Thursday, August 13, 2009


It is my precious Owen's birthday today! Time has soared along as he has moved from tummy to toddling to tricycle in the past THREE years!

In honor of his birthday, I am sharing his birth story...

The pregnancy got off to a rough start, bringing terrible morning and all-day sickness. I felt nauseous throughout the entire day, and I couldn’t find relief while I slept because the sick feeling would waken me. I was still ravenously hungry so I ate, but often my stomach rejected it afterwards. The frozen fruit sold in bulk at Sam’s Club was my lifesaver. It tasted so good and agreed with my digestive system, too. Thankfully, it was Brian’s off-season at work so he was home to help care for the Gavin and Maddie (then 3 and 1½) as I was barely functioning some days! I remember at some point around nine weeks thinking it would be impossible to get through the rest of the day, let alone several more weeks! By sixteen weeks, the severe nausea passed and the rest of the pregnancy was a dream. I had no swelling or back ache and was full of energy into the third trimester. Time passed quickly with small children to occupy.

I was due on the 29th of August (my mom’s birthday) and since each of the other kids had been born late, I was purposely waiting until the last minute to wash baby clothes, install the carseat, and pack for the hospital. I had learned that having everything done far ahead of time and then waiting for something to happen was frustrating so I decided to save the work for the final antsy days.

We went out to dinner for our fifth anniversary on Friday, the 11th. Gavin and Maddie stayed at home with Brian's mom, so we took the opportunity to browse a few stores after dinner. My back started aching while we walked. More than a heaviness from being on my feet, it was a muscle-tensing ache. I tried to walk through it, but eventually we decided to go home and after the kids were in bed, I lounged on the couch with a heating pad.

On August 12th, I began to have signs of more change in my body. Light contractions had woken me in the early morning. They were stronger than my regular Braxton Hicks but I knew it was too early to be true labor. We had a family beach outing planned for the afternoon/evening so, on the off-chance this was real labor, we decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood. The typical humid, oppressive heat of August had mellowed making for a lovely day, and my lack of continuing contractions convinced me we were okay to go ahead with our plans.

By lunchtime, I felt a bit nauseous, but with only slight hesitation, we left for the beach around 3. My two sisters rode with us and I discreetly timed a few contractions on the way. In the forty-five minute drive, I had two, but during the evening campfire and cookout by the ocean, they continued to come about 30 minutes apart. My grandmother knew I wasn’t feeling well and was especially worried that I would go into labor on the beach, but I attributed my discomfort to toting towels and toddlers uphill along the sand dunes! I was in denial that I could possibly be in labor this many days (seventeen!) before my due date. I was in the mood for another walk so Brian and I left the kids with my parents and took a walk down the beach. During our second long walk of the day, I had a contraction or two that stopped me in my tracks, but I was able to recover and move on quickly.

I was exhausted by eight o’clock so we headed home to bathe the kids and put them to bed. After taking a glorious shower, I lay across my bed to watch TV and the contractions slowed and eventually died out. Thankful that I had not gotten my hopes too high, and thankful we had gone ahead with our day’s plans, I turned in around 11:30. However, at 1 am I awoke with painful contractions. I wasn’t comfortable lying down, but when I sat up or walked around, the contractions petered out! I went downstairs for a glass of water and a game of Boggle on the computer. When I started to feel tired again, I began my ascent up the stairs. Mid-step, I had a powerful pain grip me and my doubts vanished.

At 3 am, I called my mom to come stay with the kids. I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time since the hospital where my midwife practices was an hour away. While waiting for my mom to arrive, I packed my suitcase. Having made a list ahead of time, it was not difficult to gather what I needed between contractions which were now—finally—coming regularly.

During our drive, I began feeling hungry and not being sure what I would be allowed to eat or drink once I arrived at the hospital, we stopped for a snack. Being the middle of the night, most places were closed so we settled on a convenience store. Riding had stalled my contractions so I decided to join Brian in the store where I proceeded to lean over a refrigerator case pretending to look at a sandwich while having a whopper contraction!

Part 2


  1. Happy birthday to a most precious little boy! We love you, Owen!!!

  2. Happy Birthday Owen !!!!
    From all of us:)

  3. Happy Birthday to Owen!

    I'm currently on pregnancy 3 with a 3 year old and 1 1/2 year old at home. Craziness!

    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

  4. Happy Birthday Owen! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story. By the time this new little one is born Emahry will not quite be 3 and Jonathan will be 17 months old.

  5. Happy Birthday!!!

    Your family is beyond precious... just perfect!



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