Photos by MJ Klein (and others where noted)
UPDATE: at the end, I’ve added some comments for our readers who don’t live in Taiwan.
UPDATE #2, 28/10/2012: A few new photos and a short clip of Phoenix waiting to be picked up and fed.
Most of you probably know that Hui-chen and I were expecting a daughter to arrive any day now. This is the story about her arrival, but first, allow me to introduce her to you:
Flickr has a problem with the small version of this photo. Here is the link to the photo of Phoenix. We apologize for this problem. Click the link below to continue reading and see more photos in this article.
Our baby never turned her head down. She remained in breech position so long that it became clear she would need to be delivered by C-section. We had made arrangements with the hospital for a C-section procedure on October 26th, at 13:30 PM. Phoenix, however, had other ideas.
Hui-chen awaiting transfer to the operating room
In the early morning of October 25, Hui-chen told me she felt “strange” and that she wanted to go to the hospital and get checked out. We arrived a little after 3:00 am and the nurse put Hui-chen on a fetal monitoring machine. The machine confirmed that the baby was not being stressed, but it also confirmed that Hui-chen was having contractions! No wonder she felt strange! The baby decided it was time!
By 4:00am it had been decided that Hui-chen would undergo the C-section procedure to deliver our baby at 06:00am. The procedure went without a hitch, and at 06:08am, Phoenix was born. This photo is the first time I ever saw our new daughter. I wasn’t allowed to be in the OR during the procedure, so I had to wait outside, like the 1950’s husbands you see in old movies. Phoenix didn’t cry. She made cute little noises and looked a little unhappy at being taken out of the warm place where she was, but I was surprised at how calm she was.
I minute or two later, Hui-chen’s sister, Hui-lien took this photo of us together. As you can see, Phoenix is starting to make a little face indicating she isn’t so comfortable. Shortly thereafter the nurse took her back to the nursery.
Things are done quite differently in Taiwan than they are in Western cultures. This is special recovery foods that Hui-chen is eating after giving birth. An outside company prepares this food and delivers it to our hospital room each morning.
Now for some other photos of Phoenix that I took through the nursery room window:
I’ll leave you with this last photo of Hui-chen, using our Toshiba Thrive tablet to view photos I’ve taken of Phoenix. Priceless.
Thanks for reading. We’re going to be busy over the next few days but I’ll try to respond to your comments as timely as possible. We thank everyone for their congratulations and well-wishes! It’s much appreciated!
UPDATE: I wanted to give our readers an idea of how different things are here in Taiwan. For example, it’s the end of the second day and I still haven’t been allowed to even hold my own baby. The nurses recite some crap about infections and the need to keep the baby safe, etc.. In the meantime, I’m missing out on what I think is the most fascinating period in my daughter’s life – the very beginning. Quite frankly I’m tired of looking at her through the glass window like a visitor. I might have to actually just start telling them I’m going to pick her up and they can try to stop if me they can. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
Last night was a nightmare. Since our little bundle of joy decided to arrive early, our private room wasn’t ready and we stayed in a corner of a shared room. Directly across from us was a man who insisted upon sniffing every 10 to 15 seconds (I timed it) all night long! That is, when he wasn’t snoring. The idiot didn’t know enough to blow his own nose! Also, I have no idea why people here do not know when they are talking too loud, but yesterday in the recovery area, I actually had to yell at those same people for talking too loudly. They apologized in Taiwanese (which to those of us who live here, speaks volumes). Last night, Hui-chen had to tell them to quiet down (spoken through 2 layers of privacy curtains). Sigh….
My wife, just having had a C-section, is naturally in a lot of pain. Just now, I helped her into a wheelchair and wheeled her down to the nursery so she could breastfeed our child for the first time. The minute the nurse saw me she said “he has to get out of here” so now I’m going to be deprived of another wonderful experience I should have – seeing my wife feed our child for the first time. Don’t Taiwanese men get involved like Western men do? I read everything I could read about breastfeeding. I watched countless Youtube videos on the topic so I could share my insight with my wife, and actually offer helpful suggestions instead of just sitting there, looking stupid. Now my wife is by herself and I’m back in my room watching an idiotic movie with my father-in-law while I type this update. Speaking of family though, my Taiwanese family is fantastic. They are supportive beyond belief. They also put up with my ranting about how things should be, etc. when I run across some stupid rules.
My wife did point out to me the fact that in a few days we’ll be going to the convalescent center and Phoenix will be rooming with us, so I just have to wait it out.
I’m sure I’ll have other updates as this first week of Phoenix’s life comes to pass.
UPDATE #2, 28/10/2012: