Next stop, the rest of your life

Hello again great mass of readers. I know you have been waiting with baited breath for a new post. Anyway I want to talk about how the whole birth of my son went down. It was the most amazing thing to ever experience. Here is the basic timeline and what happened.

Oct. 12 @ 10:00 – We went to the hospital to have gel applied to help start labour. This does not put you into active labour like oxytocin does. This gel just helps the process get going if your body is ready. The doctor told us it normally peaks around 4-5 hours so if you feel it, come back in around 15:00 or 16:00. She also said that if we didn’t feel anything we should come back to get checked out around 18:00 or 18:30. After she finished the procedure we left the hospital.

Oct. 12 @ 11:00 – Headed out to lunch at Tims then went for an hour long walk along the Okanagan Lake front. Tam didn’t really feel much action. After the lake front we wandered around Wal-mart for about an hour.

Oct. 12 @ 15:00 – Headed home. Tam still didn’t really feel anything. She bounced on her ball for another hour or so. Still didn’t feel anything so we went for another walk. At this point we really didn’t feel like anything was going to happen.

Oct. 12 @ 17:30 – Had a nap.

Oct. 12 @ 18:30 – Went back to the hospital for our 18:30 check up. Tam still didn’t feel anything but they hooked her up to the non-stress test machine (NST) and it showed she was having very mild but regular contractions. She still couldn’t really feel them but they showed up on the monitor. The doctor wanted us to stay the night in case she did go into active labour. The doctor was concerned about Tam’s sugar levels going out of whack because she had gestational diabetes. We thought we were going to spend the night at the hospital and go home the next morning. We were told to go out, have some dinner, relax and be back by 22:00.

Oct. 12 @ 22:00 – Settled down at the hospital. Put a movie into the laptop and tried to get a little sleep. We were pretty bummed at this point because nothing seemed to be working.

Oct. 13 @ 24:00 – Tam starts to have some regular cramping. Contractions starting.

Oct. 13 @ 02:00 – Contractions in full swing. It is about now we realize baby is on his way.

Oct. 13 @ 04:00 – Tam has a shot of pain relief. She says it didn’t really help with the pain but it did help her relax and sort of snooze between contractions (which are about 90 seconds apart). I call the grandparents to let them know the process has started.

Oct. 13 @ 04:30 – Nana Mercer and my sister-in-law Sonia show up. Sonia is my helper in the delivery room. Tam’s is coping with the pain by using gas. The gas is modern laughing gas. Tam said that it didn’t really do much for pain but you have to breathe in a particular way for it to work. She said this really helped her focus on her breathing and helped her keep her mind off the pain.

Oct. 13 @ 06:30 – Grandma Nunes and Auntie Em roll in. They help establish Camp Babe’s Acommin in the hallway. Normally you are not allowed to wait on the maternity floor while there is a birth in progress but it just happened that we were the only ones in labour at the time so it wasn’t a big deal.

Oct. 13 @ 09:00 – Doctor comes in and breaks Tam’s water. Things get real painful and Tam is really for an epidural. The epi goes in at 09:30 and it wasn’t a moment too soon. Post water break contractions were extremely painful.

Oct. 13 @ 14:30 – Doctor comes back to check on Tam and she is fully dilated. We had been watching a movie and relaxing most of the afternoon just waiting for things to happen. Pops Mercer got a kick out of the fact we had time to watch a movie while in labour. We start pushing.

Oct. 13 @ 15:24 – Baby Nunes is born! It was totally amazing. My wife did such an amazing job through the whole process. It just blew me away how strong she was during the whole thing. The doctor really didn’t think she would have a natural birth but we proved her wrong! (The doctor was worried the baby would be too large to delver without a c-section). He was 8lbs 6oz and was 21 ¼ inches long. Because Tam didn’t push for very long and because he had pooped before coming out he had some mucus in his lungs so he didn’t cry much. He mostly kind of grunted.

Oct. 13 @ 16:00 – Camp Babe’s Acommin rushes into the room. Nana and Grandma rush in. The whole room is just buzzing with people. It is pretty amazing.

Oct. 13 @ 16:45 – Mom feeds for the first time. They get the hang of it pretty quick.

Oct. 13 @ 17:30 – Moved to post partum room. More Aunts, Uncles and friends show up. It is all pretty cool and everyone is pretty impressed.

Oct. 14 @ 10:00 – Mom and Dad survived the first night and also come up with a name. We say good morning to Benjamin Christopher!

Oct. 15 @ 12:00 – Ben comes home!

So that is the basic run down. I could go into much more detail but that is how the labour and birth basically went down. I cannot express how proud I am of my wife. She was totally amazing though the whole process. She was so brave and so focused. She never once said she was scared or worried. She was just all about finding her zone and staying focused.

I also want to say a huge thank you to Sonia for helping me out in the delivery room.  She allowed me to stay focused on my wife through the process and also made sure there was always some one with her.  I was able to get a bathroom and food break in once and a while.  She also did a great job of snapping Ben’s first photos.  Thank you so much for all your hard work and help.

We are settling in fairly comfortably and we are all getting used to each other. Every day things seem to get a little easier and we understand and learn a little more. There will be many more Ben related posts to come and I look forward to sharing my stories with the world.

Took a sentimental journey

This weekend, my wife, my grandfather and I joined about 35 other people in the Sage Valley Voices annual spring concert. This year’s concert was a blend of music from the 40’s and 50’s.

As with all our concerts, our costumes match the period. My wife was wearing a 40’s era dress and I was wearing dark jeans, a white t-shirt and leather jacket in a 50’s greaser style. Grandpa was sporting a white sport coat with a pink carnation. All in all the costumes looks really good.

We performed two shows over the weekend and both had a great turn out. The Oliver United Church was pretty much packed both nights. The show started out with music from the 40’s. We sang hits like ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo,’ ‘Sentimental Journey,’ ‘There is Nothin’ Like a Dame’ and many others. We ended that era with a beautiful piece called High Flight. It is the musical interpretation of a poem written by a RCAF pilot in WWII. It is a beautiful poem and it works very well set to music. It is probably my favorite piece to sing.

Between the eras we had our guest choir come up and sing. This year we welcomed the Naramata Community Choir. They sung three pieces which ended with a song called ‘Sanctouce’ (sp?) which was a piece commissioned by a parish in Vancouver. It was a really neat piece and if you hear of a choir singing it near you go check it out. It is moving both musically and spiritually.

We then started into the 50’s era with a medley of ‘Rock Around the Clock’, ‘Rockn’ Robin’ and ‘Blueberry Hill.’ I have to say that in general I enjoyed singing songs from the 50’s more than then 40’s. I think it is because I can relate to the music a bit better. The 50’s era was presented like the audience was listening to the radio so in between songs we threw in commercials from the era. We are lucky enough to have twins who sing in the choir so we had them do a double-mint gum commercial. They, and the rest of the commercial actors, were a hoot.

So these are just a few high-lights and musings from this concert. I want to give a big thanks to those of you who come out to watch the shows. It is much more fun to sing for a crowd then just singing to yourself. We are now off for the summer but will be starting again in the fall preparing for our Christmas concert. We may even have a 4th generation (at least in the crowd) this winter at the concert. It depends on how well behaved he/she is. Please post your comments below.

Singing without the rain

My wife and I are enrolled in another round of singing.  We actually sing in a choir if you can believe it.  We are members of the Sage Valley Voices choir based out of Oliver BC.  The choir puts on two shows a year.  There is a Christmas concert and a spring concert.  Along side these two shows we normally perform a gig or two for other events that occur near concert time.

The choir is made up mostly of seniors.  In fact, you can normally see three generations of my family in the choir.  I sing, my mother sings, and my grandfather sings as well.  This is the part that I most enjoy about singing in this choir.  It is a way for me to connect with my grandfather.  It gives us something to talk about and something to bond over.  I also get to see him once a week.  I feel it is important to not loose contact with extended family.  I also think he has a bit of pride that his grandson is singing next to him.

As far as I am concerned the real star of the show is my wife.  Those of you who know us know my wife can sing.  She honestly gives me goosebumps every time.  Now I watch American Idol once and a while.  I know the dangers of praising people who really can’t sing.  I can honestly say my wife can sing and she does it very well.  If you have any doubts, come check out the Sage Valley Voices and see for yourself.

There are two shows for the spring concert, May 2nd and 3rd.  Check back here for show times and venue information.  I also normally create a facebook event so keep your eyes open for that as well.