Archive for the ‘evan’ Category

A(nother) Child Is Born

Friday, January 11th, 2008

It’s been a week now, and many of you already know the barest of details:


View Baby Photos Here.

It’s a boy!

But, in fact, we know more than that, and we can share. For starters, the boy’s name is Evan. Following a rich Carlson family tradition spanning back to, um, Anna, we can assure you that he will be well endowed with middle names, likely two, in the VanNynatten way. But they are not exactly, er, chosen. We have every intention of providing little Evan with easy-to-use ways to change his name without having to go full-on hippie to “Sunflower,” or god forbid, “Bear,” and when we know what they are, we’ll let on.

Evan Something-Something Carlson was born on January 4th, 2008 at 6:39 pm. Upon further investigation, he weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Erika’s labor was short, vigorous, and, for me, thrilling. I caught Evan as he came out with help from Amy Colo, our midwife, in the birthing tub we’d set up once again in our dining room. Okay, let’s pony up here: we call it our dining room, but it’s a little funky, and the last owners called it their mud room. And the birthing tub can be bought at fine ranching supply outfitters anywhere, where it’s more often known as a horse trough. So really, Evan was born in a horse trough in the mud room.

Um, Erika would like me to expound a little on “short and vigorous”. So, here is my version of …

The Birth Story.

Erika started recording her the frequency of her contractions around 2:00 pm; less than five hours later, she had a babe in arms. Evan wasn’t messing around.

In the morning we had a sense that today might really be it. But we’d had that feeling before. Erika had been having ‘fake contractions’ for months, and 9 days after her so-called due date, we were starting to be wary of her uterus crying wolf.

But maybe that acupuncture on Wednesday did work. Well, we’d better wait and see. It wasn’t until 1:30 when we notified the grandmother action team: this seems like it! Both arrived right around 3:00. We consulted with Amy on the phone: yes, it was time to fill the tub with the first tankful of hot water so our water heater could catch up for the next. Carole came to sit with Erika, and my mom came to play with Anna.

Amy arrived around 4:00, and Erika was very definitely having a baby. She was starting to be quite clear that everyone needed to be still and quiet when a contraction came on. [She was also quickly learning which postures made for happy contractions and which did not. Lying on her back was one of the latter.] With this clarity came an appreciation that 2 3/4-year old girls regularly make enough noise to be heard anywhere in our small house. Maybe Anna and Grandma should go get some pizza, ride the horses at King Sooper’s, check out the toy store, perhaps get ice cream … I think you get the picture. Luckily, Anna was right on board with that plan.

After Anna left, Erika felt freer to exercise her own lungs, and so she did. She made many interesting sounds, and worked on relaxing her body as much as possible through each contraction, since apparently it wasn’t time to push, although contractions were coming every 2 – 3 minutes.

Around 6:15, Amy checked Erika and found she was 8cm dilated. If you are a man, and you have read this far, then all you really need to know is that this is “close, but no cigar.” Since this could still take a while, Erika asked me to set up an evening playdate for Anna at a friend’s house for when she came home.

I went into the other part of the house. Strangely, I also decided this was a good time to respond to an earlier phone message from a printer. Yes, I was making work calls.

Just then, Anna and my mom came home. Anna didn’t want to leave, but movies in her room on the laptop sounded novel. First, though, she really wanted to say hi to mom. So I carried her in to give Erika a kiss during a brief lull in the contractions. I went to her room, got Anna set up with a movie, came out, and it was about 6:29pm.

All at once, Erika’s water broke, she became fully dilated, and the baby started descending fast. After Amy repeatedly assured Erika that it really was okay to push now (she had pushed for 2 ½ hours with Anna and didn’t want to repeat the experience of pushing too early), she did, gripping my arms over the side of the tub. 8 minutes later, a child was born into my hands. We handed the baby up to Erika, and I heard her say, “this is definitely a boy.”

I rushed to tell Anna and Grandma the news, stumbling over my words, scooping up Anna deliriously, and bringing them back to see her new baby brother.

Welcome to the world, Evan!


Looking for baby pictures? We’ve got them at Flickr.