Casey’s Birth Story


October 16th, 2018 6:00am

It was two weeks before my due date. I kept waking up all night to go pee like fifty billion times. I just had a TON of pressure. Daniel snoozed his alarm for work and as we were laying there I was like, hmmm… actually, these are contractions. Regular contractions.

I slapped Dan’s arm and was like “Hey, I keep having false labor contractions.” Haha, so let me go into this: when I had Jack he came a week late. So I FULLY expected to deliver much later. Like I was seriously looking into an elective induction if the baby was going to go longer than his due date. My mom had bought an airplane ticket to arrive ON his due date and then stay the next couple of weeks after. Soooo “denial” is going to be a strong theme here.

Because my mom wasn’t coming for another two weeks, I was majorly stressed out about who would watch Jack in the event I had to go to the hospital. My dad had GENEROUSLY offered to hop on a plane moments notice if it came to that but Hey Man… I had better been pretty dang sure I was in labor before telling my dad to drop everything and fly to Pheonix. So as you can imagine I was preggy stress crying about it. Dan talked me down. He texted my dad just letting him know what was going on and then I sent him to work, telling him that it was “probably nothing”.



I took a shower and ate breakfast *just in case*. I still wasn’t super convinced that they weren’t false contractions, so I decided to lay on my side for a minute to see if they would go away. They most certainly did not. They were ten minutes apart and every other one sucked worse than the last. I called my dad because I was about to have a friggin’ panic attack on whether I should tell him to fly to Arizona or not. He said he had already looked into flights. (He was obviously more convinced than me.) My dad told me to call the doctor to see what he thought. I was super unsure about doing that, because OBVIOUSLY the doctor would just say, “Yeah? How about wait until they are five minutes apart lasting one minute for a whole hour and then just go to the hospital. Why are you bothering me with this?”

I decided to call the doctor and waste his time anyways. At first I got the emergency answering service which I thought was really odd because it was past nine and that’s normal business hours. The conversation went like this:

RECEPTIONIST:  And what’s the purpose of this call?

ME:        I’ve been having contractions all morning. They’re ten minutes apart. I just want to know what the doctor thinks I should do.

RECEPTIONIST:  Okay, but is this an emergency?

ME:        … … Um, I’m in labor?

So they send the page out and my actual doctor’s office calls me back. I told them I was contracting every ten minutes and they countered with hey, go to the hospital. I was floored. They told me it was likely I was laboring during the night since I had pressure. My doctor was already at the hospital doing a surgery so they told me I might as well go in and get checked.

I called Daniel at work like Hey I know you’ve only been there for an hour but come home and drive me to the hospital. Then I called my dad and told him we would soon know whether it was real or not.



So we get all checked in. I’m totally calm and like whatever, not even in any pain or anything. I was totally sure I was only a one. I packed my bag SO half-a$$ed because I was like oh, they’re just sending me home anyways. Like I didn’t even pack underwear or a hairbrush. So when they told me I was at a three, I was like… wut?

Me: Am I having a kid today?
Nurse: Let’s just keep you for a while and see…

At 12:30 she came back in to check. I was still at a three which was like, oh good, send me home I want lunch I’m friggin starving. But she kinda hesitated and was like you know what let’s just have you walk around for like an hour and see what happens.


me, totally calm and thinking that I’m going home sometime soon.

(I should also mention that we had Jack with us this whole time. He was such a good kid! I was really impressed with him. I thought that he would be somewhere between being bored or traumatized, but he was super excited to be out of the house and playing with Daddy.)



We were given the green light to walk around the hospital and I immediately waddled my fat butt down to the cafeteria. Look. When you are at the hospital in labor, they don’t let you eat anything for a long time… and that’s rough because I’m a pig. So oink, oink. That’s what I chose to do, okay! I was SUPER big and pregnant in nothing but my flimsy hospital gown and socks walking through the cafeteria trying to decide what I was going to eat. It’s fine, I’m sure everyone knew why I was there and that I didn’t have anything contagious. I mean, only my husband could have given them what I had. ANYWAY I chose to eat a fruit cup, because even though I was starving this labor thing was getting pretty real and I knew that things would get intense later that night.

But I was wrong. Not about the fruit cup, but about things getting intense much later. Things got intense RIGHT THEN, REALLY FAST and REEEEEALLY painful. The walking just like dropped him down or something I don’t know, because it hadn’t even been ten minutes out of triage before I was feeling like I was about to die.

We ate quickly and I could barely even make it back to the room. The labor was insane. When I was in labor with Jack, I was having contractions that lasted five minutes a piece instead of the conventional ONE. Well. Yeah. That was happening again. When the delivery nurse came in to transfer me she took one look at my face and walkie talkied for the anesthesiologist to meet us in the delivery room. Which I was super glad about… well sort of.

WARNING!! If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may want to skip this section of the birth story and just start reading onwards from 5:30. Horror story ahead.

So here’s another comparison to my first labor and delivery: with Jack my epidural was AMAZING. I didn’t feel it at all. It worked perfectly. It was like the golden standard of epidurals, really. With Casey. Holy balls. This was the worst thing about the whole entire delivery and when I say horror story, look, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

By the time the anesthesiologist came in, I was in full blown labor. I had escalated from a 3cm dilation to a 5… IN HALF AN HOUR. Things were nuts! I was like hysterical. It was crazy. I mean, ME, I was crazy. Daniel had left to take Jack to a babysitter out in the parking lot and I was bawling out of control saying stuff like, “Please don’t do anything until my husband comes back. I want my husband, I’m so frightened. I just want my husband!” He came back in, but the hysteria didn’t go away. I felt delirious. Like, I felt like I wasn’t even myself and I was trapped in this painful body watching myself go bonkers. They were trying to give me specific advice on how to sit and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t tell right from left, the pain was just so overwhelming. I even remember yelling at the nurse, “I’m hurting so much that I can’t even comprehend what you’re telling me right now!”

They attempted to put the epidural in but it DIDN’T GO. I actually felt it stab me in the spine. Like I know what it feels like to have your spine STABBED from the INSIDE. It was a horrific pain… on top of an already horrific pain. Looking back, I don’t think that it was the doctor’s fault. I think it was because I was so out of it with the labor and like having a panic attack and stuff that I just couldn’t sit well enough for them to do it correctly.

It took 35 minutes for them to get my epidural in. They may not seem as bad as it is, so try to imagine this: You are having one of the most generally recognized worse pains in the world cramping your body for full minutes at a time and making you hysterical… while at the same time someone is behind you, literally stabbing you in the spine the same area where most of your nerve endings are. Okay, THAT is what it was for 35 FREAKING MINUTES. Like… an entire episode of The Office is 20 minutes. You could finish watching Diversity Day and I would STILL be getting poked with a needle on a hospital bed for ALMOST ANOTHER EPISODE MORE with tears dripping into my husband’s helpless arms.

But I will say this… Even with how painful that medieval spinal tap was… IT WAS STILL WORTH IT BY FAR. So I hope that tells you something about how hard it is to deliver a baby. And I also hope that you give your mother a phone call today.



After I got the epidural, things were calm, borderline boring. Jack was gone and well taken care of. My dad was on his way from the airport. Dan was working on projects, of course, because residents ARE SLAVES. If I had been delivering at his hospital, they probably would’ve made him do some rounds while he waited. Nothing too eventful happened here. I took a little video and hung out. I was basically paralyzed I was so numbed up, my back was still sore though.

At six or maybe even later, the doctor came in and broke my water. I was at a nine by then. The nurse said that they were going to wait until I could absolutely no longer take the pressure anymore and then they would have me push. She said it would be worth it to hold out as long as possible because then I would have to push less. So I just kinda sat there wondering if I was going to be able to feel it if a baby started coming out of me.



I felt the pressure pretty soon afterwards. They checked me, I was a ten. I remember the nurse said, “Yeah, there’s no more cervix.” Gnarly. I had the shakes so bad. They were like violent. I wasn’t hurting, but I was shivering like crazy.

MORE SEMI HORROR MOSTLY JUST GROSS DETAILS HERE. You can skip this paragraph too if you want. So I had to puke so bad. And this exact same thing happened when I was pushing with Jack. I was told that the before the baby comes out, his head rests on a nerve that makes you super nauseous. You don’t feel the pain of it because of the epidural, but the pressure wants to make you barf. Well I was trying so hard to hold in my DANG FRUIT CUP. And honestly, you know when you are trying not to throw up like you can’t even move or talk or breathe or anything. Finally, my nurse said, “Just go ahead and do it, it will help push the baby out anyways.” Hahaha! So I was like, yup, I’m there, and I let it all out. And she was freaking right, dude! I literally felt the baby get pushed down when I puked. You use the same muscles to throw up / push a baby out. ANYWHO. Not sure why I felt the need to include all that, but there you go. All the honest and disgusting details of birth.

So they get me ready to push. They basically had to hoist my BUM LEGS into the stirrups because I was so dead down there. I did three sets of pushing during contractions. (For your information, in between contractions is hilariously awkward. I was sitting there all spread eagle while my doctor stands at my hooha, hands on his hips talking about “how he knew I would beat the gal in nine because it’s my second time.” It’s all casual and every day for them. For me, it’s all naked and life-changing and this big medical trauma.)

That was a tangent. Hi! Okay, back to Casey.

Three sets of pushing and he was out. POP! It was like ten minutes of pushing. Maybe five. With Jack I remembered sobbing and being SO melodramatic and yelling, “My son! My son!”. With Casey, I was still in so much shock at his early arrival that I just stared at him with a stupid look on my face, feeling super confused at how the whole day went.

He was so pink and had lots of hair and chubby cheeks. He is this easy-going lovey-bug! And I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him as an addition to our family.


Our Birth Story: Jack

Warning: The details of this story may be gross to some readers… But some details are also beautiful. Either way here’s the whole darn thing.


My son is about to turn one years old and I’ve been thinking a lot about how he came into the world. This is how the day looked.

Black is my perspective, blue is my husband’s.

8 AM

I woke up to contractions. I didn’t tell my husband and he left for work. BECAUSE!!! I had been having dang fake contractions the whole entire week. Every day I THOUGHT I was going into labor and then nothing ever happened. So when Saturday rolled around. I sent my husband away and tried to go back to sleep.

Normal day. I was getting for excited Val to be induced the next night. Didn’t think she had already started!

12 PM

My mom called and asked if I wanted lunch, I replied casually with, “Sure, but I think I’m in labor.” My parents brought me lunch and we watched Fiddler on the Roof. I sent Dan a text letting him know.

My thought was, okay… she had “contractions” the other day. So I told her just to watch and wait. I just thought it was random contractions not actual labor.

so huge
Last year’s 4th of July

About 5 PM

By the end of that long movie I was crumpled over and whimpering. I was trying really hard to make it until my husband was off of work but when I fell down to my knees and started bawling my father STRONGLY recommended I go to the hospital now. I called Dan at the pharmacy who by now had gotten a couple of texts about the progressing contractions.

Me:     I’m going to the hospital. This is it.
Him:   Are you sure?
Me:     I’m going to reach through the phone and punch you.

I doubted it because of the nonchalant way we said goodbye that day! It seemed like any other day!

6 PM

When a woman is in labor she’s supposed to have one contraction every five minutes that lasts one minute. My contractions lasted five minutes each.
I consider myself a very passive and non-confrontational person but labor-me was a beast not to be trifled with.

Mom:  Don’t forget to breath.
Mom:  This is so exciting!

Daniel arrived and I was glad, but in too much pain to talk or move. The nurses had mercy on me and admitted me to labor and delivery. As soon as I found out I was admitted I asked for an epidural.

So I’m rushing to get there worrying that she’s super far into labor. And when I arrived it was pretty anticlimactic, everyone was sitting there in dead silence. Val’s parents look terrified/awkward. Val was basically like I WILL NEVER SPEAK TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN.

 The nurse offers to administer Fentanyl, which surprises me, because it’s the strongest possible pain medication that we carry at my retail pharmacy. I personally thought it was overkill #manspective  (his hashtag not mine) The nurse gives it to her, the only difference is that it made her feel better enough to be able to scream.

8 PM

once I got the epidural everything was coming up Valerie. It was an entirely different experience. I LOVED MY MEDICATED BIRTH! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I intend to birth all my children on a paralyzing spinal tube. I felt freaking fantastic. I ate a couple of popsicles, I watched Home Alone 2, I even sent out a couple Snapchats:

‘Kay so, before my wife gets the epidural I’m thinking wow, this is terrifying. It’s just like those birth vlogs. She’s screaming and in pain and the nurses are in awe of how long her contractions are. I’m really scared for my wife. Epidural gets placed and then all the sudden Val and I are just chillin’! It’s like Val forgot she was in labor and is chit-chatting. It was like night and day. 

12 AM

It was somewhere around this time that they told me I was fully dilated and ready to push. And I was like, “Wow no kidding? That just flew by.” (Loved my epidural) I had been really nervous about this part but it wasn’t bad in the least. In fact they kept asking me if I wanted a break and I was like, nah I’m cool. It took HOURS, but I was fine because I could not feel a single thing. I guess I pulled a muscle in the process and there was some bleeding thing? But I couldn’t tell at all! I was a little nauseous every time I pushed and so my nurse offered me medication for it.
Yes. Give me all the drugs.

I was ready for the pushing to start. It had been a while. It just added to the excitement which had replaced the fear once my wife was taken care of. Now I start to think about the kid.
So at one point, Val’s been pushing and the nurses are super calm. And then all the sudden a TON of blood comes out of her. At least a full pint. One nurse looks at the other and casually says, “Okay. Call the doctor.” So I’m freaking out and say out loud, “Is that normal?” I guess it was…

3 AM

Pop! Jack came out and started crying. And so did Dan and I. It was surreal and beautiful. The doctor put him on my chest and he lifted his little head up at me! I think I just kept sobbing over and over again, “My son! My son!” Which is a little melodramatic in retrospect, but I mean COME ON! This is MY baby! I successfully made, grew and exited a person with my body! Isn’t that so incredible and gross?
Super healthy kid. 7 lbs 11 ounces. 20 inches long. Didn’t even look too much like a wrinkly old man! Handsome right away. Can’t believe that was a year ago!

Baby comes out. It is literally THE craziest thing you could ever imagine as you get a first glance at this human that just a minute ago had been a bump on my wife. Val starts doing her happy cry as she sees his little body. And I am just elated to see him and hear his sweet little cry. And it’s just surreal. Absolutely surreal. None of this is sinking in. (It won’t for weeks) I was overwhelmed with happiness. 


Finally, when we left the hospital I wondered why they let us take this little person with us! Do they really think we’re that responsible?

Well I guess we did okay! Here’s to one year of his sweet presence in our home!


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She has the cutest lil’ cakes. Go look at the cow cake. Just LOOK AT IT!