Our little bundle of joy!
On Saturday August 1, 2009 at 4:37 PM PST, Linda gave birth to our
beautiful baby girl, Sophie Elise Ly-Pang. She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and
measured 20 inches in length. To say that the past few days have been
hectic would be a gross understatement. We’ve been on an emotional
rollercoaster, and it’s nice to finally have a few moments to sit back
and take it all in. But first, we’d like to thank all of our friends
and family who have expressed their well
wishes to us through their cards, e-mails, text messages, tweets, and
phone calls. We
really do appreciate it, even if we haven’t had a chance to respond to
all of you. We’d especially like to thank all of you who found the
time to come visit us at the hospital and at our home to share in this
special moment with us. We’ve really tried to keep all of you updated
these past few days as we welcomed little Sophie into this world, but
we’ve been rather busy and realize that there have been some lapses in
communication. Hopefully this blog post will answer any questions you
may have about Sophie and everything that has transpired over this past
weekend. And yes, there are pics, just keep reading.
Let’s start from the beginning.
early Friday morning Linda’s water broke, without her knowing.
Contrary to what you see in the movies, when a woman’s water breaks it
usually doesn’t just gush out of her like Niagara Falls. Instead, it
tends to seep out over the course of several hours. This is what
happened to Linda. It wasn’t until later that evening that we took
Linda to the hospital to get her checked out. When we arrived, the
doctors performed a few tests and informed us that Linda’s water had
probably broken about 24 hours ago and that she would need to be
induced immediately in order to lower the risk of infection for
Sophie. At this point Linda wasn’t even close to starting labor. She
was not dilated and was not experiencing contractions. However,
because her water had been broken for so long, the doctors had no
choice but to induce her with Petosin to “jump start” her labor.
I’ll skip the gory details of what happens over the next 16 hours and just summarize it as follows: childbirth is not a natural process and it is not beautiful. Whoever claims so is a liar.
Instead, it is both the single most amazing and disgusting thing that I
have ever witnessed. To my surprise, I actually watched the entire
thing. I didn’t think I would, since I’m pretty squeemish, but I just
couldn’t stop staring. I felt like a rubbernecker on the freeway.
Anyways, all I have to say is this: I owe Linda for life.
There is no making up for this. No amount of jewelry or cars or
mansions or romantic getaways could make up for what I saw. The
horror. The horror! She owns me now, she knows it, and I have to
admit that this arrangement seems pretty fair. In fact, I think I got
the better end of the deal.
That didn’t stop me from buying her a “push present” though: 4 cds from
the Rockabye Baby collection. For those of you who haven’t heard of
Rockabye Baby Music, they’re an awesome company that remakes classic
rock songs into baby tunes. I purchased the Beatles, Nirvana, Green
Day, and Smashing Pumpkins. We listened to them on the car ride home
with Sophie. The first song she’s heard in her life was the remake of
“Yesterday” by the Beatles. Something tells me we’ll eventually wind
up purchasing their entire catalog. Check out their website and have a
listen. Sure beats Barney, doesn’t it?
Sophie’s new tunes
Alright, so back to our story.
Sophie was born, the festivities could begin! Or so we thought.
Sophie appeared to be a perfectly healthy baby. 10 fingers, 10 toes
(yes, that’s the first thing I checked, Dad). Healthy heartbeat.
Normal temperature. Except that she had this odd little habit of
turning blue every now and then. It wouldn’t last long, but it was
strange and certainly noticeable enough that the nursing staff was
concerned. Enough so that they decided that instead of letting Sophie
sleep with us that evening, they would rather she sleep in the nursery
where a nurse could monitor her 24/7 in case there were any problems.
This turned out to be a good idea.
Turns out the reason
Sophie was turning blue was because every now and then, she would just
stop breathing. Not because she was choking or had something
obstructing her airway, but simply because for whatever reason she just
decided “hey, I’ve taken enough breaths for now. I think I’ll take a
break”. By the way, I resent that more than one person came up with
the suggestion that this was due to Sophie inheriting the “lazy” gene
from me. Luckily, it was pretty easy to remedy this situation whenever
it occurred. The nurse would simply tickle Sophie’s feet, which would
make her cry, and thus start her breathing back up again. After one
night of sporadic breathing, the situation appeared to be getting
better, but the hospital didn’t feel safe discharging her with us on
Sunday since they hadn’t found the root cause of this. The doctors
wanted to make sure that this was just due to Sophie needing a little
more time to adjust to the rules of living outside of the womb, and not
because she was fighting off an infection or had some sort of lung
problem. So they decided to run some blood work, give Sophie an x-ray,
put her on penicillin, and move her to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit) for the next couple of nights while they waited for the test
results to come back.
We were concerned. On the surface, Sophie
seemed perfectly healthy and happy, but that’s really little
consolation when your baby is sleeping next to a bunch of premature
term babies and other babies in need of urgent care. Our poor little
girl was poked and prodded some more, with an IV in her hand and wires
all over her body to monitor her vitals. We would spend pretty much
all of Sunday, Monday, and early Tuesday practically living in the
NICU. We would spend an hour or two there, go back to our room for a
couple hours for sleep, then repeat throughout the day and night. This
was tiring for me, and especially difficult for Linda who already had
to deal with recovering from the childbirth. Waking up at 4 am to trek
down to the NICU for a breastfeeding session isn’t very fun. I’m
guessing it’s even less fun when your whole body is aching and you’ve
got episiotomy stitches in your crotch.
Sophie all wired up. Cyborg baby!
The bright spot of these
two days were the number of people who came to visit us. That really
helped lighten the mood. Everyone was so excited to see and meet
Sophie. The nurses there were great too, constantly talking to us to
keep us company and taking care of Sophie when we were on our short
eating / sleeping breaks. They made this whole process a great deal
easier for us. They assured us that Sophie seemed to be in good health
and they were right. Tuesday morning, we received the wonderful news
that Sophie’s tests had all come back and she was perfectly fine. She
had been asymptomatic for a couple days by now and would be discharged
from the hospital that day. We were thrilled. And so we packed our
stuff and drove Sophie home for the first time.
Oh, and speaking
of our hospital, I’d like to take the time to sincerely thank the staff
at Hoag hospital for making our stay an incredible one. If you’re
planning on delivering a child in the Southern California area, I
wholeheartedly recommend doing it at Hoag. No, actually, I demand
it. There really isn’t any choice in the matter. It is, bar none, the
single best hospital I’ve ever been to. From the gourmet meals, to the
oceanfront views, to the incredibly cheerful and knowledgeable staff, I
can’t see any reason anyone would want to deliver anywhere else if they
had the choice. Half the time I felt like I was on vacation in a 5
star hotel. The nurses waited on us hand and foot. At one point Linda
accidentally pulled the “help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” cord in
the bathroom and within seconds we had no fewer than 7
nurses bursting through our doors to make sure she was ok. We plan on
sending boatloads of pastries and gifts to the Hoag staff because the
treatment they gave us was top notch and made our experience infinitely
better. I felt like no matter what questions or problems we had, there
was always someone easily accessible who would help us out. I can’t
stress how friendly everyone was and what a nice atmosphere the
hospital provided us. It absolutely made a huge difference and we
Linda with a couple NICU nurses
So that’s it. Baby Sophie is now home safe and
sound. She’s cute as button. She has her mommy’s eyes, hair, chin and
legs and daddy’s nose and mouth. Or so everyone tells us. Words can’t
describe how happy (and sleep deprived) I feel at the moment. I’m not
a good enough writer to do it any justice. Let’s just say this. I am
completely in love with this little young lady and she’s done nothing
for me but eat, sleep, cry, poop, and puke on me. She’s got a great
little personality that we’re just starting to discover. She smells amazing.
Everything she does, regardless of how mundane, is truly fascinating to
me. I love holding her. I love calming her down. Hell I even love
changing her diaper. Anything I can do to make her more comfortable,
warm, and secure, is a treat for me. All I want is the best for her
and despite the fact that she’s only existed for 3 and a half days now,
I can’t imagine life without her. She’s so well-loved, I can tell
she’s going to be a happy baby growing up. There’s been such an
outpouring of family and friends these past few days, we really do feel
blessed to be able to provide Sophie such a warm, caring environment to
grow up in. But I digress, here’s what you guys came here for: more