Happy 1st week Clayton

Clayton was born 1 week ago tonight. Reflecting on the last week, it’s been the experience of a lifetime.

As Clayton was born a week ago, we were charged with the awesome thought, “what do we do with him?” As we were alone with him in our room, we quickly learned that we knew more than we thought, and more than anything he just needed us to be there and love him.

In his first week, we’ve made progress with the communication barrier, feeding him, clothing him, and other basics. On both his side and ours, we desperately seek to better communicate. Libby and I always try to remember that with each cry, whimper, and wail he asks us for something. The true pleasure is discovering what he seeks and working to provide it.

One of the greatest pleasures for which he needn’t ask has been to sit and watch him take in the world through his wide eyes, ears, nose, hands, and, of course, his mouth. When he stares with the deepest look of wonder and curiosity it always makes me wonder what things he’s discovering. For much of the last week, especially the birth itself, Libby and I haven’t looked much at clocks, calendars, or emails, nor responded to pressures from much of the rest of life.

Libby claims that my eyes light up when I look at him and hold him. I know the feeling I got when I wrapped him in a blanket and helped him calm down that first night; it made me realize how important I was to this little guy who wanted nothing in the world other than people to care about him and take care of him. Anyone who knows me would quickly tell you that nurturing isn’t one of my strong suits or, some might argue, even a skill. In fact, in my own ways, I do everything in my power to help people around me grow, learn, and become better in everything hey do, but my methods stray far from the conventional definition of nurturing. It just so happens that at this point, Clay needs help in areas that we take for granted including food, cleanliness, warmth, rest, and affection. At this point, we play with this very small deck, and look to add cards one at a time as Clay and his parents grow together.

Oh, and your reward for reading all this…more photos.

Clayton’s First Day

As many of you following the Twitter feed know, Libby spent about 48 hours working to get Muppet out and transformed into Clayton Davidson Rasch. He graced us with his presence at 21:32 on August 20th. Over the last 24-hours, we’ve gone from proud parents of two dogs to the parents of a new baby boy (and the two dogs). Clayton was 9 pounds and 5 ounces at birth and 22 inches long.

Our labor process, although long (48 hours from start to finish) was quite a journey and we wouldn’t change anything about the way things went. We’ll follow up soon with the expanded saga, so for now you’ll need to refer to the readers digest version from Twitter, but our experience was a success thanks to our doula Carol and our nurse Marsha.

Since then, we’ve spent much time bonding, feeding, recovering, and learning. We’re learning the fun skills necessary to take care of Clayton, ourselves, and integrate his life into ours.

We’ve taken lots of photos, here are a few.

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late night of contractions and trip to the OB

We had a late night full of contractions last night. They started in earnest around 10:30pm and continued pretty strong through 6am or so when Libby finally got some rest. I also caught a few hours of sleep between 2 and 4 or so.

Things slowed down a bit this morning and Libby’s getting intermittent contractions of varying intensity. We went for a walk, but that didn’t seem to get them started again.

Upon our trip to the doctor this morning, we found that Libby’s 4cm dilated and 80% effaced (compared with “fingertip” and 70% last Wednesday) which indicates lots of progress. Kudos to Libby on her weathering the contractions last night.

The doctor wanted to send us to the hospital, but instead we decided to get a biophysical profile of the kiddo so that we could head home to get contractions going again. Muppet scored an 8/8 on this test so we were allowed to go home and see if labor will get itself started before we go to the hospital.

We spoke with our Doula and she was very proud of Libby for her progress to 4cm as this means the contractions last night were substantive and strong. She reported that many people end up at the hospital at 2cm so we’ve already passed that milestone.

We got some lunch at Quiznos and then left as soon as we’d finished because Libby didn’t want to be grunting and grimacing and disturbing the other patrons.

We’re hanging out with the kiddos here at home a bit, and waiting for things to get moving again. For more up-to-the-minute information, check the Twitter feed (pulled in automatically on the right side) and Flickr (also pulled in on the right side of the blog).

my least favorite moments from NBC commentators on the olympics

The announcers, “with the call,” covering the olympics often feel the need to fill the silence even though it’d often be better to hear nothing from them whatsoever. In fact, I’d happily listen to most things with them muted.

  • “It is so much easier to train for synchronized diving if you’re in the same location.” — Really? I’ll bet it’s a lot different from Basketball, Volleyball, and Rowing.
  • I don’t want to hear any more about the women’s beach volleyball crew and their wedding rings or their plans to have a family soon
  • I don’t want to hear anything more about the men’s beach volleyball crew and their haircuts.
  • I don’t really care how much Michael Phelps eats.
  • I don’t care how much Natelie Coughlin hugs the lane line, she’s a freaking world champion–you’d think she’s figured most of that out.

Commentators, please find something else to talk about — or, even better, just let us watch the games.