On November 11th, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy. Nathan Benjamin was born at 7:51am November 11th, at 7lbs 4oz and 19 1/2 inches.
It all started on the evening of the 10th. We went into the hospital once contractions were frequent enough. We weren't dilated very far, so they had us take a walk around the hospital for an hour to see if things progressed. Unfortunately there had been no change in that hour, so they sent us home around midnight. We returned about 4am and got checked in and prepared for delivery. Beth got set up with an IV of antibiotics and they started the epidural, which relived her pain and gave her a chance to take a short nap. When our doctor arrived an hour later she was already fully dilated. Water broke shortly thereafter and after only 35 minutes of pushing, our son was born early Wednesday morning. The whole process went smoothly and both mother and baby did very well.
We stayed in the hospital for two days. Nathan picked up nursing fairly quickly and was a good sleeper. We had visits from our immediate family and our pastor; just enough visits so we didn't feel overwhelmed. I spent the first night in the hospital. The pull out bed wasn't very comfortable, but it worked, and I was glad I could be there for his first night. For the second night, I went home and Nathan went to the nursery so mom could get some good sleep. He slept for two four-hour stretches and had to be woken up each time to feed. By Friday afternoon we were able to go home, and as soon as Nathan was asleep, so were we! Everything else could wait.
I've been fortunate enough to be able to spend the last two weeks off work, and be home to adjust to life as a new dad. Being that Beth and I have had plenty of exposure to babies, everything has pretty much matched our expectations. There have been plenty of diaper changes, late nights, and changes to how we spend our time. Overall, he's been a wonderful baby. He feeds a lot during the day, but usually manages to sleep 3 to 4 hours at a stretch at night, so we've been able to get enough sleep so far.
We're also getting him used to going different places and being around people. He's a good traveler, falling asleep quickly in his car seat. We've taken him to grandparents' houses, some shopping trips, and a couple doctor visits. He's very healthy and is gaining weight quickly. We've also enjoyed having occasional visitors here at the house, and some generous gifts of meals. We had his first holiday get-together for Thanksgiving at my folks' house, and tonight we'll take him out for our first big dinner at a restaurant for Beth's sister's birthday.
Although Nathan doesn't do much these days, it's been great having all this time to get to know him and figure out our new life with him. Some of the best times I've had have been him sleeping on my chest while we lay on the couch or recliner. The time has flown by already. Even though it's been a big change, at the same time it all feels normal and the way it should be. Monday I'll be returning to work. It will be nice to go back to my regular routine, and interesting to see how I'll have to adjust. I expect I'll be more tired, and miss my family, but it should be good back to supporting our family again.
We're looking forward to watching him grow and develop, and see how are lives change along the way. Welcome to the family, Nathan!