the tale of Phoebe's birth {part 1}

30 May 2014

Yep! It's going to be broken into parts. Hopefully just two ...

Where to begin?

Ah, yes! False labor. The most false. The falsest. For many days and many nights. The Sunday before Phoebe was born I had my bag all packed, a sitter on standby via text, and Simon had even gotten a powernap in until about midnight (?) when .... zap. The contractions stopped.

Repeat the same infuriating situation a few more times and then came Tuesday evening.

The kids were playing outside and Simon was watching them and I was contracting .... like always.

the first person to tell them this isn't the fanciest sandbox in all of the land .... welcome to your deathbed. Hope it's cozy!!

I would go back and forth between walking around inside and then deciding that I wanted to be around the kids and go outside but then they'd break into another FIGHT!! So I'd waddle back inside to make some laps around our casita. It felt as though these contractions seemed to have a little more bite this time around or was that my imagination? I don't know but! Like a good pregnant lady ... I tried not to get my hopes up.

And! Before anyone starts silently judging my hopes to have the baby circa 38 weeks ... Simon was going to be gone right before, the day of, and the day after the due date and then again a few days later. And we had no family that was going to be able to come at all so really my huge stress was not "what if Simon misses the delivery?!" -- I mean -- that wouldn't be ideal but ... life would go on! It was "what in the bleeeeeep are we going to do with the kids while I'm in the hospital for the days after the delivery and Simon is at work and/or at an interview?!" ... so this week was ideal because Simon was in town AND on vacation and he'd be able to watch the kids after I had the baby.

Back to the action. The contractions were pretty consistently coming every 5-7 minutes but I didn't want to be tricked by the false monster for the 99th time! No. But! I took a shower AGAIN just in case I happened to find myself gowned up and ready for action later that evening. I think one of my worst fears would be hitting up the delivery room with stubby unshaven spikey legs and unwashed hair. What? My life is scary, obvio.

Simon put the kids to bed while I sat in the basement and held onto the play structure thing (what is the official name for the ginorm plastic things with the slide? I don't know .. play structure) during each contraction. Julia and Bash came down and kissed my feet (?! I'm guessing Simon told them not to touch me ... it was very sweet and I'm happy I had just showered for their sweet little sakes). Simon came downstairs to keep me company and I REALLY didn't want him to touch me but I wanted to hold onto that play structure for dear life. In between contractions we waffled back and forth about whether or not I should go in. I decided to text the sitter around 9 and she said she could be over in an hour. So Simon and I waited and I prayed that the hard hitters would keep coming while praying that they stopped hitting SO hard. You know?

Sittter came ... we peaced.

But not before I coerced Simon into a few of these!

He loved it.

Off to the hospital we went and NO. No no no no .... had the contractions stopped?! No .... they hadn't. Here comes another! And another! And they were h-u-r-t-i-n-g. Labor is a funny thing in that you want the pain to keep on keepin' on lest the pain fizzles and JK! Not labor! But still ... to actively desire pain ... is weird.

In between contractions as to not break with tradition we cemented our boy name and our girl name. I had emailed him the Anika middle name option the day before and shockingly, he agreed. Phoebe and Felicity had always been our top girl name contenders for this baby ... Phoebe being the toppest. I wish we had some meaningful meanings behind our kid's names but NOPE. In fact -- someone commented that Anike actually meant, "grace" -- awesome. We had no idea.

We got to the hospital and on the walk to the maternity check-in desk (I know there's a more technical name for that) I had to stop and not move through a contraction. I was going to be mortified if I waltzed in and they declared me 2 cm dilated because ... 4th baby. And while everyone in the hospital that I've ever encountered has been nothing but super duper nice I just didn't want to be the wife of the OB resident that was having a cow over not-in-actual-labor.

My big fear was that I'd have to stay down in the WEU (women's evaluation unit) for an hour to make sure I was making progress ... and an hour of contractions sounded nauseating at this point because they were really hurting. A lot. We signed in and waited for a second before the nicest nicest nurse came and got us and whisked me right up to labor and delivery. Praise the Lord. No wait! But now I would be REALLY mortified if I'd made no change since my appointment earlier in the week.

She asked if I wanted a room with a tub and I had to laugh ... because no. This would not be that kind of birth. So we went into a room where nurses were getting things all set up and so I gowned up and gingerly climbed onto the bed and waited for the moment of truth. The nurse checked and declared that I was a 6.


Bring on the interventions.

Now, please.

One of the nurses put in an IV and did a phenomenal job ... not a drop of blood to be seen. Usually it looks like a war zone afterwards because my veins are bigger than Goliath's. Guarant.

Simon went to get my bag while the anesthesiologist came in and did her thing. I've never had a super painful epidural placement and this was no different.

God bless America. And medicated births.

We settled into watch the Parenthood finale after one of Simon's classmates came and broke my water. A female classmate. Sorry males! I'm not the biggest fan of awkward.

This is why I shouldn't wait five weeks to type out the deets because I can't remember which side it was but while I was a LOT more comfortable than pre-needle one side (let's say it was the right?) was still feelable. (a new word).

The anesthesiologist came in and fixed the pump and that seemed to help ... back to Parenthood. My nurse (who was really awesome - they always are!) kept coming in to check my progress because they were a little worried I might precip. I was not worried about that because ... remember Theo???

We got there around 10:30 and by 1am I was complete and ready to push. This is not a brag because after reading all of your "I knew I was in labor" stories ... I think the record for shortest labor is in the neighborhood of about 4 seconds. I'm a slow poke, apparently. My OB was on call (which was awesome because a different doc had delivered both boys and while I really liked her a lot it was neat to have my OB - come in for the delivery this time) and she came in and we got all ready to push. Normally the nurse will do a practice push or two or three with the patient to see if the baby is going to pop out or if it will be awhile but we didn't do any practice pushes because surely baby #4 was going to come flying out after a push or two ... right?

WRONG. The most wrong ever in the history of wrong.

And we'll address that odyssey in part two ... coming VERY soon to a blog post near you.

... part two right here


  1. I was in fact in false labor when you posted Phoebe had been born and I was quite jealous. (And three days past my due date!) My sweet girl was born a couple days later:)

  2. i love your birth stories!! can't wait for part II because i'm a total nerd like that.

  3. Can't wait to read part dos! I thought third and fourth children just fell out of their mothers wombs. #3 proved us incorrecto!

  4. Oh the suspense!! I think I am sadistically addicted to birth stories even though I still can't bring myself to type out Henry's. I'll be waiting as patiently as possible for the next installment.

  5. I have a niece whose middle name is Karys - which is Greek for Grace. In case you wanted to continue that whole naming girls in your family with Grace as a middle name thing for future female offspring which would ONLY be fair, you know, having birthed them and all. Assuming there are more female offspring in the future.

  6. Cliff hanger! And that IS the best sandbox in the all the land.

  7. Really Grace? Really? Can the sequel come like now? One child is sleeping....and two are occupied. haha! I mean I know you totally write this blog solely for me me me me me ;) And for the record, I read birth stories as if I have never done it before, they are just so in-trigu-ing!!!

  8. Seeing this post made my Friday afternoon.....but you left us all hanging! Can't wait to read part two and see more pics of the bebe.

  9. I was told I was the textbook definition of precipitous labor... Didn't even know it was a thing going in. When Peanut decided she wanted out, she was comingoutlikerightnow. I'm also in the thank the heavens for epidurals club... the shot in the butt made me hallucinate a British nurse while my husband was getting coffee!

  10. damn cliffhangers always get me!

  11. Hurry up and write that - you're a mean teaser....!

  12. Oh so glad you posted part one of your birth story. I'm in the falsest of false labors at this very moment. (since Tuesday) And every night before I fall asleep, I pray for the pain to start. And you are right, desiring pain: it's weird. Anyway, enough about me, I can't wait to read part two! pins&needles (hopefully epidural ones re-he-heal soon. ;))

  13. way to leave me hanging sister! not the most patient chica in the land you know. looking forward to part dos.

  14. Oh you and your cliffhangers! Hope Phoebe lets you tap out part two soon! Like, tonight.

  15. She must be here by now and all is well I pray. Medication. Need I say more? I think not and I can see you feel the same. I'm all for a la natural following birth but hook me up asap. Phoebe is a pretty name and not so common these days. Hopefully, she'll be the only one in her class! Can't wait to read part 2.

  16. Hooked. I'm hooked. And yes for the medicated births and America and lovely nurses and all that majesty.

  17. Yay, I just love birth stories so much! I don't care if they're natural, heavily medicated, c-sectioned, surpriseing, take place in the backseat of a Pinto, whatever! I just love them!

  18. This is the first birth story I've read since my own 9 days ago and I have a whole new perspective...and a new understanding for the wonderful ness of epidurals....because I did not get one. Ha. I need to write my own for the blog but I'm still getting over the craziness of it all. I'm so glad you delivered when you did, I can't imagine simon being gone and having no family around to help. And I'm in love with her name!

  19. Can't wait to hear the rest.

    P.S. Not all the labor and birth rooms at MHSTL have tubs.

    P.P.S. I'm the reader you met in the chapel on Ash Wednesday.

    1. Hi Catherine! Thanks for telling me - I'll fix that asap! I should've fact checked with Simon :) Hopefully we'll see you again sometime!

  20. My parents built me a sandbox when I was little. The cats used it as a litter box, so my parents covered it with a tarp to keep them out, which turned it into the ideal snake nesting ground. So your kids really do have a slice of paradise!

    And...cliffhanger! Grr!

  21. I think I feel a song coming on. Ahem....

    God bless Amer-ica, land of good druuuuuugs. Stay inside her, find a proscriber, or you might have to drink scotch in gluuuuugs (to get through it).

    Glad she's here, and glad I got to hear about it straight from a Seaton's mouth whilst breakfasting at a little sidewalk cafe in Rome.

  22. Girl. How do you look that good while in LABOR!

    please have part ii already written.

  23. Here's hoping 'soon' is tomorrow at the latest. ;) And amen for drugs during labor!

  24. I LOVE reading other ladies' birth stories!

  25. Curse you, cliffhangers!! WHYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?! I hate waiting!

  26. I can't wait to read part two! :)

  27. God bless America. And medicated births.
    My most favorite quote ever.

  28. I keep hitting refresh to see part two pop up!! Refresh Refresh Refresh REFRESH

  29. Yay! A real update! I was getting kind of sick of the sponsored ones... I know you've been busy though.

    Can't wait for part 2. I love the way you describe things. Cracks me up!

  30. What's the trick to planning for 38 weeks?? Sign me up!

  31. That's just not right that the baby didn't fly out. mine started flying out by the 4th one. Also if Declan had been a girl she would have been named Felicity Grace :-)

  32. Can't wait for part two! Love the pre hospital selfie!

  33. I love all 4moms products. I love our mamaroo. But my favorite would have too be the origami!

  34. I'm curious, and i'm sorry if someone already asked this, but i'm too lazy to scroll and look...why couldn't Simon just check you to see how far you were dilated at home?



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