Elliott’s birth story, part one

OK, I should totally be working on thank-you cards right now, but Tim has been pestering me to write up this birth story thing before I forget, so I guess I’ll get started.

Monday, July 5

No, Elliott did not come today, but we were the proud parents of bouncing baby sewage backing up into our basement! It stormed like crazy this morning, so when I started nesting in the shower and cleaning the grout with a washcloth, the shower water started coming back up the laundry room drain. Tim ran into the bathroom, saying, ‘You have to get out of the shower. Now.’ I looked at him guiltily and said, ‘I’m just cleaning the grout!’

Long story short: Tim got the water to go back down the drain by plunging it like a man possessed. The dehumidifier (so glad Tim talked me out of leaving this baby behind in Louisville!) took care of the rest. Since the water that backed up was only my clean shower water (well, it had a little soap scum, I guess), no harm done. Actually, the floor even got mopped, so — bonus! We called the Sewer Company and they made their way out, scratched their bums a bit and told us the problem was in our line from the house to the drain, i.e., not their problem. This meant — yippee! — we got to call a drain cleaning company on — double yippee! — one of the four union holidays of the year. Can you say “double time”? But the dude was really nice and worked for almost two hours and only charged us for one.

Sure, we could have waited until Tuesday to call the drain cleaners, but you just know that I would have gone into labor that night. And not being able to flush the toilet or take a shower just is not an option with a pregnant woman in the house.

That night, Tim finishes putting together the last of the IKEA purchases from back in April, two beautiful CD cabinets, complete with lights! Our dozens of Pavement records never looked so good!

Tuesday, July 6

After a restful night of sleep, Elliott gives us our first indication that he is the Best Baby Ever by breaking my water at 7 a.m., just as Tim is starting to get ready for work. As I got up from bed to make my morning bathroom run (only 2 hours after my dawn bathroom run), I feel a little “pop” to the left of my belly button. I hurry to the toilet and, well, let’s not get too graphic just yet.

I walk downstairs to where Tim is writing an email, give him a big hug and say, ‘We’re going to have a baby today.’

The first thing I do is call my mom. Mom wants me to go to the hospital right now. I say, ‘Whoa, Nelly! Just get yourself in the car and start making your way up here.’ Turns out she’s got some errands to run and won’t be leaving Cape until after 9. I hope that she makes it in time for the birth. Silly me.

Next, I call my doula, Jane. She advises me to call the doctor and then call her back.

I call the doctor’s answering service and wait for a call back. She calls, says that we probably don’t want to wait too long to get to the hospital, since Auggie’s labor went so quickly. Ergo, when my labor gets rolling, it probably won’t be long before we have a baby.

I call Jane back and tell her that we’ll probably head toward the hospital around 9. She suggests eating some protein for breakfast. Tim starts cooking eggs.

It’s 8 a.m. and Auggie awakes. I tell him that Baby Elliott is coming today and he says, ‘Yay!’

Auggie’s babysitter calls to tell me that we can bring him by anytime. I tell her that we’re having a baby today and she is very excited for us. Since she’s the best in the world, she is more than happy to keep him a little longer than usual, until Grandma Libby can pick him up that afternoon. (Coming on the day that Auggie was already going to the babysitter was sign #2 that Elliott is the Best Baby Ever.)

We get Auggie fed, I eat half my eggs and then Tim starts packing the car. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff that we’ve assembled for this birth. A quick rundown:

my labor bag

my hospital bag

2 water noodles (one taped in half, one taped in thirds)

mp3 player with speakers

2 pillows


water bottles

my purse

We drop Auggie off at the babysitter’s (who lives just up the street) and he tells us to “go get Baby Elliott.” I tear up at how brave my little guy is. He’s so awesome.

It’s 9 a.m. and we’re finally off to the hospital! I call my dad and leave a message. I call my friend Jennie and she is so excited for us that I can’t help but smile. Did I mention that I’m starting to feel a little anxious at this point? I’m waiting for the contractions to start, but I’m also dreading the contractions. Auggie’s birth was no fun, and I remember all too well just how they feel.