Theo's Birth Novella Part II

08 February 2013

(Part I here which is also the post directly below this post.)

Back to the action.

I was getting ready to push and everyone was talking about just how fast that baby was going to slip out and I was fake laughing and begging people not to jinx me .... because he/she wasn't OUT YET. So we started pushing. I say we because it feels like a team effort with alllllll those eyes on the prize and someone doing basic counting for you, someone else cheering you on, and at least one person helping hold a leg. It became pretty apparent that this wasn't going to be a Sebastian -push two times and out he slides- situation because the good doctor kept fiddling around with Theo's (not yet even kind of emerged) head with great concentration.

More pushing, counting, cheering. No baby. The doctor was still in her graphic tee and showed no signs of gowning up for any sort of delivery so I was getting slightly discouraged and started profusely apologizing. Was I a bad pusher? They exist!! I like to grill Simon about deliveries (as research for my own) and some birthers just can't figure out how to push efficiently. Had the third baby thrown me into bad pusher camp?? Simon assured me that I wasn't but that maybe I should focus more of my energy on pushing and less of my energy scrunching my face while pushing.

Oh. Okay. 

More pushing sans face scrunching, counting, cheering and apologizing on my part. No baby. More fiddling with the head that was very much sunny side up and would not flip around. I was getting really, really tired because I was pushing really, really hard. I asked for water because I was starting to feel like I might die of Parched Mouth Disease. One year (a loooooong time ago) I ran four marathons and I remember thinking that birthing a baby had to be WAY easier than running a thon. Snort. My current self was cursing my former self at this point because what did she know?! Uh, nothing.

There was never any mention of using forceps, or a vacuum, or going back to 'get sectioned' as they say but I didn't know how much longer I could push with all my popsicle-fueled strength and I was starting to feel about as self-conscious as one does when she has her legs super splayed in front of almost perfect strangers. Simon was being really encouraging and said I was doing great (lie) and I kept asking him if I was getting close but he said he really couldn't see (possible lie, still not sure). It was nearing midnight and there was a lot of nervous laughter and talk that the baby "sure was stubborn" (!!!!!!!!!! I think we passed "stubborn" 87 pushes ago ... I've moved onto "head shaped like a hammer" and am about to throw this into "maybe the baby has antlers?" territory) and that maybe the baby would hold off till December 31st. I couldn't even muster a fake laugh as I had to reserve all of my energy to continue to inefficiently push hammerhead out.

Finally, finally, finally ... one of the nurses went over to the baby warmer and started folding blankets (because that was probably a lot more exciting than the "maybe it was false labor?" show I had going on under the bright lights) and I thought, "this is ridiculous ... that warmer needs to warm, that blanket needs to blan-swaddle/wrap whatever" or something not at all trite and senseless so I pushed as hard as I possibly could and the doctor said to stop. She covered up her street clothes and had me push one more time and out he came face up!! Miracle. Less than 10% of babies that are flipped actually come out sunny side up so I guess you could say I'm a rare form of beast.

I don't want to play favorites but I was never so happy to see a baby emerge from my person. She held him up and I saw that he was most definitely a boy. I was stunned. I had to ask Simon because I didn't remember if they put him on my chest right away but they didn't because his face was black and blue.


It was ugly. I was pretty convinced there was something very wrong with him because he looked terrible. The doctor used some nice sounding phrase for NICU to come (special care unit? who knows) and a nice lady came and looked him over and said he was fine and I started crying the ugly happy kind of tears that I've never ever cried before.


Even though he wasn't our first and I knew there was a baby in the bell all that time ... it was still so overwhelming. Why it took three births to happy cry like a baby? Probably because I'm heartless. I don't know.


The doctor said I wouldn't need any repairs which super shocked me after the pushing decathlon from hell but I wasn't about to beg for stitches.

On a scale of 1 to Terrible Mother how awful would it be to jest, "a face only a mother could love" ??
you knew it was coming.

His right eye was swollen completely shut and the ride side of his tongue was really bruised but he didn't cry 1/100th as much as sweet Julia did when she made her earthly debut.

Everyone that came into my hospital room over the next few days kept saying how handsome he was...
which I'd say was a bit of an embellishment.

But everyone also said it would get better ...
 and it did (just not here, quite yet).

I had pretty easy recoveries with the other two kids but this was by far the easiest. And while I missed the big kids while I was in the hospital I wasn't in any harried hurry to get home and leave my beloved hospital food, tv channels, pain meds, peace, and serenity behind. 

the bliss that was toddler-free living.


And how to come to an unabrupt close?

The end?
Yes.



(J and Bash meeting Theo, in case you forgot)


47 comments:

  1. Hooray, I refreshed and got the rest!
    I may or may not have teared a bit.
    You are such a fantastic writer!
    Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. lovelovelovelovelove
    I'm starting to think that perhaps I should stop reading birth stories before I actually have spawn of my own because I don't want to freak myself out, but it all just fascinates me (do you ever ask Simon about how many women poop? that's my most favorite thing to talk to my engaged/newlywed/expecting guy friends about...ok, I'm a freak)
    And just for the record, I actually did honestly and truly think that Theo was a cutie pie, bruised face and all.
    umm and dude, you are not puffy. not.

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    1. Every woman poops! It'd be pretty impossible not to, unless you have an enema before hand....fun!

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  3. Ahhhhh, finally!! I loooooove LOVE this whole thing and love that it also gave me something to do during one of my mini-wake up and can't go back to sleep for no reason at 3 am bouts. I am one of those crazy first time preggers that is going for the au natural route but I'm still slightly open to caving at the last sec, if need be. Maybe I will realize that I was out of my mind for wanting to do it that way. Anywho, the story brought so much joy to my heart and especially sappy tears to my eyes. I love birth stories and yours are always always my fave. Yay Theo!

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  4. He IS adorable! Because he is such a trooper for having gone through what he did. You know this was a shock for him as well and for that the bruised face is the cutest ever! You both did great and congratulations!

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  6. Awwww, so cool hearing your story! Love hearing birth stories, I think I have a mildly weird fascination with them. I think Theo is super handsome and there's always a place for a good happy cry!

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  7. Oh my, I'm so glad you had the epidural for that sunny side up birth. Ouch. Looks like it wasn't all fun and games for him either. He is adorable, even with the bruises. If he could talk, he'd look at his siblings and say, "Bring it. You can't possible do anything to me worse than what Mom did."

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  8. Oh Grace, only you would spend labor apologizing for birthing a difficult baby. And also, responding to all my million texts even though you were IN LABOR. Because you are possibly the nicest person ever.

    I didn't cry with the first one. I was kind of like, "...he's cute? I dunno." The second one I cried a little bit. But judging how I now cry at OTHER people's births? The third one is going to merit a big time ugly happy cry.

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  9. Oh my goodness, is he so adorable! What a story he'll have to tell someday :)
    With each of my deliveries, I cried a little more. With the first, I think I was in awe, everything felt surreal. The other two boys had me choked up, but no tears. But when we saw our girl for the first time, that was the first time I cried. I just couldn't believe it was really true! haha

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  10. Oh I love it! He is so precious, and he WAS really handsome, bruises and all!

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  11. Finally!!! MM and I had been holding our breath waiting for the conclusion (I mean it's kinda like Titanic, but you know)!

    Also, I didn't really cry either when MM was born, I was more relieved/in shock/ happy it was F-ing over.

    But.. you should know he does look much better now, and bravo for the apologizing/pushing because you could obviously do something at the time to make it easier on everyone...

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  12. I didn't cry on my first-you're not heartless! Great job mama. And I'm 38 weeks with a sunny side up baby. I've already been doing everything I know to turn him/her but this has convinced me to step it up a notch! Especially since I fall in the "out of my damn mind" category!

    Welcome to the world Theo!

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  13. Wow, sounds like a lot of hard work. Poor little guy looks so bruised, but cute! How long did you push for? I never cried with any of my kid's births. I always cry when I watch them on TV or hear them, but when I'm there for my own I never can cry.

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  14. Oh, the poor thing, Theo!! But let me tell you he´s a handsome little man.

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  15. Wow that is some crazy pushing you had to do! Good work!! What a cute little bruised face! Poor thing! He honestly is such a cute baby though!

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  16. oh! poor theo! seeing his little bruised face makes me so sad, thinking of all the pain he went through to get here! look at you - punishing your son before he's even out of the womb. ;)

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  17. it's ok. The Doms was a little banged up, too (but for the other reason, precip, not sunnyside up) and my first thought was "Woahhhhh....you are not cute at all but I'm sure glad you're here!" Thank you for sharing your story! You rocked it :)

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  18. fav line: Was I a bad pusher? They exist!

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  19. Poor, poor little Theo! You're a champ! When Levi was born with a broken collarbone it was absolutely terrible and to this day he never lets me forget it! Prepare yourself for a huge dose of "blame game" when he gets old enough to see his pictures. lol. Kids are so good at making you feel guilty about everything. ;)

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  20. Aww, what a sweet story! I have this love/hate relationship with birth stories...as in I don't like making them but reading them is fine. And I understand the pushing thing, I pushed for four hours with my first who apparently was coming down the chute completely crooked or something and it is not cool. I also can't believe how beautiful and calm you looked through it all. I become a crazy a monster until at least three weeks after the birth. Congratulations-again he's a beautiful boy!

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  21. You are Wonderwoman!
    I just showed you and your beautiful family off to all my coworkers :)

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  22. My first was sunny side up also - worst back labor EVER. He tried to turn on the way out and was sort of sideways (with his big, giant head). The vacuum was required. No bruised face for him, but he had a GIANT hematoma on the top of his head for weeks from the sucker.

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  23. Oh my goodness! Longtime lurker and lover of your funny. Can I tell you I almost cried to read that you cried? I'm a little over-invested I guess, but I was seriously sorry to have previously read you were a dry eye. It's those babes that give us the what for that bring us the most relief. Congrats to you and your beeeyoutiful fambly. I have no idea what accent that is, I'm just giddy right now.

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  24. WOW! I can't imagine how happy you must have been to have him out and safe. What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

    Question for you--what year did you graduate FUS? I was in 2005.

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    1. 2006! (should've been 2005 but a few majors later I was in victory lap territory)

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    2. Oh cool, looking back I should have taken my time!! I'd love to go back to those days now. Anyway, I knew you looked familiar and it must have been around the same time!

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  25. Congratulations on mastering one of the many challenges of motherhood with a courageous spirit and a sense of humor. Praying that you and your family have as smooth as possible a transition to life with toddlers and a newborn.

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  26. wow, that sounds so painful and scary...what a champ you are! the easier recovery is definitely your gift for the painful/harrowing labor? sure! i never knew a baby could come out bruised (that sounds so dumb, but i just never thought of it i guess?) i'm a little scared that a marathon is easier than childbirth..eeek. that theo is such a cute little peanut!

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  27. Oh, bless you both. As midwives say, "First babies are hard, second babies are easy, third babies are unpredictable." Looks like you both bounced back quickly!

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  28. You're so kind for not making us wait long for part two. Tangent -- I never knew you ran marathons! (as if I should have known that?) My husband is training for his second, and while I could never ever ever run a full, I did run my first half last year, and hope to run another this year. End tangent.

    Way to go! And tell Theo "Bruiser" "Fattycakes" Patton that he is adorable and tough and has the best looking newbie 'do. It makes me giggle that your kids have the same wonderful, melting-face pout. If my kids' pouts looked like that, I would giggle everytime they were sad.

    Happy your recovery has been good, what a blessing!

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  29. loved reading this. can you write a book?? of course, in all your spare time. :)

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  30. Seriously super-mom for enduring that pushing/ being on display. And the third photo of the Theo-trio is the cutest little sad face!

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  31. Our last baby was sunny-side up au natural and I still get shivers 2.5 years last. So painful! He was so bruised that I wondered if he would just stay that way.

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  32. I am so in love with that pic of the three of you. Presh.

    And, I'm amazed at how much detail you remember about all of this. My labor was like a foggy cluster that I think ended with me crying not because I was in love with my child, but because I thought I was certainly going to die and I had made it out with my life intact.

    Also, my biggest takeaway from this? What makes a bad pusher? Am I a bad pusher? Can you have Simon come on here and tell us??

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  33. how can you wait until it comes out to find the gender?? I mean, I've heard some people do that, but I've never actually known anyone that has (ha, and I don't actually know you so maybe it doesn't count) it seems exciting, maybe I should try it sometime

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  34. loved it! i need to write mine down before i forget.

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  35. I cried! But like you with Julia and Basher, I didn't cry when Ryan was born. Don't know why!

    And what a champ you are to push him out sunny-side-up. I think I would fall under the bad pusher category. Yikes!

    Absolutely in love with the photo of you, Simon and Theo.

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  36. Probably not the best post to read, expecting my first and all...I cried a little! Ha. But he is a little cutie, his nickname should be "bruiser"

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  37. I love when you cried the ugly cry of happy/love/relief. It is the best!

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  38. Such a great birth story! My baby was posterior until the final hours of labor when she finally agreed to turn (after almost 70 hours of hands and knees and sitting on a ball and getting in and out of a tub and and and...). But in the end she turned, so no sunny side up baby for us.

    I actually think he's super handsome, despite the bruised face. You deserve an award for sticking with it for so long with all that pushing! I agree, it's awkward. I never really got to that total loss of modesty thing everyone talks about. I was very aware of how weird and awkward it all was for the whole process of labor and delivery!

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  39. Just reading this now. Love your stories! And I have to say, I birthed my youngest (#3) at home and the one (and possibly ONLY) thing I miss about hospital births is the food and tv. lol.

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  40. Just read through all of your stories with mah coffee and I enjoyed each one! Though I knee slapped and rioted about Theo being a "pretty" newborn. He looks like he just came out of a boxing match, though with a teeeny tiny grin. My oldest looked like an old man... Benjamin Button-esque, so I know what you're saying "only a face a mother could love" and appreciate moms who can laugh while still completely adoring their children. I only cried the ugly-happy with my second babe. Thanks for sharing!

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  41. I was such an idiot and I left the hospital early after my third daughter was born (I had a three-year-old and 19-month-old also at the time). I missed them and I thought I was bored. Duh. If I'm ever blessed with a fourth baby, I will milk that hospital stay for every peaceful minute I can.

    I loved reading this. Um, ouchie. And bravo mama :)

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  42. I can't even decide what my favorite part of this story is. But probably the admission that being in the hospital just you and baby friend with no toddlers milling around is the best. Seriously, I think of it as a vacation where I get to watch all the dumb cupcake decorating shows I want with no judgment whatsoever.

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