The Finn-ish line

24 Jan

As noted by the proud Grandpa De Leon, Finn Javier Mason was born this morning (January 24) at 7:45am. Vital stats, for those keeping track of such things: 8 lbs 6 oz, and about 21 inches. (They measure everything here in metric, so I was frantically pulling out my cell phone calculator to convert kilograms and centimeters into real numbers.) His apgar scores were also very high, which of course is a very reliable indicator of long-term success in life.

We were scheduled to induce this morning, but were really hoping that the process would start naturally. Apparently all he was waiting for was Grandma Mason. I picked her up from the airport about 7:00pm, we came home, ate some dinner, and chatted, then after she got about an hour of sleep we roused her and announced we were coming to the hospital. Being a good sport, she came along despite 24+ hours of traveling and serious jetlag.

Our wonderful home teacher picked us up about 2:00am and drove us to the hospital. We’re lucky that labor began in the middle of the night, so we didn’t have to fight traffic, and got there, with Melissa having some seriously bad contractions, in about 20 minutes. Our early moments at the hospital were not exactly promising. They didn’t have a single free room to put her in (they had 23 births in the previous 24 hours), so we ended up doing the whole labor and delivery in a delivery operating room, which turned out to be fine. Worse, on the way to the delivery room, they put her in a wheelchair, but the guy had no idea how to push her, and at one point she was literally inches from rolling down the stairs. Communicating with the nurses, who only spoke Arabic, was a bit of a challenge, but we managed, and the doctors all spoke English, so we were good.

They immediately gave her an epidural, which made her a very happy camper. Both Luisa and my mom noted at separate points that Melissa was the happiest and most pleasant person in the room. Indeed, she was an absolute champ, and went through labor with the same grace and sense of humor that she carried throughout pregnancy.

Our doctor was wonderful. He was at the hospital before we were, and stayed the entire time, oftentimes just hanging out in our room, chatting and reading the monitors. He had a really wonderful bedside manner and put us all at ease.

When the time came, Melissa only had to push hard about five times before the baby, with a little help from his first close friend Mr. Forceps, started coming out. Once the head emerged, the rest of him came in a jiffy. No complications, no problems — just a beautiful, healthy baby boy, and an incredible, healthy, beautiful mother.

A bit of a debate is raging over whether or not he has red hair. So far the doctor, Melissa, and Luisa think he’s a redhead, whereas my mom and I think he’s got brown hair with maybe a touch of red, sort of like mine. Time will tell. But he definitely got the Mason pasty gene, not the De Leon pigmentation. I guess no one’s perfect.

Melissa will be in the hospital overnight, and will come home tomorrow (Friday) morning. Both she and Finn are doing great.

I won’t even try to express the feelings and emotions I had in the delivery room. It’s amazing how you can love someone so much upon first holding him.

Thanks for all your love and prayers and support. With all the great people cheering him on, Finn certainly has a great start on life.


15 Responses to “The Finn-ish line”

  1. Nancy January 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    Congratulations on your new baby, and congratulations to Melissa for no longer being pregnant. πŸ™‚

  2. Javi (the brother/uncle) January 24, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    Congratulations, Melissa and Patrick! I can’t wait to see the baby this summer (and/or perhaps late fall if I can make it over to Egypt).

  3. Nick & Stacie January 24, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    This is great news, Patrick. May his pastiness outshine yours and mine.


  4. tracy m January 24, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    Wow- congratualtions.

    May I add, as the mother of redheads, sometimes it take a little to come on- we thought #2 was not going to be redheaded at first- but he’s a flaming carrot top now, at 4.

    And the melanin sometimes takes a bit to show, too- so he might yet show a little bit of golden skin. Although pastiness is lovely, too- from one Pastey to another.

  5. Adri January 24, 2008 at 10:21 pm #


  6. jeff carrier January 24, 2008 at 11:09 pm #

    Didn’t Dan say something about the 24 being a special day or something like that. Either way, Congratulations!!!!!!

  7. Christian (The Final Pasty Mason Brother) January 24, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    Congratulations one and all. Can’t wait to see the new creamy one. Be sure to post pics of FJM as soon as things settle down a bit. Best of luck with parenthood. Nicknames forthcoming….

  8. Grandma Deleon January 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm #

    A woman thinks there can be no greater joy than bringing a child into the world, but today I discovered a joy that transcended even that wondrous moment. I had the most gracious honor of being present when my own daughter welcomed her own son into our family. The joy and love in that room could not be measured and tears fell freely on the part of all. Finn Javier Mason, after dragging his little feet for weeks, finally decided to show himself. He is a very beautiful baby boy and we are very proud and happy for his parents Melissa and Patrick. Both mother and son, although sore, are doing well and happily bonding.
    Thank you all for your prayers.

  9. Dre January 24, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    As Luisa stated, it has been a wonderful – and long – day. The nurses initially refused to allow either me or Luisa into the labor room but finally relented and let Luisa in. I was moved lock, stock and barrel (I was the keeper of all the bags) up to a waiting area on the third floor by the night manager, why I never quite figured out. Patrick did a floor-by-floor search of the hospital and found me to tell me that the doctor had agreed to let me in. The nurses were none too happy but we blamed everything on the language barrier. Not having seen any of our previous six grandchildren born, this was a wonderful treat for me, due in no small part to Melissa’s request that I be allowed to join them.

    The doctor was wonderful, the nurses a little less so (their idea of a sterile delivery room and our American views are, shall we say, worlds apart) and Melissa was amazing. He is a beautiful baby boy and is my very favorite grandson born in Egypt. I’m trying very hard to keep away from him for now so that Luisa can enjoy every precious moment. But he loves to have me hold him so how can I refuse?

    I, too, thank everyone for their love, prayers, and interest in our little expat family. We know you all collectively and individually prayed Finn safely here. And we are thrilled that he will honor his grandfather and uncle by sharing their name. What a proud legacy he will carry with him through life.

  10. Chad and Rachel January 24, 2008 at 11:53 pm #

    Congratulations! I noticed it was a full moon last night! Always a good indication of a birth coming.

  11. mrsdeleon January 25, 2008 at 12:27 am #

    As to full moons, there were 23 babies born within 24 hours at the Cairo hospital, with Finn I believe being the last! We had to wait several hours after his birth before a room became available for the Finnster & entourage.

  12. Mrs. Cindy January 25, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Congratulations Melissa and Patrick
    I was so excited to hear the news. You are truly blessed to have had both grandmas there. Finn knew what he was doing.

    Lots of Love and prayers
    Mrs. Cindy

  13. kennan January 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    i’m so happy! i’m so happy! i remember the joy so distinctly, pat and mel, and i would wish it on our best friends a thousand times (well, maybe just 3 or 4 times πŸ™‚ loving a new part of you, who is separate and wonderful and so new. it is so beautiful! wish i could see him and hold him. how we miss you!

  14. Donna Keusch January 27, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    What an adorable baby boy! Our heartiest congrats to all. Glad to hear that all went well. Thanks for the post & pics!! Lots of love, Matt & Donna

  15. becca January 27, 2008 at 4:33 am #

    much congratulations!! I totally thought, oh I bet I missed the announcement by days and days, only to see thats not so!! πŸ™‚ glad it all went well, egyptian style.

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