• A Baby Story, Chapter 5: A Happy Ending

    D-day had arrived. Or, should I say, D-night.
    D-night, as in due night.
    D night as in delivery night.
    D night as in “Do you think I can really do this? With no drugs?”
    D is for drug free, don’t you know.

    My water was broken,
    My contractions were steady,
    My IV was in,
    It was,
    No doubt about it,

    Yet, still, there were a few things that weren’t adding up.
    First, the nurse was giving me another round of sugar water, this time through my IV, just so they could see the baby “wake up” a bit.
    It’s not that she wasn’t moving,
    Or that her heart wasn’t beating at an ideal rate,
    It’s just that she wasn’t having the accelerations that they like to observe.
    She was fine,
    They just wanted to keep a close eye on her.
    I know this probably goes without saying,
    But this freaked me out, completely.
    I kept my eyes glued to the heart monitor, willing the numbers to rise and fall,
    My own heart racing as I stared,
    And prayed.

    Also, there was the whole business of my cervix.
    You see, my dear, sweet cervix decided to hold strong at
    1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced,
    Which seemed comically impossible to me,
    Considering the strength of my contractions,
    And, oh, you know,
    The fact that my water had now officially broken.

    Side Note: Let me go on the record to say that I am 100% positive, without a shadow of a doubt, that my water had, in fact, broken the day before, since it was the exact same thing in every way, and I don’t care that the “head shaker” went to medical school and I did not, I know what happened, and that was a broken water if I’ve ever felt one (which I obviously have…twice.)

    Finally, a two key people arrived:
    The on-call OB and my mom.
    Now this show could really get on the road!
    Come on cervix, this is your cue to open.
    Or so I thought.
    I don’t know whom I was happier to see, at that moment.
    Actually, that’s a lie.
    I do.
    It was my mom.

    The nice Doctor introduced herself to me,
    (Oh, did I mention that my wonderful OB, a doctor who happens to be a solo practitioner, boasting a stellar record of delivering 90-some% of his own patients, you know, the only doctor I saw throughout my entire pregnancy—yes, the same doctor whom I saw the previous days in Labor and Delivery—the one who told me that he would see me, to delivery my baby, over the weekend—was not on call that evening? Yeah, that happened.)
    and told me that the baby kept moving away from the external fetal heart monitor,
    so they would have to attach one internally, on the baby’s head.

    Remember my warning about this piece containing some graphic material? Well, this is it. Brace yourselves, folks.

    The doctor reached to try to place the electrode on the baby’s head,
    And stopped, puzzled,
    Explaining that the baby was still so far up,
    She could not even reach the top of the head.
    At that point, the flood gates opened.
    And no, I am not talking about tears.
    Yes, those were there, too,
    But, I actually mean my water breaking,
    Yet again.
    Except, this time,
    It was exactly as they show it in the movies.
    It’s raining, it’s pouring,
    I think you get the picture.
    What I didn’t see, at that time, was that there was meconium in the water.
    This meant that the baby had,
    in the womb,
    A sign of some fetal distress.
    The doctor did not mention her discovery at that time.
    Smart woman.
    She did, however, tell me that we needed the baby to come, and that it did not look like my labor was progressing on its own.
    I didn’t need her to tell me that.
    I was the one stuck at 1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced for,
    3 days.
    She mentioned the option of labor induction,
    Which meant they would give me medicine to cause strong contractions.
    If all went according to plan, I would begin to dilate and efface overnight, and would hopefully be in active labor by the next day.

    Now, this is the part of the story where all of those feelings kicked in. This is when something came over me,
    I don’t know what,
    And I don’t know how,
    But I knew what I had to do,
    And that had nothing to do with a Pitocin drip.

    “I need a C-Section, and I need it now.”
    The doctor and the nurse exchanged a glance.
    The doctor looked back and forth,
    Between the nurse, my mother, my husband, and myself,
    And she nodded.
    “I think you’re right.”
    The nurse took my hand,
    As she told me, “I’ve never seen a first time mom make such a smart decision in all of my years here.”

    It was at this point that they told me about the meconium.
    It was at this point that I told them to hurry.

    The next thing I knew,
    And I mean this, sincerely,
    My husband was dressed head-to-toe in sterile gear,
    And my dad was in the room, giving me a hug.
    Now, I still don’t know how he managed to get there so quickly,
    Maybe it’s some kind of dad radar,
    And I don’t know how he was allowed back into the delivery room,
    But maybe it’s some kind of dad charm,
    But I do know that my usually swarthy father was a sickening shade of white.
    He looked at me, a phony smile plastered on his pallid face, and it was at that point that I said,
    “OK, I guess I’m going to die.”
    Now, you may say that I was being overdramatic,
    But after 3 days of labor, 3 sleepless nights, my aunt’s horrific accident, a day of a quiet baby, the funky heart monitor strip, the meconium, my drug allergies and my paralyzing anxiety,
    I was convinced
    that I was toast.

    The next thing I remember was being wheeled into the operating room.
    The hospital hallway was shrouded in an eerie light, as the OB, resident, med student, anesthesiologist and nurse wheeled me down the hall and through the big, ominous double doors. I remember seeing nurses, stationed in the hallway, as I was being wheeled by, and I asked them if I was going to die.
    They told me that I was not.
    I didn’t believe them.

    As they transferred me onto the operating table, I began to shake.
    My husband wasn’t with me, as he was not allowed to be in the room as I got the spinal,
    So the sweet nurse held my hand in his place.
    I later learned
    That for my husband,
    those 15 minutes were the worst of his life,
    As he paced the halls like a mad man,
    Terrified for his wife
    And unborn baby,
    Behind those heavy doors.

    I can’t say that I can remember the moment that my husband was allowed back with me,
    But I do remember telling him that I couldn’t feel anything below my shoulders,
    And that I was terribly scared.
    And I was shaking.
    And I was nauseas.
    And, did I mention, scared.
    Scared, out of my mind.
    Also, I couldn’t breathe.
    Not only was my chest completely numb, making the sensation of a deep breath nearly impossible, but the medicine they used in the spinal made my nose stuff up so much that I couldn’t inhale at all,
    And my mouth became so dry that I could scarcely speak.
    The kind, gentle anesthesiologist provided me with manna in the form of a wet sponge, as he soaked my trembling lips, helping to ease the terrible dryness.
    I don’t think I’ve ever been more uncomfortable in my entire life.

    And then, before I knew it, the anesthesiologist was instructing my husband to take out the camera and to hold it over the curtain that separated my head from my abdomen.

    It was time.

    The anesthesiologist told me that my baby would be here in a matter of minutes.
    I was so terrified that I couldn’t even speak,
    And I could barely stop shaking enough to nod my head.
    As I’ve said before,
    It was then that my husband squeezed my quivering hand,
    And told me to listen to the radio.

    It was “Desperado” by The Eagles,
    My Nanny’s favorite song.
    I had written about my Nanny,
    And her love of this song,
    For my Thesis,
    So it was particularly meaningful to me.
    It was a sign from above.
    My Nanny couldn’t hold my hand, literally, but she was telling me that everything was going to be alright.
    And it was.
    The next thing I heard was my daughter’s voice.
    Her cry was fast and staccato,
    And the most beautiful music I’d ever heard.
    She sounded so strong,
    Her voice already so powerful,
    And I knew that she was OK.

    At that point, the OB told me that her cord had been wrapped around her neck two times.
    Thank goodness we got her out when we did.

    I wish I could tell you that it was at that moment that I forgot all of my discomfort, and simply stared into my daughter’s gorgeous blue eyes, as I told my husband how much I loved and cherished him.

    That did happen, but much later.

    A that point, my shaking got so bad that I couldn’t form words,
    And my nausea had turned into relentless heaving.

    All I kept saying to my husband was that I was so sorry I could not enjoy it with them,
    I was so sorry that I felt so ill.

    All he kept saying was “She’s so beautiful. She’s so beautiful.” And he cried. He cried enough for both of us. And he loved her. He loved her enough for both of us. He didn’t have to, for I loved her insanely, already, I just couldn’t express it yet.
    I was still on the table, broken,
    Needing to be put back together.

    At one point, which felt like it was 5 hours later, I asked the OB, still out of my view, behind the blue curtain, if she could give me something to help my nausea.
    “Oh, don’t worry,” she said. “You’ll feel much better once I put your uterus back in.”

    Back in?
    I hadn’t been aware that it was out.

    And the rest, as they say,
    Is my happily ever after.

    They wheeled me back into the delivery room, and I saw my husband, parents, sister, and Mommom, who came running, in the middle of the night, to be by my side, as only Mommoms can do.

    We all hugged, and cried, and they showed me pictures of my daughter, as I hadn’t been able to take in her most beautiful face while I was still in the OR.

    What I didn’t know at that time, was that when my husband went out to greet my family after the baby was born, he walked down the hall, crying. When my family saw him, they were sick with worry. They didn’t realize that he was sobbing in joy, until he held them and told them, “She’s so beautiful.”

    And she was.
    And she is.
    From the moment she was born,
    She was the most amazingly beautiful, angelic, perfect baby that there ever was.
    But, I’m here mom.
    I’m supposed to say that.
    However, in this case, it’s actually true.

    My daughter was born at April 18, at 2:22 in the early morning hours.
    She weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long.
    She has brown hair, big, shining eyes, a heart shaped face and lips like Cupid’s arrow.
    She radiates goodness,
    And lights up the universe.
    She was welcomed into the world by our parents, grandparents, siblings and friends,
    And those loved ones who are no longer with us,
    But for whom she is named.
    Her chorus of angels.
    It was her angels who provided the soundtrack to which she made her grand entrance.
    They wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Once upon a time,
    I had a plan.
    I had a life that I was used to.
    I had it all figured out.
    And then, one day,
    Life changed.
    And it became more colorful,
    And rich,
    And wonderful
    Than I ever could have dreamed.
    Once upon a time,
    I had a baby.
    A daughter.
    A Princess,
    whom I cherish,
    And love,
    Every minute,
    Of every day.
    fortunately for me,
    this is just the very beginning of her

  • A Baby Story, Chapter 4

    There’s been an accident.

    Suddenly, the world stopped.
    You see, hearing about an accident is jarring, for most, if not all, people.
    For me, it’s my greatest fear come true.
    Put it this way,
    If I can’t reach one of my loved ones for a half hour,
    I get jittery.
    If it’s been an hour and I still haven’t been able to track them down,
    I panic.
    I have been known to call my sister, dad, grandmother and family friends if my mom doesn’t answer her cell phone.
    We do that in my family.
    We worry.
    We’re scared of something bad happening.
    We’re scared of getting the kind of phone call that I was getting
    On that April afternoon.

    My mom continued,
    It was my Aunt. She was in an accident. She was OK, but it was bad.
    You see, my Aunt is not some distant relative whom I see at the holidays.
    My aunt is my Mommy 2, my Mommy Too,
    My dear friend and beloved loved one.
    I could go on and on.
    Without going into too much detail,
    My Aunt has been through a lot, in her time,
    And the idea of something happening to her was just devastating.

    As it turned out, my Aunt parked her car in a public garage, got out to move some traffic cones, and was run over by her giant SUV.
    Did I mention that my Aunt is one of the tiniest people imaginable?
    Let me just say,
    It is amazing,
    Truly miraculous,
    That she survived this horrific accident.
    She was beaten up,
    One side of her body crushed,
    But she was alive,
    And that’s all that anyone could have asked for.

    Needless to say, I became a bit distracted that afternoon.
    I was still contracting,
    And baby was still quiet,
    But I had other things on my mind.

    I could tell you what we did the rest of that afternoon, but I’d be lying.
    I have no recollection.
    It is all a blur.
    The next thing I remember is going to dinner with my husband,
    Determined to stay distracted.

    I ordered a giant cheeseburger,
    And smothered it in hot peppers,
    Continuing to try every labor trick in the book.
    I told the waitress that if the meal put me into labor, I’d come back and buy drinks for everyone in the restaurant.
    Desperate does not begin to describe how I was feeling.

    My husband and I got home and got into bed,
    And my mind started to churn in overdrive.
    The baby was still quiet.
    Something was going on.
    I decided that I had to call the emergency OB line
    (for only the 110th time this week, or so it seemed).
    I told the on-call doctor that the baby was quieter.
    She told me that she was probably fine, but that if I was really worried, I should come in.
    To be honest, the doctor seemed a little annoyed that I was bothering her at 9 on a Saturday night.
    I felt guilty,
    But I decided that it was better safe than sorry, and gathered up our stuff, once again, to go in for a quick check in Labor and Delivery.

    By this point, we were old pros, and decided that they would most likely send me home in an hour, so we didn’t even bother bringing the dogs to my parents’,
    Or even picking up my mom to join us.
    I was sure I’d be home to watch my Grey’s Anatomy re-run at 11.
    Again, so much for being sure about anything.

    It’s funny—
    I had waited all day, not calling the doctor, feeling like I could give it time,
    But as soon as I made the decision to go in and be checked, I felt a sense of urgency.
    I needed to get in there as quickly as possible,
    So, as soon as I checked in on the Maternity floor,
    I walked into the delivery room, stripped off my clothes and rushed to the bed, so that they could hook up the fetal heart monitor,
    And I could be soothed by the sacred sound of my daughter’s heartbeat.
    As soon as I heard the steady sound of her beating heart, I was able to exhale. She was OK.
    A resident came in to examine me,
    (fortunately, it was a different resident than the “head-shaker” from the night before)
    and care to take a guess at what she discovered?
    I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.
    At that point, I had to laugh.
    3 days of steady, solid contractions, and my cervix and uterus seemed to be giving each other the silent treatment. No communication whatsoever.

    They questioned me about the baby’s movements, and, at one point, the nurse came in to give me cranberry juice, to try to encourage the baby to move.
    I felt drained.
    I felt uneasy.
    And then,
    I felt water.
    The same exact water feeling as the night before.
    I wasn’t even going to mention it, because of how they had dismissed me at my previous visit,
    Saying that it was nothing,
    But I decided that since I was there, strapped down and hooked up, I might as well tell someone that I was lying in a wet bed.
    They went through the same protocol as the night before,
    Did some sort of test,
    As I played around on my phone,
    Waiting for the resident to come back in to tell me that I could leave.
    When the door opened a few minutes later, I saw the nurse dragging in a big, IV pole.
    “I hope you’re comfortable,” she began. “Because you’re staying. Your water broke.”

    “WHAT?” I asked her, incredulous and in shock. “Are you serious? Are you sure? Like, 100% sure?” I think I asked her those questions 11 times each.
    Maybe, actually 11,000. I’m not sure. It’s a little fuzzy. It was a lot. Trust me.
    She told me she was serious, she was sure, and that I was staying. I would be having my baby within the next 24 hours.

    I could not believe what was happening.
    It had felt the exact same thing as the day before when the “head shaker” told me that my water hadn’t broken.
    What was going on?
    I hadn’t planned to stay.
    My mom was at the Phillies game.
    What about my dogs?

    But, despite all of my questions,
    I couldn’t contain my excitement.
    I would be meeting my daughter, and soon.
    I was finally ready to be a mother.

    What I wasn’t prepared for was what would happen next…

  • A Baby Story, Chapter 3

    There I was, 4pm, Friday afternoon,
    Contracting, non-stop,
    As I had been for days,
    In pain,
    With no end in sight,
    Exhausted in both body and soul,
    And, suddenly,

    I won’t give too much information here, but I’ll just say that this was something very new.
    Just to clarify,
    There was no big gush of water.
    Not the “buckets” my doctor had described when warning me of this possibility.
    Nothing like what they show in the movies.
    But, I knew it was something.

    I called the good-ole-OB-emergency-after-hours-line and spoke to the Nurse.
    “Your water broke. Come on in. And hurry.”
    Finally, this was it. I almost couldn’t believe it was actually happening.
    I knew that women had their waters break in only about 10% of pregnancies, so I doubted that I would ever find myself in that elite group.
    But, sure enough,
    Water, water everywhere.
    Well, not quite.
    But, off to the hospital I went.

    Once again we drove to my parents’ house,
    Once again we dropped off my dogs,
    Once again I reminded my dad to give them “TONS” of extra love and kisses,
    Once again I walked
    (yes, I could still walk, but this time I had a broken water…
    Or two…)
    Into the hospital, up to Labor and Delivery and planted myself on the hospital bed.
    I was in for the long haul.

    Once again, a resident came in to do my examination.
    And, once again, she looked at me, sheepishly, and told me that I would not like what she had to say.

    1 centimeter dilated and 50% effaced.

    “Um, no. Not possible. I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. Or crazy. You’re crazy! I must have progressed since yesterday. I have been contracting every 3 minutes for 48 hours. MY WATER BROKE!”

    I can’t say that this was exact quote, but I know I that said all of those things, and maybe more. And there were tears. Maybe even some throwing of some things. Maybe.

    I think the young Doctor shrugged. Or she apologized. Or maybe she ran out, crying. Maybe.

    And so, once again, they had me wait.
    They ran tests.
    At one point, my blood pressure went up (um, duh. I was NOT a happy girl)
    I asked the resident, “I know it’s high, but am I OK?”
    She just looked at me and shook her head, slowly, from side to side.
    Oh, this was just perfect.

    I waited more, they tested more, and finally, the resident came back in to tell me that no,
    My water had not, in fact, broken.
    To say that I was crushed would be a dreadful understatement.
    There had been water. And although not in copious amounts, there was enough.
    She couldn’t explain it. She just said that my water had not broken and that I had not dilated or effaced any more.
    She. Sent. Me. Home.

    By that point, I stormed and stomped (read: still waddling) out of the hospital, determined that my baby would just live in me forever,
    Growing up in my womb,
    Graduating from high school, and then college, from inside my bulging belly.
    It would never end.

    I went to bed feeling hopeless.
    I woke up the next day feeling desperate.
    And, also a little concerned.
    My baby was being a little quiet.
    It’s not that I wasn’t feeling her move, I was.
    Just not as much,
    And not the same way.
    But, there’s an old wives tale out there that claims that a baby slows down and grows quiet the day before a woman goes into labor.
    I kept this in the back of my mind, but couldn’t quiet the butterflies that were flying around the quieter baby in my belly.

    I spent the day walking around,
    Went for a pedicure,
    And happened to be seated next to a nice, young doctor who worked at the hospital where I would be delivering.
    Now, she was a General Practitioner, and not an OB, but that didn’t stop me from asking her if it was normal that my baby was being a little quiet (and, for the record, I know that I keep using the word “quiet” to describe how it felt, but I don’t know any other word that describes what I was feeling).
    The GP told me that I should be feeling the baby moving throughout the day, and that if I still hadn’t felt much in a few hours, that I should be sure to call the OB.

    Something just didn’t feel right.
    Now, you know that thing about a mother’s intuition?
    Well, this was it.

    It was noon and I decided to take another walk, this time around an outdoor shopping area. I could barely move by this point, but I was determined to stay on my feet and let gravity work its magic.

    As we strolled, I couldn’t push away the anxiety rising inside of me. I was feeling her move, but it was just different.

    As I walked and thought, I felt my phone buzz, from inside my purse.
    It was my mom, and I picked up the phone, bracing myself to start complaining,
    When she cut me off.
    “Bex,” she started. “There’s been a little accident.”

    Stay tuned….

  • A Baby Story, Chapter 2

    5 minutes apart,
    Lasting for 1 minute,
    Occuring for 1 hour.

    The magic formula,
    for contractions.
    Once you’ve reached this labor milestone,
    The OB’s emergency on-call line is now at your fingertips.

    And I was there.
    I was so there.

    I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for weeks and weeks.
    My entire tummy would tighten up into a crazy, lopsided knot.
    I was actually happy to be having these practice contractions, because I felt like my uterus would be in good, fighting shape for D-Day,
    And, at some point, I was sure they would start to help my dilation/effacement process.
    Isn’t it amazing the crazy things we can convince ourselves of?
    I’ll blame it on the hormones.

    And so, by 8am on that Thursday morning, I had been having regular, painful contractions,
    Every 5 minutes,
    Lasting more than 1 minute each,
    For about 10 hours.

    I called the OB.
    I told him I was in pain.
    He told me he was happy to hear that.
    “Come on in!” He told me.
    “This better not be a false alarm. I refuse to be one of those false alarm people!” I told my husband.
    “You’re so in labor,” husband told me.
    “I can’t wait to meet you!” I told baby.

    I put some blush on my cheeks, wrangled the pups, grabbed our hospital bag (read: pointed to the bag and told my husband to carry it. It was heavy!) and headed to my parents’ house to drop off the dogs and pick up my mom.
    My husband and I had made the mutual decision to have my mom with us in the delivery room. We both wanted to be able to hold her hand, if need be, and I knew she would be able to be strong, even if it got scary. She had been through it, twice, and could be the motivation I needed to stick with my “au natural” labor plan.
    Plus, my husband sometimes gets a little queasy. If he went down, I needed a back-up.

    And off we went.
    I felt pretty good, walking into the hospital and scurrying (read: waddling; stopping every few minutes during contractions) up to Labor and Delivery.
    This was actually my second trip to L&D, the first being at 34 weeks when I had to be monitored for extreme dizziness. I was having pretty regular contractions at that point, but they weren’t doing anything to put me into labor, so the doctors decided to keep me on bed-rest for the duration of my pregnancy.
    By the time we arrived in Labor and Delivery for the real deal, it was all old hat for me. I knew where to check in, had met some of the nurses and could almost figure out the crazy, impossible buttons of the hospital gown.

    When the resident came in to examine me, before my OB arrived, we were all surprised to learn that I hadn’t progressed at all from my check-up earlier in the week. However, my contractions were strong, long, and regular, so the doctor told me that this was just early labor, and that I’d be in full-blown labor in no time.
    She told me she had a good feeling.
    So, we waited.
    And waited.
    And 3 hours later, my contractions only intensified.

    My OB came in to visit me.
    I was in pain, and felt tears stinging my eyes.
    The OB took one look and me and said, “You’re not in real labor. I can tell by looking at your face.”
    I was in shock.
    Shock, and rage.
    What do you mean not real labor? Aren’t you seeing my contractions on the monitor? Don’t you see these tears?
    But, as the nurse told me, in real labor, I wouldn’t be able to walk and talk. When that time came, I’d just know.
    And, just as he predicted, my exam revealed that I had not progressed at all in those 3 hours.
    I was 1 centimeter dilated and 50 % effaced.
    But, the OB told me not to worry.
    He would see me in 24-48 hours for the real deal.
    They sent me home.
    Let me tell you, when you’re 40 weeks pregnant, have been on bed rest for 6 weeks, are swollen, miserable and desperately impatient, having to waddle out of the hospital without a baby in your arms is not a fun thing.
    Plus, I was a little embarrassed.
    Yes, all signs had pointed to labor,
    And yes, the doctor himself had told me to come in,
    And yes, the doctors who examined me in Labor and Delivery were sure that I was in labor,
    But still…
    I went home to my parents’ house, with my tail between my legs, and decided that I would walk this baby out.
    Now, up until this point, I had been on bed-rest for a month and a half. Plus, I had a full-term baby in my belly, and a uterus that was contracting at regular, close-together intervals. I could barely put one foot in front of the other.
    But, that April afternoon, my husband took me on five,
    Yes, five,
    Walks around the neighborhood.
    As I walked, I used my hypnosis to picture my cervix opening.
    I was sure I’d be back in the delivery room by the end of the night.
    So much for these feelings of mine.

    The next morning came and went.
    I bounced on my big, silver gym ball.
    I pressed all of the acupressure points I knew how to find, and then some.
    I ate approximately 9 pineapples.
    I did every trick in the book.
    I could still walk and could still talk, and I told myself that I would not be going back into Labor and Delivery until it was really, truly, beyond a shadow of a doubt,
    Time to give birth.
    I would hold out as long as possible,
    So that by the time I arrived,
    All I’d have to do was push.

    But, at the time, I was in agony.
    Not only had I not slept in two nights,
    But I was having strong contractions every few minutes,
    And I was in a horrible state of unknown.
    To give me a positive distraction,
    My mom took me out to lunch at Neiman Marcus with my Mommom and Aunt.
    It was our favorite spot for girls lunches,
    And would be the perfect way for me to take my mind off of my “latent labor”.
    After we finished eating,
    We ended up in the shoe department.
    We met a woman there who told us a labor trick of her own.
    The day before she gave birth, her mother bought her a pair of shoes.
    That’s all we had to hear.
    Before I could change positions, my Mommom had picked out a beautiful pair of sandals for me and the saleslady was ringing them up.

    There I was, shoes in hand, baby in belly,
    And still able to walk.
    This wasn’t looking hopeful.

    And then, on our drive home from the mall, things started to look up.
    My mom gasped, as she pointed to her wrist.
    “My bracelet!” she exclaimed.

    You see, my mom had been wearing a red string on her wrist since her trip to Cambodia a year and a half earlier. Knowing that being a mother was my greatest dream,
    She had made a wish when putting on her sacred, traditional bracelet. According to legend, when the string broke, the wish would come true.
    She wished that I would have a baby.
    She hadn’t taken the string off, since.
    So, that afternoon, when we looked down at her wrist, we saw that the string had unraveled and broken off her of wrist.
    “It’s a sign!” My mom was so excited.
    We knew it meant something.
    It had to.
    And so, when I got home from the mall and decided to lie down in bed,
    I had a little bit of my hope restored.
    And it was that hope that I was clinging to,
    As I felt warm water start to spill out from under me…

    Stay tuned…You think you know, but you have no idea….

  • A Baby Story, Chapter 1

    Once upon a time,
    In the land of mom,
    There lived a beautiful, young lady,
    Who was gleefully with child.
    One beautiful, sunny spring day,
    The joyful lady was doing some Spring Cleaning around her house,
    With the help of her bluebird and chipmunk friends,
    Of course,
    When she felt a tiny rumble in her belly.
    “Ooh,” she said. “It’s time.”
    And she smiled, her beautiful smile.
    The lady finished sweeping up the kitchen floor, collecting all of the dust into a neat pile,
    As the bluebirds picked up each piece of debris in their beaks and flew away,
    Tweeting sweetly as they went.
    The lady whistled and trilled, to summon her dear, doting husband,
    And before she knew it, he was by her side.
    The man carried the lady, gracefully, up to her bed chambers,
    And she took one, small sip of water as she spread out, daintily on her bed.
    With one small push, scarcely making a sound,
    The lady sighed,
    As her husband caught the tiny, pink, perfect baby in his loving arms.
    “What a wonderful day,” said the lady, before falling into a deep, restful sleep.
    And that’s how babies are born, in the land of mom.
    Except, not so much.
    At least this is not how this baby was born to this mommy in this story.
    But, that doesn’t mean that our story doesn’t have a fairy-tale ending.
    It does, I promise.
    We just had to slay some dragons to get there.
    Once upon a time, in the land of Suburban Philadelphia,
    I was pregnant with our first child,
    A little girl,
    And all of our dreams were coming true.
    Although there were some trying times,
    And a little craziness on my part,
    Clinically, my pregnancy was not particularly eventful.
    The baby consistently measured on time,
    I took every precaution under the sun,
    And the doctor was optimistic that I would have an easy, quick delivery.
    He told me that these things usually run in families,
    And the fact that my mom had delivered me
    Without any drugs,
    In a fast, hard labor,
    Meant that I would, most likely, be able to do the same.
    And so, like every prepared (read: starry-eyed, ignorant, clueless) new mother,
    I made a birth plan.
    I decided to try for a natural delivery.
    No epidural.
    Now, this wasn’t because I am masochistic.
    I have drug allergies,
    And decided that I would do my darn best to persevere through the pain, to avoid any allergic reactions.
    Plus, not having anything numb would inevitably help me to push, right?
    I had this delivery in the bag.
    I laughed in the face of contractions.
    I decided to be proactive in terms of my delivery plan,
    And I began practicing hypnosis.
    Now, this kind of hypnosis is not the kind where you have  a pocket-watch waved in front of your eyes before clucking like a chicken.
    No, this was more like guided meditation,
    Visualizing the birth, so that I would be prepared and relaxed when the time came. Kind of like a suped up Lamaze.
    My hypnosis training had me visualize myself in my most relaxed, pleasurable state.
    Well, if you recall, during my pregnancy I had a certain penchant for all things drinkable, gulp-able and thirst-quenching, so, inevitably, my “happy-place” was somewhere where I could get my cold drink on.
    Like every good mom-to-be practicing hypnosis, my relaxation visual was the Spa at the Four Seasons.
    If I had to visualize, I might as well visualize the best.
    And so, every night, my husband would guide me through the luxurious hotel spa,
    Lingering at the description of the coolers.
    Ahhh, the coolers.
    These coolers were my oasis in the desert of pregnancy.
    My hypnotized mouth would water as my husband described the giant, ice-cold coolers of citrus water, iced tea and red Gatorade.
    And so, armed with my hypnosis training, decent pain tolerance and sheer will,
    I was ready to bring on labor like a champ.
    Or so I thought, when my contractions,
    Which I had been having for weeks,
    Started to come at short, regular intervals during my 40th week of pregnancy.
    I went to sleep that Wednesday night, feeling a strong, tight pulling sensation in my abdomen,
    Occurring every five minutes,
    Knowing that I would be heading to the hospital the next morning to meet my daughter.
    I could hardly sleep.
    Only one more night to go
    and then my dreams would really be coming true.
    Or so I thought.
    Little did I know all that the very next day would hold…

    Stay tuned. This story ain’t over until the 7lb12oz baby wails…