Sunday, September 28, 2008

Marc likes coffee shops...

Marc is just 2 days shy of being 4 weeks old, he now enjoys more going out and about. This week a couple of times we stopped in coffee shops half way during our daily walk, he seems to dig them, which is really good news considering his dad is a coffee-addict.

Yesterday's outing was specially nice, Danna and Missy stopped by and we spent some time chatting and catching up, I always enjoy these unplanned get together, we just sent them an SMS to let them know we were nearby and they were happy to come join us.

Today, we went shopping, first time we go for a long outing with Baobao, he did great. Lily and Xia spent sometime looking for clothes while the 2 of us just hanged out, walked around, read a little bit, even got some clothes for Marc... he still is a cool cat, quiet and easy going...

We uploaded a bunch of pictures to Picasa, there goes a video that we took at Pause Cafe yesterday, this shows pretty good the sequence of moves and faces Marc goes through to let us know he's hungry. After he starts his routine, we usually have 45 seconds before he gets really anxious and starts licking whatever happens to be nearby: his clothes, the car seat, his father's nose :)

video

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Marc esta a punto de cumplir 4 semanas, ahora ya le empieza a gustar mas y mas salir y pasar tiempo fuera de casa. Esta semana, paramos en un par de cafeterias del barrio durante nuestro paseo diario. Afortunadamente parece gustarle, lo que es un alivio teniendo en cuenta que el padre es cafe-adicto.

Ayer, ademas fue especialmente agradable, paramos en Pause Cafe y mandamos un SMS a Danna y Missy para decirles que estabamos cerca de su apartamento, asi que vinieron a pasar un rato con nosotros, charlar y ponernos al dia.

Hoy fuimos de compras a un centro comercial, mientras Lily y Xia buscaban ropa para ellas, Baobao y yo estuvimos de paseo disfrutando del sol, leyendo. Al final incluso paramos en una tienda de ropa para bebes y le compre un modelito nuevo a Marc. La verdad es que sigue siendo un bebe tranquilo y relajado.

Esta tarde puse un monton de nuevas fotos en Picasa, tambien queria compartir el video que aparece arriba en el que se puede ver la secuencia de caras y movimientos que "ejecuta" Marc para informarnos de que tiene hambre. Desde el momento que empieza la rutina, tenemos unos 45 segundos antes de que se ponga hiper nervioso y empiece a chupar todo lo que pille: su ropa, la silla del coche, la nariz de papa....





Friday, September 26, 2008

Blogging away from home...

This first week back at work has been pretty hectic, things were crazier than usual, not just busy, not just stress, not just pressure... it was more like panic. I did not have a chance to have a slow catch-up-after-almost-3-weeks-away period, so much so that today (Friday) I flew to Virginia to meet with one of our customers, it was just a one day deal and I will be flying back tomorrow.

Anyways, this is the first trip since Marc was born... tonight when I called Lily on her cell I could hear him in the background making noises (basically asking for more food), it broke my heart to hear him crying while being apart, not being able to hold him.... I guess I am starting to understand why folks always talk about how much more difficult is to be away from home once you have kids...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What do babies dream about?

As a new parent one of the things you can't stop doing is looking at your baby while he's sleeping, it's surprising to see the amount of different facial expressions they go through.... in our case, considering Marc has only been around for 19 days I always wonder what he's dreaming about? Is it the last yummy feeding right after mom had eaten a blueberry muffin or a chocolate croissant? Is it a recurrent dream in which he remembers his last nap?
video
One thing is for sure, he loves his naps, one cannot look any happier or more relaxed:


Not much more to report, last week we had both Marc's and Lily's checkup with their doctors. Marc is growing nice and healthy, he's up to 9 lbs and has grown one inch. Lily meanwhile is doing good, she's already lost almost half of the weight she won during pregnancy and is starting to recover her stamina. A couple of days ago we went for a stroll by the lake, which gave us a chance to compare Marc's and daddy's cars, I think we still like daddy's better :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marc goes out!

Tuesday was Marc's two-weeks birthday, how about that, huh? After a rainy weekend the good sunny days came back to Chicago and we could finally take Marc out for a stroll. His pediatrician had recommended us to wait a couple of weeks, so we did.

It was a short walk around the block, but Marc seemed to enjoy the fresh air and so did mom. After 10 minutes walking Lily was really tired, she's doing great with the recovery after the long labor and cesarean, but still needs to take it easy, relax and not push the envelope.




Also, after we've had time to settle down, friends started stopping by. Last Friday Danna and Rami came home for a late coffee and some candy, it was nice to chill out, chat and catch up. A couple of days later Lily's friends stop by to meet Marc as well!




Otherwise, no news good news, days keep passing by fairly quietly. I can't believe that Monday will be time to go back to work, aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I will miss spending time home and seeing Marc meet slowly, but surely the small milestones. There go a few pictures of Marc napping (his favorite sport :)):


Friday, September 12, 2008

Prioridades

La mayoría de la gente con la que he trabajado seguramente coincidiría en que en el trabajo siempre lo doy todo, por una u otra razón siempre acabo implicándome personalmente en mis proyectos, muy a menudo mas allá de mi rol y responsabilidades para ayudar a compañeros que están soportando clientes alrededor del mundo.

Periódicamente, atravieso momentos en los que me pregunto el porque, a veces ocurre al darme cuenta de que el tiempo pasa y el crecimiento profesional no es siempre acorde con la cantidad de trabajo y esfuerzo que uno pone, otras veces es simplemente al sentir que debería ser capaz de separar la vidas profesional y personal mejor. Durante un tiempo, al regresar de Pekín, conseguí controlar las horas que estaba trabajando, en buena medida al involucrarme en otras actividades: clases de fotografía, disfrutando muchísima música en directo, ejerciendo de profesor voluntario para alumnos de 1er y 2o curso...

Este año no tome ningunas vacaciones hasta ahora. Descubrimos que Lily estaba embarazada el día de Año Nuevo y, por lo tanto, decidimos usar los dias después del nacimiento de Marc y durante nuestro viaje a España en Navidades. Sin duda, esta fue la decisión correcta, pero según pasaba el verano me encontraba más y más cansado, especialmente en el plano mental; la presión que nunca acaba en el trabajo al desarrollar, optimizar y llevar una nueva tecnología al mercado, las constantes visitas a clientes...


Tomar 2 semanas de vacaciones para desconectar totalmente no es sencillo y tener una Moto Q conectada a mi servidor de correo electrónico constantemente no ayuda gran cosa, es casi imposible evitar echar un vistazo de vez en cuando a los correos y todavía mas difícil no reacciona...

Es entonces cuando me planteo mis prioridades, la llegada de Marc es un evento que cambiara nuestras vidas para siempre, un evento que nunca volverá a ocurrir. Quizás o quizás no tengamos más niños, pero Marc es irrepetible y se merece mi atención por completo. Cuando estamos tendidos en la cama jugando, cada vez que llora cuando le cambio el pañal, la primera vez que le bañamos en su bañera nueva, etc... Sinceramente, durante esos momentos me planteo si todos esos problemas urgentes en el trabajo son realmente TAN importantes comparado con ver a tu hijo crecer feliz y saludable.

Ahi van unas cuantas fotos divertidas que tomamos ayer cuando Marc y yo estábamos jugueteando (mas como siempre en nuestra Web en Picasa)

Priorities

Most people I've worked with would tell you that I'm a dedicated engineer, for one reason or another I always end up personally involved in my projects and more often than not I go the extra mile to help folks that are struggling in the field supporting customers around the world. Periodically, I go through periods of time in which I question this behavior, sometimes it's triggered by the realization that time keeps passing by and the professional growth doesn't always match the amount of work and effort, other times it's just the feeling that I should be able to separate professional and personal aspects better. For a period of time, after my return from Beijing, I did manage to control the amount of working hours and to get involved in other activities: photography classes, lots of live music, volunteering as a teacher for 1st and 2nd graders....

This year I did not take any time off at all until now. We found out about the pregnancy on New Years Day and, therefore, decided to save all the vacation days for Marc's arrival and for our trip to Spain for Christmas. Although this was the right thing to do, I was mentally exhausted as the summer passed by, the never ending stress level at work creating, optimizing and deploying a brand new technology, trips to visit customers... Taking 2 weeks off is not an easy one, having a Moto Q connected to my work email server doesn't help either, it's impossible to refrain yourself from checking out what's going on and even more difficult not to react...


That's when I think about priorities, Marc's arrival is a life changing event, once that will never occur again, we may or may not have more kids, but Marc is unique and he deserves my undivided attention. Every time we lay down on the bed just playing around, every time he cries during a diaper change, his first full bath, etc... And quite frankly, during these moments I wonder whether all these work high priority issues are really SO important when compared with seeing your son grows healthy and happy....

There go a few fun pictures that we took yesterday when Marc and I were having fun (more as usual at our Picasa gallery).






Thursday, September 11, 2008

More pictures...

I still get amazed on how much you get for free from the Google folks, obviously Picasa is one of the tools I started using more often recently and I have to say it's a pretty cool and easy to use tool that allows you to perform basic tuning on your pictures quickly.

This morning I spent a few hours glancing through all the pictures we've taken since Marc's birth as well as some from the pregnancy, it's kind of difficult to settle on just 25 of them, but I finally did and created this collage using Picasa:


Days keep passing by pretty uneventfully, which is a good thing, baby and mom are getting a good amount of rest. Dad, on the other hand, can get by with just 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night, so I'm killing the rest of the time running errands, reading as much as possible (about to finish "A thousand splendid suns" by Khaled Hosseini; and about to start "Delirio" by Laura Restrepo), going for long runs by the lake, catching up on movies ("City of men" was the last one a couple of nights ago) and just chilling out and enjoying the dolce far niente.

All that changes when Marc is awake, then it's action time :)

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Todavia me sorprende la cantidad de cosas que la gente de Google pone a nuestra disposicion de forma gratuita, obviamente Picassa es una de las herramientas que empece a usar mas a menudo ultimamente. Sinceramente me parece una herramienta muy interesante y facil de usar que te permite editar fotos de forma simple y rapida.


Esta manana pase un par de horas mirando las fotos que tomamos desde que nacio Marc y tambien las del embarazo, fue dificil selecionar solo 25, pero al final lo consequi y cree este collage en Picassa.


Los dias siguen pasando sin grandes novedades, lo cual es, en si mismo una buena noticia. Baobao y mama descansan y dormitan frecuentemente. Yo, por mi parte, no necesito mas de 4 o 5 horas de sueno, asi que estoy dedicando el resto del tiempo a tareas varias en el piso, leyendo tanto como puedo (estoy a punto de acabar “A thousand splendid suns” de Khaled Hosseini y a punto de empezar “Delirio” de Laura Restrepo), saliendo a correr por el lago Michigan, viendo peliculas en DVD (la ultima resanable fue “Ciudad de hombres” brasilena de la misma gente que hizo “Ciudad de Dios”) y simplemente disfrutando del dolce far niente.


Todo esto cambia cuando Marc esta despierto, esos son momentos para la accion :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Family photos...

Lily is feeling much better and slowly but surely going back to her old size. Face, legs and hands are no longer swollen.... on top of that yesterday, finally, there was a moment in which we were all 3 awake at the same time, so it was family photo time, the first one with all 3 of us since we got out of the hospital.



Additionally, there goes a short clip we took a couple of days ago when Marc had hiccups :)


video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bao bao ya cumplio una semana

El tiempo vuela cuando te lo estas pasando bien, bao bao (baby en Chino :)) Marc ya cumplio una semana, no pretendo ser el psico-analista de Woody Allen ni tampoco ser capaz de entender completamente su personalidad, pero sin duda hay algunos indicios interesantes:

- parece ser un tipo bastante tranquilo.

- cuando se enfada es por una buena razon (tiene hambre, necesita un panyal nuevo).

- no le gusta vestir un panyal manchado, pero odia que le cambien.

- definitivamente no le gusta ser banyado, por lo menos los banyos de esponja que le estamos dando de momento.

- una vez dormido, no parece especialmente sensible a ruidos y movimientos (como su padre).

Lo mas interesante de tener un recien nacido en casa es precisamente eso, observar su comportamiento y reacciones, sus expresiones faciales, cambios de humor, etc.

Lo mas estresante es el numero de tomas y lo impredecible que son por el momenot, a veces parece poder pasar 4 o 5 horas sin alimento, mientras otras veces apenas 10 minutos despues de que Lily le acabe de dar el pecho ya esta pidiendo mas...

Una de las cosas mas bonitas como papa es comprobar el increible lazo existente entre mama y bebe, los dos caen dormidos al mismo tiempo durante las tomas de pecho e incluso, por sus movimientos sincronizados, parece que tengan suenyos parecidos!!!!!!

Bao bao is one week old...

Time flies when you are having fun, bao bao (baby in Chinese :)) Marc is already one week old, I won't claim to be Woody Allen's psychologist and to be able to fully analyze his personality already, but there are definitely a few interesting signs:

- he seems to be pretty quiet.

- when he gets mad is for a good reason (need food, needs a diaper change).

- he doesn't like to sit on a dirty diaper, but doesn't like to be changed either.

- he definitely doesn't like baths (at least the sponge baths he's been getting so far).

- once he falls asleep noises don't seem to bother him much.

The most interesting thing about having a newborn home is exactly this, to observe his behavior and reactions, the facial expressions, mood changes, etc.

The most stressful part is the amount of feedings and how unpredictable they are, sometimes he seems to be able to go through 4 or 5 hours without eating, while some other times 10 minutes after Lily is done feeding him, he's already asking for more...

One of the nicest things as a daddy is to witness the amazing bond existing between baby and mom, they almost always fall asleep at the same time late in the feedings, they seem to have similar dreams...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Un reconocimiento especial... (A special acknowledgement...)

Ahora que Marc ya llego y todo salio bien, es el momento de reconocer a alguien muy especial, tanto tanto que queremos que quede reflejado en nuestro blog.

Nuestras familias y amigos han sido increíbles durante todo el embarazo, pero hay una persona que merece un reconocimiento especial.

Como algunos de vosotros sabéis, mi hermana Ana es enfermera y matrona en España, de hecho hace unos cuantos meses acabo el programa de 2 anyos para certificarse como matrona con honores y en el top de todos sus compañeros de promoción. Ana es sin duda la matrona más profesional y laboriosa en el mundo entero, siempre preparándose con devoción, leyendo y estudiando, aprendiendo todos los días.

Durante todo el embarazo tuvimos la bendición de tenerla a nuestro lado, bien por e-mail, bien por teléfono... siempre ahí a nuestra disposición, para responder a nuestras dudas, para darnos consejo y tranquilizarnos..

Ella fue la primera a la que le contamos que Lily estaba embarazada, como no fue un embarazo pre-meditado hubo algunos momentos de estrés al principio... su tranquilidad, su actitud positiva y su alegría cuando le comunicamos la noticia nos dio muchísima confianza y optimismo.

Después, durante todo el embarazo, sus consejos siempre nos ayudaron: que comer, que complementos usar, que podíamos hacer y que deberíamos evitar...

Si en este momento me siento tan capaz de cumplir mis obligaciones como padre es, en gran parte, gracias a ella, en cualquier momento durante el embarazo y durante el mismo parto, siempre sentía que estaba listo para cualquier cosa que pudiera ocurrir porque Ana me había preparado de antemano: pistas sobre síntomas, como reaccionar.... Era increíble ver como, mes a mes, cada visita al doctor confirmaba algo que ya Ana nos había comentado.

Ojala todo el mundo pudiera ser tan afortunado!

Ana, sabes que te queremos con locura y que te estamos eternamente agradecidos por todo lo que has hecho por nosotros!

Con carino...

Marc, Lily y Miguel

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Now that Marc is here and everything went well, it's time to record a very special acknowledgment in this blog. Our families and friends were great during the pregnancy and beyond, but one person specially...

As some of you know, my sister Ana is a nurse and a mid-wife in Spain, she recently finished her 2 year program to become a certified mid-wife and as usual she completed it with honors, on top of her class. Ana has to be the most professional and dedicated mid-wife in the whole world, she prepares herself with amazing dedication, she reads and studies, she keeps learning everyday.

All the way through the pregnancy we felt blessed for having her available to us by phone or by e-mail, she was always there to answer our questions, give us advice and comfort us.

She was the first one to know about the pregnancy, since we were not really trying to have a baby yet, we went through some stressful moments early on... her calm demeanor, her excitement about the news was really encouraging...

Then, throughout the whole time, her advice was always there: what to eat, what vitamin complements to take, what we could and shouldn't do....

If I've felt so ready to become a dad has been in big part due to her, at any time during the pregnancy and after the delivery, I feel that almost no matter what could happen, Ana had already given me hints on what do look for, what to do next... It was amazing to witness how the monthly doctor visits were confirming one by one everything that Ana had previously anticipated.

I wish everybody could be so lucky!

Ana, you know we love you and we are grateful for everything you did!!!!

Love,

Marc, Lily and Miguel

... y el gran dia llego

(Fotos y mas fotos en: http://picasaweb.google.com/macandchen/Sept08MarcArrives#)

Esta historia empieza el día del trabajador (primer lunes de Septiembre en USA), alrededor de la 1:30 de la mañana, cuando Lily empezó a sentir contracciones. Hubo otros síntomas que no voy a describir ahora, pero todas las señales eran claras, el momento que habíamos estado esperando durante los últimos días había llegado por fin. Era la hora de tomar las maletas, la sillita, las cámaras y salir rumbo hacia el hospital. Si es cierto que todo gran evento y viajes importantes tienen una banda sonora, en este caso serian los grandes éxitos de Phil Collins, ese era el CD que sonaba mientras conducíamos dirección al hospital, siempre recordare el recorrido cuando escuche estas canciones: hacia el Sur en Clark, al Oeste en Bryn Mawr, al Sur en Ashland y luego Oeste en Foster hasta llegar al hospital.

La admisión en el hospital fue rápida, nos pusieron en lo que llaman una habitación de transición e inmediatamente empezaron a monitorizar tanto a la mama como al bebe. Las contracciones eran fuertes y regulares, las cosas parecían estar ocurriendo deprisa, la realidad seria bien distinta....

Alrededor de las 7 AM, las contracciones empezaron a ser demasiado dolorosas para Lily, sintiéndolas como un dolor muy fuerte y agudo en la parte baja de la espalda... A las 9 AM le pusieron la epidural (gracias a Dios por los avances médicos!), funciono como un reloj suizo, Lily fue capaz de descansar y dormir tranquilamente, la otra consecuencia fue que el progreso del parto se ralentizo considerablemente. Las contracciones seguían su curso, pero la dilatación ocurría muy despacio... y cuando digo muy despacio es realmente MUYYYYYYYYYY DESPACIO... Era casi media noche cuando Lily estaba finalmente lista para empezar a empujar, lamentablemente los efectos de la Epidural estaban desapareciendo, Lily puso todo su empeño y esfuerzo, también las enfermeras y la doctora, pero no iba a ser posible que Marc saliera mediante un parto natural, era demasiado grande y Lily estaba sintiendo muchísimo dolor otra vez. Después de casi 2 horas intentando decidimos recurrir a la cesárea... sin ninguna duda esta fue la mejor decisión posible.

El personal del hospital empezó inmediatamente a preparar el quirófano y a la mama para la operación... a papa le dieron un traje azul, una mascara, cubre zapatos y un gorro y le pidieron que esperara en la habitación hasta que el quirófano estuviera listo... Estos fueros los minutos mas largos de mi vida, es difícil intentar expresar la mezcla de emociones que sentí: excitación, miedo, estrés, alegría... todo al mismo tiempo.

Alrededor de las 3:30 AM vinieron a buscarme. En la mesa de operaciones había una pantalla, yo me senté al lado de Lily sosteniendo su mano y acariciando su cara, pero sin ser capaz de ver la operación... el tiempo parecía volar rápidamente mientras intentaba entender las conversaciones entre el personal medico, tratando de analizar los ruidos y sonidos.... de repente alguien exclamo: "el bebe esta fuera" a lo que rápidamente siguió un llanto fuerte de Marc. Se que las cosas cambiaran y que lo que hoy suena a música celestial seguramente seguramente nos ponga de los nervios muy pronto, aun así... nunca había oído nada tan lindo... Lily empezó a llorar inmediatamente y yo la seguí enseguida, especialmente cuando la enferma apareció de detrás de la pantalla con Marc en sus brazos, esa primera visión de su carita y cuerpo es sin duda la experiencia mas impactante en toda mi vida, allí estaba, se veía grande y fuerte, moviéndose y dando patadas, lleno de energía. 9 mese de ilusión, de anticipación habían llegado a su fin y el final era ese increíble pequeño hombrecito que habían colocado allí, en la mesa de la enfermera, al que estaban limpiando, pesando... esa personita que no paraba de moverse y emitir sonidos... Un cuerpo pequeño lleno de energía y con toda la vida por delante... Podría haberme ahogado en mis propias lagrimas que empapaban la mascara y no me hubiera dado cuenta... Todos los comentarios y experiencias que nuestros familiares y amigos habían compartido no son capaces de comunicar la energía del momento... El pequeno Marc llego a las 3:50am el 2 de Septiembre, su peso fue 3.870 Kg. (8 libras y 2 onzas) y midió 51 cms, el parto desde que llegamos al hospital hasta su nacimiento duro 26 horas!!!!!!!!

Una vez que la cesárea acabo nos llevaron de vuelta a nuestra habitación, era la hora de descansar para la mama y el bebe de descansar después de todo el estrés y el esfuerzo... y era hora de que papa empezara a cuidar a ambos, reflexionar sobre todo lo ocurrido, admirar a su hermosa y valiente mujer y su bebe... también era hora de ocuparse de las relaciones publicas :), hacer decenas de fotos, enviar mensajes de texto y e-mails, llamar a la familia...

El resto del día paso volando entre visitas de enfermeras y doctores, las primeras tomas de pecho, cambios de pañal, mas fotos, mas mensajes y emails... así como llamadas y visitas de familiares y amigos, todos ellos sacando tiempo para cerciorarse que los 3 estábamos bien, para compartir su amor y su afecto... Para todos vosotros, tanto los que pudieron venir a vernos, como los que no pudieron, para todos los que están tan lejos físicamente que no pudieron venir aunque sus corazones y almas si lo hicieron... para todos vosotros un enorme GRACIAS por todo el cariño y soporte durante este viaje maravilloso, OS QUEREMOS, incluso cuando nos cuesta llamar y/o escribir, siempre os recordamos.

Con todo el carino de la familia Carames-Chen!

Marc, Lily y Miguel

.. and the big day arrived

(Lots of pictures available at: http://picasaweb.google.com/macandchen/Sept08MarcArrives#)


This story starts on Labor Day at around 1:30 am when Lily started feeling strong contractions, there were other signs which I will spare here that clearly indicated the moment we had been waiting for days had arrived. It was time to take the bags, the car seat, cameras and go to the Hospital. If big events and important trips are to have a soundtrack, this one's was Phil Collins' greatest hits which was the CD that was playing on our way there, I will always remember the journey when I listen to these songs: South on Clark, West on Bryn Mawr, South on Ashland then West on Foster all the way to the Hospital.

The admission process at the Hospital was quick, we were placed in what they call a transition room where they immediately started monitoring both Mom and baby, contractions were strong and regular, things really seemed to be developing fast, little did we know...

At around 7 am contractions started to be too painful for Lily to bear, she was feeling very sharp and strong pain in her lower back... At 9 am Lily got the epidural (thank god for medical research!), it worked like a charm, she was able to rest and sleep great, the downside was that the whole labor process slowed down considerably, contractions kept coming, but dilation took a very long time... when I say long I really mean LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG... It was close to midnight when Lily was finally ready to start pushing, unfortunately at that time the Epidural was starting to wear down, she put an amazing effort and both the doctor and the nurses were great, but it was not meant to happen through natural delivery, Marc was just too big and Lily was feeling a lot of pain again, after a couple of hours we decided to go for the cesarean... without any question that was the best decision we made.

They immediately starting preparing the room and the mom for the surgery... dad was given a blue jumpsuit, face mask, shoe covers and hat and was asked to wait in the room until everything was ready... I have to admit, those were some of the longest minutes in my whole life, difficult to even try to express the mix of emotions: excitement, fear, stress, happiness... all at once.

At around 3:30 am they came to get me. They setup a screen so that the dad-to-be can sit close to mom's face and hold her hand without being able to see the actual surgery... time seemed to fly quickly while trying to understand the ongoing conversations, making sense of all the noises around.... then out of the blue somebody said: "baby is out" which was followed quickly by Marc's loud crying voice, I know things will change and what know still sounds like music from heaven may become nerve-racking soon and yet... I had never heard anything so beautiful in my whole life... Lily started crying immediately and I followed shortly, specially once the nurse came around the screen holding Marc, that first glance of his little face and body it's the most intense experience in my whole life to date, there he was, he looked big and strong, already moving and kicking, full of energy... 9 months of illusion, of anticipation had come to an end and the end was that amazing little human being placed there, at the nurse station, being cleaned and weighted, moving and making noises... A little boy full of life with all time in the world in front of him... I could have choked in my own tears as the mask got wet and heavy and I wouldn't have even realized.... All comments and shared-experiences from family and friends don't come remotely close to the real thing; even as I type this I realize I'm not able to convey the energy of the moment... Baby Marc had arrived at 3:50 am on September the 2nd, his weight was 8 lb 2 oz (3.870 kg) and he was 51 cm long, the whole labor process took nearly 26 hours!

After the cesarean was completed they moved us back to our room, it was time for both mom and baby to rest after all the stress and effort... It was time for daddy to look after both of them, to reflect on all that had happened admire his beautiful and brave wife and his big baby boy.... also to take care of the PR portion: take lots of pictures, send text messages and emails, call family...

The rest of the day flew by in between nurse/doctor visits, first breast feedings, diaper changes, more pictures, more text messages and emails... also family and friend visits and phone calls, taking time of their busy schedules to check on all 3 of us, to share their love and support... to all of you, the ones who could stop by, the ones who couldn't, the ones who are really far away and wouldn't be able even if they wanted to... to all of you a huge THANK YOU for your love and support and encouragement through this amazing journey, we love you all, even when we take a very long time to call and/or write, you are always on our mind.

Love from the Carames-Chen family!

Marc, Lily and Miguel