Introducing Oliver Quinn Snader

First, the facts! Oliver Quinn was born on October 30 at 4:04pm. He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 20 1/4″ long. Janice and Oliver are both doing well! I know a routine, textbook birth isn’t a blessing that everyone enjoys and so we are very thankful that it went so well.

About two and a half years ago I wrote a post called “Introducing Elliot Adrian Snader.” That doesn’t seem so long ago but here we are again! In fact, Oliver’s baby picture looks a lot like Elliot’s, right down to the cowlick on top of their forehead. They say history repeats itself and it’s true. All our children have been born in odd years: Adi in 2017, Elliot in 2019, and Oliver in 2021. I’m not sure that the pattern will continue although since Janice has discovered the magic of an epidural, the winds of fate may have shifted a bit.

Oliver on left compared to Elliot on right.

Childbirth is an amazing miracle but it’s also really painful and messy. Once again I realized that, in theory I know how birth works, but I still have trouble believing it does. Yes, the last two children came out successfully but surely this one won’t. How can it? It’s like squeezing a grape through a straw. You can’t do that! Once again I was proven wrong. Indeed, Janice squeezed the grape through the straw. She’s an amazing woman!

When Adi was born, Janice had to be induced before her body was really ready to give birth. It was a long, horrible ordeal and ever since Janice has approached childbirth with all the joy of a condemned criminal quivering against a wall in front of a trigger happy firing squad.

I can’t blame her. I know I’d be begging for drugs fourteen minutes into the first contraction. She made it to her third child. When you’re standing in front of the firing squad of childbirth, an epidural is like a blindfold. You still know you’re going to get shot but you just can’t see it coming and before you know what happened, it’s over! She was considering an epidural this time but was still apprehensive about it.

“What about the money?” She asked.

“If it was me pushing that baby out, the national debt wouldn’t cost too much.” I said, “Get the drugs and don’t worry about the money, honey.” That would be terrible advice if I was giving it to my teenage daughter but I felt like this was the right circumstance for spending money on drugs with reckless abandon.

As it turned out, the package pricing at the hospital was quite good and the epidural was very affordable. Not only that but we had a great midwife. She had four biological children and adopted seven! It’s one thing to take parenting advice from a millennial who has one child and thinks they know it all but when a woman with eleven children tells you how it is, you can take it to the bank. She said her and her husband had told God that, as long as they have room, they’ll keep adopting. Eventually they bought a smaller house and told God, “No more room!” She had a heart for hurting mothers and our conversation soon turned to the different organizations she was involved in, the state of the world, and what the remedy might be. It’s always such a pleasure to meet someone who’s heart bleeds for the same things you do. All around the world are hurting people. And among the hurting people you’ll find the most vulnerable are expecting mothers. It seems Satan has a particular disdain for the weakest among us. And yet, time and time again, you’ll find that good mothers are the most transformative force on earth. Maybe that’s way Satan dislikes them. Empowering mothers is a particularly powerful thing to do.

Empowering mothers is a particularly powerful thing to do.

So it stands to reason that childbirth is empowering and I’m not against natural childbirth. Neither am I against people biting a rawhide whip while their appendix gets chopped out but I wouldn’t recommend it. I feel it’s OK to utilize the medical blessings God has given us in our day and age to alleviate suffering. Yes, there is a balance. It is good to let our bodies build natural immunity, especially from diseases that don’t permanently alter our quality of life. I’d like to think there’s a middle ground between injecting four gallons of pharmaceuticals into our veins and bloodletting with leeches to get our bad blood out. And maybe I should preface all this by saying I’m not a woman so when it comes to childbirth (and a lot of other things) I don’t know what the ‘tarnation I’m talking about.

In fact, I know that no one cares about what the husband thinks during childbirth and we deserve that. Really, we’re not doing much except wondering around with wide eyes, fidgeting fingers, and useless nipples (Really God? Why? It would be very useful for fathers to have a useful pair). But the epidural was a huge relief because my wife wasn’t exploding with massive waves of pain. Men like to fix things and there’s nothing we can fix during child birth. It’s agonizing. Not as agonizing at giving birth, obviously, but still not fun. I couldn’t help but notice our first two births were traumatic while the birth of Oliver was full of smiles and good vibes. I prefer the latter.

Now that Oliver has been safely delivered into this world, it’s up to us to care for him. It’s a struggle, frankly, because Oliver has a brother named Elliot. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Elliot loves Oliver! Elliot has been hugging him over and over again but getting hugged by Elliot is like embracing a Kitchen Aid mixer. You get beat with fourteen knees and twenty four elbows. Occasionally the mixer will short circuit and then go full blast at the worst time, making it imperative to be ready to pull the plug at a moment’s notice. Ah, we love Elliot though. Undoubtedly he’ll soon be teaching Oliver all kinds of shenanigans. It’ll be fun.

Yes, Elliot is a handful but we have been blessed with lots of help around the house. Our house is also filling up with women. Grandmas, aunts, and cousins are all making themselves at home here or are making plans to come do so. I’m not complaining. If you think about it, I’d much rather have my house full of women than men. Unless of course those men can cook and are willing to share.

If you’re a man and you like to cook and share, come on over. In fact, I’ll save you the bother of small talk. Just drop the baked goods off at the front door, ring the doorbell, and run away before we make eye contact.

Until next time,

Josh

6 thoughts on “Introducing Oliver Quinn Snader”

  1. I just love your humorous writing! Thank you for sharing Josh. Congratulations to Janice and you!! Little Oliver’s squished nose reminds me a lot of Jude in the beginning. Adorable!!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for being a reader and following our family. It’s good to know we’re not forgotten!

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