BlogHer Birth Stories – Or, How I Suck At Being Pregnant

I should be dead.

If this were any other time in history, I should not and would not have survived both my pregnancies or deliveries.

Because of that, I have agreed to participate in Discovery Health’s Baby Week, which you can watch June 14-19th at 8 pm E/P on Discover Health.

Why share my labor and delivery stories? Easy…because I know I am not alone. My two children would not be here if it were not for an amazing team of doctors and nurses and the advancement of medical science.

You see, I suck at being pregnant. No really, I’m terrible at it.

I don’t mean terrible in that I whine a lot and crave pickles…I mean terrible in that my body absolutely hates being pregnant. So much so, that it revolts and tries to kill me and the baby.

I would be one of those women who died in childbirth way back when. The covered wagons would have moved on after burying me along the trail.

From the moment I found out I was having a baby, I began to vomit. Both pregnancies. Both times around. And not in that cute “oh she has morning sickness, must be a boy (or girl, depending on your favorite aunt’s superstition)” kind of way…but in the “I lost 22 lbs and had to be put on heavy drugs” sort of way.

I threw up in my purse. I threw up in my car. I threw up in elevators. I threw up at stores. I even threw up at a hockey game. And once I almost threw up on the Governor of California as I was conducting an interview.

Once I got past the puking, somewhere around the end of the 2nd trimester, I went into labor.

Way too early. With both pregnancies. Yes, both times.

I had contractions. I began to dilate. And just for an added bonus, my amniotic fluid was low.

With both pregnancies. Yes, both times.

So it was deemed necessary once we STOPPED labor, that I lay flat on my back for the remainder of each pregnancy with a monitor strapped across my very, very large belly.

Something I am guessing was not possible in those covered wagon days.

And I then continued to labor, under the guidance of a dial up modem and remote nurse, for several months.

That’s right- contractions and labor for SEVERAL MONTHS.

When it finally came time to let the labor take it’s course, we had another problem (did I mention how bad I SUCK at this whole pregnancy thing?) – my first child was breech, and with low fluid he could not be turned. He also thought it would be fun, you know for added drama, to get the cord wrapped around himself a few times.

So on a gray March morning my husband and I headed to the hospital, knowing this child would not be a natural delivery and expecting just about anything, considering the way things had gone thus far.

But here is where that “amazing thing about life” part comes in…on March 24th, 2003 at 7:52 in the morning, doctors performed a c-section and pulled out a perfect baby boy.

I think we were stunned that not only had the operation gone smoothly, with zero complications, but that mom and baby were healthy.

There I was, laying cut open on a table, after laying for months upon months in my bed, and it worked. It actually worked. I had a healthy, full-term child.

As for my daughter, born nearly exactly two years later? She came with more drama. Same puking pregnancy. Same bedrest tale. Preterm labor. Low fluid.

But my sassy girl? She decided to NOT wait or let the drugs to stop the contractions work. No, she decided it was her time on March 30th, 2005 at 6:39pm.

Now, that 6:39pm is important. Note that time.

We live in a suburb of Los Angeles. And my contractions began that day around 3pm. I was in a hospital bed at 3:15pm, and by 445pm – PEAK RUSH HOUR- my doctor ordered an emergency c-section as my little peanut’s heart rate dipped and dove.

When the c-section was ordered, I made the call to my husband. 30 miles away in Los Angeles, PEAK RUSH HOUR, traffic. For those who don’t know, that is easily a one hour long commute. One and a half during peak rush hour.

Scared for my daughter’s life, I was resigned to the fact he would miss her birth.

I was wheeled into the OR, prepped for surgery, and placed on the operating table. More scared than upset, I tried not to think about it. After all, he’d have a lifetime with her. I hoped.

At 6:38 my husband entered the OR. The doctor said “cut now” at 6:39pm.

Another healthy child and mom. And a big brother at home anxious to meet his new sister.

I encourage you to go take a look at Discovery Health’s Baby Week – and share your birth story. We’ve come together as parents to discuss what we did during pregnancy and after our children arrived…but it’s rare we talk about how they got here.


  1. I don’t think I would have survived my first pregnancy in ye olden days, either. I delivered 6 weeks early due to an acute amniotic infection, then I hemorrhaged. Modern medicine saves lives, no two ways about it.

    Thankfully I had a much smoother go of it the second time around. I’m sorry you didn’t. That sounds like a pretty harrowing experience.

  2. I was fortunate in that I expected my pregnancy to be way worse than it was. My doctors were very cautious for a number of reasons, but I had only a few complications and a two week early c-section. That was stressful enough, I’m sorry yours was so much more. I’m glad that babies turned out healthy and happy!

  3. I sucked at being pregnant too.

    I know YOU know this. I remember you visiting me in the hospital after I went into labor at 28 weeks.

    But then after my c-section I need a blood transfusion.

    I am too afraid to post my own birth story. I have two close friends who are expecting their first children. I don’t want to scare them.

  4. Am I a bad person for wishing you’d been on Twitter for both of these scary and amazing experiences? (ducks)

  5. I just can *not* imagine you on bedrest. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Here’s to modern medicine!

  6. I suck at pregnancy as well. I feel your pain.

    But I got all weepy at the line where he walked into the room and the doctor said cut now. Oh, little beautiful moments of life.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. What a time to NOT have cable! 🙁 I just had a baby on March 26th (right between yours, eh?) and I’m still very much into the whole baby story stuff. Will there be stuff online? Streaming video on Discovery Health’s website?

    And, btw, thank you for sharing your birth stories with us. Perhaps one day I might post mine.

  8. ColetteNicole says:

    One of my mid-wives told me that I was “perfectly made for having babies” so I would have been the dead-eyed woman in the wagon train with 17 children…

  9. What cool stories. Sucks the pregnancies were so bad, but thank God both of your kids were (are) great! LA traffic i saw just a few times and good thing you even made it to ER and your husband one minute before cutting priceless!

  10. I didn’t know you were hyperemetic too!
    My OMG-don’t-read-it-if-you’re-pregnant-right-now-I-really-mean-it birth story is here:
    I have a hard time sharing it – because there’s just no good point in it except for the part where I’m miraculously alive and my daughter is too.

    I not only wouldn’t be here if it were 50 years ago, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t been at the hospital I was at.

  11. Snap! I wouldn’t have made it either. I didn’t throw up a lot, but I did have the low amniotic fluid, bed rest (with monitors), breech baby c-section – on my first. For kicks, your LA rush hour traffic made me laugh. I was in Stanford, CA my husband was in Seattle. Thankfully my peanut held on for long enough for dh to get to the hospital.
    But the real reason I wouldn’t have survived? My body doesn’t produce enough pitocin. After both deliveries, while in a monitored post-delivery ward, I nearly died – twice. No contractions, just a little old uterus filling up with blood and me slowly winding down.
    I cherish my kids every day and I’m glad I had medical help to be able to experience their lives.

  12. I did pregnancy fine. Delivery? Train wreck. Suffice it to say I only share the story with people who are done having kids or have a medical background. Only because I would never want anyone else to panic that what happened to me, would happen to them too. According to the stats, only .7% of the population have the experience I had. Yes, that’s right Point Seven Percent. But long story short, when I left the hospital after having had to remain as an in-patient two weeks past the birth of my son, the nurse told me “We’re so happy to see you going home.” and I said, “Oh me too. It will be nice to sleep in my own bed tonight.” and then the nurse put a hand on each of my shoulders and looked me straight in the eye and said very seriously, “No, I mean we are happy to see you go home at all. The only patient who was more ill than you was the Jehovah Witness across the hall who was hemoraging and refusing a blood transfer.”
    But if anyone really wants to hear the entire thing, I’m okay with talking about it, but I dont’ like the idea of anyone just “happening” upon it. It was pretty scary. I just didn’t alllow myself to think about it too much while it was happening!

  13. I hear you. Two kids. “Advanced maternal age.” PPROM with both (34 and 35 weeks.) Hyperemesis. And so much more… and that’s just the prenatal stuff! But we all know we wouldn’t have it any other way – we are so lucky to have our kids, no matter how we get them or how they come into the world.

  14. Oh my.

    It’s interesting–difficult–scary–to think about the number of children that would or would not be here if not for modern medicine. With all of the factors affecting fertility, fertility treatments, birth control, and those life-saving doctors and nurses, there are so many factors to it. Amazing what God has allowed. I feel very grateful for the creation of modern medicine reading this!


  15. A plea for people to consider the ethics of buying maternity clothes. Really, if people are willing to have a baby on this planet, you’d better make sure the world remains a good one! Therefore please try and think about, for example, the cloth your clothes are made with, the human rights of the employees where they’re made and the ethics of the clothes retailer. And try to share, rather than throwing away. Thanks!!!!


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