Letting some of it trickle out while trying to soak it all in

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Name lottery results (The Birth of our Second Child)

Thanks to all of you for your participation in the name lottery. With some huffing and puffing and a lot of joyful sobbing, little boy Abbott arrived at 6:42 yesterday morning.

With a predicted time of 6:30 am May 21st, Hillary is the winner of the name lottery. Hillary's girl name was Hildegunda Alt and her boy name was Stephen Colbert. In second place with a prediction of 7:18 was Kimbo with the name choices Mavis Anjalyn and Charles Bartholomew. I fell in third place with a prediction of 9:39 and the names Lily Ellen and Henry Attigan.

Special mention to Julie and Darwin with the excellent name suggestions Caranesa Sparkle-paw and Nutella Brie.
Click here for some more pictures of little Stephen.

On Sunday night Rachel labored from 8 pm to 1 am at our house then we swooped over the the birth center in the midnight dusk of summer in Fairbanks. With Ingrid we were really frightened at this point, but this time Rachel was calm and determined. I was excited and jittery, like you feel before a race that's longer than you've ever trained for. She was already dilated to 7 centimeters when we got there and the contractions quickly got stronger and closer together. All of Rachel's reading (Ina May's and the Hypnobirthing books) really paid off, and even during the most intense moments we were able to work together. I've never felt so close and dependent on each other as I did through that night. 

I was really surprised at how hyper aware and present Rachel was. She was definitely in an altered state of mind as her uterus moved the baby down but she was conversant and totally lucid the whole time. At one point, in the thick of it, Rachel turned to me and said in tears, "I'm sorry my face is grimacy and I'm grumpy." I looked over at the midwife Cory and our doula Katie and we all started laughing, hugging Rachel around the shoulders. "It's OK honey, just this one time."

By 5 am Rachel was completely dilated but the baby still wasn't descending. After a bit the midwife suggested that we break her waters, which we did, and the baby moved down and was out in less than a half hour. It was pretty incredible to see this aquatic creature breath in air for the first time. He was calm from the beginning and looked around like an owl surprised in the afternoon.

After we got home yesterday afternoon the baby fell asleep on the couch (I'd forgotten how much newborns sleep). His gravely purrs and guinea pig sounds create an aura of childish serenity. It's like a gentle sonic display of peaceful fireworks. It's like a lava lamp and a handfull of fresh blueberries.

Cuddling together as a family in this tiny home is one of the greatest tender mercies I have ever experienced. Thanks to all of you for your love and prayers. We feel so blessed to have this new spirit in our family and are grateful for your support (physical or virtual).

Our friend Gabe wrote this song for a baby named Edge Runner a few months ago. It describes how Rachel and I feel about our children.


  1. Congratulations! He is so cute!!! Thanks for writing and sharing Rachel's pictures.

  2. So thrilled for all of you. Stephen Colbert is beautiful!

  3. Yay!!!!! He is so beautiful. Love you guys!

  4. Mother and child---beautiful! So thrilled for your little family. Loved hearing Gabe's song in this context! Very, very touching and we felt this same way when he was born :-)

  5. Congrats to your family! What a cute guy with a dark head of hair. Glad I won the name lotto! Stephen Colbert is a great name :) It was between that and George Washington.

  6. great pictures of a great family.

  7. What a beautiful account Ben! Your sensitivity is refreshing.

  8. so so so amazing! so proud of you Rachel! I agree, that I always feel an incredible amount of love for James surrounding the birth of a child. xo