I’m a Father!

Jen in her hospital bed listening to a book on CD

Jen in her hospital bed


Jen at her biggest

Jen at her biggest


Angela

Angela


Jen in the tub

Jen in the tub


Jen holding Julie

Jen holding Julie


Cliff holding Julie

Cliff holding Julie


Julie in an incubator

Julie in an incubator


Cynthia visiting Jen

Cynthia visiting Jen


The grandmothers

The grandmothers


Cliff giving Julie a bath

Cliff giving Julie a bath


Jen holding Julie

Jen holding Julie


Julie

Julie

I’m a father now. Technically, I became a father a few days ago at 00:09 on 2008-09-12. So, I am now a father to Angela Juliette Dugal, who was born at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus with a mass of 3.8 kg. Now that the Internet knows all of her important stats (sorry Julie), I can get on with the story. ;)

Where to begin… I guess close to the beginning. So, yeah, Jen was scheduled to be induced on Monday because of high blood pressure on Sunday on top of being a few days overdue. Monday came and went with us all waiting at home for the phone call. Tuesday morning we finally got invited to the hospital, and they started the poking and prodding and inserting and drugging to speed the delivery process. Tuesday came and went. As did Wednesday.

Well, most of Wednesday came and went. Near the end of Wednesday, Jen starting getting contractions that were quite painful to her back. So, she spent quite a bit of time in the tub. Also, Angela, Jen’s best friend, decided to visit and outdo Jen and have an emergency C-section to give birth to her girl. Women.

As I remember it (things started getting a little blurry here with all the night activity and awful sleeping on the stupid chair-bed thing), Jen had an epidural a handful of hours after midnight. She was much more comfortable after that. So, the rest of Thursday was again spend waiting.

Come 20:00 on Thursday is when the action began. At that time, they let Jen’s uterus try to push the baby out for 2 hours (OK, not so much action here). Then, at 22:00, they had Jen push with her uterus too. That went on for a couple hours with them trying to get the baby in position and get Jen to push hard enough to pop her out. No luck there. So, shortly after midnight, the used a vacuum-suction cup thingy to help pull the baby out by the head, and with a touch of shoulder dislocation, the job was done.

After pulling the baby out, she wasn’t quite doing the breathing thing since sucked in a bunch of meconium (newborn poop) she let go in the uterus (turning the placenta green). So, they did a bit of sucking out of stuff and got her breathing. From there, she went to the special care unit to make sure things were all good.

At something like 04:00 on the Friday, they gave us back our baby. She’s got some pipes. Yup, she was not happy. She was especially not happy with how her head felt. A few hours later, Jen was asking the nurse some questions, and after a few independent medical opinions, they agreed that Julie was having seizures (baby seizures are usually quite subtle). So, back to the special care unit she went.

In the special care unit, they did lots of poking and testing and drugging. After a while, they stabilized her and suppressed the seizure activity with drugs. Indications currently point to some type of bacterial meningitis, though nobody is sure. So, she’s getting lots of antibiotics.

Over the past few days since she was born, she’s been recovering quickly, and is starting to act more and more like a baby. We’re hoping that in about a week and a half she’ll have completed all her treatment and be more than ready to go home (she’s already trying to disconnect all the tubes and wires going to her).

So, that’s Julie’s birth story as told by me. Enjoy the pictures! :)

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3 Responses to I’m a Father!

  1. Deb Ruether says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a tough time, but I’m sure she is worth it!
    What a beautiful little girl. I can’t wait to meet the newest member of the family.

    great aunt Debbie

  2. Angela says:

    ok. For the record… I was not trying to out do Jen by having Abbey before Julie. As a matter of fact I was begging them to wait until Monday or something. Apparently that made the doctor’s laugh.

    And.. it was 3 am when they brought the baby back to you. I know this because the awful screaming started around then. I didn’t know it was you guys across the hall though. I just knew I felt sorry for the parents.

    I am glad Julie is doing well. I can’t wait to hold her.

    Auntie Angela

  3. Gwen Dugal says:

    Wow! Julie has to be one of the prettiest babies I have seen born on September 12. I have seen a few babies born on that day, as I happened to be in the hospital 29 years ago, giving birth to my own beautiful baby. He turned out to be a pretty wonderful guy, so I’m sure that Julie will turn out to be a super person.

    Golly, my son is a dead ringer for the guy in the daddy pictures above and my daugther-in-law looks exactly like the mommy. And Julie looks a lot like my first grandchild, a beautiful little girl (well, actually, not so little, as she was 8 lbs 6 oz., for those of you, like me, who don’t speak metric very fluently).

    I’m going to the eye doctor tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll find out then if I am just hallucinating or if this is really about our family. If so, I must be the gray-haired old lady in blue in the “grandmothers” picture. Wow! What happened to the last 29 years?!

    I’m so glad that Julie was born on your birthday, Cliff. You and Jen sure made a beautiful baby! I think that Julie was holding out to arrive on your special day, and just sqeaked in under the line at 12:09 a.m., according to your watch. Smart girl! I think that she and I are going to have a lot of fun in the years to come!

    Lots of love,

    Grandma Dugal

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