Thomas Elliot Matteo


I give you, the latest addition to the family.

51 cm tall and a whopping 3.6 kg.

It’s funny: even when you think that you are prepared for it, you are never prepared.
And we knew that.

So we were not prepared.

2 years ago, Oskar had come a week early and we expected Thomas would be early, too. I mean: real early. The due date was September 13, but with him being the second and Lamia’s tendency to kick the kids out early, I had expected a birth in August. But the end of August passed and the little guy did not come. The first September week passed and the little guy did not come.

That’s okay: a baby comes when a baby comes.
But Lamia had developed a high blood pressure throughout the last stretch of the pregnancy and our doctor suggested it might not be a totally bad idea to induce the birth to circumvent any potential risk. She also could see that Thomas would have a bigger birth weight than Oskar and the longer we wait, the tougher it gets (good advice, by the way).

Lamia: Remember? Pea sized hole – head like a pumpkin!

Women always dramatize…
Anyway. So we decided Monday to induce today. Inducing labor is actually a convenient thing: you have a decent rest at home, go to the hospital in the morning at 7:30 and then let the medication do its magic. It even gives you the chance to babble on Twitter about the whole thing as it happens.

The only thing: it happens not that fast, of course. When Oskar was born we got quite late to the hospital which is why he was born just 6 hours after we arrived. For Thomas we played the waiting game. We were even put into an observation room first, instead of going directly to the birth room (imagine that!). So, everything was a bit more relaxed. But this also meant there were not so many things anymore to fill the time with. We had arranged for the cord blood procedure way in advance, for example, so I did not have to make a stressed phone call in the middle of the night and try to wrap my mind around whatever the lady told me while my wife was audibly in pain. Which is a good point, because the epidural could be set up before the very strong contraction would come and Lamia did not have to go through the same temporarily pain she had to go through last time.

Now, one thing we had to take care of was the name. Oskar’s name was decided during the intermission of La Traviata 10 days before he was born. For Thomas we knew that we wanted to have Elliot and Matteo in the name, but we only decided sometime before noon today that we would push both of these to second and third place and add Thomas as first name (pretty much comparable to us knowing that we wanted to have Noah and Gabriel in the name before we added Oskar as first name).
(By the way, “Thomas” is pronounced the French way, not the German or English way.)

Once this was done, the only thing left now was really waiting. It took till 3 pm until Lamia’s cervix was dilated to 3 cm.
The target is 10 and the rule of thumb is apparently 1 cm per hour…

Lamia: Oh god, we’ll be here till 10 pm!

Luckily we had Fely and Agnes at home, so we did not have to worry about who’d take care of Oskar in the evening.

Time passed, Lamia watched some TV shows on her laptop and I played on my iPad while having a watchful eye on Lamia’s pulse, her blood pressure and the baby’s pulse plus the strength of the contractions.
At least I could get up and walk around a bit, even going to the Delifrance to buy coffee or food. Lamia was in principle not allowed to eat anything and only drink water. I smuggled some cookies into her mouth when the nurses were not watching, but after 10 hours without proper food Lamia felt nauseous and exhausted.

Luckily, things sped up and around 7 pm everybody got ready for the delivery of the baby.
Our awesome-as-always doctor Claudine came in cheerful as ever (despite Thomas being her third baby today), the nurses prepped the room and in no time Lamia was already pushing like a champ.

And I was standing there like a moron, watching in awe as Lamia seemed to push out Thomas in three strong goes.

Nurse: Ah – mommy is strooong!
(I could not help but be reminded of “The force is strong in that one!” lines…)

Be it as it might, there are two observations I feel compelled to share:

  1. Seeing the birth of your second child and you smugly think it’s like watching again a great movie but this time it will not kick you out off your socks: it absolutely, positively kicks you out of your socks again! And as much as the first time! The moment where I saw the top of that little head appearing (again), my jaw dropped on the floor. It cannot be described – this is just a miracle and if you do not believe in a higher being, this is the closest you will ever get.
  2. My wife rocks!

3.6 kg. 51 cm.
Pretty much the same height as Oskar when he was born, but 800 grams more bulk. Apart from that, the two of them look remarkably similar on their day of birth:

After everything was done and I had taken enough photos as a proof that we actually had another baby, we left the birth room (for what it’s worth birth room #5 – the same room Oskar was born in) and went to Lamia’s hospital bedroom.

I stayed till 11:30 pm, making sure Lamia would get food and that Thomas was alright, too. Then I left to go home and get some sleep.

What an amazing, wonderful day.
And it gets really interesting – not only because we will have now two boys at home. Tomorrow Oskar and Thomas will meet for the first time. I am excited and terrified at the same time.

But I know it will be okay…

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