Our Baby’s Birth Story (Part I)

by Lara on October 30, 2012

Photo courtesy of Aspin Photography

Now, I could make this short and sweet and tell you I had a pretty positive, fairly long labor.  That it was a labor that didn’t go exactly according to plan but ended exactly the way we hoped.

I could leave it at that.

I could, and probably should, but I won’t.

Instead I am going to write down, perhaps in painful detail, everything I can remember about our son’s birth.  Everything.


Because when I was pregnant, I devoured birth stories the same way I devoured french fries.

And I’ll be damned if I’m going to deny another pregnant woman out there her french fries.

But mainly, because this is something that I never, ever want to forget.

Our birth story begins the morning before my due date.  Throughout the pregnancy, I was set on having this baby perfectly “on time” (This ridiculous obsession would later become known as Mistake Number One).  That morning, Matthew turned to me and said, “If you really think you’re going to have our baby tonight, you’d better rest today.”

Famous last words.

Despite my adamancy that our baby would be born on his due date, I was in complete denial about what was happening for much of my labor.  I spent the morning cleaning, blogging, and walking the dogs.  At 3pm, I had the instinctual urge to rest.  I couldn’t explain my absurd laziness at the time, but I spent two hours lying on the couch, playing Fruit Ninja.  Though I had started to feel cramps during this time, I didn’t acknowledge them as anything serious.  I figured I would surely  know the difference between cramps and contractions.

By 5pm the “cramps” were persistent enough to peak my curiosity, and I started to time them, very casually, just by looking at the clock on my computer screen.  I jotted the times down and quickly dismissed the idea that I was in labor; they just weren’t intense or regular enough.

Our 12 weeks of natural birth education in The Bradley Method had taught us to basically ignore the onset of labor for as long as possible, since early contractions can last for days or even weeks.  It was appropriate, in retrospect, that we went about the evening as normal and decided to attend one last “refresher” Bradley class at 7pm.

At the beginning of class, we were asked about one thing we wanted to get done before the baby was born, and Matthew shared that he wanted “one last solid night of sleep.”  Little did he know that I had silently begun to time my contractions, and they were already about 30 seconds long.  I couldn’t get comfortable.  I kept fidgeting and getting up to use the bathroom, at one point even standing and swaying in the back of the room, trying to be as discreet as possible.

Class ended and I immediately approached our instructor and told her I was having light contractions.  She reminded me that we don’t actually count it as labor until contractions are ten minutes apart, and assured me that “It’s probably very early pre-labor.  One or two contractions is really no big deal.”

“I just counted about eight,” I told her.

“Oh,” she stopped.  “Well in the case, go rest, eat a good meal, and get some sleep.”


Instead, we went home and started timing the contractions properly.  By 11pm, they were roughly 8-9 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds each.  Still fearful that this was false labor, I texted my doula with an update and told her I would be in touch if things picked up in intensity.

They did.  An hour later, the contractions were becoming strong enough that I started to worry: if this was what false labor felt like, there was no way I would be able to handle real labor.

I thought I would be fine on my own for a few hours and told Matthew to get some sleep.  Soon after, they became too intense for me to time by myself. I woke up Matthew (who still has yet to get that solid night of sleep). It was just past midnight on August 8, our due date, and I could deny it no longer: I was in labor!

Stay tuned for Part II!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn (eating bender) October 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

I’m not even pregnant and I feel like I’m eating French fries! 😉 I’m so excited to follow along as you remember such an incredible day in your lives.


Emily Malone October 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

more more more!


Tanya @ Vegan Faith October 30, 2012 at 11:28 am

I am loving/hating the cliff-hanger all at the same time! This is perfect timing for your birth story as I am getting so close. I am also convinced she will come precisely on her due date. I am reading your story and making mental notes of “what not to do” I am so happy to hear your story! Please keep it coming…don’t hold those french fries from me!


Lara October 30, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Haha…thanks for your comment, and good luck to you!


Jessie @ Graze With Me October 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

Cliffhanger!!! 🙂

Where are the French fries?!


glidingcalm November 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

i am devouring your story like french fries, but I think it’s because I know and care about you! 🙂 it makes it all the more fascinating!


Andrea@WellnessNotes November 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I love that you are documenting the birth story in detail. It’s been 5 years since the kid was born, and most of my pregnancy and labor is just one big, blurry mess… I wish I had written things down…


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