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Here's to the beginning...(40 weeks -er 1 week old)

     Its been over a week since the last blog, sorry about that. We've been busy.  Beastie came on Friday, November 24th at 7:48pm ET (6:48 CT). First order of business, Beastie will henceforth be known as John. 

John Robert Tidwell-Davidson

     John Robert Tidwell-Davidson.  Sorry, son.  We know its a long last name.  John came, not without drama. (I hope he's not setting us up for the future.)
     As we found out at our 39 week appointment at the OB, he had flipped himself upside-down...from where he should be, (which is up side down) -eh his head was in her ribs and his butt was in our surrogates pelvis. Also known as breech.  This is almost the worst case scenario.  The OB said he wanted to schedule a version procedure for Friday morning. This is when we were also supposed to induce. This is when they inject a muscle relaxant (that only affects the uterus) into the surrogate.  After waiting 10 minutes for the uterus to relax the OB came in. SHE WAS A RIOT.  I don't know how to describe her. She was just personable, humorous and knowledgeable. She had no reservations about flipping John around. She came in to the room, and said, 
     "Ok, let's see which way he wants to go."
     She starts pushing on our surrogates belly this way and that and found a direction that seemed to be conducive and started heaving him around clockwise. This was some serious looking stuff. I mean straight out of Alien. She grabs the ultrasound machine, while still holding what is likely his head, makes sure it IS his head and then with one more push of her hand, it was almost as if there was an audible, 'POP', from him dropping down into her pelvis.

The doctor performs the version procedure on our surrogate
     The OB then informs us that she is going to break our surrogates water and start administering Oxytocin, which is the drug that starts contractions. She gets this 18 inch white sterile plastic thing that looks like a pipe snake, from our nurse, Kim, and breaks the surrogates water.  Now, with the Amniotic fluid coming out, his head will be forced to the cervix and with the contractions starting he'll have no where to go. 
      The OB de-gloved, said, 
     "OK! We'll see how you are in an hour."
     She walked out. 
     After we were alone again, just the four of us, with the nurse, Kim tells us the statistics of a successful version procedure (which we already knew from Dr. Google) which was just shy of 60% of the time.  Pretty good odds, but the odds decrease the closer you get to 40 weeks. Our nurse only, personally, knows about 2 version procedures. One that she witness that morning and another one she heard about in the hospital.  Luck or science was on our side.  Every hour the nurses would come in, check on our surrogate, and look at the fetal heart monitor.  Wanna stress yourself out?  Know what that thing means. If the fetal heart rate declines every time there is a contraction, it means the umbilical cord is getting squeezed and the baby is getting a kind of choke-hold. 

     Hours pass, walking the halls, laying down, laying on her side, walking the halls, wincing through contractions. She never made a sound.  Movies, TV anything you've ever seen a birth on...has got nothing on our surrogate. Talk about a woman!  She would just close her eyes and breathe and talk to John in her head about what he's got to do. (however, we still think he's a she at this point). 
    Around 3 or 4 pm, she elects to get her epidural.  As she and her husband have said in her past pregnancy history, once she gets the epidural...everything REALLY starts to happen...and did it ever. 
    They still check her every hour, but by the time we get to 6pm, they notice she's really going.  She'd been 1.5 or 2cm dilated all day. Until now. Now she was 4. 20 minutes later she was 8cm and that's when the room BURST with medical staff. They invited Dustin and I to hold her legs. The OB and the nurses were SUPER cool about us being involved. (and when your perception of female anatomy is irrelevant to your sexual orientation why not?! I mean it was incredibly fascinating)
    I gave her husband my camera and Dustin was on her left leg and I was on the right. It was like stretching in Crossfit,
     "Just push her legs towards her chest she'll grab them and she'll push against your hands with her feet. Rotate her knees outward to open the hips."
     And with that, we waited for a contraction...up until this point they were 2-3 minutes apart, she wasn't in pain with them any more, but they were semi-regular. Then she said one was starting. The doctor waited, told her to push and she did. The nurse counted to ten and she relaxed. The doctor told her to get ready again and she said, 
     "Push, push, push! Poop it out!"
     The nurse again counted to ten. That's when the OB first saw John's head.
     "He's got a lot of hair on that head!  Do you want to see?"
     She said, looking at me.  So I tilt my head down and look right up the barrel and sure enough. There's...something.  It looks like a head. Its only about a baseball sized portion of it, but it definitely looks like a human head.  The next contraction came and the doctor again said to PUSH!  The nurse counted to ten and John came a little further out. His head was squished and seriously wrinkled. It probably didn't feel good for him.  The doctor was surprised.
     "Wow! Look at all that hair! Ok, PUSH! Can I have some more lube?" 
     A nurse gave her more lube and the other nurse counted to ten.  The doctor plopped the lube on the baby's head and with a sweep of her hand, said,
     "Let's style that hair, swirly!"
     Everyone laughed, including our surrogate, mid-push, who then said, 
     "Hey! I'm working here!" While she laughed as well. 
     She promptly returned to pushing, by this point the head was now out and the OB said, 
     "Oh! His hands are by his face."
     This is not what a woman in labor wants to hear. The doctor moved the hands and the next contraction was starting.  
     She started pushing and then PLOP! Out came the baby, covered in blood, some amniotic fluid and vernix caseosa (the white cheesy looking stuff). Still attached to the umbilical cord.  The doctor brought the baby up to her chest with the head towards me and the feet to Dustin and with the most enthusiasm as a child getting a puppy for Christmas, at 18:48 CT he yells, 
     "Its a BOY!"
     This is the point I thought we would both ugly cry, but we didn't.  I honestly think its because we really thought Beastie was going to be a girl.  I rush to the status board and erase the girl name. That will be saved for our daughter.
     The doctor told us that they were going to wait to cut the cord,
     "Because here we do delayed cord clamping."  Which some people had told us is something you HAVE to do. But in my research the most recent scholarly papers suggested that there is no statistical significance to delay cord clamping unless the baby is considered pre-mature. Even more so significant is if the gender is a boy. So I was ambivalent about it.  We don't HAVE to. It doesn't carry that much weight. But the doctor did it anyway and I honestly didn't care.
     Earlier in the day I had been talking to our surrogate's husband at lunch and while I wanted to have to opportunity to cut the cord, I knew it meant so much to Dustin. So we decided he'd cut the cord and I would get first skin-to-skin.
     Dustin cut the cord, I just got the end of it. (I know its vertical video...shame on me)
They asked me while they were waiting to cut the cord if they wanted me to clean him first. I immediately thought of our friend from Louisiana, 
John & I snuggle for the first time
     "Nope, clean him up," I looked at our surrogate, "No offense, but yeah get most of that off him, then I'm good."
     So they clean him, he almost pees on Dustin and I. (Yay! Bladder is working!) And then I get my first snuggles with John.  A few minutes later, Dustin gets his first skin to skin snuggles with John.  Then we look at each other and walk him over to his belly-buddy and let her hold him. She's such an important and incredible person in our lives that she gets carte-blanche snuggles with him.

    A little later we're in a separate room next door to where we were and Dustin and I both have the only two access tags to him.  We're feeding him the ready made formula (life-saver) and changing the meconium-filled diapers. Its been a few hours since he was born, he's still fresh and bruised on his face from everything and he might become a bit jaundice. We're basking in the warm glow of new fatherhood after 9pm and hear a knock at the door. In walks our surrogate. Looking like she just waltzed into the labor and delivery department for the first time. Three hours later and she looks amazing. 
3 Hours after birth.
    Over the course of the next day Dustin and I get acquainted with John and his sounds and his habits and try to sleep. (Emphasis on try)  Watched him get his first immunizations and his vitamin K shot. 
     John had trouble passing his hearing test in the hospital. He passed it in one ear but not the other. They told us that, its not a big deal, that its very common. They still have fluid in their ears and so forth that makes it hard for them to hear.  They REALLY wanted him to pass, but he was having none of it. On the start of the second full day for John, we wanted to get on the road and get home, early. We got discharged at noon. Ugh. Well we were ready to go and drove through the night. Dustin kept asking me if I was ok, surprisingly, I was. Until Chattanooga. We had driven through the night, stopped at Starbucks, gas stations with changing mats, (some without). Fed him, driven more, he transitioned from the black tar meconium poop in a gas station bathroom, almost on Dustin.  Twenty hours after leaving Green Bay, Wisconsin, we were making our way through Atlanta traffic and to our home where my mom and dad were watching our dogs while we were away and there's my mom at the top of the driveway with her 'Welcome Home,' sign I knew she would have. 
     Seriously all the feels. 
     Oh! I never said WHY we needed to get home so fast. We had to get home for John's 48 hour pediatrician appointment. Dustin called in at office open, while we were sitting in Atlanta traffic, and we got our appointment for Tuesday morning. Forty-eight hours after our discharge.  
    To sum up this really long installment of the blog, John is doing really great. We're doing well adjusting to him and everyone is so excited to see him! Its been a whirl-wind of a journey, we've made some amazing friends (now family) and even met THEIR family (our surrogates family invited us for Thanksgiving dinner, it was such a heart warming time with them and we were so grateful to be able to spend time with them and have a Thanksgiving dinner).  I'll do my best to keep posting as I think to, plus, I mean house projects will resume again when John's little body can take the noise and dust. For more pictures over the last 9 days, check out my instagram page


  1. Welcome to your home, John! Your dads are amazing people and are so in love with you! As we are! Love, MeMe & Gramps

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