Introducing Barbara Josephine, who Blasted Out but is not an Elephant

by | Sep 29, 2019 | Babies, Birth Stories | 29 comments

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.


  1. Elvina

    So funny when nurses tell you not to push! Ha, ok ya sure! Lol So glad you’re baby is safe and in your arms. 🙂

    • Kendra

      Yeah, really wasn’t going to happen!

  2. Lisa Frecker

    Congratulations on the birth of Barbara Josephine! Glad to hear that you’re all doing well.

  3. Melanie

    Love love love the picture of your husband and baby girl. <3 Been praying for him. WHY do they tell you not to push?? There is No Not Pushing. My last was born with my OB in the stairwell, lol.

    • Kendra

      Thank you for your prayers!

  4. Amanda

    Nurses must never have had an unmediated birth to think there is any way “not pushing” will happen

    “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” <— and also believing labor will never happen are me. How many times have I gotten a lifetime supply of something I’ll need for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy?? Fortunately I keep getting pregnant again (expecting 7 now!)

    • Kendra

      That’s a good point. Maybe someone with an epidural could manage to not push!

  5. Peggy

    “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.”
    YES! Me every time!
    Congratulations on a beautiful addition to your lovely family.

  6. Jenny

    Congratulations on another beautiful child and a great birth story! I’m curious about how you and Jim arrived at the decision to invite your daughters to attend the birth. My oldest daughter is 9 and I’m due in January with her little sister, and she expressed some interest in being the first to meet the baby. However, my husband feels that it would not be appropriate for her to be there for the labor, because there is pain, suffering, nudity, blood and other excretions, and it would be too intense or scary. I’m curious to hear from you (and any others who made a similar decision) how you decided to include your girls. Blessings!

    • Mary

      Yes, me too! Would love to hear about that decision. My oldest will be almost 6, plus a 4 and a 2, and I have friends who’ve had all of their children at births…. and this time around no prospects for childcare, so having them home with us during the birth is almost a definite anyhow. Trying to decide whether Dada should distract them outside while I suffer alone inside w the midwife, or all of them to watch the whole thing.
      Congrats!! Love how you pushed. What an amazing Mama! And, what a great birth story. God bless you.

      • Kendra

        I do think that, for my kids, ten has been the right age. I’m not sure if they would have been ready to appreciate it younger. If I couldn’t get a babysitter I’d try just putting a movie on for the little ones!

    • Kendra

      We just really look at it as an opportunity to allow our daughters to see what birth actually looks like. Movies and TV always get it so preposterously wrong! I am grateful that my daughters have had the chance to see birth as hard but good! And the blood and sounds and nudity are things we prepare them for ahead of time. They don’t have to be scary if they are expected, and there’s nothing bad or immoral about seeing them! It’s really been a cool experience in our family!

      • Kate

        As mom to a little one born with an Apgar score of 1 (thanks be to God, safe and well now) I’m curious if you thought about what it would be like having older kids in the room should something go not so well with you or baby. Of course, having multiple births go well must be reassuring in that regard.

        • Kendra

          I think that’s one reason among others to reserve the experience for older daughters. But for them, I think it would be a privilege to see and know and pray for a sick baby brother or sister as early as possible, and if there was a tragedy, to know you had been there to meet your sibling. Of course, they would have to be guided through the experience, but I think with guidance, it could be seen as a blessing in a difficult time.

  7. Mary

    I’ve found with my three children that deciding baby is never going to be born and I will be pregnant forever is key to going into labor. It’s done the trick 3/3. Congratulations! What a beautiful baby and a beautiful name!

    • Kendra

      Hah! It seemed to do the trick!

  8. Christy

    Reading your birth stories is a cause of envy.

    Love you guys! Barbara Jo is just so beautiful, I’m so happy she’s here!

    • Kendra

      Thank you! You guys should come meet her!

  9. Alice

    Congratulations on this beautiful baby girl. My mother’s name is Barbara Jane Josephine, my oldest daughter is named for her (just the Barbara). Perhaps I can hold her when you bring her to Saturday Mass. Your family is so dear!

  10. Julie

    Congratulations! She’s so beautiful! May God continue to bless you all abundantly!

  11. Marilyn

    Congratulations on the birth of Barbara Josephine. Welcome to the world Barbara Josephine. God Bless you.

  12. Marilyn

    Congratulations on the birth of Barbara Josephine. Welcome to the world Barbara Josephine. God Bless.

  13. Anne Glenn

    This story just brings me joy in so many ways. I am going to have my third and I hope this baby won’t blast out because I live an hour from the hospital and my husband works 40 minutes away…lol

  14. Dawn

    Congratulations and God Bless you all!!! Such a beautiful story (and funny too!) <3

  15. Marion

    Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter. Welcome to the world Barbara Josephine.
    God Bless

  16. Sarah C

    This is the BEST! Congratulations on your newest bundle of joy, you are such an encouragement to me and many others! God Bless!

  17. Emily Chadwick

    This is just awesome. And hilariously written. I love the idea of having you older daughters there. I wish I would have done that with our most recent. Something to remember. Total Sidenote – is that a phone number in permanent marker on your sons arm!? I thought I was the only one who did that

    • Kendra

      Thats exactly what that is! It has come in handy more than I care to admit. 🙂

      • Emily Chadwick

        Love it 😉 New to your blog and really inspired by it. My husband also had cancer 1.0 when #4 was on the way and 2.0 before #5 (and now we have 7). Your & your husband’s sentiments totally put into words what I have never been able to adequately explain to inquiring minds. Thank you for your witness!

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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.

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