Once upon a timeline....

29 September 2010

To those of you who read the original beginning of this blog post...I apologize! I think it would be easier for all parties involved if I simply made the opening act of Julia's life a timeline. Unfortunately this doesn't cut down on the length so grab a sufficient food and water supply before you start reading....

(exactly two weeks until my due date) 9/18 10:00 a.m. Baby shower! For all of the fancy deets click me. Mary and Anna put on such a wonderful party. Julia received so many adorable outfits, blankets and accessories. I think she probably caught wind of all of her finery and decided she was tired of being an immodest little mouse and wanted to get dressed up pronto.

9/18 1:00 p.m. Simon and I went to his brother Paul's football game in the blistering heat. I began to notice the frequency of my Braxton Hicks contractions but chalked them up to the heat and lack of hydration. I pulled and played the "I'm pregnant and a huge baby" card and spent the last quarter reclined in the passenger seat of our family friendly vehicle in the parking lot. We decided to forgo our original plans of going to the state fair and go out for frozen yogurt at a local establishment instead (something we did/do quite regularly).

9/18 6:00 p.m. I began to time the Braxton Hicks that were beginning to get more intense and noticed that they were consistently 5-6ish minutes apart. Simon and I went over to his parents house to eat pizza with his brother and watch Notre Dame lose to Michigan State. I continued to time the contractions that were beginning to become a teeny bit painful. They were getting ever so slightly closer together...4-5 minutes apart consistently.

9/18-9/19 all night. I was unable to sleep due to the contractions and hung out with my favorito Google for a lot of the night trying to determine what 'real labor' actually felt like..when to go to the hospital..if I was crazy...897 birth stories...etc.

9/19 7:00 a.m. Simon and I went for a short walk around the park near our house. I was starting to have to breathe through the every four minutes contractions and slow my already waddley gait when each one hit.

9/19 8:00 a.m. Simon and I went to Mass at a local hospital ... ah...the irony. I did not participate physically in the Mass..I only sat and attempted a few stands. The contractions were upping their pain level and were showing no sign of slowing down. I was starting to strongly dislike them.

9/19 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Simon and I went to the birth care center. I felt silly walking up to the front desk...the lady asked, "How can I help you?" and I calmly replied that I thought I was in labor...and she of course asked if this was my first and if my water had broken. umm...yes to the former and no to the latter...which I felt made me an instant candidate for "idiot"...but we proceeded with the speedy check-in process anyway. A nurse took my history and checked to see if I had made any progress since my appointment on Friday morning. Of course I had not. They let me stay for an hour and checked my progress again....which was nonexistent. With my tail between my legs I listened as she explained the brochure entitled "Ready Set...Not Yet!!" and gave me an Ambien to help me sleep.

***the "Ready Set...Not Yet" brochure suggested that the (idiotic) mothers-to-be do things like.."go shopping" and "get a hug" (verbatim...) in order to distract themselves. I was in no mood to shop for four minutes...bend over and continue shopping for four more minutes NOR was I in any sort of position to be hug getting. I was 38 weeks pregnant and had the stomach/fat face to show for it. Needless to say I was happy I had brought my blowtorch in my back pocket for a little burn the brochure sesh post embarrassing release.

9/19 12:00 p.m. With a chocolate milkshake in hand to aid in my false/slow labor wound licking, we went home so I could sleep. Simon went to tour his Dad's new office digs with his familia while I sat at home and hallucinated thanks to the Ambien. I texted him that: a) my phone was a penguin and that the milkshake cup wanted to make an alliance with the penguin but that I did not approve and b) that I was sorry I couldn't make it to the tour but that I had battles of my own to fight at home. . . then I fell asleep/into a Juliet-like death sleep for three hours.

9/19 4:00 p.m. I woke up feeling like the contractions had vanished and I had indeed experienced the ever unpopular and dreaded...false labor. Thennn...I stood up and was hit by a ton of pain bricks/contraction. They continued and continued and continued with four glorious and pain free minutes in between each one. Their intensity increased and no amount of shower taking, walking or complaining would stop them.

9/19 10:00 p.m. Back to the birth care center we went! I was hesitant to return but was positive that the past few wretched hours HAD to have done something in the real labor progress department. Nope....nothing. The charge nurse on duty was the nicest lady in the universe and will probably be canonized as a saint some day. She suggested I get into the whirlpool to try and relax and pray for progress. She noticed that my toes were curling up a storm and kindly stated that this was a sure sign of real labor. My hopes were upped as I could NOT imagine at this point what actual labor would feel like if this was all an elaborate farce and that I still indeed had to go through another day long session of this torture. This is also the point I am pretty sure I told Simon through gritted teeth that this would be our first and last baby...meaning every word.

9/19 11:00 p.m. The whirlpool helped the tiniest of bits but not enough to warrant actually admitting me or getting an epidural. I suffered through the next hour and was finally given the green light to stay in the hospital and to get the epidural. At this point I was pathetically chanting words over and over and over to myself to get through each contraction and clutching the bed rails as the contractions had pulled out the big guns and were exceedingly nasty. Who am I? oh...a baby.

9/20 12:00 p.m. Received IV antibiotics and fluids pre-epidural. I was pretty petrified of the rod-sized needle they use to administer the epidural but at that point I didn't care if they had to slice my spine in half. I wanted a serious distraction from the contractions. The nurse anesthetist was (of course) my best friend during and after the procedure. It seemed like a lot of ladies say that they can't even feel their epidurals being put in ... this was NOT the case for me...but the pain was so slight and so fast that I cannot even kind of complain...even a little bit.

9/20 12:20 a.m. Bliss.

9/20 12:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Simon and I tried to get some sleep (at some point Simon disappeared and reappeared in his night clothes with a comforter in hand {!} ... claiming he should probably get some rest....) but were a little bit distracted by the nurse that had taken up residence in my room. She monitored the baby's heartbeat, my fluids and contractions and n-e-v-e-r l-e-f-t. She was nice and efficient and we were able to small talk a little bit. She was also a little bit of a food/drink nazi which was supremely annoying as alllll I wanted to do was chug apple juice...not munch on ice chips like she cheerfully suggested. Anyway...I still would NOT progress. The resident on call broke my water (disgusting gush of disgusting) around 4:30 a.m. hoping to jump start the labor train. Surprise..surprise...nothing at all! The nurse wanted to start Pitocin but little Julia decided to make things difficult and do something (I didn't quite understand but pretended to understand at the time) with her little heart rate. . . . She finally calmed down and settled back into her rhythmic routine and the Pitocin was started.

9/20 7:25 a.m. We were assigned a new nurse. This nurse was another saint in the making and I was pretty ecstatic that we had her for the day. She decided to check and see once again...if any progress had been made and....MAGIC...I was complete and ready to push! She called the doctor...wheeled out a table of about 89 (what looked like) pairs of scissors (which scared me to almost death but I learned later were actually clamps...still scary) and got everything all set up for the birth of the little lady.

9:20 7:45-8:45 a.m. The dramatic pushing began. Kidding. TV shows and movies always make this part look so dramatic, sweaty and intolerable. Of course..I couldn't feel my legs but this hour was surprisingly laid back. Me, Simon, the doctor and nurse talked about running races, their plans for the day, their kids..etc between pushes. The only major complaint I had was the slew of tumbleweeds that had housed themselves in my sternum in the form of some serious heartburn. I indulged in some ice chips to try and calm it down but was unsuccessful for the most part.

9/20 8:46 a.m. The doctor put on her gown and called some more people into the room...they asked if I wanted to a mirror to which I promptly replied...NO, no and NO thank you. They exclaimed that the baby had a lot of hair and then all of a sudden...out she slid...allllll slimy and screaming! She was an angry little lady. Simon and I had both talked about which one of us would cry when she was born. We both had tears in our eyes as they let me hold her right away. Well actually they tore the top of my gown down and put her on my chest right away which I appreciated but was um...not expecting. I was pretty overwhelmed and couldn't believe that there had actually been a baby in my stomach all this time.

9/20 the rest of the day. Simon's Dad...some of Simon's fellow med school buddies all came to visit. Julia was and still is a great eater and had us all running circles around her as she enjoyed her first day as a real live on earth Patton. I couldn't walk for several hours due to the epidural but when I did and could I wasn't in much pain at all....I cannot say enough good things about pain management and am so thankful that I gave birth in 2010 and not 1910. I would have probably died. Probably definitely.

This photo was taken in my hospital room. Goals for the day in a labor and delivery room prompted a lot of head scratching on our part but Simon decided that this specific goal was worth throwing on the dry erase board
Julia's due date isn't until this Saturday but we are oh so happy that she is here. The first few nights were really rough as she woke up every 19 minutes but we are slowly but surely learning the ropes of parentdom in all its glory with our happy little bebe, Julia Grace.


  1. i'm so happy to read this! and i teared up! at work! damnit!

  2. This is awesome. and in one year when the details become foggy, you can come back and read this. i HEART blogs.

  3. I love birth stories. Congratulations! She's beautiful! And I loved the story about your brother and your leftover belly. I so know your pain on that one.

  4. "Get a hug".
    Will never ever tell Ken this. Ever.
    It will be his response to every bit of complaining I ever do.

  5. So, your most recent post suggested that I read this one too. It was a great story, and I had to laugh and laugh at the "Ready, Set...Not Yet!" tangent. I too went to the Birth Center a little too early (by four days) and received the same pamphlet (which provoked a lot of snark from my husband and tears/bitterness from me), along with the awesome/horrible Ambien.


  6. Grace, I'm making my rounds round the Internet much as you described in your timeline... to every. single. birth story I can find. I'm getting induced (twins!) in um... 31 hours and have taken to an unhealthy fixation on delivery. Thankfully, I've got your epic link-up to help me stalk a great bulk of women. The part I found most interesting about this birth was the sense of nothing, nothing, nope--no progress, ok, push time! That, and your calm demeanor during pushing. I was at my mom's shoulder when she pushed out kid #5. It was at that time I was convinced, if she ever needed to, she could turn into a fire-breathing dragon.



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