My grandson Alexander was born on October 18, around 9:50 in the evening. It was one of those difficult first labors, lasting since early in the morning. It was complicated by the fact that he is a big baby: thirteen pounds and twenty-two inches long. He also had a compound presentation, with his right arm and head delivered first. The people at the birthing center were starting to believe that he and Jackie both were going to be in trouble, towards the end of the labor, but both of them pulled through. Apparently, her contractions had stopped before the delivery was complete and she had quite a lot of difficulty in pushing him out. The labor was also complicated by some back strain she'd had back at the beginning of her pregnancy and the labor pain really hit hard in her back muscles.
Alexander may have been a little bit injured in the birth process, in his right arm. Jackie and Crystal took him to the doctor, who, after checking him out concluded that the arm is not broken but may have sustained some nerve damage which will probably get better over the course of the next three months. They're going to keep a watch on things and gave Jackie some baby physical therapy to do with him. The doctor was more concerned about his breathing, which was gasping and rapid. They checked him into the hospital for tests and observation. They were running tests all the rest of the week. There were twenty-four, forty-eight, and seventy-two hour tests for infection, scans of his chest and heart, and blood tests. They tested Jackie and him both for gestational diabetes. None of the tests came up with any nasty results, he had no heart or lung problems and no blood sugar problems with either Jackie or Alexander, and his breathing settled into regular and deeper normal patterns, so on Saturday afternoon they sent him home.
Of course, with the breathing issues, he couldn't breastfeed for a the four days they had him, and they gave him formula, but apparently, everything is going fine now, other than Jackie experiencing the normal discomforts of getting used to a nursing baby. I went up to see Jackie on Wednesday, while Alexander was still in the hospital, and she looked amazing, even considering that she'd just been through labor and delivery and had had no sleep for the past couple of days. She had no broken capillaries in her face or eyes and she looked really healthy. My daughter is surprisingly tougher than she looks! I'm proud of her.
I took Shannon back to Sacramento Sunday evening, late. It was the first chance I had to see Alexander in the flesh. He's a cute little spud and incredibly strong. I was surprised that he was trying to raise his head, and succeeding! I didn't think newborns were capable of such a feat. He's much like his mother, when it comes to feeding. He gets pretty impatient. Jackie calls him Pooh because after he eats, he has a habit of laying his head on her breast and curling up with it to sleep, like Winnie the Pooh, clutching his honey jar. He's big. Crystal and Jackie have him in baby clothes meant for a six-month-old...and they fit. Crystal had to get him size 2 diapers because the newborn size only goes to ten pounds and even the size 1's don't fit him well, even thought they go up to fourteen pounds. Actually, over the course of last week he lost a small amount of weight, which I know is a normal thing to happen.