Birth Story Week: #1, in which I puke in a bush

by | Nov 16, 2013 | Birth Stories, Pregnancy | 9 comments

As baby number seven’s due date fast approaches, I figured I ought to do a Birth Story Week of all six births so far.

If you are a male person who reads my blog (hi Dad!) you might want to consider skipping this week. There may be rushing fluids and wooziness.

Here’s birth story number one:

I was due with my first on June 26, 2002. I value punctuality. So I was not at all surprised to be awakened by my first contraction at 12:01 am on June 26. Of course, it was my first baby, so I wasn’t 100% sure it was a contraction. But it sure seemed like one. So, despite all the good advice I had read about letting my husband get some rest, I immediately poked him until he half woke up and reminded him that our car seat was not properly installed in the car.

He did not appear particularly troubled by this information, and went right back to sleep. I tried to get some rest, but mostly couldn’t. So, I went downstairs and cleaned up the house and watched Men in Black

By around four in the morning the knowledge that my husband was sleeping while I was having contractions AND the car seat wasn’t installed was more than I could handle, so I woke him up. He still couldn’t recognize the importance of the car seat situation and thought maybe he should stay with me and we should go for a walk or something.

So we walked and walked until that became unpleasant and we came back inside. My water still hadn’t broken, but I was sure this was the real thing. I had read some stuff, I knew there would be a mucus plug and a “bloody show” which didn’t sound that bad. What I didn’t know that for me “show” = so. much. blood. (Hey, I tried to warn you guys.) So the bathtub felt nice, but soon got pretty gross.

It was early morning now, 6 am or so, and I was having some pretty serious contractions, but we didn’t want to leave for the hospital because they weren’t like the book said they should be. They seemed strong, but were shorter and farther apart than they were “supposed” to be. 

So, we stayed home and I laid down on the bed where I discovered that, like Kirstie Alley, I just wanted to have this baby without you touching me. I wanted my husband there, but no back rubs or pressure or any of that. My most distinct memory from the whole labor was laying there thinking, “I can do this, I will get through this. But I will NEVER do this again.” Of course, I used to mentally quit the cross country team in the middle of every race. So I’m really not to be trusted on that sort of thing.

I was unnaturally worried that I would show up at the hospital at 3 cm and all the nurses would point at me and throw their heads back and laugh. But eventually the husband prevailed upon me to head over there, just in case. At the time, we lived in student housing on the Stanford campus and let’s just say I wasn’t the only gal looking kind of haggard in that parking lot at 7:30 am. I also probably wasn’t the only girl to puke in that bush.

When we got to the hospital, the nurses ignored us for a bit as maternity ward nurses are wont to do. But once they finally checked me things started happening in a hurry. I was rushed to a room, pushed for a half an hour or so and baby Jack was born at about 9 am. 

So, nine hours of labor, no complications, 7 lbs 8 oz. We went home from the hospital that evening, because I can’t stand hospitals. (Seriously, what is with all the waking you up in hospitals? I just had a baby people, my blood pressure is fine, I’m just TIRED.)

The husband did eventually install the car seat, which he had thrown in the back of the car, box and all. And then once we got home, we still had to figure out what to do with this little person. But that’s another story!

Check back tomorrow for birth story number two . . . 


  1. Molly

    I'm in the "no touchy" camp too – I've told Ben it's okay with me if he waits in the lobby next time. 😉

  2. Amelia@One Catholic Mama

    Great birth! I'm also in the "don't touch me during labor" camp. I love those pastel bubble things in the hospital baby photo…those are so early 2000. LOL (My oldest was born in Feb. 2002 and they took a few photos of her on that background…(although the one we picked for her final photo was a Valentine's background since she was born Feb 13th).

  3. Maia

    Golly! I just love this! (I feel like I am really new to your blog, and while I'm pretty sure I will never be quite as on top of things as you seem, I really value your reviews and wise words on being a Catholic wife and mom. All year.)

  4. Mrs. Amen

    I like "no touching" too. My doula was so kind at my vbac to keep doing hip presses and she asked me if they were helping relieve the pain during contractions. I felt badly, but said, no. They are making it worse, but maybe it's helping the labor go faster? She laughed at me and said she could stop if I wanted her to. I also am firmly in the "no wet washcloths on my head" camp, no matter how hot and sweaty I am. The cold is nice, but the wet just irritates me.

  5. Katharine B.

    Only my husband is allowed to touch me when I'm in labor. He is the best about being quiet and strong, holding my hand tight.
    During my last labor the nurses kept pushing the baby heart rate monitor thingy down on my stomach during contractions, they were barely pressing but I swear it made the contractions 10x worse!

  6. Christine

    I never wrote down a birth story from my first child (born three years ago), and I should really do that before more of the details get forgotten or confused with later births. I'm impressed that you can keep six different birth stories apart in your mind!

  7. Danielle

    I'm told that as you have more babies your labors get quicker…can't wait to see if you had something like an hour worth of labor by number 6 (though I sure hope not–scary!) I'd sorta like to believe this old wives' tale as my labor was a good 21 hours long…

  8. Melissa

    Great story! I really enjoyed the newbie details—like how the contractions weren't how they were supposed to be! There's just no way to learn about one's own pregnancy and birthing without going through it, is there?

    I dunno about labors getting quicker. I had only four, so what do I know? #1 took 29 hours with a break in the middle; #2 (a pound bigger that any of the others) took 3.25 hours; and the last two took about six hours each. That last was perfect, seemed to me. I had enough time to get home from wherever I was, round up the kids and husband, take the kids somewhere, get to the birthing location, and deliver with no rush. Of course, everybody is different!


  1. A Vocation to Motherhood - Catholic All Year - […] . . . baby Jack was born.  And a funny thing happened.  I became a […]

Submit a Comment

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!

➡️ Get my liturgical living checklist for free when you join my weekly newsletter. Sign up here.

This blog contains affiliate links and sponsored posts, for which I receive a commission. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.