Archive for November, 2006

Welcome to the World Max!

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

This morning, Thursday, November 16 at 7:15 Max was born. After 17 hours of intensive labor, Karen doing the hard work and Matthias providing the mental support, Maximilian August Zeller is finally here!
Just after 4:00am Karen was fully diluted and the last and hardest part of the journey would begin, the pushing. Karen did great and I think the muscles she build up during horseback riding paid off. Contraction after contraction and push after push Max slowly became visible.

Here is the first family picture!
Zeller Family with Max

And here the first picture of Max with open eyes.
Baby Max Zeller

Both mother and child are exhausted but doing fine. Max weights 6 pounds and 4 ounces (2,83 KG) and is 20 inches (50 cm) long.

Good Progress!

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

It is 3:00am in the night and Karen is making good progress. Right now she is 7 cm dilated only 2 cm more to go before she is ready to deliver.

The contractions started really to pick up around 3:00pm and the nurse provided some medication which numbed it so that Karen could get some rest. At that point in time Karen was about 2 cm dilated. Around 6:00pm I sneaked out and had a brief dinner at The Counter (excellent burgers, need to come here with Max when he can eat them). It was weird sitting among all those people and knowing that I would be father in the next 24 hours. In the meantime the doctor recommended Karen to break the water manually to accelerate the labor. So after I came back from dinner the contractions had become significantly stronger and very painful so we decided it is time for the epidural. It was around 8:00 pm and Karen was about 4 cm dilated. The hospital staff was great and they administered the epidural in the next 30 minutes.

One word of warning: After you have an epidural you cannot walk around anymore and you are also very limited to the birthing positions. In the birthing class we attended they provided really misleading information and showed videos of woman who would walk around after the epidural. In the hospital they told us that’s really rare and not advised.

Anyhow the epidural helped Karen to relax and takes the pain away. Doctors and nurses come in the room every 20 minutes so it does not get boring, but it is hard to get sleep. The doctor just came back and told us Karen is now 8 cm dilated. Yeah! Need to get a little bit more sleep. Max will be born very soon!

The Countdown to Delivery has Started

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

A lot has happened today and I am sitting in the hospital with Karen as I write this. But lets start at the beginning. When Karen woke up this morning around 10:00 am she noticed that she had lost some blood. So she called the hospital and they asked her to come in right away. Meanwhile I was down in San Jose at work. When Karen called me on the way to the hospital I got very concerned, but she was calm so that calmed me down and she told me just to continue to work. An hour later Karen called and told me that the doctor advised to induce labor with Pitocin. That meant we were getting ready for prime time. Once you induce labor there is no turning back and they asked Karen to stay in the hospital.

So I activated my email out-of-office notice (I plan to take off until the end of the year), cleaned my desk and drove home to pick up a suitcase with some essential clothing and supplies. Then I drove over to the Lucile Packard Children Hospital on the Stanford University campus to meet Karen. When I arrived Karen was already settled in her hospital room and hooked up to various devices to measure Max’s heartbeat and contractions. She felt OK and the contraction pain was not bad. She can even smile on the picture.

Karen in the hospital