Friday, June 12, 2009

On New Babies

Hey, my wife gave birth to our first two children on Tuesday. It was pretty cool, you wanna hear about it?

My wife (The Other Liberal) had a scheduled Cesaerian section, due to the orientation chosen by my son (one of two Little Liberals). For the last three months of her pregnancy he was in what is called the 'frank breach' position with his legs over his head and his butt down. They don't even consider turning such babies around - it's the knife.

The operation went smoothly, at least from my point-of-view. They are, after all, professionals and do these things all the time. It was a well-oiled machine. No complications. My biggest complaint was the giant, mug-faced nurse who began our pre-op briefing by asking my wife "Are you getting your tubes tied?" No, but thanks for asking first.

During the operation I was placed behind a curtain, from which my wife's head protruded at the bottom. After about ten minutes they pulled out my children. I tried peeking over the curtain once, but I was told to sit down with the commentary: "We don't need two patients". OK. I'll spare the details for everyone's sake.

The Other Liberal was somewhat groggy coming out of the operating room. The Little Liberals were good - healthy, five fingers and toes on each appendage. All good.

The staff were, overall, very good. We have had many more good nurses than bad (one is assigned to us at all times). One nurse was constantly putting my wife on edge with doomsday predictions. Let's just say that you should never utter the words "Oh, no" to a recently delivered woman on matters touching her newborn children. The words are just off limits. But, really, I have been consistently impressed with the demeanor and bearing of the nurses that we have worked with. Very impressive.

On a side note, and I'm not sure I can really call this a complaint, I can see why health care costs are spiraling upwards. We were in a gigantic private room for five days. Very nice, but it can't be cheap. We were provided with everything we could possibly need, from food to clothing, to bedding, to tests on our car seats. Very nice, but obviously very expensive. Someone put the tally for a twin birth at $30,000. A far cry from the days when children were delivered at home, and women would recover there. I'm not saying it's bad, but probably two orders of magnitude more expensive than the bad-old-days.

Last thing - most people describe watching the birth as a profound emotional experience. It was pretty cool, obviously. I saw my kids enter the world - the beginning, i.e. you can't get any earlier, the start. But what has been more profound in my experience is just sitting around in the hospital with my wife and kids, doing nothing. Man, that's something. I highly recommend it.

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