Monday, January 25, 2010

Birth Story - Part 2

Where was I? Oh yes, rescued by the husband. Back in the house. Out of the basement. Wallowing in a state of heightened self pity and becoming more neurotic by the minute. 34 1/2 weeks pregnant, to be exact-ish. It was November 5th, my due date was Dec 16th. I'm not great at math, but it was not time to be a mommy yet, even though according to a lot of people who I am still not speaking to I was:

"Huge as a house!"

"Ready to POP!"

"Having triplets!"

"Looking very big!"

Now, I'm a very passive aggressive person, and will NEVER tell you to your face when I am annoyed, irritated, and thinking homicidal thoughts. But something about the combination of my third trimester and people cheerfully telling me I was fat inspired, shall we say, a certain directness in my demeanor.

"That is really rude. I cannot believe you just said that. What is wrong with you? Who raised you? You just totally pissed me off. What the he#@?"

From the offender(s) would come an awkward smile, "Oh, I just meant, umm, that you looked overdue, and like you had more than one baby inside of you. I didn't mean to upset you. Are you 11 months pregnant now? That must make you grumpy."

I'm not going to waste all your time by going into detail on what would come next. Let's just say the wilderness surrounding my home is a blessing.

Back to the pending birth of my little angel poo. A few days had passed since the election / urgent care / basement situation. A few contractions had come and gone. I was starting to feel silly for all the fuss I'd made. It was clearly a false alarm. We sort of got back to normal, which meant ordering pizza and watching late night TV. Diapers and breast pump purchases could wait, this baby still had a lot of cooking to do.

Before bed, I proceeded with my nightly ritual of checking for stretch marks. So far, none. Hah! Like a good pregnant lady, I'd been reading lots of baby books to prepare for impending motherhood googling "stretch mark images" for months now and then printing pictures to show anyone who came within a 7 foot radius. Brent was my main target. Nightly, I would turn the lab top in his direction before he could turn his head away,

Me: "Sweetie. Sweetie. Look at her stomach. Ichh! Yuck! Are you looking? What if my stomach looks like that? What will you think??!"

Brent: "Umm, yeah, I don't really want to look at that."

Not Mine

I felt sorry for those poor pregnant women who put pictures of their forever ruined stomachs up on Google for the whole world to see and judge. I had made it this far with not one hint of a stretch mark, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw facing me in the mirror that night what had not been there even hours earlier: an intricate spider web of angry red claw marks making their way up from my belly button, ready to reach out and pluck my eyeballs from my head. AAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHH. Oh dear God. They had come for me. I was not be one of the lucky ones. The mark had come upon me.

They'll fade, I whispered into the dark as I lay in bed, rocking my tummy to sleep, comforting myself with the thought that it was all for the little one. He was beyond worth it. These would be my battle scars. A badge of honor. Oh glorious and stoic mother I would be, sacrificing and selfless.....zzzz.........

I awoke every three minutes around the clock to pee. Only one thimble full each trip. As everyone knows, The Law requires pregnant women to pee on a three minute rotation, one thimble full at a time. You can check it out yourself, it's right there in THE LAW, section 472, article 39: Pregnant woman of 22 weeks and beyond shall pee no no less than once every three minutes and distribute no more than one thimble full upon each trip to the bathroom. Any violation is punishable by a minimum fine of One Thousand Dollars, 60 Days in Jail, or Immediate Pregnancy Following Birth of Present Child Residing in Womb. *Per Judge's discretion. (Article 40: No woman, prior to first pregnancy, shall be warned of this Law or Consequences thereof)

Despite this constant interruption, I fell asleep pretty hard and then shot straight up at the sensation of a water balloon popping inside of me. This is A MOMENT, I thought to myself. My baby is coming. I ran to the bathroom. I stared at my stretch marks. I stared at the accumulating puddle on the floor. Was I in a sitcom? I ran back. I woke up Brent.

"I think my water just broke."

Brent pulled the pillow over his head, "You probably just peed your pants."

"Excuse me?"

"Remember, that story you told me about your friend's sister who peed her pants but thought her water broke and then she called the ambulance and went to the hospital and they sent her home because really she just lost bladder control?" He mumbled all this, sighed heavily, and then immediately got up to change the sheets.

I sat in the living room, pondered this, and then called Urgent Care. And because I'm good at multi-tasking, I continued to fill 20,000 thimbles with amniotic fluid / pee.

Me: "Umm, hi, I think my bladder, I mean water, just broke. What should I do?"

Nice, validating, understanding Nurse who believed me: "You should come to the Hospital right now."

Me: "Okay, I'll do that. If it turns out that my water hasn't broken and I just peed my pants, will you explain to my husband that YOU TOLD ME to come down?"

World's Best Nurse: "Yes."


I acknowledge it's pretentious to have more than two parts to a birth story, but the silver lining is this: The next installment will make you so irritated with my approach to childbirth that you will have completely forgotten it took 3 blog postings to get you there.


Also, I wrote this entire story and then got so overly obsessed with clicking on the Not Mine link that I accidentally erased the entire thing and had to start from scratch. I wrote the first things that came to mind so that I would have some kind of outline to jog my memory:

poor pregnant women

multi tasking

thimble full


  1. I laughed so hard I peed more than a thimbleful.

  2. I love this saga, and I look forward to the next installation. I laughed, I cried, I looked at my own 25 year old stretch marks starting to believe they will not fade as my Mom suggested they would.

  3. Hey- I have 6 kids. I know all about the thimble-full at a time and the mandatory pee-every-3-minutes LAW!
    The only time I ever missed that was when I went into labor on a trip to the bathroom and the contractions never stopped. I was stuck there, panting, so out of breath I could not call to hubby in the next room to come help, call the doc or his mom or my mom, anything!

    I vaguely remember crawling across the floor to the bedroom door and banging, loudly.
    The rest is a blur of car ride to drop of 4 year old at grammas, ride to hospital an hour away that only took 27 minutes, then a nurse telling me I was over-reacting and I had plenty of time... please note- said baby was born LESS THAN 15 minutes after arriving in the hospital. All 10 pounds and 22 inches of her flew out of me naturally and without any painkillers... total labor time: 1.5 hours. True Story! I prefer the advance warning... gives you time to actually get a doctor into the room so the hubby doesn't have to pretend he has a catcher's mitt.

    Looking forward to part 3!

  4. When my water broke, I was at my elderly parents' house while Husband was at work. I was making them a dish that I couldn't stop eating at the time: piperade, which involves a goodly number of eggs. One of which I dropped. My father grabbed a kitchen towel and said "Good Lord, how big WAS that egg?" Turns out my water had broken at that exact moment. Will never forget the look on his face when he figured out that he was mopping up amniotic fluid. Periodically, I still buy him a largish bottle of excellent-quality single malt to make up for what he went through.

  5. Thanks for your nice comment on my blog! You have an adorable one too!!

  6. Thanks anonymous - I wish I knew who you were! I want to hear everyone's stretch mark stories!

  7. i like your writing and your blog :)) hello! great labor story. my first baby, the water broke in the middle of the movie theatre!

  8. I'm really enjoying this and looking forward to the next installment of your birth story.


Thank you for your comment!