The way things were going with pregnancies number five and six, I have to admit to being a bit worried when I turned up pregnant for a seventh time. I had been pretty ill for three months with Anita, then really ill for six months with Frankie, so I had to allow for the possibility that I was getting older and that getting older just meant my pregnancies were going to keep getting more challenging.
But I’m happy to report that with pregnancy number seven I was back to a livable level of first trimester all-day-but-mostly-afternoon-and-evening sickness, and then after that it was a pretty great pregnancy. I did have some sciatic stuff, which was a pain in the you-know-what (literally). But, honestly, the whole third trimester I felt pretty great, considering that there was another person living inside me.
Having big kids around sure makes a difference. They were able to be in charge of things in the afternoons, so I could always nap. And Betty even made dinner a few times when I just wasn’t feeling up to it. Ten year olds for the win!
So, birth story . . . Jim’s brother and his wife were visiting us for a long weekend before Thanksgiving, and I was really hoping that baby would come before they had to leave late morning on Tuesday. The week before had been a flurry of finishing the kids’ first semester and cooking and sewing and errands and kids sports and an ordination and a high Mass. I knew I had to get all that stuff done, but then came Sunday night, and all day Monday, which seemed like a perfectly good time to go into labor, and quite convenient for our visitors. After my long labor with Frankie, I figured it had better get going sooner rather than later. So I walked and walked and walked and ate spicy food and, nothing happened. Well, a couple of twinges Sunday night, but really nothing.
By Monday evening I figured it just wasn’t going to happen in time for Uncle Pat and Aunt Brie to be here, and I wrote a post about how I wasn’t in labor yet and set it to publish at midnight and went to take a quick bath and get some sleep. But THAT turned into a long bath and drying my hair and watching just ONE episode of Battlestar Galactica (a little racy, but really interesting so far) and I didn’t end up turning out the lights until a bit after midnight.
And the first contraction hit at 12:18am. I was pretty sure it was a contraction, but I knew it might still be a long time getting going, so I still tried to get some sleep. Then the second one hit at 12:24 and the third one at 12:30, so I sent the husband (who was still up working) a text message. He came back to the bedroom to check on me and take a quick shower.
The contractions were coming quickly, every five minutes or so, but they were really short: 20-30 seconds and not very painful. But since I did have a history of one VERY fast labor, we figured we’d head to the hospital. Especially since we had decided to let Betty come with us for this birth, and I didn’t want her to miss it because I had the baby in the car.
Once we were on our way, I knew it was really too early to be going in to the hospital. We were listening to What Does the Fox Say? in the car and I found it way too hilarious to be very far along in labor.
But the decision had been made, so we went ahead and checked in. They checked me and I was at a six, after having been at a three at my OB appointment that morning, so at least things were happening, but it just didn’t seem like they were happening very quickly.
At first the nurse wouldn’t let me leave the room (grrrr) so I ended up just walking and walking and walking in these ridiculous laps around the bed and bathroom and curtain in the room. (While Betty took a nap on the little couch.) Finally my OB intervened and got them to let me out, and I tell you what, I was THRILLED to see that ridiculous cabbage baby. Thrilled.
But lap after lap, I just didn’t feel like things were serious enough. The husband and I were talking and laughing and I was able to get though each short little contraction without even making a face. I figured it was going to be a long night. I was able to think about the intentions for which I was offering my labor, but I wasn’t sure I could even count what I was going through as suffering. I was still kinda giggling about that fox song.
At about 3:45am they hooked me back up to the machine that goes ping and they said I was having contractions every 2-5 minutes, but I wasn’t even feeling all of them. Then my OB came back in to check me again. She said it felt like the baby’s head was just a bit off center, and not applying full pressure the way it should be, so she had me lay on my side and shifted baby’s head over a bit with her fingers, and then all of a sudden my water broke and I immediately started having these two minute long crazy contractions one on top of the other, and in the words of my all time favorite children’s book, “There were sounds: sad sounds, loud sounds.”
So . . . things got serious in a big hurry. And I got pretty noisy.
I’ve said it before, but I really hate the pushing part. It just feels like it couldn’t possibly work. But my OB and my husband are both awesome at encouraging me through it and reminding me that if I just do it, it will all be over that much sooner. And at that point I’m pretty much out of it anyway. So I pushed really hard three or four times and out she came, looking right at Betty!
I was so impressed with Betty (who will be 10 in February) by the way, she was totally calm and interested throughout and not troubled by the craziness. We had talked about how mommy would be in pain, but it was okay, and she believed us. I’m so happy that I was able to share this experience with my daughter. She even got to cut the cord, although I think she’d tell you that was her least favorite part of the whole thing. It is kind of bloody and gross.
And baby was a girl, of course! Which is what I had been thinking the last couple of months, and it’s nice to balance things out a bit I guess. That boys’ room is pretty full of, as Anita would say, stinky brothers. I was surprised, though, at how big she was! Eight pounds, twelve ounces is a pretty darn big baby (for me anyway), and I really never felt that huge and didn’t gain more weight than I had with the last couple of babies, who were much smaller. She also has quite a head of hair on her, like Betty did at birth. Other than that she looks just like all the other Tierney babies. We only have one model.
My parents and all the kids and Aunt Brie and Uncle Pat were all able to come to the hospital and meet little Louise Marita first thing in the morning. Everyone was so excited to meet our new baby.
So it’s Tuesday night, still November 26th, as I write this. We have brought Lulu home to her adoring public, and I’m feeling good, if pretty beat up about the nethers. Fortunately I have plenty of helpers, because it’s going to be a mostly sitting in the glider Thanksgiving for me.
But the nice thing is, all those things the fox might say work quite well for muttering under one’s breath while trying to stand up from a chair after having busted out a nearly nine pound baby in about a half an hour.
The facts are:
4 hour labor
The folks who in my opinion came closest were . . .
Elizabeth: November 26th (my sister’s birthday) in the morning, 7 lbs, 9 oz, 5 hours, girl :).
Colleen: Nov. 24
Girl 7 lbs 6 oz 3 hours labor 4 am
November 25 Late morning- early afternoon 4 hr labor Girl 7lb 4oz
Baby GIRL (because I like to even up the numbers) Born 1 day before her due date Born in the morning After a short labor (2.5 hours?)
I’m going to guess November 26th, 4:30pm (after 6 hours of labor) – Girl 7 lbs. 13 oz.
Nov 26 (my birthday) 3pm 4 hours long 8 lbs 3 oz girl
So I put all your names in my virtual hat, and Amanda is the winner. I don’t have an email address for you though, so please email Haley at haley.s.stewart(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize!
And if you didn’t win, you can get a copy if the book here for less than $5, but hurry, after Thanksgiving it will be back up to it’s regular price (but still worth every penny!).
HAVE A BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
Hi! I’m Kendra.
For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.
If you’d like to learn more about what Catholics believe and why, and to be inspired by saints from every era all over the world, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of how to teach your kids about the faith in a way that’s true, engaging, and lasts a lifetime, we can help!
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