The Idea of Birth

Say it Rah-shay By Mar 31, 2014 50 Comments

In which I come to terms with the truth that I know “nothing ’bout birthin’ no babies!”


This was my plan for The Bee’s delivery:

  • A book to read while I had contractions. My sister had been sent home so many times due to false labor that she delivered Pop in the parking lot. I was determined NOT to be sent home and wanted something to occupy myself when alone and had tossed in a copy of Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”.
  • A deck of Uno cards so that I could play a few games with Pop. Pop had asked if she could visit me in the hospital during The Bee’s delivery as she had been born in the parking lot and felt robbed of the hospital experience.
  • Music. I wanted a specific song played when The Bee was born (I want to say something by Sarah McLaughlin, a favorite of mine at the time).
  • Lipstick. Postpartum pictures always showed a woman looking like she had went through a few rounds with Tyson and *I* was not about that life.
  • A change of clothes, specifically a decent looking robe. See above
  • Snacks. Cause snacks.

What no one told me (or maybe they did and I engaged my selective hearing) was that delivering a baby was, nothing quite as chaotic as dramatized on television but there is no way to plan for it either.

Oh yes, I had a plan. Delivery was going to be a breeze and I was determined to ride it out. The Bee was due on March 8th and when she showed no signs of ever vacating my body, the OB told me to return in two days so that they could run tests, possibly induce. The Dad and I headed home (after retrieving our car from the tow lot…shakes fist at the city of Philadelphia and myself for not being able to read a street sign) and I ate and went to bed. The next day The Dad left me home with breakfast, a movie and the promise of a half day of work so that if I needed anything he would be there and then the contractions started.

Yo! It started out like mild cramps and quickly became the most epic cramps ever. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat (the horror!) and will forever associate Nick Nolte’s Affliction with pain (this is the movie The Dad watched as I writhed in pain and considered never having sex again.) Little did I know that the worst was yet to come.

After speaking to everyone in my family, his family and a few friends, I fell into a restless sleep that was punctuated by the feeling that someone was squeezing my sides while punching me in the back and kicking me in the lady parts.

The next day, after The Dad had a good night’s sleep and I had used all of the hot water taking showers to “help with the pain”, we headed to the hospital, me making The Dad promise I wouldn’t give birth in the car and telling The Bee to hang on and wait until we got downtown in case she had any other ideas. Arriving at the hospital I was admitted and whisked upstairs to a room to wait for the OB on call to tell me that it wasn’t time and that I had to walk the halls or possibly go home.

Pop and I walked and walked and walked that hall because I was going to force dilation or make a scene when they tried to send me home. And then I peed on myself, a practice more commonly known as “my water broke.” You know, all of those scenes in movies when a woman notices a puddle on the ground and then waddles away to deliver moments later? Not true. When my water broke it felt like I peed my pants, there was no puddle just enough liquid to make me feel like I needed an adult diaper, and I STILL had to wait another seven hours before meeting The Bee.

Hooked up to my IV, I was reminded that I had a book to read as well as UNO cards and I may or may not have cursed at The Dad who left after taunting me with the hoagie he was going to eat. It was at this point that I gave up on any sense of shame as a myriad of people trooped in and out of my room. Legs splayed, butt out I did not care who saw Rachee in all of her glory. I was in pain and at that point would have done just about anything to make it stop. Suffering through another contraction, I almost broke an intern’s fingers and passive aggressively told a nurse what she could do with the pillow she offered. Relief came in the form in the anesthesiologist, who I may or may not have promised to name my baby after, as he administered the glorious, glorious pain reliever.

At this point I was hungry, ready for birth to be over and really wanted to watch TV. A game show called Greed was going to be starting soon and I really wanted to keep up my Friday night tradition of watching. The Bee decided to make her appearance then, rushing into the world mere minutes after I was told I was fully dilated.

As I held that little brown ball, I knew that there was no amount of lipstick or music that could have made this moment any more perfect than it already was. My book, forgotten, the Uno cards, unused. I hugged my little girl and suddenly wondered…”Who let me have a baby?”



This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Get you copy here: [AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”0062283103″]




I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Oh my god, you are totally right. A million and one things could not go the way you planned for them to go during the birthing & labor process. As much as you want them to go a certain way, the chance that thing will go the way you want is slim.

  2. Brett Martin says:

    ah, yes. our perfect child birth plans. mine were flying out the window when we discovered how my cervix and uterus bend so backward- and discovered we'd be c section parents. amazing how it changes!

  3. Diane Emery Hoffmaster says:

    I went into my first labor with a birth plan too. Went right out the window. I wanted a mirror to watch the birth. When the moment came they asked me if I wanted the mirror and I was like "hell NO, just get this baby OUT!'

    1. brett says:

      omg a mirror. NO THANK YOU!! i am fairly sure i’d never recover from that sight!! LOL

  4. I had birth plans too but it didn’t work according to my plans because I had to have a c-section!

  5. Chrysa says:

    I guess plans for many things in life never go as we expect!

  6. aimee fauci says:

    3 c sections.. all planned.. I never– thank GOD– experienced labor… Just the after affects of being cut open and a tiny creature being pulled from my body..

  7. You had me laughing and nodding through that whole post. We always love a good plan when it's time to have a baby, but all that goes out the window once the real action starts. I yelled preach when you said that you wanted to keep your TV watching tradition. I was the same way, and ended up yelling and screaming due to contractions during the food network show I watched on Friday late night. I instantly became annoyed with myself and the baby for ruining my TV time. Labor is funny.

  8. Betsy says:

    Lol This is so true! I ended up being induced to have my son and I wasn’t expecting that to happen.

  9. Oh how our plans seem to change. It doesn't matter how the baby gets here as long as it's healthy!

  10. kita says:

    I think this is true not only in birth but in life we need to stop planning and just go with the flow. This made my day I needed that laugh

  11. Karen says:

    This was so funny! I didn’t really have a birth plan to begin with. I was so unprepared. I ended up needing an emergency C-section anyway.

  12. Ha! It’s all so true! Isn’t it funny how we have a vision and a plan. Then once they arrive? We throw it all out the window.

  13. Kim Delatorre says:

    Haha!! Too funny! I had this last one planned out too, but NO way was it going the way I had planned! Baby came VERY quickly and almost did not make it to the hospital!!!!!

  14. Laura Jayne Parson says:

    I've never had a child, but is like to someday and these posts simultaneously scare and prepare me at the same time!

  15. Louida says:

    I never really planned how my birth is going to be. I just let nature take it’s course. My only concern was to have a healthy baby.

  16. Melissa says:

    I love reading other people’s birth stories. My son’s did not go as planned but my twins pretty much did only because I knew I was having a c-section.

  17. Yes, yes, yes! Neither of my births went ‘by the book’, which was so tough for me to handle! In retrospect, I believe that pregnancy and childbirth are really training grounds for the beautiful, unpredictable and challenging job of motherhood! ~Jennifer

  18. Kecia says:

    Love reading about your birth experience! It got me thinking about my 2 experiences, and how they were completely different from each other! With my first, I was induced so we watched TV and played Skip-Bo until he arrived. With my second, I went into labor at home and didn’t have time to finish packing my bag (yes, I SHOULD have already had it ready since I gave birth at 39 weeks, but I was more chill that time around). I agree, it usually does NOT go as planned!

  19. Debbie L. says:

    I totally agree – nothing was as planned. But I remember the day very well and it has been over 35 years ago! Amazing day that I will never forget!

  20. Yes, my labor plans went flying out the window on all of my kids. I had a bag packed like that on the first one. After that, nah…

  21. Janin says:

    Oh that was so funny! And you are so right. When it come to the kids making their first appearance, plans might as well not have been made. Neither of mine followed their script either (;

  22. What a great story! We can always make a plan, but rarely does our plan work, especially in regard to childbirth.

  23. Jessica says:

    I didn’t even have time to make a labor plan or pack a bag! My water broke three weeks early on Valentine’s Day and I had to grab AND GO!

  24. I always envisioned the “tv” birth story, with breaking water, etc. I was induced both times so didn’t have that.

  25. Sounds like a great story! Of all things that could/couldn’t go according to plan, I wouldn’t expect childbirth to.

  26. Felicia says:

    It seems that whenever there is a plan things go unplanned! What a story you have though.

  27. Aimee says:

    Oh man those babies come on their own terms don’t they!? Good thing those little ones are so perfect once they are here!

  28. Krystal says:

    Too funny! Thanks for sharing. I wanted to listen to music during labor as well, but I never really got around to setting it up. I Was too focused on other things!

  29. Liz Mays says:

    I can’t believe that with neither of my kids, my water broke. I was so far into labor that they just broke it for me eventually.

    It’s so true that you lose your modesty at some point. However, mine came back really fast!

  30. Amanda says:

    Very funny! I was cracking up! 🙂

  31. Estelle says:

    You are so right. We make plans for our births and the reality is so different–and yet ultimately so perfect because of the prize on the other end. Thanks for sharing your funny story.

  32. Kathleen B says:

    I didn’t plan out my oldest’s birth and it is a good thing. We did break down on the side of the Interstate, and I did ride in a semi to a truck stop and got in an ambulance. Then I was 10 centimeters and pushing before they decided he was breech and I needed a C-section. With him and all 4 births after him, I never did have pain medicine, although the last one, my surrogate baby almost broke me lol.

  33. Tess says:

    I didnt plan any of my births. I just hoped to get to the hospital on time. lol

  34. Janel C. says:

    Your post was SO enjoyable to read! It’s funny how we can make all of the plans in the world but they never seem to go as planned…lol. Thanks for sharing your birth story and congrats!

  35. Awwww funny but still sweet 🙂 *Snacks, cause snacks* haha 🙂

  36. Thank you for making me smile about your birth plans. It is good to be able to let things go and enjoy the moment.

  37. Rosey says:

    Four labors here, and you’d think by #4 everything would have went smooth. Nuh uh. 🙂 I can’t imagine not having a plan in place, but yeah, having it work out where labor is involved just might not be possible. 🙂

  38. Amber K says:

    Ha! Things never work out how you expect them to do they? But that’s the miracle of birth i guess.

  39. Toni says:

    Yeah my labor plans went out the door with my daughter. She ended up being born on my doorstep because she came so fast.

  40. Katie says:

    Very funny! A TV birth was not in the cards for me either – but everything does work out in the end!

  41. Ashley M says:

    I love how you had so many plans! Adorable 🙂 Birth tends to have it’s own agenda and we’re just along for the ride.

  42. Shell says:

    None of my babies’ births went according to any sort of plan. Though after my first, I pretty much threw plans out the window.

  43. Desiree M. says:

    None of my babies birth’s went according to plan. Both I was induced due to pre-eclampsia. I thought I had a plan with my second one but I ended up delivering her at 33 weeks. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, and my daughter two weeks. I didn’t see my home for a month. It was awful, but I’m glad I have a healthy baby girl.

  44. Autumn says:

    Haha You have such a fun story to share! My hospital stay consisted of a Rambo movie marathon (literally), a yoga ball, and starvation. Once she was born, all I wanted to do was eat an entire cake and take a long nap – which I was unable to do. It’s funny how the reality of birth is even better than the planned stuff 🙂

  45. Christina S says:

    Fun story! Nothing ever goes as planned, but in the end- it’s all perfect anyway.

  46. Dawn says:

    Yeah, birth does not go the way we plan. I love your lipstick thing though. My daughter always says, “I am not about that life,” lol. Yeah, I was not about pain meds either. I learned real fast that that might have been a mistake. However, I made it through without…

  47. Brandy says:

    LOL Great post. I am sure so many can relate. Since becoming a Mom three times, I have learned I can never be prepared for anything. I have had to let go from the day they came into this world (technically before) and just roll with things better!

  48. The first delivery was scary and painful with a c-section after 19 hours.. the second was more planned.. a scheduled section. Oh yeah! LOL

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