tell me about the day she was born

Holly came over to the Big Top from her Monday visit with the midwife reporting that it appeared that Fallon, formerly known as the Coming Attraction 2.0, would likely be coming within the next day. Her midwife reported that she was 4 centimeters dilated and although not contracting regularly, it wouldn’t take much to get a labor party started. That night, before I went to bed, Holly shared that she was beginning to contract regularly 10 minutes apart…looks like it would be a long night.

I went to bed to get some sleep. Of course I woke up through the night anticipating that call of “Mo-om! It’s time!” That call came around 5:30 in the morning. So off we headed to the hospital, Ben, Holly and I, hopeful that the third time would be the charm.

Commence Occupy Labor and Delivery!

We claimed a room…

with a bed that just so happened seemed to be designed for a pregnant person.

Holly settled in and was monitored for the required hour, you know to show that she was indeed really in labor. Unlike last time, the contractions did not slow down or decrease in strength.

Holly handled them very well distracting her self with notifying those who needed to know that today would be the day.

Signing all the necessary admission paperwork made it really real. We were definitely occupying Labor and Delivery and definitely not leaving until there was a baby being born.

Holly had a saline lock put in place which was a compromise with the on call obstetrician who likes his patients to have an IV. He and the nursing staff had their IV access available IF needed and Holly was free to get up and do whatever felt comfortable to her. Apparently it was odd for a woman who was dilated 6 centimeters and in active labor to be roaming the halls of the hospital laughing and talking and every few minutes stopping to grip the rails along the hallway. At least that is what we concluded given the reaction of pretty much EVERYONE…L & D staff, housekeeping, visitors, random obstetricians walking by.

“She’s dilated to SIX and she is up and walking!!”

It is here where I smile proudly and declare my daughter is a laboring rock star who listens to her body and responds accordingly. She also has a kick-ass doula/mom who never left her side except to go potty…twice…and she has an amazing husband who just followed supporting his lovely bride anyway she wanted.

Things slowed down a little just in time for us to catch an old acquaintance of Holly’s, Hunter Moore,  on Anderson Cooper. Holly reported that he gained weight but he remains just as much of a douche-bag as he was when she first met him. By the end of the show, Holly’s contractions pretty much had stalled. She only felt cramping or pressure when she was standing or walking but she was feeling a little tired and frustrated that she hadn’t progressed past 7 centimeters. Her nurse suggested that since it was “slow” maybe she should just take advantage of the “quiet” and crawl into bed, turn off the lights, close her eyes and sleep or rest for an hour or until things picked up.

Yeah, she said “slow” and “quiet” in one sentence. I think she did it on purpose because nurses don’t say “slow” or “quiet” because of the results that come from it.

Soon enough, things got busy. Suddenly Holly’s contractions returned with a vengeance. She decided to get up and get in the shower where the contractions became even more frequent and stronger. There in the shower she said she really wanted to talk to the nurse about having something for pain. I called the nurse, who was of course very busy helping with a new admission just across the hall. She broke away and came over. Before considering anything for pain, she checks Holly. Guess who was 9+ centimeters with just a lip?

Soon enough Holly was starting to push and the nurse was yelling for the doctor who was just across the hall working on the new busy admission who was also his patient. With three great pushes, out came Fallon and yes she was an amazing, beautiful sight to behold.

It is an emotionally overwhelming thing witnessing the birth of a baby for your very first time and it showed on the faces of Ben, his grandfather and his mother.

All was indeed well so Holly could just relax a little and become acquainted with the person she knew so intimately living and growing inside her now on the outside.

She looked so much like Hazel except OMG where did she get all that HAIR??!!

The expressions on the faces of Ben, his mother and his grandfather when Fallon took her first breath were indeed breath-taking but soon came yet another moment like that…when Hazel met her baby sister for the very first time.

Truly a breath-taking moment.

Welcome to the world and to our family circus, Fallon Elizabeth, born 11-22-11 at 5:42 P.M.

renewing my obsession

So I tend to be just a little obsessed with hands and feet. Just spend a few mindless hours perusing this blog and you will see that I do have a tiny obsession…just a teeny, tiny obsession.

But they are amazing…


and feet…



and hands.

I make no apology for this obsession of mine.

Can you blame me?

She’ll get used to it…just like the rest of my circus act.

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.


thankful day 3

And on the third day…this day of November 22, 2011…11-22-11…we give thanks for our own little palindrome. The cutest little palindrome ever!

Want details? All, er, most…okay, some shall be revealed here:

Stay tuned…more pictures and stories shall follow but for now, Mi-ma has to shop for the Big Top’s Thanksgiving feast, edit a few hundred pictures of this exquisite palindrome and maybe sleep. Until then, welcome to the world and to our family circus, Fallon Elizabeth!

bump watch: 39 weeks

Apparently the Coming Attraction 2.0 is just waiting to greet the world! She continues to build a layer of fat to help control her body temperature after birth, but it’s likely she already measures about 20 inches and weighs around 8 pounds. The outer layers of her skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.


But enough already with the fattening up and with the exfoliating. It is time to work on packing her little self up and exiting…soon…before Thanksgiving. Her mommy’s bags are packed. She’s ready to go. Yeah, I’m thinking that it is time for this little baby turkey to be done…even if her mommy’s belly button hasn’t popped out.

a dummies guide to prodromal labor

“Has Holly had the baby yet?”

In a word, “NO!”

If Holly were to tell you herself it might be something like, No, damn it! Does it LOOK like I had the baby yet?!” She would likely be stabbing you in the face with daggers shooting from her eyes as she says it too. But who could blame her, really?  She has been dealing with strong, painful contractions every 3 to 9 minutes apart since LAST Sunday. The results of this labor is she is now 3 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced but at 38 weeks and 4 days, her midwife and the hospital where she is delivering will not consider induction as they are following the ACOG and AAP recommendations of no elective inductions or c-sections before 39 weeks. So she must labor on still.

I know, I know….you or your Aunt Martha or a friend of friend knows someone who was induced at 35, 36, 37, 38 weeks and everything was JUST FINE. I delivered three of my babies at 37 weeks, 36 weeks and 38 weeks and everything was just fine for them too…well except for the one who had hyperbilirubinemia and although treated at home with a bili-blanket did have to have daily lab draws for a week…oh and the one who had temperature instability issues for the first day of life and feeding difficulty issues for the first week which led to her mommy having bilateral mastitis that was so painful I couldn’t even pick up the 7+ pound baby for several days…yeah, except for those everything was just fine! Holly delivered Hazel at 38 weeks and her baby girl was 8lbs 4oz of awesome, wonderful-ness. Most cases, yes, everything is just fine. Still the times are a-changing. In the maternal-child field of practice we are learning so much more about the consequences of allowing late preterm or near term babies to be induced and delivered and so most practitioners are re-thinking this and following the recommended guidelines because it is a good practice and many insurance companies will not pay them if they don’t. It’s all good.

Still it doesn’t help Holly and her laboring for a little over a week now.

I know everyone wants to help…encourage…share…OVER-share all because they care but really, trust me, it ain’t helping. Sure she smiles and thanks you but then she turns to me and vents all kinds of crazy end-of-pregnancy hormones on me about the unsolicited advice, support, stories, remedies that are offered to her. So as a public service to everyone…and so she’ll stop dousing me with that evil, raging hormone rage that is triggered by all of the well-meaning encouragement, support, advice and stories I want to pass on a guide for everyone who is sharing the same air space with a 9+ months pregnant woman who has been contracting every 3-9 minutes for the last ten days:

1. Don’t ask her if she has tried:

  • castor oil
  • blue cohosh or black cohosh
  • raspberry leaf tea
  • spicy food
  • the labor-inducing salad…soup…pizza…mocktail served at some local restaurant
  • walking
  • having sex
  • bouncing on a stability ball
  • dancing
  • anything else that has “worked for” you…your cousin’s friend of a friend…Aunt Martha…the lady down the street…whomever!

2. Don’t lecture the poor, exhausted woman that the baby will come when the baby is ready.

3. Don’t remind her that it isn’t even her due date yet…especially when she has been laboring for the last ten days and the Estimated Date of Delivery is not for another ten days. Would you like to be contracting every 3-9 minutes for another ten days? I know I wouldn’t.

4. Bring over a meal…lunch…dinner so she can maybe try to rest more in between those contractions.

5. Offer to go for a walk with her or take her rambunctious 3 year old for a walk to the playground so she can get a break from her exhausted, crabby, laboring mommy.

6. Give her a nice foot massage and pedicure and don’t judge her if her legs aren’t shaved.

7. Bring over a fun movie and some light snacks and share a good laugh with her while she bounces on that stability ball of hers.

8. Keep your laboring war stories…your kid’s teacher’s friend…the lady who works behind the counter at the local drugstore…your Aunt Martha’s to yourself. You can share them AFTER she has the baby.

9. When you call, text, Facebook, communicate with her don’t make your first question be something along the lines, “Have you had the baby yet?”… “Has your water broke?”…”Have you lost your mucous plug?”… Do ask her how she is feeling…Tell her you are thinking about her.

10. Most of all, tread lightly, be sensitive, imagine how you would feel if you were contracting every 3-9 minutes for the last ten days…or try to remember how you DID feel if you did back in the day…or how Aunt Martha felt back in the day.

This is a public service message brought to you by the mother of the prodromal laboring, pregnancy hormone-raging woman who has indeed been contracting every 3-9 minutes for the last ten days.

You are welcome!