Friday, December 7, 2012

Introducing the Weirdling Files (OR Roland Arrives)

 Welcome to the Weirdling Files, the home of the Robertson children's comings and goings. Appropriate then that this first blog is about the arrival of our son, Roland Matthew Britz Robertson.
Dad's Version
Roland was born 12/1/12, a Saturday. I had gone into Honolulu for a short biathlon, leaving a very pregnant wife at home to sleep and rest. When I was on my way home I called Angela to ask what she would like for breakfast from Koa Pancake House, our regular post-race place. When she called me back she said, "I've been having a lot of contractions. They seem pretty regular. I was counting but I stopped because it was making me nervous." Oh. Ok then.
I brought home breakfast, she had blueberry pancakes, and we started counting contractions for real. After an hour she was nailing the numbers the midwife told us to watch for- 3-1-1. Three minutes apart, one minute long without being able to talk or walk, and for one hour. She was ready. We packed the hospital bag between contractions and I called grandparents to let them know we were headed to the hospital while she was in the shower.
Game On
Contractions continued to intensify during the ride to the hospital, mercifully without traffic or incident. Walking from the truck to the hospital took two contractions. Then we had to wait to check in at the desk, no one was there for some reason. They took us into the triage room where we would wait for the next hour and a half. It's also where labor started to fire pretty hard.
The nurse had to strap Angela into the monitors, something she had wanted to avoid. "Only 20 minutes for readings," they said. Well, not so much as it turned out. Angela's contractions increased in intensity, becoming longer, more frequent, and more painful. We worked on breathing through them. I squeezed her to give her a focal point. We talked. She fought through it. And the nurses and midwife bustled and monitored.
They eventually had us walk to labor and delivery. She could have ridden in the wheelchair but she didn't feel up to it. Walking was better. Once in labor and delivery we expected to settle in and be there for a while. First time labor averages 24 hours. We planned on getting in the hot tub to try and relax. We brought Wall-E and Up to distract ourselves. 
Or we (she) could be in labor for about an hour after we hit the room and that's it. They continued to monitor her throughout the birth because there was meconium in her water, so they wanted to be sure baby wasn't in distress. He was fine the whole time, but that meant uncomfortable straps across her middle and nurses reaching in to fiddle and adjust. Not her favorite thing in the best of situations. Leading to one of the only times she yelled at someone. "Stop touching me!" Kind of went for all of us. I adjusted my helping and the nurses better timed their reaches.
We spent the whole nine months not knowing the gender, and the midwife suggested that I tell her what we had rather than her. I'd never thought of that. I have the classic doctor catches the baby, hands it up, and says, "You had a ___!" in my head. This was better. I was prepared.
If she wants to write more details on the actual labor she will in a different post, or in an addendum to this one. I don't know how much the internet needs.
Either way, there was much ripping and tearing and blood and then the baby was here! I looked down through the hands to catch a glimpse of the gender. What is it? What did we have? Is wait...cord? No! "Honey, you had Roland!" We had a boy. We have a boy.
Honestly, I was completely scared in those moments. Not that something awful would happen, but that I'd get caught up in the moment and say the wrong thing. Get the name or gender wrong. Wouldn't that be a perfect expression of the Robertson family? "Your dad called you by the wrong name when you were born."
They put Roland straight onto her chest and he nursed almost immediately. The nurses clamped the cord and asked if I wanted to cut it. I said no. They handed me scissors. I cut it. There was a knot in it, probably why he was so early. A good, real hand-over-hand-type knot. No damage though. They left him on her chest for a few minutes then took him away for a short check-up and wipe down, then I carried him back to her. First time I cried.

She was torn up pretty badly because Roland is daddy' little cannonball (hey, If I'm a pirate that works!), so they spent an hour stitching her up, then saw that she had a tear much deeper than previously anticipated and they had to take her away into surgery to fix it. Leaving me alone with him. Well, him and a nurse that ran a few tests right away. But mostly me in a room with my son. Alone. I held him skin-to-skin, wore a button up shirt for that specific purpose, made a few phone calls to grandparents before the signal crapped out, and bonded. It was pretty perfect.
Time Active Labor Started- 11am
Time Arrived at Hospital- 1:30pm
Time Roland Arrived- 5:30pm
Total Elapsed Time- 6.5hrs

Eventually she came back, numb and sore but fixed. Then they took us down to the Mother Baby ward where we would stay for the next day.
The nurses we fantastic, everyone we met at the hospital was great. The whole staff. No complaints.
Amber came and visited us that first night, bringing food for the both of us. It was nearly (after?) midnight by the time she left, and she's got three boys of her own. So amazingly helpful.
Jen came by the next day, asking to be Auntie Carrots, and she brought me food since the hospital really only cares about mom and baby. Dad is on his own for food. Yay, Jen and Amber!
We took him home Monday. He hates being put into his car seat. But he chills once he's in there. It was strange driving home with him. It's Hawaii freeway driving, so that was the first time he heard Dadddy call someone a, "fucking moron".
 So much more to tell, even after only 5 days. He was 10 days early. He's so perfect. I haven't written about sniper poops or feeding on demand or reading to him or what made me bawl. I'll get to those. But for now Roland Matthew Britz Robertson, my son, is here. And that is the best thing ever.
The Best Thing I've Ever Seen

Our door

Oh, the Places You'll Go!


  1. Best post ever!!! So glad Roland is here, and I'm happy my son will have a little Robertson best friend just like his daddy ;-) Love you guys!

  2. I know of those heads! Maddie's head was huge, and Jack's shoulders. I'm glad she and he were ok! He's so freaking adorable. I miss you guys, and can't wait to meet him!!

  3. Wonderful post son. Get ready for those tears to keep flowing as your son meets all those milestones. Being a parent is the best thing EVER. So glad your experience was pretty good (all things considered). Kisses to Mommy, Daddy, and grandson Baby Roland