Technology at the birth
Had the second baby over the weekend, thought I’d share the story, it involves me hating Sprint, using chargers, and problems with voicemail.
It’s mostly about tech I’ve previously reviewed and what I used it for as that’s what I write about here and as such I’ll post all the sappy baby blogging on another blog. Really, you don’t need to hear me talk about chubby cheeks and Snuzas and if you do you know where to find it.
It also may read as highly impersonal use of technology in an event I should have been completely present for to which I can only respond that I can now re-live some of the greatest moments of my life, and all I had to do was hit a button and vaguely aim a camera. I also had literally three days of sitting around a hospital.
Yes, that is a kitten shirt, a burrito, and a newborn.
The day started with us getting up at 5 a.m. to get everything in order – kid off to daycare, last minute emails to confirm everyone was set to take care of our toddler, I needed to have enough tech in case was required to work while at the hospital, and enough to take pictures/provide entertainment as this was going to be a long day.
Longer than I thought it was going to be with the first block brought to you by Sprint.
Toddler in school at 7:20, 40 minute hell drive to the hospital, an hour waiting before someone comes out and says “oh, we called you at six AM and left a message. We had to bump you and we’ll call you back when we’re ready.” We check the wife’s phone, no missed calls, no voicemails. Odd. We left thinking that the hospital was just covering their butt/lying to us.
Voicemail from 6am showed up at 9:40 on our way back home. So Sprint (and the hospital waiting room that could have said go home when she signed in) cost us about two and a half hours.
Sprint’s Twitter account rep claimed there was a service alert that my area had just recovered from. Whatever. They can’t get a phone to ring constantly in an area they claim BEST LTE COVERAGE (0.3MB). Problem’s still there as calls are going straight to voicemail, they once again want to investigate my two phones even though it’s all Sprint customers in the area.
No time for another 30 minutes in which they ask me to jump through the same hoops I’ve jumped through before.
(I only still have them because I used to have to have them for work.)
An unexpected power lack
We wanted to be able to take photos and some videos of the new kid. I know, people have already shot a baby video in the past, it’s been done, what can I say – we’re followers.
Without unplugging the heart rate monitor, IV, light stand, etc we were facing some power issues (we did have a plug in the bathroom, but it would have meant sink charging and the water splashed every time you turned it on). Hadn’t actually planned for much past two days in the hospital, much less over 24 hours before kid popped out. Judging by Battery Monitor Widget I’d say I probably went through about 12x my normal use.
To the rescue came the Choetech 16,000 brick and the Lepow Poki 10,000. While our phones have normal/good battery life under our average use, sitting around for a solid day with a bad hospital TV (everything came in like it was on an antenna with a blender attached to it) does tend to have a couple burning through batteries like there’s no tomorrow.
Also spotty WiFi and being in a large metal and brick building made things meh.
Being up and using the phones 22 or so hours reading “how long was the longest induced labor” and “17 birth horror stories” etc tended to blow through a fully charged battery about once every three to four hours.
By the kiddo’s birth the next day we’d drained the 16,000 to under a quarter, and the Poki was on its last legs. I do not doubt we had gone through 85% of that amount of juice.
I had a nearly full charge on my phone so I could take that video nobody wants to film of 17 doctors/nurses/NICU in the room trying to save my child (they did, I just had the camera on, not as dramatic as it sounds, I’m just really tired today).
Everyone knew at the same time
I only had a couple of people hounding me for updates this time. The internets makes everything so much easier with the extended family. I could update the web location of what was happening, and bam, anyone who wanted to know knew.
At about six hours of being hounded by well-intentioned friends I slapped up a webpage and said “click here, you’ll all know when I know.” Of course I didn’t update it for a while after baby was born, but that’s on me.
We could have Periscoped things, but the object was not to accidentally creep people out or invite them to watch one of the most stressful few minutes of our lives.
Quick charger to the rescue
The third day in the hospital I was going to run out of juice which would have resulted in fewer baby pictures to the friends and inlaws, but after we moved rooms I was able to top off the phones extremely quickly with the iClever charger and start recharging the Choetech 16,000 via its Quick Charge 2.0 charging capabilities and . This got it back up to full in a reasonable amount of time.
The smaller Lepow unit took about the same time to charge, which shows you why Quick Charge 2.0 is pretty awesome. I wasn’t keeping up with exact timings I’ll note, this was just observation with a newborn in the room.
And the result?
I’ve got baby’s first cry, toddler’s first meeting with her sister, the toddler’s first “I love you” to her baby sister, the names and faces and actions of the people in the NICU working to clear baby’s lungs, I’ve got photos galore and no longer have to trust my crappy memory with the details.
What tech did I need/pack?
What I needed: Two phones (HTC One M9, HTC One M8), a quick charger, a portable battery bank.
What I brought: Two phones, quick charger, two portable battery bank, Nexus 9 loaded with some shockingly bad movies I didn’t have to watch, work laptop.
Night one at home
Our otherwise quiet newborn decided that the instant we got her out of the hospital it was going to be time to become an ass. As we’d seen a photographer at the hospital use a heartbeat app to knock the baby out I decided to try that at about 3am fumbling in the dark.
I found my HMDX Rave, paired it to the phone, and played a heartbeat sound. The Rave kept blinking lighting up the room like a disco and that wasn’t very useful for sleep so at about 4am I attempted to fix this by turning it upside down so the blinking at least would be diminished.
I evidently hit the play button.
I learned I have “Wrecking Ball” on my SD card at full volume pointed at a newborn.
In the dark with it playing I attempted any combo of buttons to make things stop, finally I just bolted with the Rave and moved out of range.