Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gideon + NAS

Gideon + NAS from Gar on Vimeo.

Gideon was upset, so Siobhan played some hip-hop music on my iTunes to calm him down. Definitely my son, yes? ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

stronger, bigger, longer

Gideon had his second pediatrician appointment on Monday with Dr. Kumasaka. With all of eating, sleeping, and pooping, I was wondering how much he's grown.

These couple of pictures are from his first week, when Grandma and Grandpa Wong were visiting. We posed him next to a stuffed lion that Shiv has:

Givin' the lion the stinkeye.


These are from his second week:

It's bright!


When Gideon was born, he was 6 pounds, 14 ounces and about 19.5 inches long. Now he's about 7 pounds, 2 ounces and about 21 inches long.

GJ, son!

(cross-posted over at gar's blog)


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gideon's Hospital Photo Shoot


You can see all the pictures from the photo shoot right here.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The birth story from Siobhan's perspective

Thank you to our many readers who faithfully voted in the name bracket. We hope to continue to post our stories, pictures and videos.

Well, our little boy decided to come out a little earlier than expected, three weeks earlier. Either he heard my request for him to come out earlier or he has a mind of his own already. That is another blog post for later on.

You can read in Garrett's blog about his side of the story and I will share with you all about my side. The days leading up to the birth, I was getting anxious and not feeling prepared to have a little one in our home. There seemed to be so much to be done and not enough time to get them done. I guess we were ready and all the other stuff was just extra preparation.

On Wednesday, I was not feeling well, kind of a carsick feeling. I thought that morning sickness was just the first trimester. I talked to my sister later that evening and told her about the feeling and how I had eaten mostly vegetables for meals. I just couldn't eat anything "heavy" or rich. My body may have already known that evening was going to be the night.

I waited for Garrett to return from Bible study while watching television and falling asleep. He came home to watch some news and then I had the sudden urge to use the restroom. He helped me walk to the bathroom and I did my business. I didn't have my glasses on so I didn't realize what was happening to my body. I called for Garrett to bring my glasses because "I think my water broke." Garrett came by with a shocked look and said Are you sure?. I replied, ""I don't know." I had no contractions at the time so I didn't think it was happening. So we called the nurse line to confirm that indeed my water broke and we should head to the hospital.

Oh another detail, I was stressing about writing a birthing plan the week prior. I felt that I didn't know what to write in one and I kept putting it off. Also, we had not talked with my OB about the birthing details and the steps to do when the water breaks. So that evening, I felt at a loss of what to do, a feeling that I will get to know very well in parenthood.

So after we gathered our belongings, the contractions started to begin. Slowly but surely, they were getting closer together and a little more intense. We walked into the emergency room and another contraction started. I couldn't talk to the lady behind the desk, so she told Garrett to take one of the wheelchairs. Garrett wheeled me to the OB triage. I was glad we went on the birth tour so that we knew exactly where to go. We arrived and the nurse hooked me up to a machine to monitor my contractions and the baby's heartbeat. It felt like forever for the nurses to see the pattern that my contractions were about a minute apart and intense as ever. So off to the birthing suite we go.

Room 555 was where the magic began. Now the contractions felt like they were coming less than a minute apart. Yes, I grabbed Garrett's arm for dear life. Since I was early, my OB did not check my cervix at a previous office visit. So the nurse had no idea where my cervix was at. The contractions were coming more frequent and my body would not allow for the nurse to check the cervix. So while the contractions were becoming more intense, I started to get lower back pain alongside with them. Oh they were fun! Plus, the nurse said, do not push. I was thinking, what was she talking about. As the contractions took over my body, I had to make an effort not to push. That was why I had to squeeze Garrett's arm so tight. Also, three nurses had to try to find a vein for the IV. Every time a contraction would come, they would pull back and have to try again. So there I was no IV, many contractions and no sight of an epidural anytime soon.

I was at the point where I didn't care where they put the IV just so that I could get that epidural. Contractions at this point were about 15 seconds apart and intense as ever. I heard the nurse getting the delivery table ready just in case I couldn't get that epidural. I felt that I might have to deliver a baby au natural. Oh dear, I didn't put that in my birthing plan.

The epidural was wonderful. Getting it was awful. I had to stay still through a contraction so he could get it in. Let me repeat, I had to stay very still with in fetal position so that he could get the needle in. Again, my head was thinking that would be impossible. Again more fingernails in Garrett's arm. Thanks birthing couch. I mean coach.

After the epidural, the time flew by waiting for the contractions and to push the baby out. We talked about the names and parenthood in between the contractions. It was pretty much a blur as we waited for his arrival. I appreciated Christine's presence as she prayed with us before the pushing began. I felt more relaxed and ready to deliver a baby.

Gideon came out after three hours of pushing and a vacumm to help him out. He laid on my chest with his hands folded together like they were in prayer position. That is the first memory that I have of our son, crying loudly with his hands together. Prayer has brought us our bundle of joy, Gideon and it will continue to uphold us together as a family.

(I'll write more later)


fatherhood in just 7 hours

(This is mirror of my post from my personal blog)

It took only one phrase to transform my Wednesday evening from a regular night to a multi-hour ordeal at the hospital.

"Hey Gar... I think my water just broke."

The wifey's voice was at once strangely loud and tentative from the bathroom. I was sitting on the couch, watching the 11:30 evening news. I looked at my watch: August 4th. Wasn't the baby due on the 26th, in about two weeks?

I tried not to sound too skeptical.

"Ummm... are you sure?"

Brief pause.

"Yeah... I think so."

I grabbed the phone and dialed the nurse hotline for our hospital, Swedish Medical Center. I handed the phone to Shiv so she and the nurse could talk. Yep, it's time to go to the hospital.

Lucky for us, we were ready. Earlier in the week, we had talked about all the stress of getting things ready for Baby Chan, so we brainstormed a list of things we wanted to get done: get a pediatrician, find a daycare provider, wash & fold baby clothes, etc. Shiv already had a rolling suitcase packed with stuff for her labor and earlier, on that very Wednesday morning, she familiarized herself with the infant car seat, installing it in the car.

Did I say "we" were ready?

I guess technically, "we" means more "her". I didn't have any bag packed at all. As calm as I could, I grabbed a backpack and rushed around the house grabbing things - I threw in my digicam, a book, my DS, my iPod, a clean pair of shorts & shirt, bottle of water, and a granola bar. Of course, it was only AFTER I was at the hospital that realized I forgot some important things like contact solution, eye glasses, phone charger, etc. Oh well.


We got to the hospital after midnight. The main entrance was closed, but we knew through a previous hospital tour that we had to enter through the rear ER entrance. They sent us immediately to the 5th floor, to the obstetrics triage where they took Shiv's and the baby's vitals to confirm yes, the baby was coming.

After about an hour of waiting and tests, we were moved into our own room, a "birthing suite", and assigned our own nurse, a sisterly pro about the same age. She gently helped ease Siobhan into the birthing bed and took up her post at a mini-nursing station, monitoring vitals and taking notes at a computer.

"Hi, my name's Marlow."

It's close to about 1:30 AM at this time and Shiv's contractions start to get more frequent and stronger. How do I know? My wife's yelling pretty loudly and her fingernails are digging into the back of my hand. I was pretty sure name-calling and cussing were imminent if the pain didn't go down.

Time check... about 2:30 AM.

In her birthing plan, my wife has already asked to get an epidural to help her manage the pain of childbirth. Unfortunately for her at this point, there's two problems. One, the nurses are having trouble finding a big enough vein on her arm to start an IV. Two, with the contractions getting stronger and stronger, it's getting harder and harder for Shiv to NOT push the baby. Pushing the baby out beyond a certain point would make the epidural dangerous.

Timing their work in between Shiv's contractions, the nurses finally get an IV going. Nice.

Marlow is getting worried and repeatedly makes calls inquiring about the whereabouts of an anesthesiologist. When one finally shows up and starts prepping Shiv for the spinal injection (epidural, remember?), he's immediately paged somewhere else.

"Dr. BlahBlahBlah, there's a car trauma down in the ER. You're needed immediately."

The doctor sighs, and tells the nurse to page the next anesthesiologist, who thankfully, shows up in about 10 minutes. I watch with half-dread, half-amazement as the new doctor, a middle-aged, quiet man in large glasses manipulates a tube and giant needles the size of bubble tea straws to finish the procedure.

"It'll take 15 minutes for the anesthesia to take effect."

He sits waiting, occasionally checking in with Shiv to make sure that anesthesia is only affecting her lower bod. Tricky thing, I suppose, injecting stuff into the spinal cord. The 15 minutes pass by slowly, but like clockwork I can instantly see the effect on Shiv. She's relaxed and smiling. And oh yeah, it's nice that the eagle claw grip of the nails into the back of my hand stops too.

Shiv's obstetrician isn't on call this early in the morning, but another doctor comes in to check. She seems satisfied with Shiv's progress.

"I want you to rest for a little bit before you start pushing with your contractions."

Christine Nakano, one of our good friends since our days at U-Dub also arrives at about 3 AM.


After about an hour of rest, the "real" pushing starts. I check the time now and it's about 4 AM in the morning. It's about this time that I sneak a snack and chow down all the granola bar I brought. I also remember I have a can of Fanta orange soda in my backpack and I drink that too. Sadly, because Siobhan's still in labor, the most I can feed her are some chips of ice.

One of the side effects of an epidural is that the labor process is slowed, mostly because Shiv can no longer feel the contractions. In order to help her coordinate her pushing with the contractions, the nurse monitors her vitals and signals when to try. I fulfill my role as breath coach and each contraction, we do a set of three 10-second pushes with held breath. The process has a slow, methodical rhythm, and our progress is rewarded after the better part of an hour by the nurse exclaiming:

"Hey, he's got a lot of hair!"

Close to the 3rd hour of pushing, about 7 AM, the obstetrician on duty, Dr. Kimmelman worries that Shiv will be getting tired and her pushes are less productive. She asks for permission to assist the delivery with the vacuum tool, a small, funky plastic disc attached to a pump. Though there are some small risks involved, the doctor tells us that she believes that it will help a lot.

Final preparations are made to get Shiv and the room ready. There's a brief lull as we wait for another set of contractions before the doctor can use the pump. When it comes, it takes literally only three pushes with the vacuum before Baby Chan is born.

Sounds of crying. Lots of blood. The lay him on top of Shiv right away to help him regulate his body temperature.

"Would you like to cut the cord?"

I'm handed the shears and with a quick snip, I'm dead. I look at the clock... 7:11 AM.

Welcome to the world, son!

And now... obligatory photos:


Cutting the cord.

Celebratory photo with our nurse and the delivering doctor.

Weighing in.

You can check out more photos here.


How about some Baby Chan crazy numbers / numerology?

Meaningless coincidence or not? Put on your LOST hats. DUH-DUM!

  • "The Number THREE"
  • Gideon has 6 letters in his name, 3 x 2 = 6.
  • Gideon was born in room 555 (three 5's).
  • Gideon's full Chinese name is made up of 3 Chinese characters.
  • Gideon's full Chinese name is written with 30 strokes, 3 x 10 = 30.
  • Gideon's story is told in 3 chapters in the Bible, Judges chapters 6-8.
  • Gideon was born in the Year of the Metal Tiger, the 3rd sign of the Chinese Zodiac. "Metal" is also the 3rd element of Wu Xing.

  • "The Number FIVE"
  • Gideon was born in room 555.
  • Gideon is the 5th judge in the book of Judges.
  • Gideon was born on 8 / 5 / 10. 8 + 5 + 10 = 23. Add the digits 2 + 3 = 5.
  • Gideon is a 5th generation Chinese American, counting from his father's side.

  • "The Number SEVEN"
  • Gideon was born at 7:11 AM.
  • From arrival to birth, Baby Chan was born in about 7 hours.
  • Both my first name and Shiv's first name have 7 letters. Gideon's middle is my first name, which of course also equals 7.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

the winner by sudden appearance is...

Hello friends,

Some of you might have already heard, but our name bracket for Baby Chan got suddenly interrupted by...


Son, meet the world... world, meet Gideon.

The full story to follow soon. We promise! =)


Sunday, August 1, 2010

RoundTwo: 1 Griffin vs 9 Garrison; 12 Cooper vs 13 Landon

The final first round match-up concluded with not just one, but TWO upsets: Tiberius beats Amadeus 9-2, and Marius beats Gen 8-1.

At Siobhan's request, we're starting the second round with the VANILLA region of the name bracket. The first match-ups are:

1 Griffin vs 9 Garrison


12 Cooper vs 13 Landon

(Click the links above to read previous commentary)

Gar: The first match-up is hard for me because I like both "G" names, but I'll give the edge to Griffin rather than Garrison, for the coolness factor of a half-eagle, half-lion mythological animal. As for Cooper versus Landon, both names were upsets that I'm not very fond of, but if I had to pick one, I'll pick Landon.

Siobhan: With the "G" names, they are both interesting in their own ways. Yes, Griffin has a coolness factor with it but I will have to just state the awesome statements I made in the previous post. "Garrison stands for spear-fortified town; protection, stronghold. Definitely manly characteristics!" Cooper vs. Landon. That is a tough match-up because well, Landon is from the movie, "A Walk to Remember" and I forgot to mention that Cooper reminded me of Cooper Nielson from "Centerstage." Cooper Nielson was too charming and manipulative in the movie. Let's go Landon!