On This Day...

Today is my little man's second birthday. Two years. I just can't believe it.
One year ago, on this very day, my sweet baby boy was battling a cold and smearing cake all over himself, surrounded by his doting extended family.

Two years ago, on this very day and at this very time, I was holding my brand spanking new baby boy while he got the hang of nursing.

Wow! Time goes so quickly! To commemorate Q's second birthday, I thought I would tell the story of his birth. It was quite an adventure. I published this on our family website, so some of you may have read it before. I think it is worth reading again!

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Q's Arrival: a Wild Ride

It was a wild ride, but Q arrived safe and sound at 3:55pm on February 26, 2007.

We were planning to attend a family funeral in the afternoon, but when I woke up that morning I was having either indigestion or very early labor pangs. My doula (labor assistant) advised me to take a 15 minute stroll and see if that affected the pains at all. If it did, I was in labor. If not, it was probably a bad taco.

Sure enough, the contractions intensified, so I settled in to labor at home. My first labor had gone very quickly with the aid of Pitocin, so I figured that I was in for a full day of labor before Q hatched. My doula was attending another birth, but assured me that she would get on the road ASAP (she was over an hour away). My doctor was stuck in Vegas due to weather. She was expected back the next day. The doc on call was the worst nightmare of a natural childbirth gal like me: an old-school, crotchety, shut-up-and-do-what-I-say kind of doc. Yay.

Around 11:30 my pangs, though mild, became insistent enough that I thought I should start timing them. They were a comfortable distance apart. At one o'clock I sent Tommy out to get lunch. I figured it would be the last decent meal I would get for a while.

After lunch I decided to labor in the tub for a while. Z got in with me and that was a hoot. Picture a naked two-year-old and a bikini clad full-term pregnant woman in a jacuzzi tub. Ha! Z was splashing around and Mom-in-law was dutifully recording times on the contractions. The pains were still tolerable, so I stayed in until the water cooled, then decided to get out. By this time, I was regretting the decision to have a hamburger, but was desperately thankful for my cherry limeade.

After a bathroom pit stop (boy, that burger was really not agreeing with me!), I got dressed (with some difficulty) and went to lie down on the bed. Suddenly, the contractions weren't so easy. What a wimp! I convinced myself that I was being a total weenie, since I just knew Q wasn't coming for hours and hours.

T, totally in denial, was flitting about (in as much as a Mr. Manly Man can flit) finishing up last minute minutia and saying, "But I'm not ready, yet!" I grabbed him on a pass through the bedroom and asked him to put some pressure on my back. He did, but I kept asking him to press harder. At one point, I think he thought that he might actually push my spine through my abdominal wall, so he decided he had pushed long enough just walked away - in the middle of a contraction! I am afraid my head spun around and I might have daintily bellowed, "DON'T LEAVE ME IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONTRACTION!!!" He got this deer in the headlights look and said, "But I didn't know you were having a contraction!" What could he have possibly thought I was doing? Making a late pregnancy play for a sympathy back rub? Sheesh!

About that time, 3:30 or so, Diane the Doula, arrived. I asked her to apply pressure to my lower back (where T had abandoned me) to help with a particularly bad pain. Her eyes got wide, but she pressed until the contraction passed. She said it was that low because Q's head was descending. In her low-key way, she said we needed to go to the hospital. Like, now.

On the way to the door of my bedroom, I am knocked flat by a contraction that made me want to push. Yikes! We hustle (okay, waddle very quickly) down the stairs to the garage where I am stopped again at the front fender of my car, trying with all my might not to push. Splash!

My water broke in true dramatic Hollywood fashion all over the garage floor. Z gave me a puzzled look and asked, "Mommy tinkle?" There was a brief debate about whether I would go the hospital or deliver at home (Diane was one class away from becoming a midwife), but I knew all of my pro-medicine/procedures-are-great! family would lose their collective minds if I stayed. I wasn't feeling quite so urgent after my water broke, so off we went to the hospital.

Did you know that a Ford Freestyle will go 110 mph if you are truly in a hurry? T called ahead to his dispatch buddies to warn them we were coming hell-for-leather. I think I was so alarmed by the speed that there was no chance of a contraction en route!

I didn't have another contraction until we arrived at the hospital. As I was struggling not to have Q in the car in front of the hospital, a helpful bystander ran up to the Labor and Delivery ward and told them I was coming.

I made it to the elevator, but then I had to push. I bore down and bellowed like a bull. A hapless visitor had made the mistake of stepping onto the elevator with us. Diane had to pull my pants down to see if his head had come out. Since it had not, I jumped (okay, collapsed carefully) into the wheel chair and was literally RUN down the hall to the first available room. The bystander? Took one step out of the elevator and passed smooth out. It was the talk of the maternity ward.

As soon as I was even remotely horizontal (and, T tells me, before my pants were even completely off), Q's head was out. One more push and the rest of him was out, too. Wow! No doctor. No IV. No hospital registration. The nurse just caught him and put him on my chest. They were in a bit of a hurry to cut the cord, but I guess they aren't used to crunchy gals like me.

Once the excitement was over, Dr. Crankypants came in to patch me up, grumbling the whole time about natural childbirth-ers waiting too long to come to the hospital and the malfunctioning light above the table. (Small town usually has one new baby per week. For whatever reason, Q was baby number seven that day. And the only one without complications. There was literally no room at the in and they had to put me in a room with no surgical lighting.)

No one was as surprised as I was at how things turned out, though in retrospect, there were some pretty clear signposts along the way that it was time to go to the hospital. But all's well that ends well. We went home early the next morning.

Post-partum Post Script-

When we got home the next day, I found the sheet of paper on which Mom-in-law had been recording my contractions. They had been one to two minutes apart since before I got out of the tub(!). Incredulous, I asked her about it. Her response? "You told me to write them down, not tell you how far apart they were!" Yeah, she's an RN.

About a month after Q was born, we got a sizable check in the mail. It was from my OB/GYN. We got a refund because there was no doctor in attendance! Sweet!


  1. He's adorable. I hope that he had a great day!

  2. Happy Birthday kiddo!

    My goodness whatta ride.

  3. That IS one wild ride! I love stories like that. Explanation of hell-for-leather?


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