Pronounced like Huey without the initial H. We actually probably won’t call him that, but it goes well with Willie (which we sometimes call Will).

Ewan James Strider Humphries was born on 5:44am on April, 20th 2009. It was good timing because my parents were already in town to attend a grandparents’ day at Will’s school on that very day. Around 11:30pm Sunday night, Malin started to have contractions, and we headed to the hospital.

It was an even shorter labor than with Will – which is typical from what I understand (meaning that labor for second child is typically shorter than first).

I suppose it was lucky that it passed quickly because Malin had the horrible misfortune of getting a complete a-hole anesthesiologist. He was not very personable. He was short with us and mildly derisive, too. Malin had just been given Stadol (a pain-killer that doped her up solid) and was irritated that she was having trouble sitting straight up (which was due to the aforementioned medication). Then he f’ed up the epidural. After it was obvious that the epidural was ineffective (several hours with noticable lack of pain relief), he then insisted that the epidural catheter was properly placed (which it wasn’t) and decided not to re-do it. Several nurses and the nurse anesthetist were witness to it and said they would put in a complaint. Prior to being discharged from the hospital, Malin retold the story to the midwife, who was sure to get the doctor’s name to put in another complaint. (He may not have a job at the hospital for long…)

What followed was a heroic endurance of labor pain on Malin’s part. At 5:44am, the doctor showed up just in time to catch the baby as he was finally ejected from the womb. Ewan was free at last.

Mercifully, Malin’s medication-less labor was at its end – the product of which was a healthy-sized 9 lb. 3.2 oz. baby boy that measured 21.5 inches long.

The nurses cleaned him up and gave him the usual quick inspection:

And then they handed him to mom and dad:

The nurses took Ewan up to the nursery to give him a bath. Shortly after that, he started to breath faster than newborns usually do. After a few hours, his respiration appeared to slow to normal and his oxygen-saturation was okay, so the nurses decided he could finally leave the nursery and come to our room in the hospital.

While Grandma and Grandpa Humphries were hanging out with Will at grandparent’s day, Ewan’s other grandmother, Annie, came over for a visit:

And shortly after that, the other grandparents made it over:

Ann returned with Will in tow, and he seemed to take to his new little brother pretty well:

Will, hamming it up as usual:

Will was a little bit sheepish at first, as he often is. When Ewan cried for the first time, Will got scared, covered his ears, and ran for the door to get away!

After everyone left, Malin, Ewan, and I tried to take a nap. During this time, we noticed Ewan’s breathing seemed to be labored. He was breathing very quickly and heavily, and his nostrils were flaring. We called the nurse, who took him to the nursery to examine him.

Unfortunately, he was then sent to the NICU because his oxygen saturation was lower than they like to see. All sorts of scary possibilities were presented; but, even early on, the doctor thought it was probably bad reflux: stomach acid made it far enough up Ewan’s esophagus to get into his lungs and cause the distressed respiration.

We had been through the NICU experience before with Will. This time was a little easier because the symptoms were not nearly as severe as Will’s extremely low platelet count. Nevertheless, it was not easy to have to visit the NICU in order to see the new boy and to see him hooked up to to so much (machines that monitored his breathing, pulse, and oxygen saturation; oxygen supplied to his nostrils; and an IV drip to provide him fluids).

Luckily, some of the scarier sounding possibilities (like cardiac/heart condition and pneumonia) were slowly stricken from the list as results from tests rolled in. Ewan’s breathing was quite intense and difficult during his first night as he recovered from his earlier breathing troubles. He also got a little bit of congestion in his nose and sinuses, which doesn’t help at all since newborn’s only know how to breath through their nose (except when they are crying).

After that, he seemed to recover quickly. The nurses and the doctor continued to see signs of severe reflux though. The NICU doctor is great – very thorough and extremely protective of all of the babies that end up in his care. But apparently Malin and I seemed like a responsible couple, so he made a deal with us: we follow all of his instructions to the letter, and he would let Ewan go home. We finally left the hospital with Ewan on Wednesday, 4/22.

We have been struggling to follow the doctor’s orders because they require putting Ewan on a strict feeding schedule that is timed compatibly with his medication times. We are still figuring it out. Ewan occasionally appears to have reflux symptoms – wincing and swallowing an hour or so after feeding – but there have been no severe episodes, and hopefully there will be none. His medicines, Reglan and Zantac, seem to be helping.

So we’re finally all at home, and there is a great measure of comfort for all of us in that. Thanks to everyone for all of the well wishes during these past few days. We will no doubt be getting even more pictures of the little guy and will post them here soon!