Friday, March 28, 2008

Two weeks tomorrow

Just chattin' with Mom

Full tummy = happy baby

Too cute!!

Such a tiny squirt

Notice the wet spot on Nick's shirt.  After discovering that the diaper was virtually dry, we concluded that Gavin either has exceptional aim or there was a bit of user error on the part of the diaperer.

First bath - Gavin loves Daddy's finger!!

Does it get any better than this?

Chillin' with Uncle Nick - Gavin is already practicing for school - he is always raising his hand, we're still working on responding once called upon.

Our little punk rocker

First stroll in the stroller

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Story of an Amazing Baby and an Amazing Mommy

Tiffany-Ann and Gavin are sleeping next to me as I type this, exhausted from days of such hard work and a nonstop rollercoaster of emotions. We are so blessed to have such an amazing miracle in our lives. As with anything of great worth, this blessing did not come easily and without sacrifice. Can I just say that I have the strongest, bravest and most beautifully humble wife in the world? After watching her go through the toughest experience in her life, I feel so much more love for her than ever before.

My sweet wife labored for over 27 hours, unmedicated. We learned at our doctor's visit last Tuesday that Gavin was measuring on the small side, which was confirmed at an ultrasound Thursday. Although he was at full term, 38 weeks, he was measuring size wise at around 35 1/2. Something was keeping him from getting everything he needed, and our doctor decided to induce the next morning (Friday) at 7:30. This was a bit of a setback for us; since we wanted to birth naturally, we wouldn't have the opportunity to do a lot of the "groundwork" of early contractions at home in a relaxing atmosphere. Instead we were going to have to dive right in with the Pitocin, and Tiffany-Ann had to be hooked up to the prenatal monitor the whole time, which further limited our tools available under the Bradley method.

After 18 hours of labor, including 9 hours of hard labor, my sweetheart was nearing the end of her rope. A nurse came and checked her at around 2:30 am and she was still at around 2.5 to 3cm. Not exactly the express train to Babytown. I was torn between watching my sweetie labor in so much pain and giving in to the nurses' tempting offer of an epidural: "There's no shame in it...the anethesiologist is right down the hall..." Luckily we were blessed with a wonderful O.B., Dr. Rebecca Perlow, who spoke to us at 3 in the morning, and told us to take TA off the Pitocin and let her have a shower and a nap. She was in the shower for 30-40 minutes, in absolute heaven, and as the contractions slowed down, she was able to sleep a few hours.

Act 3: At 9 am, Dr. Perlow came by and gave us a pep talk, reminding us that Tiffany-Ann just did a week's worth of work in just under a day. She was still at around 3.5cm though, so a tough road lay ahead. By 11 she was under hard labor again, and we fought to take each contraction one at a time. She was so strong and so brave. By noon she was nearing wit's end again, having endured so much. At around 12:30 she was at 4 cm. At 12:40 she was feeling the urge to push, but the nurse said it was probably just a full bladder, and that she should try to go to the bathroom. I helped her in after a few more contractions, and at around 12:50 she was on the toilet screaming that she had to push, she couldn't help it. I have never felt so much panic in her voice and I hope I never feel that again. I got her up to the door, but again she had to push, and I was telling her "DON'T PUSH!" She could not walk or move, and was screaming that she had to push. I didn't know what to do besides take gravity out of the picure, so I laid her down right on the floor and yanked the emergency cord. Four nurses came in an, looked at her, and said "what in the world are you doing down there?" Once on the bed, the charge nurse did an exam and told be to "take a look." Gavin was starting to peek out. Elapsed time since 4 cm: about a half hour.

Dr. Perlow was at home, and the ten minutes or so it look for her to get there seemed like forever. After 10 minutes of pushing, our little Gavin was out, and resting comfortably on mommy's bare chest. He began feeding after a few minutes.

By far the hardest thing we've ever done but the most rewarding. Here is our little bean:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Gavin Nicholas Raichart

March 15, 2008, 1:15 pm. 5 lbs. 10 oz, 19 in. Perfect in every way.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This is it...

OB appointment this morning: 1 cm, 80% effacement. Dr.: "Don't expect to make it to your appointment next week."

Here we go!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: World's Largest Water Balloon, Part 2

March 1, 2008 will live in infamy as the day not one, but two inflatable exercise balls met their watery demise. For those who may think that this was a simple operation, keep in mind that many factors had to be addressed, including efficient water delivery into the ball, water weight, and landing site. In order to not destroy the launch pad (i.e. treehouse), we needed to know how big and how heavy the ball could be. Nicholas wrote a handy program for this purpose. It's available for home use and commercial license, only $499.

Ladies and gentlemen, the final result:

For good measure, and since we have literally thousands of these things lying around, we decided to see what happens when you cram the hose in and just let it go...