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Elizabeth’s birth story

2010 September 20
by Pamela

This was originally written as a Facebook note on Elizabeth’s first birthday.  I am cross-posting it here so I’ll have both girl’s birth stories in one place.  This is Mary Claire’s birth story.

One year ago today, I went to my last prenatal visit. I was already two days past my due date and felt like every other woman who is 9 + months pregnant. But I was having no contractions or signs of impending labor, so I made plans to have lunch with Garima and Tammie, two of my former co-workers, after the checkup.

My midwife Elaine had different news for me. I was dilated to a 7, 110% effaced, and the baby was at a station +1. I thought a +1 meant the head was out.  She asked me kindly if I knew that I was in labor. My greatest fear the whole pregnancy was that I was not going to make the 45 minute drive out to Ann Arbor, but the fear was relieved when Elaine told me that I was going to give birth within hours. I was already in Ann Arbor!  Glory, glory.  She suggested that I get some lunch and then head over to the hospital where Cheryl was on call and would break my water. So I met my girlfriends at Qdoba and ordered a burrito with extra cheese, sour cream, and guacamole with a side of nachos and queso dip. I told everyone that made eye contact with me that I was in LABOR RIGHT NOW, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!

The truth was that I was suddenly terrified beecause I was about to give birth and there was no getting around the fact.  I carried a baby for nine months, but hearing the news that she would be out of my body and in my arms in a matter of hours was terrifying.  Bob was on his way out to Ann Arbor, so after lunch I went to Trader Joes and picked up some snacks for the hospital along with other staples. I was about to head to the bread store when a former co-worker called me, having heard my news from Tammie and Garima. She demanded to know why I was grocery shopping, where I was at this very instant because she was coming to pick me up and what IS WRONG with me that I would be shopping, didn’t I know the baby could fall out on the floor of Trader Joes and is that what I really want!!!!????

I decided to heed her advice and checked into the hospital at 2:30. I was a nervous wreck until they called me back into my room and then, I kid you not, I turned into the female Jerry Seinfeld. I was the funniest person you’ve ever met, proof that I was having some kind of out-of-body experience since I’m not typically known for being funny at all.  A sweet young student came in and asked if I minded  having a student nurse witness our birth and I thought that seemed like a fine idea. Until it was not the sweet young girl but a young boy/man, who I had known from working at Eastern. Our midwife told him that he got lucky because this was going to be the easiest birth he would ever witness in his entire career. He ended up passing out.

They broke my water at 3:30 and three hours and five pushes later, Elizabeth was born. We couldn’t decide on her first name for an hour, but when we did we called Bob’s parents. We asked Pat what a good middle name would be and he said “Ann of course. The middle name that seems appropriate with Elizabeth is Ann. But don’t add an “E” at the end. I always thought an “E” was so odd and unnecessary”. So Elizabeth Ann it was.

And now a quick story which pretty much typifies my first year with her: I took Elizabeth and the girl’s hamper down to the basement and threw the contents into the washer. Later I went back down to transfer the load into the dryer only to realize that SOMEONE had thrown a dirty diaper in with the dirty clothes. There were little bits of diaper all over everything. So I re-washed the clothes and took Elizabeth back downstairs again to transfer the load. I got the dryer started and realized that Elizabeth is awfully quiet. So I looked all around the basement but couldn’t find her anywhere (this is the second child I’ve lost today, but that’s another story). I ran upstairs to find Elizabeth at the top of the stairs. She climbed the entire 13 steps and landing by herself. I was both relieved and mortified, if that’s possible. She was doing that weird mouth thing that every parent knows is code for I Have Something That I’m Not Supposed To Have In My Mouth and when I pry her mouth open I find a piece of bacon. This is especially strange (and gross) because I didn’t cook bacon today. Or yesterday. Or the day before that.

Happy 1st Birthday Elizabeth, Bitty, Izzy, Missy Miss, Lizzie Ann, Aliza, and my favorite, Busy Lizzie. You have made the last year anything but dull.

I know, this is such a horrible and blurry family shot, but it’s all we have from Mary Claire and Elizabeth’s first meeting.  Note to self:  don’t let my mom man the camera for baby #3.

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2 Responses leave one →
  1. Tammie permalink
    September 21, 2010

    OMG. I had NO IDEA about the student nurse!! That is too funny!
    Did you even EAT any of those SNACKS you had to have??? ;-)

    • Pamela permalink*
      September 22, 2010

      I don’t remember. I think it was one final bit of nesting on my part. Honestly I JUST opened the last jar of peanut butter I bought that day. It’s still good, too! :)

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