Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It’s a girl!

Woohoo! The new object of our affection, Mietta Hazel Gearon entered this world this morning at 7:54am (Chicago / Central time). Vital statistics of our little darling included:         
    weight -  7lb 14oz (3.57 kg); 
    length -  20” (50.8 cm); 
    natural delivery - facing the wrong way round / posterior
Mietta must have decided she didn’t need to be induced (scheduled for 10:30am the same morning) - perhaps she wanted to help her mummy out!

I was woken with contractions sometime after 4am. I tried to ignore these and go back to sleep, but thought perhaps I should time the intervals. 4:32am... 4:37am.... 4:41am... UH OH, less than 5 mins apart! I woke Paul and we madly got things together, rang the doctor on duty and made a faster-than-normal drive to the Prentice Hospital, arriving sometime around 5am. Thank goodness we were not trying this in peak hour! We visited Triage, where I was gowned-up and the contractions and baby were monitored and assessed. We were then accompanied to the Labor ward and I was given an IV drip to load me up with penicillin to  try and ward off any evils associated with the Strep B bug from getting to the baby during delivery. Ideally, antibiotics should be in the system for four hours prior to delivery of the baby. 

It had been suggested that I have an epidural so I wouldn’t feel the urge to push and could therefore let the antibiotics spend more time in my body. I chose to wait until my Obstetrician arrived before I made the call. Mia, my Obstetrician came on duty some time after 7am and was very excited that she had picked the ‘correct birthday’ (for the scheduled induction). Of course, by this stage it was too late for an epidural and it wasn’t until the pushing stage that we all realised Mietta was actually “sunny-side-up”. This made for a less-than-pleasant final stage of labor (read BIG OUCH!). Paul and a midwife each took one of my legs and helped me push as hard as I possibly could. 

Change of shift meant that we had an extra midwife (Katie, who had been attending and chose to stay to meet the baby), Merita (the OB on call overnight), and a student midwife - in addition to my OB and attending midwife. Paul made the observation of how the whole room full of women just worked in unison with one another - making for a very calm and harmonious delivery - as it should be and has been done for centuries (prior to relatively recent medical intervention). 

Just before 8am, I was handed a screaming bundle of limbs, hair and pinkness with a trailing umbilical cord while the room pronounced “IT’S A GIRL!” (everyone had been dying to find out!). That first scream is the most pleasant and reassuring sound a parent can ever hear. I met our new daughter with an emotional cocktail of exhaustion, relief, joy, love and surprise (what - no penis?!) Paul cut the cord, the stump was clamped and then the vital stats were measured. 

Paul and I looked at each other and said, “she’s Mietta!” It took us over a day to name each of the boys, as the names we had chosen didn’t quite seem to suit the bundles we had been handed. Mietta is the first name Paul and I agreed on when we had been discussing baby names five years ago (when waiting on Luc). Mietta is of French derivation, meaning ‘little sweet one’. My sister Jenni tells me it means ‘bread crumbs’ in colloquial French. Of course, Mietta is a name familiar to Melburnians due to the late Mietta O’Donnell, her well-respected restaurants and restaurant guide

Following on from our family tradition of using family names for middle names, Mietta’s middle name Hazel is after my mother. Hazel has been used for names in my mothers family for a couple of generations. From Old English, meaning Hazel tree or light brown colour. We now wait to see if Mietta will have hazel-coloured eyes. 

Photo: our sweet little Mietta, just minutes old, being weighed. 

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