When I was expecting Betty, and Jack was a (very chatty) one and a half year old, he used to tell kids at the park, the grocery store check out guy, old ladies at church, etc. that the new baby was going to “blast out” of mommy. When asked if it was a brother or sister, he would reply that it was going to be an elephant. 🤰💥🐘👍

Well, he’s still got only brothers and sisters instead of elephants, but this was as close to the blasting out as I think we’re going to get.

Barbara Jo is a little over three weeks now. Her life so far had been a whirlwind of family visits, back to school stuff, Fiat Conference planning, my first big time out of town speaking engagement, and a lot of naps and snuggles in between. I got Mary Jane’s birth story up on the blog the day she was born . . . George’s took four months. So I figure this isn’t too bad!

As you guys probably all know, I was due on Labor Day, September 2nd. I was pretty excited about this because of the punni-ness of being in labor on Labor Day, plus the fact that we already had a 4th of July baby, so a Labor Day baby seemed like a good complement. Also, and most importantly, I am pretty attached to the fact that my babies have been so very punctual. I think five were born on their due dates, and three a day or two early, and only Bobby was past his due date (by one minute into the third day).

By Sunday the first, I had finished up all my projects and was starting to think I wouldn’t mind going a day early. But nothing was happening. I felt up for going to the big kids’ back to school family picnic, which should have been a pretty good indicator that things weren’t even all that close.

But that was fine. I was going to have a baby on my due date. Then, I woke up Monday morning not having gone into labor. And that was annoying. At 6:30am, Frankie came downstairs and we decided to go for a hike on the trails in the mountains behind our house. We had a good time, but it didn’t put me into labor, all it did was make my tailbone ache something fierce and pretty much hobble me for the rest of the day.

The next day was the first day of school for the kids who go to regular school, and I yet AGAIN woke up not in labor, so I decided to start school with my homeschool kids too, just to avoid sitting around going crazy. It was a good way to keep my mind off of my belly.

The NEXT day, September 4th, I woke up not in labor again, and pretty much decided I was just never ever going to have this baby, and I came up with a new project to start working on. The younger kids were scheduled to go to the LA County Fair that day with our homeschool group, and my parents had come up to take them (since I was already going to have had the baby, of course!). But we had also invited Anita, who is now ten, to be with us in the delivery room. Betty has been there for the births of her last three siblings, which has been really cool. (Betty was invited for this one too!)

They needed to leave for the fair at 8am. It’s about an hour away from us. I wasn’t having contractions and told Anita as much. I really didn’t want her to miss going to the fair with her friends, she had written book reports for free ride tickets and everything. But she decided she’d rather stay home, just in case.

About an hour later, I thought MAYBE I was possibly starting to have contractions, but I didn’t want to say anything and be wrong. Jim was at a meeting that morning, but was going to be back home pretty soon. So, I just kept working on the computer. But pretty shortly, I decided I’d start timing these suckers. And maybe text Jim to not dawdle too much.

When I was in labor with Mary Jane, I went from zero to serious, regular contractions almost immediately, and she was born (unintentionally at home) about 45 minutes later. With George, I had hours of weird almost-contractions before anything really got going. At first, this labor felt more like the second. Contractions were close together, but very short, and not very painful.

By ten, Jim was home. And Anita was vindicated, I was definitely in labor. I figured we should think about heading for the hospital. As usual, between contractions, I would worry that we were going to get there too early, and during contractions I would worry we should have left already. Once we were in the car, we decided to go straight to the hospital, rather than going to pick Betty up from school. This would turn out to have been a good call. (dun dun DUN!) Jim called the doctor (again) to say things were serious, and called the school and asked them to send Jack to drive Betty to the hospital and drop her off.

We got to the hospital around 10:40, checked-in, and were escorted to a room at 10:45. The nurse wanted me to pee in a cup and put on a gown. In the bathroom, I started having serious contractions, one right after the other, with really no break. But I was weirdly fixated on peeing in the cup. Jim finally convinced me to come to the bed.

My OB wasn’t there yet; he was on the way. As soon as the nurse checked me, she called to get the ER doctor up there, STAT! (I don’t know if she actually said stat, but I HOPE she did.) They didn’t even try to get an IV in (yay!).

As soon as the ER doctor had been called, it was this crazy free-for-all of people. More nurses kept coming in, and orderlies. Usually it’s been my OB and two nurses (plus Jim) when I give birth, but there must have been ten or twelve people in the room plus (Jim and Anita).

I was having one continuous contraction, and I know how to make those stop: have the baby! So over a chorus of medical professionals shouting at me not to push, I definitely ignored them, and gave one good push, and out blasted baby, onto the bed! The nurse caught her. It was great. And it was a girl: Barbara Josephine, born at 10:54am.

Anita was right there and so chill the whole time. I’m not sure if the ER doctor ever showed up or not. I don’t remember seeing one. My OB arrived shortly after the birth, and so did Betty and Jack. He got to come in too, and meet Barbara, and hang out for a bit, before they went back to school.

Barbara was 8lbs, which after 10lb George, probably explains the fast entrance.

The homeschool kiddos came by to meet her on the way home from the fair, and were all super excited to meet her.

All was well with mom and baby, and we were home just after dinner. Things have been super busy and very relaxing at the same time. We’ve been blessed with plenty of help and meals, and my recovery has been shockingly easy. I got to celebrate my 43rd birthday on September 20th, with this sweet little girl. God is good. We also got some very good news on the husband’s latest scans. We are so grateful for your prayers!

I’ve got other blog posts bouncing around in my head, but we’ll have to see when I can get to them! Hopefully soon. Until then, I will announce that the Catholic All October booklet is available as a paperback on Amazon and as a printable PDF in the blog shop, and so is the all new Catholic All Day booklet (as a paperback, and a PDF), featuring prayers and devotions for morning, noon, and night, at home, at Mass, or on the go.

The 2020 liturgical year wall calendars are available now in three versions, in print and as PDFs: with feast days and fast days and art featuring Traditional Monthly Devotions, Marian Devotions, or Monthly Prayers. The October liturgical living video is coming up soon!

And if you can’t be with us in person for the Fiat Conference on October 12th, we’ve got great news! We will be live-streaming all five talks from the conference. You can purchase access at a discounted early bird rate through October 1st, so hurry! You’ll get the conference live as it happens, and for 30 days afterwards. This is a bit of a leap of faith on our end, and we’re hoping the ticket sales will cover our investment in the cost of streaming the event. So, please tell your friends! Click here to purchase your ticket.