Birth story: My 32-minute labor

One fine spring morning, heavily pregnant with baby #7, I got up to pee and noticed after a few moments that I was having contractions.


Not sure if this was the “real thing” or not, I crawled back into bed (time: 6:58 AM) and said to my DH, “Honey, I think I am in labor, but I am not 100% sure. I think I am just going to get in the shower, and we can head off to the hospital afterwards, should that become necessary.”

That sounded like a good plan to him, so he got dressed and went next door to tell our friends that at some point we might drop the kids off with them so that I could go have a baby.

Meanwhile, I told my four-year-old that I would give him breakfast as soon as I was done showering, and I returned to the bathroom…and I noticed that I was kind of shaky and nauseated and, I dunno…is that pressure?

Ridiculous. I decided to pull myself together. After all, it had been like, what, 20 minutes? There was NO REASON to be shaking, it was CLEARLY not nausea, and it couldn’t POSSIBLY be pressure. Just cut it out.

Right. Of course. How silly of me. I decided to stop the nonsense forthwith.

So I got into the shower, and I turned my attention to the Very Important Question of whether or not I should shave my legs. (I decided that I shouldn’t, because who the hell really cares, anyway?)

OK. What about conditioner? Would shampoo alone be sufficient this time, given that I just conditioned the night before? Or maybe because I was shampooing for the second time in about 12 hours I should–

–I should squat in the tub and push.

Right. Good idea.

And then a baby’s head popped out from between my legs.


At that point, DH returned from next door and heard some peculiar noises emanating from the bathroom. Recognizing the noises as those which immediately preceded the births of babies #1 – #6, he stuck his head in and suggested that PERHAPS IT WAS TIME TO GO?

Ya think?

I countered with a polite-yet-urgent request that he help me get the shoulders out (please). Which, dutifully, he did, and he only dropped the baby a little bit onto the bathtub floor in the process (it’s a boy!). So we picked the baby up, and we wrapped him in a towel, and he started to cry, and an ambulance would probably be in order. (Time: 7:30 AM.)

As I stepped out of the tub, I realized that my four-year-old was outside the bathroom door, still waiting for me to pour him some cereal. Concerned that he would have all of these negative associations with childbirth if I came out looking traumatized and he saw the bloody mess I made in the bathroom–I mean, what if he would never want to get married and have kids???–I pasted a really gooey smile on my face, and, still attached to the baby by the umbilical cord, I opened the door and chirped brightly, “Do you see the baby???”

My four-year-old stared, looked behind me into the bathroom (just to see if there were a newly-installed newborn-baby cabinet in there, I guess), and looked back at me.

He waited patiently.

I smiled gooily.

Finally, still completely stumped, and wisely concluding that I was not going to be forthcoming with the information he was seeking, he gave up and asked,

“Where did you get that?”

So we proceeded to the living room and put some garbage bags on the couch and I sat down and the ambulance came and took me to the hospital, and before I came back home my next-door neighbor came in and cleaned up the mess (after all, what are next-door neighbors for, if not to mop up your bodily fluids from your living room floor?).

April 27, 2002. 6 pounds, 9 ounces. 🙂



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