On Wednesday, December 16th, 2009, at 2:28 pm, we welcomed a new baby boy to our family. Logan was actually due on my birthday - December 23rd - so instead of sharing a birthday, Logan and I will forever have our birthdays exactly one week apart.
Yang actually first started feeling contractions on Monday, Dec. 14th just before 5 am (meaning Yang was in labour for almost 58 hours in total!) Contractions were pretty far apart at first. Yang felt that she could get through the day and I went to work. We started timing how far apart they were Monday night - 15 minutes apart when we first starting keeping track. Monday night was pretty tough for Yang as she could only get sleep in between each of the contractions which were getting closer and closer. Tuesday morning, they were getting pretty close together (3 to 5 minutes apart) so we headed to the North York General Hospital at around 9 am. The nurses checked her out in the assessment room and determined that Yang was only 1 cm dilated. They sent us home as it was just too soon. We actually had an OB appointment later that morning and our OB assured us that we would have the baby within the week. This news was a bit discouraging to the already exhausted mother-to-be. We wanted to know what sign we should be looking for to go back to the hospital. The answer was when she could no longer bear the pain.
I actually went to work on Tuesday after the appointment, but came home at the end of the day anticipating that it might be my last day of the year. Meanwhile, Yang's contractions just kept on getting closer and closer. And she was getting more and more exhausted. At 6 am, Wednesday morning, she actually puked and was not able to keep anything down from that point forward. The contractions were still just 3 to 5 minutes apart. After a pretty rough morning including seeing some blood come out of her and two more pukes, we headed to the hospital again. It was 10:30 am when we got there. The nurses assessed her again. Yang was so exhausted that if they told her that she was just 2 cm dilated, she would've asked for some pain killers, something Yang was adamant she would do without before all this labour started. The nurses said that she was 6 to 7 cm dilated, and that it was going to happen today.
The nurse assigned to us, Patty (who was amazing!), told us that the baby would come out during her shift. She took us to our birthing room and put Yang in a jacuzzi to give her some more comfort. I called my parents and left a message with them saying that our baby would be here in a matter of hours.
After about an hour in the jacuzzi, Patty brought Yang to the birthing bed, and helped Yang through her contractions. They examined her again, found that she was approaching 10 cm dilated and called for our OB. We actually were anticipating that we would be without our OB for the birth of our baby as she was scheduled to be on vacation during that Christmas week when Logan was due. But even though we delivered a week early, she still couldn't be there as she had to go to a funeral that day. Instead, we had Dr. Hershenfield, who ended up being Logan's doctor, so it worked out well.
Dr. Hershenfield, Patty, and myself helped Yang through the pushing phase. The first sight of some of Logan's head hair was just thrilling to see. As Yang pushed more and more, more of Logan came out. Yang was so amazing throughout all this. No epidural, no pain killing medication, just all determination. Words cannot fully express just how proud I am of her.
At 2:28 pm, Logan came out and was immediately put on Yang's chest for some important skin to skin time. Both mom and baby were so alert and able to bond right from that first moment. Yang and I looked at each other and it really sank in; we're now parents.
I was able to cut the cord and took pictures while they weighed Logan for the first time - a whopping 7 pounds 10.6 ounces. He measured 21 inches in length. We named him: Logan Leafs Chatterjee.
My parents and brother came to the hospital in the evening to meet their new grandson/nephew. We made some calls to some people to tell them the news. This was earlier than everyone expected. We stayed in the hospital overnight. There were some tests the nurses wanted to perform on Logan during those first 24 hours. I changed all of Logan's diapers during that time, and was woken up by his cries all night. Yang was feeding him every couple of hours while trying to recover herself from what she just went through. This was our new reality; life for us has changed forever. We're now responsible for the well-being of this new person.
We left the hospital on the evening of December 17th and headed for home. My mom stayed with us for the first few days helping us with cooking for the most part. Pretty much every day we had some sort of doctor's appointment or appointment with a lactation consultant. There were some scares in the beginning with his rising bilirubin levels (cause of jaundice), his cries all night due to hunger before Yang's milk came in, his weight loss, his weak cries, and a couple of vomits, but it's been two weeks now and his doctor today was very impressed with his progress (he's 7 pounds, 15.4 ounces today!).
I'm off from work for three and a half weeks including all the holidays. The time has been all about waking up every few hours, changing diapers, being poo'd and pee'd on, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and taking lots of pictures. And that's all nothing compared to what is being demanded of Yang around the clock. It certainly hasn't been a vacation and I really feel like I missed my birthday and Christmas this year, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Logan is part of our new family now. We're very much looking forward to raising him right and watching him grow. These past two weeks have been unforgettable. Life as I knew it has forever changed.
Logan's very proud new dad,