Rohan is our second child and as such it’s almost impossible not to compare him to our first child, Siddhartha. Rohan’s birth was very different than his brother’s, but also Katie and I have been more relaxed and therefore have had an easier time caring for Rohan. Of course Sidd’s spirit is in full force so family logistics isn’t quite a walk in the park, but despite that our parenting anxiety levels are way lower.
Katie, my wife, delivered Siddhartha at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. The short of it is: induction, epidural, cesarean. It was mostly out of control and we feel the cesarean could have been avoided. Here’s her description of the events.
Four years, a different hospital (Good Samaritan) and different circumstances led to a wholly different and much more positive birth experience. On Sunday April 13th 2014, Katie suddenly had quick and intense contractions. We got to the hospital around 10:30pm and she was at 2 cm. Hours later she was at 4-5 cm at which point she reluctantly decided to medicate with Fentanyl and later epidural. Honestly she was a champ and we had been coaxing her all night.
The epidural allowed Katie to finally get a break. Katie’s doula, Michelle, the nurses and myself were also able to get some rest as well. I had parked my car in the hospital turn-around earlier, so I was able to park it properly.
Almost immediately upon registration I noticed a few things. Good Samaritan Labor and Delivery’s nurses were on the ball. We were in a room immediately. They were hands on in a compassionate way, assisting Katie through each contraction. The nurse in charge of Katie was fantastic and very accommodating to whatever we needed.
The next morning (7ish), the nurses noticed that Katie was just about ready. Some time after 8am Katie began to push. Eventually Katie’s (also amazing) doctor arrived and at 9:05am Rohan was born. I cut his cord and we were able to immediately bond with him. They didn’t measure or weigh him until later that morning (6 lbs 9 oz, 19.5 inches).
A great doctor and supportive nurses made all the difference.
The Hospital Stay
One of the things I liked about Good Samaritan is that you can’t tell when it’s busy. There is no rush, there aren’t a million status beeps everywhere. It was hard to relax and rest at Lucille Packard.
Katie and I realized that we really were able to enjoy our baby and not worry about any of the new parent anxieties (on top of our baseline anxiety) we had with Siddhartha. Good Samaritan is a great place for people who want to breastfeed. In fact, their lactation consultants were the ones who got Siddhartha to breastfeed again.
Our hospital stay was pretty uneventful, except for a surprise visit from our friend who is interning as a lactation consultant. We truly did spend time enjoying our new baby. The hospital food was also fairly decent, and not having to cook for a few days is fantastic.
Despite really liking Good Samaritan, I was eager to get home. Part of this is that we were away from Siddhartha for a few days and really wanted to start being a family of four. Although, family of four is quite an overwhelming phrase.
It’s been about a week, and we’re enjoying our time. Most of the stress is being a parent of a spirited three-year-old. By contrast, Rohan doesn’t do much, and we’ve thus far had an easy time figuring him out.
I’m desperate for more sleep and hope that when I return back to work, I can function at work and as a dad.
Siddhartha is taking time to adjust. He’s very sweet toward his brother, but he’s also three and acts out with mom and dad.
This reduced anxiety parenthood has been great. With Siddhartha I had an elaborate spreadsheet with the most boring milestones. I looked at it constantly anticipating something new and maybe some easier situation. It took a bit over a year to stop looking at it. With Rohan I made a similar spreadsheet, but it just serves as a gentle reminder as to what might be happening now.
For both my kids I’m enjoying them as they are and I know that I’m going to cherish these moments.