiting hours, but they got to see the baby, too. I wandered back and forth between baby and Dena until Dena was at last ready to be wheeled into the room.

It was rough going the first night in particular. I stayed with both Dena and Axel the entire first night, but there were so many interruptions, and Axel was crying quite a bit and spitting up his allotment of primordial slime (as newborns do, but there really seemed to be a lot of it, and he was spitting up frequently until morning). Most of the nurses were great, but Nurse Ratchet, as we like to call her, on the day shift the next day was rough and negative and very inconsiderate of how little sleep we had, and of me in general.

Dena sent me home the second night to get some sleep, because I hadn't had any, and that would give us an excuse to have the baby live in the nursery a bit to help Dena get some sleep, but from Dena's stories the next day, she really didn't get to have a lot of sleep, because staff kept interrupting her during the night. Oof.

Axel was crying quite a lot, starting to get really fussy at breast feeding. Nobody seemed to be able to explain it, really. I was changing diapers and picking him up and trying to console him and we were starting to think we were doomed to a baby with a bad temperament. One nurse, though, noticing how long he was going at that point between diaper changes noted that perhaps it was a growth spurt, and we asked about maybe having a little bit of formula supplementation. It takes a while for the 'true milk' to come in when breast feeding and he just was not getting enough.

(Interestingly, Dena just got an e-mail from a friend quite heartfelt on this very topic. The point is: supplement if you need to - do not let any nurses give you a hard time about it - Mom knows best in this case)

With both breast feeding and supplementing with formula... what a difference! This may change in future, but what a really, really good baby he is right now! He alternates between sacked out and hungry and bright-eyed.

The maternity ward staff was quite nice, though you really have to push your own agenda, to make sure pain relief happens on time and that the baby can be taken to the nursery for a little while to help mom sleep. There's a lot of contradictory advice that comes through the various people there, too... but really, once you find a good way, you want to stick to your guns, and doing that is hard when some nurses insist on making you follow some other set of instructions.

I will pass on this advice, too (Dena, correct me if I'm missing something):

You do NOT need everything they ask you to put into your bags. The baby won't be in tons of actual clothes for the first little while, so you can use the small hospital receiving blankets (especially during the initial spit-up phases), a set of baby clothes, clothes and shower stuff for yourself, food that you keep in your room and doesn't require refrigeration (we brought Babybel cheese and juice boxes and stuck them in the fridge in a bag with our names prominently displayed and someone still filched some of the cheese - taking them out of the bag - and two of our juice boxes - WTF!), a black pen, a few diapers and don't forget the camera!

The intravenous drips are annoying, especially if you end up with the IV in your dominant hand, because you can't write, read books, etc. etc. without the unit constantly beeping and whining. Do not let them put the IV in your dominant hand!

Dena was very, very glad to get out of the hospital just to be on her own schedule. We clothed Axel and put him in the car seat, made our way to the exit (very slowly - C-sections are major surgery), got everything out to the car and off we went! We stopped by the Shoppers Drug Mart where pretty much everyone on the post-4 or 5 o'clock staff knows us, to pick up prescriptions and some supplemental formula, and on our way out got inundated with happy staff members :)

We are at last home, and Axel is as happy as ever.

Now, some pictures!

Dena and Axel

Ritchie and Axel

Axel with Eyes Open

Axel Awake

Additional geeky facts:

* He was born on 9/16, which are both squares (3 squared and 4 squared)
* We took him home on 9/19, which was Talk Like A Pirate Day


Comment from: Auntie Enn [Visitor]  
Auntie Enn

Both squares, makes sense, his parents are both squares, so it works out… ^_~

I now have the Axel-F Theme running through my head. Why “Axel"? Sorry to seem a downer, but as someone who grew up with a very bad choice of name, I’m rather a kids’-advocate when it comes to these things ^_~

My mother’s milk never did come in. I was strictly a bottle-and-formula baby and look how I turned out! …. wait, that probably isn’t encouraging… =D

Re: pics: *HUGGGS!!!!* You both look so happy =D Congratulations, both of you. I can’t think of anybody better suited to this priviledge. *MWAH!* *HUGS!!!*

09/20/07 @ 09:55
Comment from: ElTwo [Visitor]  

Aww, only 5 hours and 4 minutes short of my birthday. Oh well, you’d miss out on the squares in that case. Congratulations!

09/20/07 @ 13:08
Comment from: Ari Jokimäki [Visitor]  
Ari Jokimäki

Congratulations, and all the best for the life of Sir Axel!

09/21/07 @ 00:16
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

Enny -> Axel is the pre-Anglicized name of Dena’s paternal grandfather who died quite a long time ago. Eddie has nothing to do with it, but Axel will be free to snarf Harold Faltermeyer’s theme song for his ownsome if he chooses :)

L2 -> Being L2, I know you would appreciate the squares ;) Thanks!

Ari -> Thank you! Now you know why I haven’t been posting on my forum, too :)

09/21/07 @ 03:24
Comment from: Ari Jokimäki [Visitor]  
Ari Jokimäki

I kind of suspected that already. It seems that I started the same thing with Axel’s name than I did with your name, that is writing it all wrong (I’m hitting my forehead here, hard), sorry. :)

09/21/07 @ 09:27
Comment from: Adam [Member]  

I’ve just fixed the spelling in the earlier comment, Ari, so don’t feel bad about it :)

09/21/07 @ 10:45
Comment from: Ari Jokimäki [Visitor]  
Ari Jokimäki

Thank you, Adam. :)

09/21/07 @ 23:12
Comment from: Viv James (nee Annand) [Visitor]  
Viv James (nee Annand)

Congratulations Dena & Ritchie. Axel looks FAB. Let all your fun times begin now. Love from: Rik, Viv, Lulu (9) & Daisy (6) XXXX

09/27/07 @ 16:52
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

Thank you so much, you guys :) I guess there will be a few more baby-related postings than would have been my usual pre-Axelian fare :)

Hi, Vivian! :)

10/18/07 @ 16:03
Comment from: Adam [Member]  

There’s something about a 3D animation that makes the birthing process look excruciatingly painful. Of course, from what I hear, it *is*.


10/24/07 @ 09:26
Comment from: Axel Annand [Visitor]
Axel Annand

1st son and child of Ritchie and Dena here, I feel happy for knowing my whole backstory of my birth, and I am still very happy in my current life. I am now in 2019 and I noticed this just now, happy to be here.

02/24/19 @ 01:25
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

Happy to have you here, mister, and glad you enjoyed a little bit of your backstory! Proud of you as well, mister! *HUG*

02/24/19 @ 01:46