8 months ago (my birth story).

November 17, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Today, in fact.

It was St. Patrick’s Day. Which started out with me obsessing about the lack of movement in my belly. See, the day before, I had barely felt any movement. And given what had happened to my friend Mary Ellen and then to another blogger who shared the same due date as me… I was completely freaked out. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. My rib ached, and every time I felt a slow, long drag across my lower pelvis,(1) I worried. I obsessed, even. Was the baby losing oxygen?

So that morning, while I was showering, I made a promise to myself. If the baby wasn’t moving much in the morning, I was driving myself straight to the hospital. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I didn’t care how much of a freak they might have thought me. I wanted to make sure my baby was ok.

To this day, I remember what I was wearing that day. Black maternity pinstripe slacks – the ones that were too big when I was in my second trimester, but the only ones that fit well at that point. My black mo.therhood mate.rnity camisole. Black sweater.

On the drive in, Squishy (2) woke up. And moved a LOT. He danced to our usual Gus.ter song. He moved so much so that I was no longer worried. And I chalked the lack of movement to just an off day, despite the fact I was almost certain that I was losing my mucus plug.

It was my last day at work, so I spent the morning working on performance appraisals of the associates who had worked for me. I had my usual cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. (3)

And around lunchtime, I went over to a friends’ house to do their taxes.

My friend A made me lunch while I was there. I had homemade egg salad on homemade bread. Carrots and celery. Cookies. A couple of crackers and cheese slices.

And around 1:30, I (of course) used the bathroom and then left. I walked down the stairs and was unsure as to whether or not I wanted to go back to the office and sit around for the rest of the afternoon, or just go home and do other things.

As I was walking to my car, I felt a dribble. And I thought to myself, “this is weird. I JUST used the bathroom.” I thought maybe I had wet myself a little, which given my propensity for snissing (4) during the pregnancy wouldn’t have been weird.

But there was another trickle. A significant trickle. And it was a LOT for me, especially since I had JUST used the bathroom.

The thought struck me. “OMG. I think my water just broke.” But I wasn’t sure what to do. So I got into my car. And I immediately called J.

Who, as it so happened, had a JOB INTERVIEW that afternoon. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire – a full HOUR drive from our hospital in Boston. So when I called him, in the back of my mind, I KNEW.


“What’s up? I’m still getting ready for my interview at 3.”

“Well. So how long is this interview supposed to go tonight?”

“I don’t know. Until 6pm maybe?”

“What’s the rest of your week look like?”(5)


So I told him. His immediate response? “Call the doctor.” Which I did. I left a message with the receptionist for the triage nurse to call me. And I made the decision then and there – I’d drive to the hospital, instead of driving home. Because I knew they’d at least CHECK me if I thought there was any way my water had broken.

And as I was driving into the city, I KNEW. I kept feeling these little gushes of fluid. INSIDE me. It was definitely not a bladder issue.

But I was busy making plans. I was still waiting for my doctor’s office to call. In the meantime, maybe I’d drive to Cambridge and see if my friend Heather had any pads with her. You know, because at this point my work pants were soaking wet, and the pantyliner I was wearing did NOTHING to help. And Cambridge was on the way to Boston, wasn’t it? It wasn’t a totally harebrained idea. Only mostly harebrained.

You see. I was completely, utterly FREAKING OUT. It was my last day of work, for goodness sake! I had a DATE scheduled for my c-section – TWO WEEKS from then. Squishy wasn’t due for THREE weeks. We weren’t ready! I had a house to clean and shower thank yous to write.

At this point I had driven into the hospital garage. And, in fact, I walked into the hospital to use the restroom. I disposed of my pantiliner and stuffed my underpants with toilet paper. And then, since my OB’s office hadn’t called me, I went back to my car. And I was sitting in the garage, waiting for my OB to call me back. (6)

So I called my friend J – who immediately told me vehemently: “You can DO THIS.” And then my friend D. And my friend Heather. And my SIL, who JUST the day before had said “don’t worry. NO ONE goes early with their first baby.” And I worried. And waited for my doctor’s office to CALL.ME.BACK.

Finally, my SIL told me to call them again. So I did. And I told them that I was almost positive that my water had broken, and I was in the hospital garage, and could I please come in to make sure?

So I walked over to my OB’s office, feeling little gushes every few steps. And I waited in the office, primly crossing my legs in the hopes that it would stem more fluid.

At some level, I KNEW. But when they brought me into an unused room, and gave me a swab, and told me to put it where I felt the fluid, and if it turned blue I was most likely going to have a baby that day (remember, Squishy was breech, so they weren’t going to take any chances)… when I held that swab up, it was the bluest blue I had ever seen. I was shaking, I was so scared. And the nurses were so happy! “Congratulations!! You’re having a baby today!!!”

I swear, it was an out of body experience for me, walking over to Labor and Delivery. I stopped twice.

Once to call J. It was 5 minutes to 3pm, and he was in the waiting area for his interview. I told him that yes, it was my water. And that I’d leave it up to him if he wanted to do the interview, I’d make sure that we didn’t have this baby until he got there. (5)

All he said was “I’m rescheduling. I’ll call you when I am on the road.”

And I told him to call his sister, and have her take him to the hospital. Because my car was already parked in the garage, and I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to drive home from the hospital after the baby. And don’t forget the hospital bags, please. (7)

The next call I made was to my friend D, to tell her that yes, in fact, we were going to have a baby. Her reaction made me feel so much less afraid – she was so excited for me.

And I walked up to Labor and Delivery. And called my mom, and told her that we were going to have a baby today, that my water had broken. That I wasn’t sure when, but that J would call her when we knew for sure.

The nurse came over, and checked me in. I gratefully changed into the hospital johnny, mesh pan.ties, and a pad. They put the contraction and heart monitor on my belly…

… and it was like a whole other world. As soon as I heard Baby O’s regular, steady heartbeat, I relaxed. In fact, I remember thinking that it was the first time during the entire pregnancy where I wasn’t worried.

And from there, I just waited. They confirmed that Baby O was still breech. They gave me an internal – my first (and good grief it was painful. Ick.) I was only a fingertip dialated, and there were NO contractions on the monitor.

Because I had eaten at 12:30, they told me they wouldn’t do the c-section until 8:30pm. About the only thing they did was shave me. (Oh yeah. With a real pink disposable razor. With NO cream or water. Eeek.)

So I sat in my hospital room. I used my black.berry and told my managers I wasn’t able to finish everything today, since I was having a baby. I checked my blog, to see that my friend D had posted our news. The comments from you all? Helped me relax.

J got to the hospital around 6pm – he decided to shower when he was home, since he knew it might be a little while before he got to do it again. He schlepped in with what seemed to be a ton of bags.

The time seemed to FLY while we were waiting. We tried to watch a little TV, but it just seemed WRONG to me to do something that mindless on my baby’s birthday.

And then the doctor came back. And it was ON, baby. I walked into the OR. And they strapped my down, pretty much naked. And then they ran an IV. And then the anesthesiologist came in. And they had my hunch over so they could do a spinal. Good grief, that hurt my freaking rib. I remember thinking “omg omg omg this hurts but if I move it might kill me. Please hurry up.”

And then they made me lay down quickly, and I felt warmth in my legs. Soon I felt very little. It was such a odd experience – I kept WANTING to move my legs, but I didn’t have the ability to. Very odd.

The spinal dropped my blood pressure, and I did get sick. Whatever drugs the anesthesiologist gave me though worked fine, and almost immediately I felt better.

And then they started the procedure. I could barely breathe, I was so nervous. And when they pulled him out, and I heard him trying to cry, I closed my eyes and hoped. “Please, please.”

And then he cried. And cried and cried… this little mewling squeak which made me want to launch myself off the table and hold him to me. And J left me while they were stitching me up, like I had told him, to go with the baby. All I could think was, “he’s alive. He’s ok.” It didn’t matter what they did to me; my baby was ok.

The rest is history, really.

I am amazed at how much I remember, even 8 months later. I remember the weather – cold enough to need my full length wool coat, but warm enough that I could wear it open (course, by that point it didn’t button anyway). I remember the smell of the hospital. The full moon that rose just outside our window that first night, when I was up every couple of hours getting sick. The NEED to have my baby in my arms, of waking up and wondering if it was a dream, of the smell of him when they brought him into the room at 4am. Of how little, how quiet, how sleepy he was. How the second night, when he really woke up, he stared into my eyes like he had known me forever.  How worried I was that he wasn’t eating, how I couldn’t sleep the first few nights with him near my bed, listening for his breathing.

And here we are. Eight months later. And though I am more sleep-deprived than I ever thought I’d manage, though I struggle every day with balancing my work and our home life… I am forever changed.

I mean. Look at him.

And see. THIS is what I mean when I write about how much I love him, despite how tired I am. Why I say “It’s really all worth it.”

Because it really IS worth it. Every last moment.


(1) Baby O was breech. The entire time I was pregnant with him, in fact, he was head up. I am fairly certain his head dislocated my rib for a short time, in fact. It makes sense; women who have a bicornuate uterus are more likely than not to have a breech baby and therefore a c-section.

(2) Squishy is what we called him for my entire pregnancy.

(3) I am now convinced that my absolute LOVE for bagels was pregnancy related. My friend D, in fact, tells me that my love affair with bagels was borderline obsessive. I had one every day for the last month (at least!) of my pregnancy. In fact, the people at Fin.agle a. Ba.gel KNEW me. In fact, one of the last days I got a bagel there, two of the cashiers were arguing over whether or not I was having a boy or a girl.

(4) Sneezing and wetting myself. I can’t take credit for the word, but it was exactly what I did. All the time.

(5) So ok, whatever. I really did think I could control when Baby O was born. Truth be told, I was in a state of SERIOUS denial.

(6) I had to be plugged into my car (with it running) in order to have enough battery for my phone to continue working.

(7) Of course, I had assumed that I would be wearing the same clothes home from the hospital that I had worn in. Because I had a scheduled c-section, mind you. So I hadn’t actually packed a set of clothing for me. I had slippers, and pads, and my toiletry kit. And going home clothes for the baby. But nothing for me.



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  1. Awww he’s so cute. I teared up reading your birth story.

  2. I love reading birth stories! Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and he is soooooo adorable!

  3. Perhaps it’s because I’m 17 days from my due date, and big mooshball… but your birth story has me all teary at work. And isn’t he looking all grown up!

  4. I’d love to comment, but I’m a puddle…a huge big Puddle of happy tears. I’ll never forget that day for you, and I’m so glad that you can remember it all and share it with us too.
    “A Beautiful Day” for sure.

  5. I’m so glad you posted this! Now that I read it, I realize I never did post my own birth story. I love reading this though…
    Won’t be long before he won’t be “Baby O” anymore. It’ll be “Toddler O” 😉

  6. Awww you made me cry!! That was an awesome birthday!!! Happy 8 months Baby O!!!

  7. Aw, I’m crying, too! Such an incredible story and such a beautiful baby!

    It is so funny, I’ve never written Baby M’s birth story out and had planned on doing it last week on his 8 month birthday, but sadly didn’t get around to it. It is amazing how much of that day I remember-it really could have been yesterday!

  8. Beautiful! (Both the story and the baby!)


  9. well good grief. now i’m all teary in the office. sheesh. you are so you, trying to control when you go into labor. i bet motherhood has changed in a lot of good ways. it has me. remember when you used to wake up at 5:13? hahahahhahahahhaa.

  10. Serenity- I stated crying at “my birth story”, had me really going when you mentioned “squishy”, and still haven’t stopped! Thank you, thank you for sharing the story eight months later. It IS amazing how clear some memories are. Also amazing is how far you can come in just 8 months, a lifetime, but also a drop in the bucket.
    Congratulations again on having such a beautiful son.

  11. Great story! My water broke 4 weeks early too with my daughter. I was also in total denial. I asked my OB if they wanted me to come early to my appointment I had later that day and they acted like I was the crazy lady and to go to the hospital and go to triage. I get to the hospital and they wouldn’t send me to triage. They were sending me directly to labor and delivery when I asked why a triage nurse came out and looked at my soaking wet pants and said “Listen, let me put it to you this way, we have 10 beds in triage and 11 women back there right now. You’re the only one we know is staying.”

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