That's Hannah Elise McRae-Spencer, 8lbs 7.4oz, 20.5 inches long, delivered by c-section on Tuesday afternoon. I write this on the 25th but her birthday is the 24th, so that's the date of this blog entry.
Long old day it was too. After fifteen hours of Braxton-Hicks (ie false) contractions on Sunday, the baby went through a crazy wriggling phase on Monday. Then at bedtime - around 10.15pm to be precise - on came the real thing. Four hours later we were on our way down to the hospital in Carmel, where measurements occurred and progress was made.
But progress stalled. Dilation moved from 5cm to 7cm but no further - the goal is 10cm. The pain increased rapidly, but the progress did not. Eventually the pain was so bad the epidural was needed, and was successfully administered. But then - dramatically, almost - progress. 10cm happened. Baby's head on the way out. Time to push.
Two and a half hours later, still pushing but again zero progress. Doctor suspects baby is head-down but facing upwards. Weird, because we knew she's been face-down (correct position) for at least five weeks prior to this. But... if she was face-up, then it would be harder to her to come out, and given the lack of progress in two and a half hours, quite possibly not going to happen. Chances of natural birth at this point? We asked the doctor. Very low, she said.
C-section it is then.
So I wrapped up in a spaceman uniform and went in to witness the event. They worked quick, very quick, and there at 4.32pm local time was Hannah Elise (although it took a few minutes to make a final call on the name). No shortage of brown hair - she actually could do with a trim! - and as they whisked her over to the measuring units, I followed with video camera and ordinary camera. And this began the set of photos on Gloria's facebook and also here...
Postscript: The doctor says that she was indeed face up. The best explanation we have is the crazy wriggling phase on Monday must have allowed her to roll over. But she's here, she's safe, Gloria's safe too and that's all we're concerned about.