Dear Family and Friends,
I am overjoyed, and it's an honor to introduce you to my son: Colin Searc ("Shark") O'Connor.
Colin came two weeks early, which wasn't too big of a surprise, but certainly caught us on this side of still preparing. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 5 oz. and 19.5 inches tall.
Moments after his birth, we had a bit of a scare: he wasn’t breathing well on his own, and so the nurses took him aside (about 6 feet away from mom) and attempted to clear his airway and administered oxygen (with continuous positive airway pressure). His breathing wasn’t improving, and so they were going to take him to the nursery to administer fluids, but before that, I asked if they could give him oxygen while on Melinda’s chest. (I was feeling like I really wanted them to have that time together before he was taken away; I’ve heard that it’s very important for both mother and child biologically, if not emotionally.) The nurse said we could certainly do that, and so we placed our little guy on her chest, while still giving him air. Within minutes, his breathing normalized and the doctor decided it was okay for him to stay with us.
Since his birth, Melinda and I have been intentionally very quiet and secluded. Our intention has been to ease the transition for Colin into this world, and also take care of the tremendous transition we are undergoing. We will continue to be very quiet; our home is a sanctuary for this new life. We are currently receiving wonderful help from Melinda's mom and our dear friend Aina.
The story of Colin's birth is probably not that unusual, except that Melinda's intention to have a natural childbirth was respected and supported beyond the normal allowances by the staff at Sutter Maternity Center in Santa Cruz, where Colin was born. Melinda labored for 25 hours with the support of Amy Buzick, me and the staff at Sutter. For 6 hours, the labor stalled with the cervix at 5 cm. Normally, we're told, doctors would administer pitocin after 2 hours of non-progression, but our wonderful attending midwife, Kris Ayer, was willing to allow us to hold on and we did some natural augmentation techniques to move the labor along. Unfortunately, those did not work, and we ended up having to put Melinda on pitocin (a synthetic form of oxytocin) to move things along. And it did.
Commonly, pitocin is followed by an epidural, Melinda was devoted to staying natural, but not in a rigid way. She focused on her breath, and through meditation she stayed with her experience. It was painful, certainly, but with the support of everyone, she was able to realize her intention and deliver our baby using natural birthing techniques. Amy Buzick, our close friend and skillful doula, has deemed her a "rock star." Personally, I am so proud and in awe of Melinda, and grateful for the opportunity to be so involved in our birth.
(If you haven't seen the trailer for the Business of Being Born, check it out (http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/). Thanks, Nick!)
If I've seemed incommunicado these past few days, it's because Melinda and I have devoted ourselves 100 percent to being with Colin during his first days of life. I will just now returning to work and a more complex life, but I wanted to take the opportunity to just be with him and Melinda. Our birth experience was intense, totally amazing and deeply bonding. Aside from people who are here to help us, we've only had the closest of family visit us (my parents and sister). In the next two to three weeks, we would love to have more visitors. And even then, we will continue to make this a quiet place.
About Colin's name:
We named him Colin because we like the name Colin, it seemed to fit (that or Ryan), and we love the Colins in our life.
His middle name is Searc, which is pronounced "shark" and is a Gaelic name which we've seen to mean love, affection and fierce devotion. It happens to also be a feminine name, and yet it sounds rather masculine. We see balance in that. And although his middle name is Searc, his momma likes to call him "sharkey," because of his feeding abilities and his proximity to the ocean.
And his last name is O'Connor because that is the name we have chosen for our family. We have too many names to choose from, and we were able to agree on O'Connor. I will officially change my name to Timothy O'Connor, though I will probably continue to use O'Connor Fraser professionally.
And that's it for now. We have received so many blessings from everyone, and so much support from our community of friends and family. The biggest blessing is this new life. I love watching our little boy discover this world. The Colin we are getting the opportunity to meet is calm, quiet, sensitive, and curious. He doesn't like big changes (or diaper changes before feeding, for that matter), and he likes to frown and cuddle with his mommy and daddy. I am noticing a few smiles creeping in, and, as most newborns, he likes to sleep. I love watching him stare into his mother's eyes as he nurses.
We are doing well. Thank you, again, for all your support.
(and Melinda and Colin, aka "sharkey")