Monday, May 4, 2009

Here he is!

So we've got big news. Look!

Zachary Thomas (Zach) arrived April 25, weighing in at a rather solid 8 lbs 7 oz (3.85 kg). (By the way, April 25 is Anzac Day, a national holiday in New Zealand akin to Veteran's Day. We've renamed it AnZach Day. Ha ha. Get it?)

We are, as you might expect, completely & totally in love with this guy. He is not only adorable but pretty sweet-natured and even-tempered. He's been a good eater and a good sleeper (for the most part). Everyone comments on his enormous hands and his strong neck.

It was a pretty easy birth (relatively speaking). We arrived at the hospital at 7 pm on the evening of April 24 and he showed up at 3:50 the next morning. I had said I wanted a natural birth but ended up getting an epidural and have no regrets except that I didn't get it hooked up sooner. (Hooray for epidurals!) The New Zealand public health system is certainly not perfect but overall we've been very pleased with the maternity care. It is very different than the US system in that most births are attended by midwives unless there is some sort of complication. The midwife then does regular home checkups with you until the baby is five weeks old, and our midwife has been wonderful about giving us advice and helping me with nursing. I could probably write a lot more about the differences between the two systems another time, but who cares about that right now? There are baby pictures to look at!

Me & Zach at the hospital:

Very proud papa. I'll be the first to admit that Chris and I have never been particularly child-oriented people, but it's unbelivable how natural it feels to be with your own kid. Chris has been an amazing dad from the very first moment Zach was born.

My mom is here from the US for a month to visit Zach and help us get settled. She flew in Monday and all three of us met her at the airport. Here are Zach and grandma getting acquainted:

We were not sure how the dogs would react to Zach, but so far they have been great. Livy is very interested in him and protective of him and whenever he makes a noise she runs over to sniff him, tail wagging. When the midwife comes over to examine Zach she sits right next to them like Zach's personal bodyguard. Owen seemed pretty oblivious that there was a new baby in the house for the first few days, but now he regularly comes over to give Zach a friendly sniff when we are playing with him. I think they'll all be good friends in no time, especially when Zach starts eating (and dropping) solid foods.

Zach cozy in his carseat ...

Giving grandma a smile. (Okay, so it's probably just gas, but it's cute, no?)