Madeline’s 2nd day was a busy one

I tried to shower at the hospital this morning. Really, I did. But I failed to distract the one 5th floor nurse’s attention away from the clear anguish of returning a fake Gucci purse to some shady online retailer. So I drove home, and that was that turned out in my favor anyway – better water pressure, a shower head higher than my own head, and a nice big oversized bath towel. Also got a short burst of beagle time.

Hit Dunks and came back to the hospital just before noon. Changed several poopy diapers in the past 24 hours, including one very impressive poopsplosion. I can’t claim credit for that word – first heard from our friends Nate & Jen.

At around noon, the visitors started. Monique, Lis, Michelle, Doreen, Eddy, Jeff and Lizard, all taking turns holding and interacting with our little girl. Some stayed for parts of the Patriots game, some for all. I’m sure nobody liked the 13″ screen, but even if only marginally, it beats listening on the radio only. At 4:00 Jason and Ly came by. They each spent some time with Madeline and, almost as importantly, brought some homemade chocolate chip cookies that you just wouldn’t believe. Nicole asked if they sprinkled them with Himala salt, and I said no, it must be the best-tasting crack ever.

Things quieted down around dinner. Then Nicole got creative with her camera, and took these shots. I thought I would share.

Baby Madeline is here…

I’m glad I can stop calling her SheBert, though I will probably still refer to that way from time to time. 🙂

We named our first daughter Madeline Autumn Pearl Bertrand. She was born September 28th, 2012, at 10:54 AM. She was 21″ long, and 9lbs 8oz – so while we bounced back and forth before the big day about whether to deliver naturally or by C-section, the choice was made for us yesterday.

I now know what folks were warning me about when they said “sleep now” – I didn’t take them as seriously as I probably should have. Feeding is frequent and we will be in the hospital until Tuesday morning.

We’ve had a tremendous influx of support, congratulations and well wishes. We want to thank you all for that – and don’t take a lack of a reply as a lack of appreciation. We have been very busy getting to know our sweet little girl and napping in between when we can. We will have plenty more to share soon. In the meantime I’ll leave you with some fun pics of Madeline’s first 24 hours with us:

Baby SheBert’s room is almost ready…

It only took us 8 months, and we still have a couple of little fixes to make, but I’m happy to say that yesterday we declared our daughter’s room “ready.” We still need to fasten the changing pad to the dresser, and either move the crib out about a foot from the window or take out those vertical blinds completely. But otherwise, things are looking great! The room and closet are filled with many blankets and clothes from very generous friends and family.



Nicole’s dad helped us convert an eccentric plug-in light to a hard-wired fixture:



Thanks so much to everyone who has helped along the way – not just with the room and its contents but for helping in so many other ways too.

Now the room is just missing one important thing…

A weekend in the city

Nicole is due on September 28th, so we thought we could take one last weekend while we could to get away. I’ll be in Cambridge for a SQL Saturday this coming weekend, then a SQL Saturday here in Providence the weekend after that, so if we were going to do it, this was it.

We left Saturday afternoon, and stopped to visit some friends in Rye and their new twin boys. Martin and Elliot were a hoot even if Elliot did destroy my shirt. 🙂

Then to the city. We got to the apartment on W 75th, and found a sweet, free parking spot right close by. We freshened up and then hit the restaurant where we did most of our falling in love: Sol y Sombra. Best tapas in the city. We walked around, had some gelato, then called it a night.

Sunday, we got up nice and early, took the 2 to Times Square, then took the 7 out to Flushing Meadows to catch some tennis. We saw Djokovic completely dismantle someone, then saw Andy Roddick play a great match against Fabio Fognini. We lucked out and were glad to see Roddick before he retires. I was in attendance when he won his US Open in 2003. We had decent seats in the corner:

Ashe Stadium

And Nicole captured match point. That’s me screaming “You’ve got this Andy!” when the rest of the crowd settled down.

Next we went to the 9/11 Memorial. They’ve done a fantastic job at the site of the World Trade Center.

South pool : WTC

Freedom Tower : WTC

Survivor Tree

This morning, we went for breakfast at Monk’s Cafe Tom’s Restaurant, then went to 96th for a coffee and to visit Nate at his Whole Foods store. Then to hit the road back home. Which is where things got interesting.

We decided to take the Merritt Parkway because it’s a much nicer drive than 95, especially that close to the city. It was Nicole’s turn to drive, and as we passed exit 42, I was reading the Wikipedia entry – most notably the part about decrepit trees occasionally falling on cars. Which apparently happens most frequently in the low 40s exits. Then, all of a sudden, a tree branch fell right in front of us. It was too big, too close, and happened too quickly to swerve and avoid, so the car took the brunt of it. The windshield shattered and there is minor damage to the hood – mostly dents that they should be able to pop out. The pictures don’t give the damage justice:

WIndshield damage

Hood damage

The most ironic part: I was scheduled to return the car to the dealership tomorrow morning (on Friday we traded the car in, but we couldn’t drive the new car away yet). Now I have to wait until insurance assesses the damage and arranges the repairs. I’ll also be able to file a claim with Connecticut’s DOT, but the state trooper who arrived at the scene suggested we’ll see SheBert’s first birthday before that claim ever gets settled.