Everyone, meet Linus.

Most of you know how very anxious I have been over the last few days as Baby’s due date came and went. I stopped going to work on Thursday because I’d wrapped up everything I could, I was profoundly uncomfortable, and (probably most important) I simply couldn’t focus for wondering when this little boy was going to make his way out. Saturday we had a nice lunch with Yen’s mom and sister (henceforth bà nội and cô ba, respectively), and then returned home for me to glare at the television as I’d been doing pretty much every afternoon. At dinner, though, I started to feel very uncomfortable and whiny. Poor Yen suffered all of my antics as I complained about the food, then wanted to sit in one room followed by another, trying to figure out what wouldn’t be miserable. Later, around 3am, I woke up for another whining session before Yen talked me into going back to sleep. After a few more hours, I got up, made breakfast, and commenced TV watching. Around 10:30am, I went back upstairs to where Yen was sleeping and said, “You know what? These might be contractions.” He started timing the tightness around my midsection as it came and went, and we discovered they were coming every three minutes already! After another hour, we decided to pack our bags and tidy up a little bit just in case. By the time we got to the hospital, it was 1:00pm and I was very unhappy. Do you know how much road construction is happening in Cambridge right now?! A lot! I walked into the maternity ward, and they hooked me up in triage right away. After about 45 minutes there, they declared me official and moved me into a room to get things moving. At 3:33pm, Linus Quang Tran emerged.

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I had to labor and push entirely on my right side because every time I moved to my back, the fetal monitor showed that his heart rate plummeted. It turned out that the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his tiny neck, and he had to be carried away into the nursery as soon as he got out. Yen went with him and took these photos. I rested and pondered what the heck had just happened so quickly. I won’t do a full rant here, but I do want to repeat again how wonderful our experience was working with midwives. The labor went too quickly for me to have any drugs even if I’d wanted them, but they were very aggressive about helping me stick with my plan of a natural birth once I was in the stress of the moment. They were so incredibly supportive and allowed me to just trust my body and get through it. I know it also meant a lot to Yen that he got to be so heavily involved in the operation, even if it was probably terrifying to see the actual moment. And of course he cut the cord.

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He also, um, did a giant a poop on the way out (the room was a terrible mess between my blood and his poo), so he got to have the rare treat of a bath during his first hour. Given how tidy Yen always is, I think this probably bodes well.

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Here he is back on the monitor, nice and clean. In case you’re wondering, he was 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and is 20.5 inches long! I have no idea how two shorties such as us made such a lanky baby.

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After all of that testing and cleaning, Linus was declared fit and I finally got to hold him for the first time.

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While we were having our moment, Yen turned around and took this photo, which was the view I enjoyed while laboring. Pretty nice, eh?

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Not pictured: he latched on immediately. This kid is an absolute nursing champ, which is great because I have no clue what I’m doing.

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Bà nội said she didn’t mind waiting to see him until we took him home, but we knew she was bluffing and invited her to come see him. Yen took the opportunity to have a shower, naturally. I was pretty jealous when he returned.

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A few hours later, cô ba braved post-work traffic and came up to meet him too. I think they’re both rather taken with him.

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Once our visitors left, Yen tried his hand at a little skin-on-skin relief for Linus. Yen is such a natural with him. He’s already an expert at changing diapers, and has learned that Linus should be considered locked and loaded at all times.

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As Linus’s first day began to draw to a close, we realized we should snap a family photo.

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We think Linus has a wise look to him. So far he is very quiet and solemnly surveys whatever is happening around him. He’s terribly sweet.

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Here’s his first photo at home. We put him in his little bouncy chair, and he quietly watched us eat dinner. It was a nice moment of peace before a completely sleepless night. Many more adventures to come.

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