Here's trivia and pictures of Robin Alexander Maxfield, the boy Michelle and I have. He was born April 28th, 8.01 AM.

These pages are meant mainly for the families in the broader sense, so that we don't have to spam people with 100 MB attachments, and a little bit for ourselves, as a log.

News: Yahoo! We Have Got a Passport!

Took us 11 weeks. The story behind it comes later.


I took this somewhat unusual
family photo in the birthing room,
perhaps two hours after Robin was born.
In the backgound, seen through the mirror
that's standing on the changing
table, is Michelle in the bath tub,
getting cold showers from
midwife Sabine in order to get her
circulation going.
And you can even see a bit of me!
He came out just beautiful, not wrinkly, nice skin color, moving and looking around, reacting at sounds, making noises and all. He has dark hair and dark eyes. He was not huge at birth: 3010 grams/6 pounds 10 ounces, 47 cm/18.5".

He came a good 2 weeks early. I was there when he was born and assisted as good as I could. Michelle's favourite position was standing. During labor I would often be behind her, lifting her under her arms so that she could freely move her lower body. To some degree we moved together, and sometimes I would try to shake her like a sack of potatoes in order to get things going. Progress was slow, and it was painful and exhausting, but we also had fun. In the early morning we had this "Scotty, more energy!" feeling. We felt we shouldn't get stuck, so we put on our favourite dance music (including Prince's Kiss and US3 with Cantaloupe Island) which also had been involved when we got to know each other. The rhythm helped moving under labor, and between the rushes we would sometimes even dance. We know that with the right music we can dance through the night, so why not now?

Midwife and doctor exchanged amazed looks since at that time Michelle had already gone through 10 hours of labor.

By the way – Kiss? US3!? Hm ;-).

Michelle managed to get through it without PDA or other pain medication. At the end the labor wasn't strong enough and our power was fading, so that we agreed to have some Oxytocin "support". The stronger and more painful contractions then pressed him out the last centimeters. Throughout the labor the child was doing remarkably well, he was perhaps the fittest of us!

We had read Ina May Gaskin's Ina May's Guide to Childbirth which we highly recommend. It contains lots of first hand accounts of births without PDA or induced labor or other interference which gave us (or Michelle, mainly) the courage to try a natural birth as much as possible. We went to the birth center Fera which is a cooperation between midwifes and doctors, so we had some medical backup. That mixed concept fits with the compromise of Oxytocin support which, I think, worked out quite well. Looking back I found some of the medical precautions a bit annoying. Continuous monitoring of the child's heartbeat was unncessessary since it was so steady. The belt with the sensor was an annoyance, and the false alarms that it would trigger when it measured Michelle's pulse accidentally were interrupting. We just new it without looking – the 80 was Michelle, the 140 was the child.

One or two hours after birth,
still in the birth room. Nursing started very well
right from the beginning. Robin's hair is still wet!
The "exhausted but happy" picture
After birth we recovered for some hours. I made a little breakfast snack, and Michelle nursed for the first time which worked really well :-). Wow. No wonder with this cleavage! "Cut that out, wise guy!" (Michelle)

I think we left Fera around noon.

Our doula Anke and Michelle – and Robin
(at home already)
We also had a Doula with us, Anke Derman-L. For the Europeans: A doula is a person who prepares with the mother for delivery and stays at her side during the whole event. It is nearly unknown in Germany but more common in the US where midwives play to my understanding no significant role in the hospitals. This gap is closed by the doulas. The key idea is what also Ina May Gaskin emphasizes: Preparation for birth is an essential factor for the outcome. Continuous company by people the mother likes and knows, who provide sympathetic support during labor and birth, helps a lot. These factors are statistically much more significant than most medical procedures, but exactly these "soft" services are not really provided by the typical modern hospital. At Fera a doula was to some degree redundant, because a midwife accompanies all of labor and birth. But it was good to have Anke there. This way we were three people helping Michelle through the birth, which meant that one could have a break or do something else and there would still be two people with Michelle. And when labor started and Michelle reached out for a hold, you knew that it was good that somebody was there.—

Our midwife Ella and I – and Robin,
a few days later
We were lucky to have Ella as the midwife. (The picture has been taken a few days afterwards, too.) Ella also did the preparation and now does aftercare for Michelle, helps with nursing, baby care and the everyday problems new parents have. I think Ella, being only on call that night, exchanged a shift with the midwife who actually was on duty so that she could accompany us. Thanks a lot, Ella!
A postcard we got from
Barbara who knows us.
Yes! That's us!
["Excuse me, one of your breasts is
hanging out." — "Oh my god!
I have left the baby lying
in the bus!"]

The first weeks

He's drinking with fervor as if he's determined to catch up. He often looks around focusing on sounds. The first two days he was content, not complaining without reason. Lately he started to be more cranky. His digestion is changing together with Michelle's milk.

So far he has survived all perils. I nearly sat down on him twice, but the bed is soft, my bum is soft, the baby is soft and I kind of wondered why the pillows were moving anyway. He had a Staphylococcus skin infection that luckily is getting better without antibiotics. But it certainly has itched a bit. Michelle is not getting enough sleep for the tenth night in a row, and I am doing more household in ten days then in the ten years before. I start to love cooking! I didn't even know I can cook.

Finally, here are some little video clips, and further down more photos.


The file sizes are 6-15 MB, probably only good for a high speed connection. Even then the download may take a minute or two, please be patient.
"Na Kleiner?"
Changing diapers
Big boy :-)

More pictures

At home on Michelle's beautiful sofa (our first project). [These pictures are from Dörte, thanks!]
Nursing, napping, and in the street cafe for the first time
Now who's cuter!?
Last updated May 13th, 2006