Well, THAT Escalated Quickly . . .

by | Jul 25, 2015 | Babies | 73 comments

Just going to pop in quickly here to introduce you to the newest member of the family . . . Mary Jane Tierney.

She was born at 3:08am this morning, July 25th, her due date, the Feast of St. James. 8lbs 3oz, 21 inches long, not much hair to speak of. Looks exactly like the rest of them.

And . . . she was accidentally born at home.

I went in for a checkup last Tuesday and was already at a five, and I’d been having a lot of tightness over the course of the week, so I figured things might go quickly. But I had no idea it would go THAT quickly.

I was finishing up some stuff on the computer at 1am when I thought MAYBE that was a contraction, but I wasn’t sure so I decided to try to get some sleep and see if it was the real thing. I woke up at 2:19am and knew that was a real one. So I got up, put some chargers and whatnot into my hospital bag. Had another one. Thought maybe I’d curl my hair to have something to do. Had another one. Decided to forgo hair curling.

At about 2:40am, I woke Jim up, and told him that the contractions were really short, but really close together. He got dressed and got Betty up, and we were ready to head for the car at a little before 3am. But by this time, I was walking back and forth in the kitchen having long contractions, close together.

And they were the loud kind. I was thinking back to my other births, especially Lulu’s and how we had joked around in the car and sang What Does the Fox Say on the way to the hospital, and I knew I was WAY past that. I had had maybe eight contractions total? But I just knew we weren’t going to be able to make the 15 minute drive to the hospital.

I marched back to our room and headed into the bathroom. Jim followed me, and I told him I think we needed to have the baby here. He was pretty shocked, but he’s good in a crisis. We were trying to figure out for sure what to do when my water broke, which, for me, means this is happening RIGHT NOW.

I got into the empty tub on my hands and knees, and Jim was there, ready to catch the baby, but I was scared to push with the first contraction. I gave myself a little pep talk, and pushed on the next one, and out came the head. Then, there was a lull of like a minute where I didn’t have another contraction, and the baby’s head was just there, frowning at Jim. The rest of her was born with one more push on the next contraction. And it was a girl, our Mary Jane.

Jim went to go get Betty, who had been patiently waiting in the kitchen for us to all go to the hospital! The placenta was still in there, and Mary Jane was still attached to it, so I couldn’t pass her off to anyone. But we filled up the tub and got ourselves warmed up and cleaned off.

I held her and Betty washed her, while Jim called the OB and my parents.

It was a good forty minutes later that the placenta was birthed, and THAT made a real mess of things. Yuck. Until then, the whole experience had been rather tidy. Anyway, we put the still-attached-to-Mary Jane placenta in a bag, rinsed off again, wrapped up in a robe and a couple towels, and headed over to the hospital.

Betty went back to bed.

My OB met us there, checked me over, and put in a couple of stitches. Mary Jane got checked over and was deemed practically perfect in every way.

My parents and the rest of the kids (except Jack, who is on his way back from Boy Scout Camp on Catalina Island today!) came by to meet her at about 7am, and she was a big hit with everyone.

And now, my folks took the kids home, Jim is meeting our realtor at a house we were supposed to go see this morning, and Mary Jane and I are chillin’ all alone in our hospital room and looking forward to a well-earned nap, before we try to get all the tests and paperwork finished so we can sleep at home tonight.

It was a crazy, fast experience, but in retrospect, it really did all go beautifully. I have been praying for your intentions all week. Thank you for entrusting them to me. For now, I’m going to offer my frustration with bossy nurses and dumb hospital policies for you. Dealing with those is much harder for me than giving birth anyway. ;0)


And now . . . the winners of the Baby Pool!

You guys were good. Twenty four people guessed that she would be a girl born on the 25th, and a few of you were REALLY spot on. Many of you guessed her name!

I decided to just randomly select five winners from all the best guesses. And here they are:

1. Rachel of The Hardest Job I’ll Ever Love (She got four out of six guesses exactly right!)

2. Amelia of One Catholic Mama (Who I’m almost positive has won a different giveaway on this blog too. But that’s allowed.)

3. Abby S. (Who is Lulu’s Godmother, but that’s also allowed.)

4. Jessica Lambert

5. Betka

Check out the original post for pictures and details, but the fabulous prizes are:

1. From WholeParentingGoods: a pair of completely adorable 0-6m baby leggings. Check out Nell’s Etsy shop to see these and more creative, handmade items for babies, toddlers, and moms.

2. From Bison Booties: A $30 gift certificate to spend as you please at Erica’s online store. Bison Booties are handmade by stay-at-home-moms, and are Vegan (if you’re into that sort of thing). Choose from infant and toddler booties, child and adult slippers, and even bibs and pacifier clips.

3. From Magnificat and Ignatius Press, a collection of three new books, especially for Catholic kids: Catholic Saints for Children , A Missal for Little Ones , and Let’s Pray the Rosary .

4. From Michele Chronister, of My Domestic Monastery: A digital copy of the book Rosaries Aren’t Just For Teething, featuring reflections by ten of your favorite Catholic mom bloggers on the subject of Mary.

5. And from ME, if I can get my act together to mail it out to you, one of the spare baby blankets . . . so that the baby of your choice can be twinsies with my baby and his or her cousins. And a signed copy of MY book, A Little Book about Confession for Children which now FINALLY has an Imprimatur. (It’s a slow church.) I TOLD you guys it wasn’t heretical.

To claim your prize, please email me at helpdesk@catholicallyear.com with your name and mailing address. In the email please put the five available prizes in order of your preference. Hopefully everyone will get something she actually wants!

If I haven’t heard from you by Wednesday, I’ll award the prize to a new winner.

Thanks to everyone for your love and prayers and support.


  1. Ashley Sue

    Awesome story! Our unexpected homebirth is my favorite. It was just this awesome feeling of being together and handling the situation together. Just us and the baby. I'm so glad that it went smoothly.

    • Kendra

      Yes, THE best. For all the reasons you said. And we're in the middle of trying to buy a house, and now I'm sad to leave THE tub, the tub where our baby was born. I want to do yearly photos of her in it!

  2. Erica Saint

    Congratulations! When I saw her picture this morning on Facebook, my first thought was "She looks just like her brothers and sisters!" πŸ™‚

  3. Micaela Darr

    Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I die that you posted this today. My need for instant gratification really thanks you for that. Yes, let's please talk about judgmental hospital staff and ridiculous hospital policies.

    Since you've got it altogether, want to just get her baptized tomorrow? πŸ˜‰

    • Theresa McGuirk

      LOL, I can totally picture a Sunday-dressed Tierney family and baby Mary in a baptism gown in a post tomorrow evening!

    • Sara Rooney

      Exactly what Micaela said. πŸ˜€ congratulations! And praise God for answered prayers.

  4. Rosa Patterson

    So you didn't call an ambulance? I thought that was the protocol… I need to get this straightened out as my last labor was under two hours and I think it would take us 40 minutes just to drop our kids off and get to the hospital. So I'm a bit nervous and don't have any idea what to do. I mean I think Ive got the actual birth part under control but what do you do afterward? Did you drive to the hospital with her in your lap?

    • Kendra

      Yep. We just put the placenta in a bag and left it attached, and I sat with her in the back seat and we drove ourselves to the hospital. Since our kids are older, we were able to just leave them home. So that was one less thing to worry about.

  5. Tiffany O'Hara

    What an amazing birth story! Glad you and your beautiful new addition are doing well. Congrats and many blessings!

  6. Rosie

    WHAT. WHAT??? I can't even. This is what I want my next labor & delivery to be, please. Also totally curling my hair next time I'm in labor. Brilliant.

  7. Schafergal

    Congratulations!! She's beautiful (and definitely a Tierney!)

    Why does it not surprise me at all that you had her at home and blogged about it hours later? You are amazing!

  8. Cassandra

    This is great! I love these kinds of stories. You are so fortunate that your OB was nice to you about it. This is basically what happened to me with my #5 and the OB and hospital treated us like druggies who were trying to hide something. When I called my OBs office to tell them what happened they were disgusted that I didn't call 911 and the hospital was angry that we came in on our own instead of in an ambulance. Then we left AMA after their stupid policies continued to make everything so much more difficult than it had to be. BUT, it sounds like it's going much better for you and the birth was wonderful, and I'm so happy for you and your family! After that happened to me, I planned the rest of mine for at home on purpose, because, well, that's better than in the car on accident.

  9. Anita

    I just started following your blog; is it always this exciting around here? Congratulations to the whole family. There's nothing better than a new baby in the house.

  10. Brigid Hogan

    You are a champ, Mary Jane is BEAUTIFUL, and Betty sounds like she was a great nurse! Congrats to all of you.

  11. Janice Trinh

    How absolutely awesome! You're like, "pfft. birthing? i own this!" So glad to hear you and baby are doing wonderful. And thanks for sharing your story. You're totally warrior-momma to the max! haha!

  12. Patty

    That's incredible Kendra, you are my hero!!! What an adventure…MJ is a doll:) Enjoy that hospital rest!

  13. Melissa

    Congratulations! So amazing. It brought a tear to my eye. I hadn't really thought about the placenta part of things at home. I don't know why. I am so impressed with you. She is beautiful.

  14. Colleen

    That's a great birth story!! My last three were incredibly fast, but we made it to the hospital each time!! You're amazing and she's beautiful!

    • Colleen

      Oh, and since mine do come fast and it's a concern for me…the midwife assured me that from the first contraction to the delivery could really not be shorter than 2 hours. She's an awesome midwife, and my fast ones were all right about 2 hours from start to finish, so I believed her. But now you. This. Although I guess if you count from the first contraction at 1 am until birth at 3 am, you also had a 2 hour labor. OK, now I feel better.

    • Pearlann

      Hi Colleen, my 3rd was under 2 hrs. My water breaking woke me from a dead sleep at 530 and I didn't have first contraction till 6. He was born at 7:17 and was 10lbs10oz.

  15. Jennifer S.

    Our daughter Audrey, born on July 17th was also a due date baby. She was a planned home birth inspired by our previous unplanned home birth. It will be interesting to see what you guys decide to do should you be blessed with another baby. Glad everything went so well. Congratulations again!

  16. AcreageAdventures

    Congrats and happy to hear it all went well – have been saying some prayers for you this week. How have you convinced the hospital staff to let you leave same day? Whenever I have suggested going home before the 48 hour "requirement", everyone looks at me like I'm a lunatic. I'll be having my 4th baby in November. Maybe by now they will trust me to go home when I'd like πŸ˜‰

    • Kendra

      I don't know. Our doctor with our first two was just really easy going and didn't have a problem with us leaving, so we've always been able to play the "well, LAST time . . . " card.

      But, basically two minutes after the birth we start reminding everyone we see that we'd like to go home as soon as possible, just to make sure we can get all the paper work and tests and whatnot done that day.

      Calm but firm, just like with two year olds. πŸ˜‰

  17. LD

    Kendra – hugs to you and little Mary Jane. Glad that all are safe and healthy. OMG!!! You really do have this having and raising babies things down to a science … sigh … some of us are trying to get there …

  18. Tracy Bua Smith

    Great birth story! Congrats again! I think Mary Jane is making a "Frankie" face in one of the above pictures. Mary Jane must have been a smart observer even in the womb πŸ˜‰

  19. Tracy Bua Smith

    Great birth story! Congrats again! I think Mary Jane is making a "Frankie" face in one of the above pictures. Mary Jane must have been a smart observer even in the womb πŸ˜‰

  20. walking dot photography

    I've also always wondered what would happen after an "oopsies home birth", haha! I'm only pregnant with my first right now, but I'm already dreading all the stupid hospital rules. Do any OBs or Midwifes make home visits? Or do they have to have some sort of legal "okay" to do that?

    • Kendra

      They do, but I don't have any experience with that myself. I can ask Jim if he's available. ;0)

  21. Sarah

    Congratulations! What a great story! Mary Jane is so sweet!

  22. Anonymous

    Betty looks SO happy. What a great older sister. Congratulations and happy birthday to Mary Jane! What a great feast day to be born on!

  23. Amanda

    I know you wanted an accidental homebirth, and mine was my favorite (I also have a calm in emergencies husband). She is so beautiful and I'm ridiculously excited for you. I don't know about CA, but here getting the birth certificate was a pain (when we got to the hospital, I hadn't delivered the placenta. Did they really think I was faking her birth?) but then at place of birth it has your address, which just seems cool to me. Yea!

    • Kendra

      That's interesting. We don't have the birth certificate in hand yet, but it seems like they're just going to treat it the same as a hospital birth, since that's what we intended. We just filled out all the same forms we have with the other babies.

    • Amanda

      That seemed to be what the state thought we should have done, but the hospital said no since she wasn't born there and we didn't know to push back because otherwise affidavits were involved. The worst was that apparently at some unknown to anyone point, her birth certificate might just get filed with no name at all and we'd have to legally have it changed. It was unfortunate postpartum stress.

      I love having a baby early in the morning because you get a whole day of it being her birthday. Happy birthday Mary Jane!

  24. AnneMarie

    This is a fantastic birth story! I love how God works in unexpected ways! Congratulations; you and your family have been in my prayers, and I am so glad that things went very smoothly! Mary Jane is gorgeous, and I love her name! Congratulations again!

  25. Amanda

    Oh my goodness, I love this so much! I was checking for the birth story all day and my husband was like "do you really think she's going to post a birth story 12 hours after having her baby??" and I was all "Um, yes! Have you seen her hair in labor? She's clearly a robot mom and therefore is totally capable of posting the birth story on her blog the same day, just watch" ….and as usual I was right πŸ™‚ Seriously though, how do you get your hair to look so awesome post-birth if you didn't have time to curl even??

    Okay, okay, back to important things. Mary Jane is absolutely adorable! You are a rockstar and I'm super impressed that Jim caught her and was chill in the moment. I love that Betty was patiently waiting in the kitchen to go to the hospital and then it turns out you guys had already delivered her sister, haha! And I LOVE the pics of Jim and Betty posing in the tub with you afterwards, so awesome! You really do keep it exciting around here, so fun!

    I hope you and Mary Jane get a nice restful sleep tonight to make up for missing sleep last night and that you have a good recovery. Congratulations!

    • Kendra

      Thanks Amanda! πŸ™‚

      We had a really great night's sleep. She's such a cute little snugly thing.

  26. Melissa

    I'm so happy for you all. While reading your birth story, I was thinking of the Holy Family the night of our Lord's birth. How lovely and fitting that you named her Mary!

  27. Patti

    Wow! What an awesome birthing experience! I must say that seeing your oldest daughter beam with delight by your side is such a beautiful thing. Helping to wash her baby sister is definitely a memory she will always cherish, I'm sure! πŸ™‚ Congrats to you all!

  28. Laurel

    I think Mary Jane was holding out for her due date and decided to make her appearance not too long after the clock struck midnight because she was DONE. Not holding out for the hospital. πŸ˜‰

    I'm glad things went so smoothly, Kendra, despite the exciting, surprise entry of your little one! Congratulations to the whole Tierney family! πŸ™‚

  29. Ali

    Congratulations! I'm so happy for all of you! What an exciting entry into the world. I never knew what would happen in an unplanned home birth.

    Happy Birthday Mary Jane!

  30. Ann-Marie Ulczynski

    I am just in awe over here. That is amazing. How special for Betty. I am glad it all turned out well and that you are enjoying sweet newborn snuggles.

  31. Heather

    WOW! You are a mama rock star! That did, indeed, escalate VERY quickly!~ Congrats, and welcome sweet little Mary Jane!~

  32. Kendra

    Planned home birth with a midwife would have been my preference from the beginning, but the husband just wasn't comfortable with the idea. So, we became hospital-minimalists and that's really worked for us.

    I've never loved being in the hospital, but I do love my doctor, and I'm grateful for the peace of mind that (usually) delivering in the hospital gives my husband. I also like that they take care of all the paperwork!

  33. Monica McConkey

    Wow! I'm in awe! I'm so glad it all went so well! She's adorable (I'd expect nothing less πŸ™‚ Enjoy!!

  34. Kristi

    Love this story! So glad everything worked out so well even with the quick escalation! We've had two hospital births (which went great), but I remain intrigued with the idea of home birth, intentional or otherwise. πŸ˜‰ I love my OB, or things might have gone another way! Congratulations on your beautiful new girl!

  35. Nancy Shuman

    Stunned. I am stunned. What an amazing birth!!! And what a beautiful, beautiful baby. Congratulations!

  36. katie

    I see! Thanks for your response. I guess we have been really lucky our hospital doesn't pester you very much at all during the night. I like those days in the hospital just with the new baby and my husband, when I go home, even if there are others to help I do more than just relax. That's why I call in my mini vacation. thanks for sharing your life with us readers! I really enjoy your blog and the wisdom you share!

  37. Claire

    Glory to God. Thank you for sharing this. I never get tired of happy birth stories. You and Jim did awesome. And look! Frankie is smiling! I have a soft spot in my heart for cranky Frankie. πŸ™‚ Have a good restful recovery. Welcome little Mary Jane! And, hey, how did you get her shirt? adorbs.

  38. Mandi

    I know a lot of women really fear an unplanned home birth or birthing in the car but I always thought if the baby came out that easily and quickly, why in the world would I be upset about it? Sounds wonderful!

    I'm glad everything went smoothly and all is healthy!

    • Kendra

      Yes! Eight or ten contractions, then a baby and a warm bath? What's not to like? :0)

    • Kendra

      I am not at liberty to divulge that information, in case there is a Tierney baby number nine.

  39. Sarah Isis D

    you're amazing with that home delivery! Mary Jane is precious. Congratulations!

  40. Hannah

    My 3rd was born in the bathroom too, accidentally. Very similar story. Except the firemen (also trained as EMT's) showed up as she was crowning and caught her πŸ™‚

  41. Pearlann

    Congrats Kendra. She is beautiful. I am so happy for your family. I'm meeting with a midwife Tuesday because after 4 hospital deliveries I just don't want all the headaches. I truly wish you could have a home birth like experience at the hospital.

  42. Heather

    My first grandson was born on Thursday, also on his due date! He was, however, born in a hospital – a really strict one that was a pain in the rear. He went to NICU right after birth because he and mommy were both running a fever but he was fine and I got to see him about three hours after birth. They had the mandatory 48 hour stay and during that time there was a fire at the hospital and they had to evacuate the mama/baby wing. They moved them into a labor and delivery room with five other couples. There was just smoke and fumes in their wing of the hospital but they got it cleared out within a few hours and they were able to go back to their room. My question was, "do you pay the full price for a private room when you're basically in a maternity ward?" My son didn't know. Anyways… he's Oliver Joel Espericueta Sauls, 6 lbs, 12 oz with dark curly hair and I am completely smitten!

  43. MerMer

    Just woke up after the flight home from Germany and wow! I'm tearing up with happiness and excitement for you and your family, and it's not even at all jet lag-related! Congratulations and many blessings to everyone!!

  44. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Congrats! She is a Mary Poppins baby, for sure! And, another congrats on taking charge of that birth like a boss.

    BUT, can we recognize the real hero here? πŸ˜‰ Betty! I want a Betty! She was amazing!

    • Kendra

      I know. She was really great. Last time, when we were in the hospital the nurse told her she was in the way (when she really wasn't) and made her go stand in the corner. :0( It was really sweet that she got to actually involved and helpful.

  45. Jennifer Nolan

    Congrats, Kendra! What a great birth story! Something like holding a greased bowling ball. I can't wait to meet her. Jennifer S.

  46. Erin

    Congratulations!!! What a great birth story, though the part that steals my heart the most is the look of utter joyful glee on your oldest daughter's face. I just keep scrolling back to smile at her beaming gleefulness.

  47. Sarah

    Congratulations, she is beautiful, and I am sure Mary Jane will love hearing about her amazing birth story for the rest of her life!

  48. Amber McDonald

    What an incredible birth story that you will get to repeat to Mary Jane over the years. You are a rockstar, mama! I love all the kids' expressions upon meeting their new sister and I especially love Betty's HUGE smile while sitting next to you in the tub. Absolutely adorable!


  1. Introducing Barbara Josephine, who Blasted Out but is not an Elephant - Catholic All Year - […] I was in labor with Mary Jane, I went from zero to serious, regular contractions almost immediately, and she…

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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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