Dear friends. I'm proud to announce that on December 11th I could witness the miracle of birth and becoming a father to a healthy 3850 gram boy. Already on his birthday he had hair long enough to make a small pony tail - thus completing a line of three generations of ponytails for the Ingo men! Some days after his birth we also shot this picture, with the infamous ThinkGeek.com t-shirts.
I'd like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and the happy mother (who is taking this golden opportunity to catch some sleep) to thank everyone for their greetings, kind wishes and gifts. Your wishes and thoughts, be it as simple as a text message or a Facebook post, has made our happiness even more complete. As well as all the Christmas cards, which we decided not to send out at all this year - I'm sure you'll understand.
I cannot resist ending with a feeble attempt at tying this post into the more general theme of OpenLife.cc. As a man, and now father, I'm really glad how the process of delivering the baby at the hospital has developed in the past decades. Go back 40 years or so, when this little kid's aunts were born, delivering a baby was a very industrialised (Fordish almost?) process:
Mother goes to hospital, father is not welcome to participate. Baby is born, wrapped up and put in a big room full of other babies where a nurse is taking care of them and feeding them. There is a glass window to this room where you can go and look at your baby, kind similar to how modern car factories have viewing rooms where you can witness your new car being assembled. After a week or so mother is sent home from the hospital together with a small parcel - the baby - good luck taking care of him!
I'm allowed to be part of the whole birth and the nurses actually unload some tasks on the father, like helping the mother relax in the shower and carrying some pots and equipment even. Then you are allowed to cut the navel chord, help with the washing etc, breast feeding is left solely to the mother though :-) And the best part is that if you wish, the hospital allows the father to sleep in the same private room with mother and baby, and nurses only help out when needed or requested by the parents. All of this was a very hands on experience - dear I say hackerish? - and I feel like coming home with the baby we already had a good head start in how to be a parent.
Thinking of how babies were born for centuries - in Finland typically in your Sauna - I cannot help but wonder who on earth came up with the ideas how hospitals took care of this in the period 40 years ago. I guess this is yet another example of how most surprising aspects of our lives are sometimes (inappropriately) modeled from the business world. But I am thankful of the developments towards the current model, where the "industrialised" model of nurses "producing" babies in a hospital-institution has been set back and the parents are much more in the center of everytghin.