Welcome to the world, Adelina

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Well, that was certainly an experience. At exactly 9AM Friday morning, Adelina Sheehy Renaut was born at the DC Developing Families Center in Northeast. It was pretty quick, as these things go – the wife went into labor around 7:15 PM Thursday, and we were at the birth center at 7:30 Friday. I’m not sure it felt so quick to her, though. The baby was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 21 1/2 inches long. I think she has my eyes. We got a lot of puzzled looks from people when we told them we were doing a natural birth at a birthing center, with midwives instead of doctors. Not that I have anything to compare it to, but our experience was fantastic. Our doula, Heather Wilson, was amazing. I’m not sure I would have made it through the experience without her. A doula, for those that don’t know and won’t read the Wikipedia page, is basically a birth coach/assistant. She came to the house before we went to the birth center, and she sat with us and helped and gave advice and did everything you could possibly think of to make the experience easier for us. Then she came with us to the birth center, and worked with the midwives as if they’d known each other for years. She’s also responsible for most of the photos taken just after Addy (Addie?) was born.

Originally uploaded by thetejon

The birth center is really more like a hotel than a hospital. One of the frequent complaints I’ve heard from dads is that there is no place for the at the hospital. The best they can hope for is an uncomfortable chair. The birth center had a bed big enough for two, and also a great couch that I easily could have slept on if that had been necessary. It was a private room, with a private bathroom. And the midwives never left us. It wasn’t like a hospital doctor, who might check in now and again. At least one of our midwives, Sierra and Lisa, was there every moment until they gave us some time alone after the baby was born. And even then, Sierra was just down the hall, available whenever we needed her. And they never took her out of the room. The first time Addy left the room where she was born was when she left with us to come home around 7:30PM (Much earlier than they would have let us leave if we were at the hospital). So, all that to say, if you’re having a baby, or planning to have one soon, and don’t think there are options besides the hospital, there are. Check out the birth center. Talk to a doula. It’s pretty crazy, being a dad. I look at her and still have a hard time believing she’s my daughter. But she’s pretty amazing.

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