Our second baby’s birth story (Part I)

by Lara on February 29, 2016

I’m doing this in three parts because, like Gray’s birth, I want to remember all the details. This is Part I, and I know it’s really boring. But I want it written somewhere. So, skip to Part II if you just want the actual birth story.

I always swore I would never rush or feel anxious about my baby’s arrival; I believe babies come when they are ready. This was easier to do the first time around because everyone told me that first-time mothers usually go past their due date. With this pregnancy, however, I was convinced from early on that the baby would come early: we had some scares of pre-term contractions and a short cervical length measurement; everything about the pregnancy seemed to be happening ahead of when it should be (thus I questioned the accuracy of the due date), and I had Braxton Hicks contractions for three weeks before delivery (which I never had with G). From 37 weeks on, at each appointment the doctor would check me and predict that baby was coming “within the week.” I was also just miserable for almost the entire pregnancy, so wishful thinking was probably a part of the “feeling” I had that we wouldn’t make it to our due date.

You see where this is going.

By my 40-week appointment, I was the size of a baby whale, with constant aches and contractions that never amounted to anything. I had been walking around almost fully effaced and 2-3 cm dilated for over two weeks. Baby was engaged. Doc said baby and my body were ready and we were just waiting on that rush of oxytocin. Still, she had to prepare me for when we would need to consider induction. She assured me I was a good candidate and that we could wait until “sometime between 41 and 42 weeks.”


I was starting to panic. Though I was happy with my birth experience with Gray, I deeply hoped to have a natural birth this time. Induction was not part of that picture, and the increased likelihood of a c-section that went along with it was enough to make me hyperventilate.

My mom was scheduled to fly in from California on the day after my due date. After much deliberation, we decided she should keep her flight and risk the possibility of her not getting much time with the new baby. It was important to me that she be here for my and Gray during the birth. My hope was that once she arrived, I would feel relaxed and safe enough to go into labor.

She arrived late on Friday night, January 29.  We ate Chinese food and went to bed. With the weekend looming in front of us, I wanted to stay busy to save myself from feeling like a watch pot. We spent Saturday at the zoo, went out to lunch and to the park, and Matthew and I decided to go out for a much needed date night.


People were openly gawking at me at the restaurant, I was so huge. I ordered a Shirley Temple and a huge Italian meal as Matthew and I came up with all the possibilities about how the birth would go as the pregnancy continued. The silver lining of going into overtime, we decided, was the strong possibility of a February baby. This was our original intention when we were “trying,” but my cycle dates ended up giving us a late January due date. You see, there are well over 10 January birthdays in our close circle (logistical nightmare), and I very much liked the idea of the baby being born as close to Gray’s half birthday (February 9) as possible. I also just think February is a nicer month than January: further from Christmas, closer to Spring, and more meaningful to our family.


So at this point, I said several times that if he came on the 31st, I would be pretty pissed. If we were going to go over our due date, I wanted a February baby!

On Sunday, the 31st, we made chocolate chip pancakes and Matthew and Gray spent the day outside doing yard work. Mom and I went grocery shopping and she cooked up a storm. I did laundry, changed sheets, washed my hair, while Matthew and my mom hatched a plan: they would make martinis and drink wine all evening, which would surely result in me going into labor with no one available to drive me to the hospital! I was so discouraged that I just rolled my eyes as they sipped. We also decided that Matthew would plan to go into work the next morning (he had been working from home all week with the expectation that labor was imminent). We ate a delicious Mom-prepared dinner of ham, red potatoes, broccoli, and salad, and Matthew and I took the dogs for a long, hilly walk. Then we put Gray to bed and the three of us watched Fixer Upper while I bounced on the birth ball.


We went to bed with Mom saying, “We’ll do XYZ tomorrow, oh wait, we’ll be at the hospital tomorrow!” I didn’t believe it. I felt like I would be pregnant forever, my mom would miss the baby, and we would be totally screwed with all of our hopes and desires for the birth and Gray’s care during it. I told myself that there was still the possibility that everything could go exactly as we hoped, and tried to make myself envision it, but I was struggling…

Stay tuned for Part II!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa March 7, 2016 at 8:10 am

I’m really glad your mom was able to be there for you!

I feel your pain. For the last month my doctor has been saying she doesn’t think this guy will make it to his due date. Which I think has cursed us because here we are, 7 days out and I’ve been 1cm and 50% effaced and having contractions for three weeks. And still no baby. So frustrating!


Lara March 7, 2016 at 8:16 am

That is frustrating but pretty impressive for your first birth, I believe!


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