odin anderson bowen was born at 3:04 in the afternoon on august 2nd. he was 8 lbs 5 oz and 19 1/4 inches. he seems to have all the requisite parts; 10 fingers, 10 toes, eyes, ears… big jim and the twins fully intact. click more to hear the story of his 3 1/2 hour (not a typo) labor.
paige’s water broke friday night while we were out bowling with friends. she continued a couple of frames, finishing with a strike, before deciding that the bowling alley probably didn’t appreciate the amniotic fluid pooling in her shoes. you always wondered what was in bowling alley rental shoes; now you know. apparently 3% of women have their water break in public, so from a storytelling standpoint, it’s good to hit that mark.
we got home at midnight friday/saturday and spent the next two hours eating, writing the birth plan, packing, and finalizing our name list. we ended with the number one boy name and five girls. we didn’t want to spend the time narrowing down the girl names because we were pretty confident the bean was a boy.
we woke up at 7 saturday morning with paige still not yet having had a contraction. she wondered aloud if maybe her body didn’t know how to have contractions, worrying what we’d have to do. i had a breakfast meeting at dunn bros, so paige came along and had a big breakfast at the longfellow grill next door. by this time she was starting to feel some cramps from time to time. my mom was exhibiting at the powderhorn art fair, so after breakfast we went to powderhorn park to visit her and soon-to-be-uncle jeremy. by now, paige was feeling stronger cramps and she was feeling like it was a good time to get back home. i had my mom take a photo of us, which you can see over at philsgood photo a day. the time stamp was 11:28am.
after paige ran in to a snyders drug for some essentials, we arrived home at noon. paige immediately got in to the shower to relax and about a minute later the contractions started for real. paige and i spent the next hour fifteen in the bathroom in full-on labor. i closed the windows so the neighbors wouldn’t call the police (seth lives in an airport zone, so he has metropolitan airport commission-financed insulating windows). our doula, carey, arrived at just the right time and was an amazing coach for paige on her breathing and relaxation and pain management. we all knew that paige wanted to spend as much of her labor at home as possible, but when she started screaming “i want to push, now!”, carey calmly suggested that maybe we start thinking about getting to the hospital.
we left a little after 2pm with paige and carey in the back seat and me concentrating on the road. uneventful drive, if you call having a half-naked, screaming woman in your back seat while another woman is telling her that she can NOT start pushing, uneventful. one bad stop light at highway 100 off-ramp to excelsior (too little visibility to run it). i dropped them off at the entrance and went to park, hoping that i would make it up to the delivery before the bean was born. after rushing, i made it back to find paige ten feet from where i had left her, on all fours in the hospital lobby among a growing number of curious bystanders, going through contractions and “telling” various nurses and orderlies that she had no intention of getting in the wheelchair. carey convinced paige that maybe if she got in the wheelchair she could get to delivery faster and then she could start pushing. paige agreed to a compromise where she would use the wheelchair but ride on all fours. so straight out of a scene from ER, including two chattering hmong women clearing the way for us, our entourage burst through the double doors in to delivery.
paige arrived fully dilated to ten centimeters and as soon as the doctor confirmed what paige already knew, they gave her the green light. paige was a champ (as she had been all along) and after half an hour of pushing, the bean emerged in to the world. it took me a few seconds to peer through the flurry of arms that were cleaning and sucking and testing to finally find what i was looking for and announce that it was a boy. odin was born!