the birth of Abraham James

16 July 2017

A formal title for an informal tale.

You know those birth stories where the mom isn't totally sure if she's in labor but she goes to the hospital anyway and it turns out she's actually fully dilated, locked, and loaded and gives birth in triage while the unprepared nurse yells out into the hallway abyss for help, STAT?

Me too.

This is not one of those stories.

Friday, June 9th.
38w6d pregnant.

cue Law & Order scene change, "dun dun" sound effect. 

I went to my scheduled OB appointment that morning where, despite the ultrasound the week before saying the baby was measuring almost 8 pounds, the doctor said she was positive the baby would be six maybe seven pounds. She also said I was dilated to a 4 and offered to strip my membranes.

I happily accepted.

I also got REALLY excited about being so dilated despite knowing people walk around for weeks at 4/5 cm but still. I promised myself at the beginning of the pregnancy I wouldn't be an eager beaver at the end about having the baby and would be totally zen about going past my due date but then - I broke that promise. Sort of. I'll hide behind the pain of my right leg veins (said veins completely vanished almost immediately, btw - thank the varicose gods) along with the fact that Simon started a more time consuming rotation in July and I had one seasoned postpartum eye on the calendar/clock in that regard. But, I was also just feeling huge and ready to meet the baby.

So, Simon was able to watch the kids after my appointment and I went on a long walk around the hospital (outside - blocks away - not literally in the hospital). Contractions were coming regularly and the contraction timing app I downloaded told me to go to the hospital or call an ambulance several times but I knew better.


I'm no stranger to prodromal labor and suspected this might not be the real deal, sadly. However, the OB had told me not to wait around at home if I wanted an epidural and those words were blaring on full blast in my head over and over because - yes to the epidural.

I stopped on my walk and bought a sandwich (and used the bathroom and took this real nice selfie) because it might be my last supper, you know? LOLOLOL (no)

I went home and gave Simon and the boys haircuts, packed my hospital bag, went on another walk, and kept on having contractions. They were painful but not stop me in my tracks painful so we made dinner, supervised a road race, and put the kids to bed I showered and the contractions continued and were getting more painful. I texted a few sitters but no one was free to come so our angel of a friend, Libby came right over around 10:30 and we were on our merry way. I was still kind of, "is this it? shouldn't I be in more pain?" but proceeded anyway like the novice that I am.

We were checked right in, the triage nurse put the fetal heart rate monitor on and immediately said she was pretty positive I was having a boy. She also said Labor and Delivery was crazy busy (I've literally never heard of a Labor and Delivery not being crazy busy ... come to think of it ... ) and told us which OB was on call which made me happy because 1) I had met her (there are lots in the practice I hadn't met) and 2) I really, really liked her. She came in and checked my non-progress and announced that I was 3cm dilated.

L to the O to the L.

I wanted to just slink out, gown and all. Not only had I not progressed but I had somehow regressed from the supposed 4cm earlier that day. Wonderful. She said she would come back in 2 hours to see if I had, "made change" so I decided to walk the halls but as soon as I stood up I decided I'd rather nap instead. So, I was motivated to have the baby but not that motivated. I napped (through no contractions - of course, of COURSE) and Simon read his book club book until the kind doctor came back and declared that no, no change to be had so -- I was going to be discharged.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fight serious tears when she left. I don't know why, in retrospect. I think I was just tired (it was around 2am at this point) and embarrassed and didn't want to come back and get sent home for a second time and worried about who would watch the kids because surely we couldn't ask Libby AGAIN - you know, the usual hormonal run-on sentence drivel. God bless Simon. He assured me that I would eventually have the baby and that, "this happens all the time" (mmm hmmm) and I tried to pretend like I was cool - cucumber style - when the triage nurse came in to give me my discharge papers.

Literally (used correctly, promise) as she was handing me the papers, the baby's heart rate dipped (technically called a variable deceleration) which could be a sign of the umbilical cord being compressed and so (long story short) they decided to keep me overnight for observation.

We got moved to a much bigger room with a couch rather than a chair for Simon and I was upgraded to an actual bed vs. a glorified ironing board. Simon and I both slept but he said he woke up and noticed a big decel at one point. The OB came in around 5am (???) and said that the variables weren't stopping and she wasn't comfortable sending me home and that she thought an induction was probably the best option since I was technically 39 weeks as of midnight.

Before she even finished saying, "we'll start by breaking your wate --- " I interrupted and asked if I could get an epidural first.

Priorities Patton, at your service. Be an advocate for yourself, I say.

She said sure and anesthesia actually met me outside my room as I got moved from triage to real deal Labor and Delivery. Simon had warned me several times that epidurals can take a long time to come once they are ordered so I was overjoyed that he was proven wrong.

The epidural placement wasn't seamless and it had to be done a couple times but overall it was fine. Sort of fine. After they broke my water I was a whopping 5cm. My contractions were still pretty pathetic so Simon went home to nap and relieve Libby (neither one of us was worried that I would deliver precipitously). I met the nurse that was coming on for the day shift and I don't do her justice when I say that she was an angel sent from the heavens above. She was pregnant herself and SO kind and sweet and everything you'd hope a Labor and Delivery nurse would be.

I enjoyed a popsicle and some broth (truly, it really hit the spot for some reason), a movie, and found a sitter free to watch the kids. Simon came back around 11 and they started pitocin since I still wasn't having any productive contractions. We watched another movie. I started to grill Simon about names since we weren't totally decided on a boy name. We narrowed it down to Dominic Pierre, Damien Francisco, or Abraham James and Simon said we should decide if the baby was actually a boy when the time came.

My epidural was pretty heavy on my legs but as I hit transition (I suspect) I started to feel the contractions in my stomach and back and started to ever so slightly freak out. I had been diligent about changing positions because I was borderline petrified of having a fourth consecutive baby try to come out while sunny side up ...


part two coming SOON. Promise. 



  1. I love reading your birth stories. I got sent home because I didn't make any progress and I was devastated. Came back about 3 hours later and was in labor (had progressed from a 3 to a 6). I told myself next time to go when it hurts bad. That darn app told me to go to the hospital many times. But it's a LIAR. Can't wait for part duo

  2. Eeeek!!! I was so excited to read this Grace!!! A dilation regression??? It's enough to make a grown woman cry!!! I can't wait for Part II!!!!! Xoxo

  3. I was embarrassingly sent home this past time, like wanted to scream "can't you just take this baby right now" kinda sent home so I'm with you, girl. Dying for part two!!

  4. I was 4 cm dilated with my last baby at my last appointment, and they pulled the same "don't be too excited, people walk around like this for weeks..." drivel. Can I just say, hospital people, I'm not excited because I think labor is imminent; I'm excited because when labor starts I AM ALMOST HALFWAY DONE. Can I get an amen? But then I read that you regressed and am like, "Oh yikes. Did not know that was a thing." Lol

  5. I could read birth stories all day every day. part two, stat! abandon all responsibilities!

  6. Glorified ironing board 😂😂😂

  7. Just reading the term "sunny side up" gave me a deep pang of PTSD. But still can't wait to read the rest!!

  8. Ok, so at my 40-week appointment, my OB said I was 3cm, but then when I went to the hospital hours later, the on-call doctor told me I was a 2. I asked if regression was possible, and she said no, but determination can be slightly varied based on the doctor who is checking you (I'm sorry, what?!)... That was so encouraging to hear for a first-time mom 😜 But maybe the same thing happened with you??

  9. UGGGGGGHHHH As a lover of birth stories, you HAVE to know how mean it was to split it into two parts!!!! Can't wait to hear the rest. :)

  10. yessss, love me a good birth story. Can't wait for part 2! I'm hoping it has the same delicious amount of detail, and I know you'll deliver (pun intended...?) I had some BS prodromal labor with my first born. Painful contractions that ranged from 6-45 minutes apart for 5 days. Three sleepless nights on the couch. Ooof.

  11. I just Baby #9 on July 9th (6 days late, as usual) and named him Damien Ambrose -- last minute decision. Fun to know Damien was a contender for you guys also!

  12. Also, your monster birth story link-up kept me occupied for several long nights of prodromal labor after my due date. So thanks! ;)

  13. Cant wait to read it all and wondering how you get all those cute things to click on on the right side? Cutest shoes and clothes ever!

  14. I feel like this story is so similar to Blythe's delivery of Joe, right? At least so far. I too was sent home crying once afternlaboring all night long. I was 5 days overdue and thought my heart had actually just broken in two. I can't wait to read the rest.

  15. Love me a good birth story, ala Patton-land!

  16. I'm so glad I found this once part II was up so I can just go right through! I hauled myself up on all fours (the nurse walked in to all that glamour - haaaaahahaha) after the epidural because I also do not care for pushing out a sunny side up baby :)

  17. Ahhh, the video of the siblings meeting!! Thank you for sharing the sweetness!

  18. Love a good birth story cliff hanger.

    Also, I'm so glad that your veins went away immediately... mine did NOT :( and I'm pretty sure I scared you with an IG comment a while back. SORRY! My leg seems to be a permanent road map of the wild west.



Camp Patton © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger