i think it worked because, just in the nick of time, after a day full of all sorts of medical words that would normally make my stomach turn but which huge amounts of adrenaline rendered powerless, the midwife said the magic words: it's time to push. there's nothing technical about that. we all understood and jumped into position, which is to say they assigned two nurses to shannon and two to me to make sure i didn't pass out. i'm only kidding, of course, but only a little bit.
the point is, i didn't pass out and shannon did push. for 14 agonizing minutes in which i held every breath with her and pushed until my stomach felt like the red jello shannon ate all day. and at the end of all that useless effort on my part, and incredible effort on hers, a beautiful human being was born, and lying contentedly on shannon's chest. he barely cried. he just seemed to be taking it all in, enjoying his perch near the heart of the one who nurtured and nourished him for all this watery time. he finally weighed in at 7 pounds 4 ounces and 19.5 inches long and his head was some number of centimeters around. but our hearts were so big they felt like they would explode, like our own kind of waters were about to burst forth into tears. it was breathtaking and overwhelming and simply perfect. after some discussion, we finally landed on the name that seemed to fit him best: Quinton Edward Milinovich. Quin is red-haired right now, with really long big toes and the smell of an angel. he cries in short bursts, then settles back into his content happiness. he hasn't even been here a day yet, but he seems to think that this world isn't all that bad, and might be worth checking out.
i thought i'd share a few pictures for those who are waiting to see them. may not get to post much in the immediate future as i try to find some misplaced sleep, which i left somewhere on the third floor of the hospital. in the meantime, please know that we consider ourselves abundantly blessed by all of your expressions of love and celebration with us. the joy is everything. it's just everything. hallelujah.