elena’s birth story: part one

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” 

There’s this poem by Robert Burns entitled To a Mouse.  It includes the line above, later made famous by John Steinbeck.

You can plan and schedule to the day, hour and minute, but the funny thing about plans is that they’re never guaranteed.


To our little sweet pea.

You were born on the first Sunday of August. Your mom and dad thought for sure you’d be a July baby. They thought for sure you’d be a boy.

They were wrong about a lot of things.

Just two days before your birth, your Nana and Grandpa arrived in Charlotte. The hospital planned to deliver you into this world on Sunday, but your family held on to the hope that you’d arrive sooner.

Your parents had prepared for a natural and unmedicated birth. They knew that jump-starting labor could greatly reduce the chance of this happening, but you were nearly two weeks overdue and time was running out.

They ate well that night. In fact, they had been eating well for the past week.

As the due date came and went, and then another week passed, your parents were always quick to go out for a nice dinner. Each meal, they rationalized, may be the last one out for quite some time.

The contractions started while your mom dined on a fantastic meal of shrimp and grits at Charlotte’s newest restaurant, e2, developed by Emeril Lagasse.

They joked that they’d have Emeril to thank for starting labor that night, but your mom fully expected the contractions to go away in a few hours. After all, this had already happened many times within the past week.

But this time, the contractions didn’t go away.

Your mom tossed and turned throughout that night. Each contraction was uncomfortable and made sleeping difficult, but not one was painful and not one took her breath away.

In the early morning hours, your parents started to time the contractions. Five minutes apart and 60 seconds long.

This continued throughout the day, and at one point, contractions were three minutes apart, although eventually going back to five minutes. The symptoms were textbook for active labor, but your mom already knew there was nothing textbook about you and this pregnancy.

“You’ll know when it’s the real thing,” they always said. “You won’t be able to walk through them. You won’t be able to talk through them.”

So just like she had done for the past few weeks, she waited.

Secretly, she hoped that she was indeed in active labor.

Maybe she had a previously undiscovered high pain tolerance? Perhaps she was actually in transition and would be pushing this baby out in a matter of minutes?

All of this waiting had led to a lot of wondering.

The hours ticked by, and then just as it always does, Saturday turned into Sunday.


The induction was scheduled for 7AM, but after a 6AM call to confirm their arrival, your mom and dad were told there was no room and the hospital would call back to reschedule for later that day.

They felt a bit like Mary and Joseph right then being turned away from the inn.

The contractions were still strong and consistent. They were still uncomfortable. They were still painless.

It was a long day, that Sunday.

In the later afternoon, your mom started to grow anxious. You were always a mover and a shaker, but she hadn’t felt you move at all that day.

And despite the ever-present contractions, she had still felt your little feet kick her ribs over and over again the day before.

After a call to the hospital to report the lack of movement, they asked that your parents come in at 7PM to prepare for the induction.

The bags were packed, goodbyes were said, and off they went to bring you into this world.

leaving for the hospital

To be continued in part two

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9 Responses to elena’s birth story: part one

  1. Molly Petruso says:

    Love this!!

  2. Chrissy says:

    Yay! Can’t wait for part 2. Congratulations!! I heard the walking/talking rule, but I could walk and talk through my contractions….so I was very confused when I found out I was 5 cm and in active labor.

    • sarasuzanne says:

      wow! i’m really curious if my contractions would have stayed relatively painless if i had made it through the entire labor. did they ever become painful for you, or were you able to walk/talk the whole time?

      • chrissyhf says:

        They became too painful to talk through about an hour after my doctor broke my water, but he warned me things would become more intense (he didn’t warn me that the anesthesiologist would be another hour and a half). I’m also curious how long they would have remained low on the pain scale!

        I also had a nurse tell me I would know I was in labor, because I’d be miserable! I never was. My contractions were also never the 5 minutes like clockwork apart. For a few hours they were 6 minutes apart, then for the rest of my labor they alternated between 1 and 4 minutes apart. So long story short, hopefully next time I’ll be less confused? Haha.

  3. Holly P. says:

    Love it! So excited for part 2!

  4. Lauren says:

    Don’t leave us hanging like that!

  5. Pingback: elena’s birth story: part two |

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