San Jose, California--San Jose residents were shocked to learn that Ethan David Brown, not expected to arrive in the city until the first week in April, had instead slipped into town early in the morning on March 7. The city had long been anticipating the arrival of Valerie and Eric Brown's first child, with a burning desire to know if the chld was to be an heir or heiress to the vast Brown wealth of love and laughter (not to mention a huge collection of videotapes and DVDs). Ethan is the grandson of Steve and Carol Schoenherr of Chula Vista, Jerry Brown of San Jose, and Fran Hazard of Napa; and the nephew of Jon Schoenherr of Chula Vista and Laurie Goetzl and Randal Brown of Orinda.

Everything appeared to be on schedule in the Brown household until Saturday morning, March 6. Valerie and Eric were preparing Saturday breakfast when suddenly a water leak signalled a possible change in plans. A quick trip to Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara confirmed that Ethan Brown had his own plans for speeding up his arrival schedule. Although Valerie's water had broken, labor had not begun, and it was necessary to induce labor to reduce any risk of infection. While all this was happening, Ethan's grandmother Carol was able to catch a flight from San Diego and arrive in San Jose in time for labor and delivery (Grandpa Steve came up later in the week). Observers in the delivery room report that Eric Brown did a great job as labor coach and that Valerie and Eric were still speaking to each other after it was over. (Hint to interested readers: "induced" labor is by no means less intense than natural labor.)

After a long night, Ethan David Brown, weighing 6 lbs., 1 oz. and measuring 19 inches, made his entrance at 5:24 a.m. Due to minor breathing problems and faulty lab tests (which indicated a low platelet count that didn't exist), Ethan spent one day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before joining mom Valerie in her room on the maternity floor. Both mom and baby were released on Tuesday, March 9. Tests at the hospital had indicated Ethan had a slight jaundice problem, so he had to spend the first few days attached to a fiberoptic BiliBlanket which is worn under the baby's clothes and provides phototherapy to alleviate the jaundice (and produces an interesting "glow worm effect" when viewing the baby). The jaundice is now under control, Ethan appears to be enjoying his new-found freedom, and the rest of the household is wondering how long it will be before they get a full night's sleep.

revised 3/14/99 | Contents