Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flashback Birth Story

*Warning: this post is needlessly lengthy and contains information that you probably don't want to, or at least don't need to know. If you are bedridden or just really really bored, it may suit you, otherwise know that you have been warned. 

I figured that it would be appropriate on the eve of my first born daughter's birthday to type a little flashback birth story since it was on the eve of her birth that things began and we knew we would be meeting our first child soon (although we had no idea just how soon it would be). I love that I have a blog just for this reason, that it is acceptable to type out an entire story of a child's birth AND people will read it AND even enjoy it (ok that is a stretch, at least I know that I enjoy a good birth story, but that's just me). Anyways, here we go.

 The Build Up
It's best to start off with the morning of the day that my labor started. I woke up on Sunday, March 22nd having absolutely no reason to think that I would be having a baby the next morning, there were no signs of labor and I was not due for almost 2 more weeks.

At the shower and swollen as ever
In fact several of my friends that I went to college with and who now live here in South Bend, were throwing me a baby shower that day. We woke up, went to Mass, went for a walk since it was in the 70s that day, and I put a skirt on in order to look decent, though mighty swollen, for the shower and I took off to go celebrate with friends.

It was a great shower, so many of my friends were there and I got lots of awesome stuff (my ergo baby, our baby swing and bouncy seat), which completed what we needed before the baby could come. When I finished opening all the wonderfully generous loot I looked down at my belly and said "Alright, Naomi, you can come now. We have everything we need". Little did I know that she would actually heed these words.

 It's coming
I got home from the shower, super excited to show Mike all the great stuff and did so, then I made some dinner: a beef casserole, Mike's favorite. A little aside here: I should mention that dinner the evening prior was the spiciest Thai food that I or Mike have ever consumed, so spicy that Mike got the hiccups and was sweating. We ordered this intentionally to jump start labor as this was still technically Mike's Spring break and we thought the timing would be good and I was doing everything under the sun to start labor including but not limited to eating an entire pineapple. I ate all the Thai food.

Back to that day. We ate our dinner and watched either the Simpsons or 24, I used to joke that Naomi would come out and only recognize Jack Bauer's voice as her father's, we watched it a lot. Later that evening, around 8 or 8:30 Mike decided to take out the baby swing to put it together and as he was doing so there was something in the assembly that required my help, so I walked over to oblige. I knelt down, sat my bottom back on my feet, and POP, GUSH, WOOSH, water everywhere. I knew well enough what peeing your pants feels like (don't ask) and also knew that I had not suddenly become incontinent. I don't remember exactly what I said to Mike but I know he was pretty confused about what had actually happened for a few minutes, as was I, until I visited the bathroom and then I was pretty confident in my assessment.

On the way to the hospital
Needless to say we were both in a bit of shock and unsure of what to do. Labor didn't kick in right away so I called my sister and my birthing class instructor and then my midwife. In my sister's first labor she was about a week early, her water broke and she had the baby 6 hours later, so I think she encouraged me to call someone professional so my next step was the instructor of our Bradley class. She said I probably wouldn't have the baby until the next day but that I should call the midwife since they like to know when your water breaks. I called the midwife who eventually called back to ask about contractions which had started but were 5 minutes apart so she said I probably wouldn't have the baby until the next day. 
Mike and I knew that once the contractions were 1 minute long and 1 minute apart or getting close to that, that we should definitely go to the hospital.

Within one hour they were almost to this point. We lived right next door to the hospital so we were going to be walking there. I didn't even have a bag packed yet so I did that in the hour that the contractions were picking up. I also spent a good deal of time in the bathroom due to the revenge of the insanely spicy Thai food, which I credit completely for starting labor. It was like drinking caster oil. I think. (sorry, major TMI)

Off we go
Anyways, off we went to the hospital on foot, stopping every minute or so for me to hang on Mike and try to "breathe" through contractions. We got a lot of stares from bystanders. Finally we arrived in the labor and delivery ward and walked up to the desk. "My water broke" I said to the lady. "Ok" she said. She called someone over to update them on our status and says "This lady thinks her water broke." I was a bit peeved at their complete lack of taking me seriously even though I understood why, but I was soon vindicated. They took me in to that Triage room had me pee in a cup and immediately determined that indeed my water HAD broke, fancy that! And as soon as they saw a few contractions come they decided to whisk me right into a birthing room. They strapped me up to all of the monitoring stuff and then checked to see how dilated I was: 5cm.  Not bad for a girl who just went into labor 2 hours ago.

Being strapped to all that stuff was the worst part other than pushing and it kept moving around on my belly so instead of being hooked to it for 20 minutes I was there for 45 and quite angry about it. I could not even talk to Mike between contractions it was so bad. When they finally unhooked me I demanded to go in the birthing tub, although I did not intend to actually give birth there. They filled it up which took what felt like forever and I think within 1 minute of being in there I was talking and laughing again, eating Popsicles and drinking ice water- I totally recommend water while laboring. (or just get an epidural, duh.)

And, she's here
The talking and laughing probably only last about 10 full minutes until things picked up more and then it's really all a blur (I know you're thanking God right now-if you're still reading- that the deats might be slowing down and the story might be speeding up. we'll see if you get lucky.) I know that I pushed for an hour and a half and that Naomi's head was apparently "stuck on my pelvic bone," which is exactly what it felt like. And I also remember that I slept between contractions while pushing since by this time it was 2 in the morning. So finally after an "eternity" of pushing she popped out. Right there in the tub. I was in total shock that there was actually a baby at the end of all this. What a fun surprise! No seriously, I just kept saying "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh," looking at her. I just never really thought concretely about what it would be like to push out a person. I probably would have spent the last couple weeks of my pregnancy doing so and maybe I wouldn't have been so caught off guard, but this was good too. So good.

It was really such an uneventful delivery, there were no uncomfortable consequences of pushing her big head out and I was able to go home that very day. Obviously since she was born at 2:46 a.m., I spent that night in the hospital, but we were home for dinner the next evening, which was such a blessing considering I don't think that I got even one wink of sleep that night from all the nurses barging in to check on me (they are fantastic nurses, but why do they have to come in so much?!?). And so that's it. Water broke and 6 hours later little Naomi Therese was in my arms, all 7 pounds 3 ounces of her.
Ready to head home for the first time.

My mom got there the very day we called to tell her Naomi was born, she's good people.

And now she is hours away form being a 3-year-old. No biggie to all you parents with teens and whatnot, but a biggie to me who seriously cannot picture her being any bigger than this sometimes:
Her first day of life, resting in the swing that I tried to help assemble as her warm little sac of a home exploded.

 And now for an ensemble of pictures.
Dressed up like her (middle) namesake, St. Therese, for All Saints Day 2009

at 9 months

1st birthday
2nd birthday

And now, after an illicit though admittedly impressive application of my mascara.
Happy birthday little Nomie girl, I love you.


  1. I love birth stories! Just read the whole thing. In a few days you'll have to read my Cecilia's, so consider yourself warned :)

  2. I forced my coworkers to look at the pictures and understand why I kept laughing throughout the post..... Awesome stuff! Love you guys <3

  3. Happy Birthday to Naomi! Love birth stories myself, so thank you =). Hope it was a fun day celebrating with your oldest!

  4. Ana, thanks for posting this. I do not know if i ever heard your whole birth story. All I remember is being very confused that you had the baby when I had seen you less than 12 hours before and you seemed so far from labor. Happy birthday Naomi. Thanks for inviting us to the party and sharing your baby tylenol!

  5. Wow.

    Very impressed -- no drugs and fast labor (well -- fast for a first babe?) --


    and I'm not bedridden or bored but I read it twice -- maybe just pathetic.

  6. thanks for sharing! i'm constantly looking to other peoples birth stories these days to gain the courage i'm going to eventually need to push out my own two...

  7. Such a lovely story! And great pictures. I had hoped for some labor pictures this time around, but everything went SO quickly. I envy your water tub experience! Maybe next time I'll get that chance. Thanks for sharing the story!

  8. 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!' After she was born!? So nice to know I wasn't the only one with that reaction! I stupidly couldn't get any other words out right after my daughter was born :)

  9. 39 weeks and cruising the internet in search of birth stories. Thanks for sharing this one!

    And the St. Therese outfit is amazing! So stinkin cute.

  10. I was struck by your comment about the surprise you felt after she was born. I had such a similar experience with my first - like, I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't THAT! I swore for sure that couldn't have possibly come out of me, and I didn't mean only his size. :)

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