Max’s Birth Day.
I totally hoped and planned on sharing one more (way too) long-winded knocked up post with you, but… I had a baby instead.
I never reached the point of wanting pregnancy to be over or “just wanting the baby out” like I had assumed I would. In fact, up until the moment he was placed on my stomach, I was still in denial that it was even happening. I just couldn’t believe it went SO fast.
I was really scared the last few weeks of pregnancy. When I was younger I always had a very real fear of child birth, but around the age of 27 or 28 it disappeared and I was like… it’s nature! I can do this some day! That fear came back with a vengeance in the last month of my pregnancy. I was absolutely petrified and very fixated on it and nothing helped. I think it was just where I was placing my stress. I wish I could say the fear went away, but before I knew it, I was screaming in fear (okay and maybe pain) about how scared I was a mere few minutes before he came out.
Um, so. I really didn’t know I was in labor. Not in the sense of like, I-could-be-on-the-TV-show-I-didn’t-know-I-was–pregnant-and-birth-a-child-in-a-bathroom, but I really thought labor would be… different.
This was actually a huge fear of mine as well – I’ve shared before how my mom really “didn’t know” and just thought she was having cramps – and my brothers and I were all born so quickly that no doctor was ever present.
Huh. I guess it runs in the family?
Even as recently as last Tuesday I said to my doctor – “but what if I just don’t KNOW if I’m in labor?” She looked at me like I was a lunatic and was all “YOU WILL KNOW!”
On Wednesday, my mom and I drove a while away because I had to sign some books. After doing so, I started feeling some weird pressure but it wasn’t too out of the ordinary, so we walked around and shopped the rest of the afternoon.
I mean, I was convinced this baby was coming on December 20 for some reason. My entire pregnancy, I was SO scared that I’d go into early labor with all of the traveling I did – but once I was home and settled, I thought I’d go late. That was fine with me – I still didn’t have anything done! Or should I say… enough done. You get it.
So we shopped. My dad texted me saying that he bought a gingerbread house and I say let’s make it that night. Remember how I wrote about being obsessed with doing so in my Tuesday things? Yeeeeah.
When my mom and I got home, I started having some light cramps. Like just normal, not out of the ordinary, not unusual, cramps. A half hour later I realized they were kind of coming in intervals or maybe in a pattern, and was all “oh I’m going to use the new contraction app I downloaded for fun!” – because certainly it wasn’t the real thing. I really just wanted to use the app for practice.
I went to my parents’ house. We built a gingerbread house. We ate dinner. I kept timing on my app and the (very mild) cramps were like 5 or 6 minutes apart consistently. They never stopped. I think my parents thought I was utterly full of crap. I kind of did myself – I mean there was no way that THIS was the real thing.
I got home and jokingly asked Eddie if he had his stuff in mind that he wanted to take to the hospital. Was our stuff packed? Of course not. Was my car that we were taking to the hospital full of shopping bags and Christmas presents that would need removed at the eleventh hour? Yep.
I timed the cramps all night long. Five, four, three minutes apart or so – I only got about an hour of sleep because they kept me awake. Some were two minutes apart. All I kept thinking was… WEIRD. I didn’t tell anyone because again, it couldn’t be REAL. If anything, it was early labor and could maybe last a week?
At 4:30 that morning, Eddie got up to go to the gym. Around this time the cramps became slightly more intense and he said that he’d work from home and maybe I should go to the doctor when he got back from the gym.
One of my other biggest fears during pregnancy was being stuck in rush hour traffic while in labor. I figured that if this WAS the real thing, we had to wait at home for another two or three hours before leaving unless I wanted to sit in the car for two hours instead.
Let’s just say that this did not look very promising.
The “cramps” started to hurt a bit more. I tried to get a shower. I tried to clean the kitchen. I really thought I was being a HUGE baby. I’m so dramatic and figured I had zero pain tolerance – I was disappointed that I couldn’t handle this. I called Eddie and said he should come home, that we should probably go to the hospital. I couldn’t really walk or talk… like at all. But I was convinced that if we went to the hospital, they’d send me home or I’d be there for 48 hours.
We left as late as we could, but of course it was during RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC. Right before getting in the car, I was crying that there was NO WAY I could sit in the car. I don’t remember much of the drive but when I saw the state that my front seat was in when we left the hospital this past weekend… I was like WHOA. Traffic was baaaad. It was the first time I noticed Eddie being nervous – that’s all I remember. There was, of course, in addition to regular traffic, a freaking car on fire. It was rainy and cars were backed up further than usual. I pretty much thought I was going to have my baby in one of the tunnels, which is something I’ve joked about for 10 months.
I continued crying, saying that I knew I was being a huge baby for not being able to handle this pain and that I’d get sent home, that I was so embarrassed because this HAD to be a false alarm. Eddie was like, “who cares if it’s a false alarm? We will just go walk at the mall until you’re in real labor!”
Looking back now, this was HILARIOUS because I couldn’t even walk to the car, so how I’d walk through the mall would be… ? While we were in the car, my doctor called me back and said that hopefully I’d be 3cm dilated so they could keep me there. If anything, I hoped that the cramping was doing something.
Once we got to the hospital, I could barely make it inside. I hated myself for being so weak. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t able to walk through these cramps! Which were, by the way, still very much like cramps – nothing in my back or sides or in waves or moving from my back to my front or like anything I had learned in classes/from friends/from my doctor/from dr. google. Apparently I must have looked pretty rough because the registration people were like “get this girl some help!” and I quickly ended up in triage room where I just immediately started ripping my clothes off. Eddie was like… WTF? I just needed them off. I don’t remember anything the nurses were saying to me, but I’m pretty sure they grabbed a random doctor in hall to check me since I couldn’t even talk.
He did so, and said “well… you’re 8-9 centimeters dilated, so this baby is almost here.”
UM WHAT. Eddie and I both burst into tears (me, because I was so grateful that I didn’t have to go home (again, how?!) and petrified – and him because I think he was so worked up) and I just screamed “call my mom!!!” And then I felt like I was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, because people were flipping me over and shoving IVs and stuff in me.
My hospital will give you an epidural as long as you can sit still. I got one, but kept saying to Eddie how much of a failure I felt like because we had discussed that if I could somehow make it to 7cm or so, I would push through.
Well. That didn’t really matter because the epidural didn’t take. Like, at all.
My dad says now that my next book has to be called “I FELT EVERYTHING” because during and after labor I just kept screaming that I could feel everything. Not that he was in the room, but apparently I made sure to tell everyone that I felt everything.
BECAUSE I DID.
[As a side note: I was pretty terrible to Eddie at moments, in a funny way when we look back on it, because I’d beg him to talk to me and then he’d say something like “you are so amazing, you’re doing such a great job” and I’d then scream SHUT UP DON’T TELL ME THAT!”
I kept screaming at him not to watch anything and then if he’d sit down I’d be all STAND UP! DON’T SIT! At one point he asked if I wanted music and he put on the Taylor Dayne Pandora station and within seconds I was flipping out screaming at him to “turn this $#*@ off!” and that it was piercing my ears. (Oddly enough, in the car, Josh Groban came on singing a Christmas song and I pretty much threatened to kill someone if he didn’t change the station ASAP.)
Oh I was such a joy.
Also, I can’t even repeat some of the words that came out of my mouth but I’m pretty sure the nurses and doctor thought I was some serious white trash based on my mouth. Apologies.]
It went SO fast though, and for that I am grateful.
Soon after, I started to push and was all around petrified. It’s super true when they say you go “inside your body” (or is it outside?) right before the baby is born in order to finish the process. I feel like I was looking down on myself in the moments right before he came out. I barely remember them. When he did come out, we were in such disbelief that for a few seconds we forgot to even ask if it was a boy or a girl. She told us he was a boy (so all of my dreams were RIGHT!) and placed him on my chest and I think I cried the hardest id ever cried in my LIFE. I expected to be teary and crying, but nothing like the full blown, cannot-breathe, hardest sobs ever. After a few minutes of that, I looked at Eddie and said “wait! oh my god, Eddie, he is so cute. Do you see him? Is he really this cute? He is so cute. Oh my god. He’s so cute.” The nurses were laughing pretty hard at that but I was completely serious.
And that’s that – Maxwell Leroy was born weighing in at 6lbs, 9oz and 20.5 inches long. Eddie and I have had baby names for at least two years, so it was crazy to have a baby in our arms that we had named years ago. Leroy was both of our maternal grandfathers’ names (Mother Lovett’s second husband!), and neither of us knew the other, so we both look at the “Leroy” in a different way. I love that. Maxwell is the boy’s name I would name all my male characters in my little fiction stories that I’d write when I was eight or nine years old. It’s always been my favorite boys name (for 20 years I knew I needed a boy in my life named Max) and I knew I’d have a Max someday.
I have so much more to write about and will do so soon, especially about the first magical week and how we are completely smitten and how I’ve never seen anyone or anything soften Eddie like this. In the meantime, thank you so, so much for all of your kind words and wishes on the blog, instagram, facebook and twitter. You guys are the best.
101 Comments on “Max’s Birth Day.”
Such a beautiful post! I have tears rolling down my face! Such a beautiful birth story! Congratulations to the moon and back :)
Goodness gracious, I love birth stories!! I love the way you told this, and felt like I was there with you (you know…not *there*, there, but “there” with you). So happy for you! And yes, he’s seriously, really cute! Congratulations :)
8 centimeters? You almost had a baby in the car!!!!!!! Crazy story!
When my son was born I didn’t believe I was in labor either. All the way to the hospital I kept saying that maybe my water didn’t break….maybe I just peed my pants….and I’d be so embarrassed when I got to the hospital covered in urine. My son was born about two hours after I got to the hospital, so I totally didn’t pee on myself. How can it be so hard to know when you’re in labor?
P.S.- I felt everything, too. :( Not fun.
OMG what a beautiful little baby boy!!! He is too precious. And what a great birth story! I always love your writing and this was one of your best ever posts! Congratulations again to you and Eddie!
Loved reading this! And your baby boy has the best name ever!! Love it!!
Ahhh, I was laughing when I read I was such a joy. Congratssss again! Thanks for sharing this story! <3 <3
what a beautiful child you have!! congrats!
Thanks for making me cry. I’m so happy for you guys!
OMG! You are too crazy-amazing. Cray-mazing! I love this so much!
Now, I need to finally just write out my birth story. PS, one of the nurses totally commented on my nsfw language…HA!
I’ve been a fan of yours for such a long time and this story was the one that finally made me comment. I too have loved the name Max since a very young age, and had hoped to one day name my son that. Until the day I met my now fiancé, who just so happens to be named Max. Now I have the Max I always wanted.
I don’t even know you other than from following your blog for years, and I am holding back tears of joy over the arrival of Max. I can’t wait to read more of your posts about him!! Congratulations!!!
loved, LOVED reading your birth story. It brought tears to my eyes as I remembered what that all felt like. I have 4 babies, and I felt everything for 3 of them as there was no time for epidurals or anything. To this day I can still remember that terrible ride to the hospital where I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I was going to sit down in the car. Babies are magical, and they are a gift. Thank you for reminding me as I’m pretty sure I’ll hug them all a little tighter tonight. <3
Ps. Still waiting for a pict of Max and something Neon!!
I love this so much! Congratulations to you and your husband. He’s so cute, as of course he would be with such beautiful parents! <3
haha- this story just sounds SO you :) I don’t even know what “going into labor” feels like because I was induced. But sounds like you were a rock star despite the challenges. I adore his name and his sweet face. So happy for yall!
Amazing! I got an epidural but when it came time to push they stopped it because I apparently wasn’t pushing “right”. So at the end, when the real shit happens, I felt EVERYTHING. I was traumatized for a while but now I don’t remember it that much. Ha!
Max is the cutest!
Congratulations! He is so so so adorable. Hope you all have a relaxing and cozy Christmas together as three (!!!)
Congrats! This was such a great birth story! I always worry I’ll be the biggest wimp ever, but I feel like I have a pretty good pain threshold, so I’m hoping it’ll be just like yours. haha. In my dreams…Max is SUCH a cute baby! I’m so happy you wrote this fast because I’ve been dying to know how it happened!!
Awwww. My one friend was literally like Jerry Springer and the baby just popped out in her living room as she had NO labor pains. It was crazy. So at least you go to the hospital!
Oh my gosh! Our stories are so similar! I was the same way, so convinced it couldn’t be labor, but had this resistant pressure feeing in my groin. I slept maybe an hour the whole night because it was keeping me up, plus I was so anxious. The doctor on call told me it would probably be soon, like in the next few days. We had an appointment with my doctor that morning for a stress test because I was 9 days late. I woke my husband and he was like lets just go to the hospital now and maybe they can just check you out. Well I was 5-1/2 centimeters. And at that point I couldn’t move. The big difference is that my epidural worked REALLY well. I get nothing for the longest time. Even when my doc was taking out my placenta and cleaning stuff up and stitching things. Did not feel one thing. They had to tell me when to push each time because I couldn’t feel the contractions. Crazy! That’s how my Christmas Eve baby was born :) Enjoy! The first few months are a total blur filled with lots of crying…from the baby and from the mom…happy tears, scared tears (my first day totally alone with him!) all sorts of tears! But oh, what perfect joy! Welcome baby Max! You are a lucky little boy!
I’ve been looking forward to this post for a week now! Thank you so much for sharing your story…it’s not only hilarious but also soo sweet! Seeing your husband with his child for the first time is one of the best things ever :) Congrats again! Xoxo
Thank you for sharing the birth of your beautiful son. Congratulations!!
I loved everything about this post. It was so you in every way possible – hilarious too and it honestly brought back so many memories from my 2nd pregnancy. Congrats again!! So completely happy for you. :)
Congrats on little Max, he is beautiful! I love reading the story of his birth. My baby boy just turned 13 last month and is 4″ taller than me, your story made me sob like a baby! My other baby boy is 9 1/12. It is so true what they say, cherish every single second, the good and the bad because they are yours and yours alone for such a short amount of time and it goes by way way way too fast! I had an epidural with my first, he was 8lbs 13 oz and I still felt everything. My second was 9lbs 3 oz and the doctor was at dinner and didn’t believe I knew I was in labor so by the time she got to the hospital it was too late for an epidural. Both were born on their exact due date. My second was born at 11:14 pm (almost made it on Father’s Day) which is my first’s birthdate of 11-14-01. Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!
I too have read your blog for a while and was compelled to comment. What a birth story you have for your memories and I absolutely adore that you used the name Maxwell in your childhood writing and now have your Max! Congrats and savor every minute with your best Christmas gift yet!!!
Thank you for sharing such a special time in your and Eddie’s life. The picture on Instagram of max all scrunched up made me soooo baby hungry! Congrats and keep the baby stories coming!
Love this. Thank you for sharing about sweet Max! You’re such a trooper. I can’t believe some of your fears (rush hour) came true. Can’t wait to hear more.
Eek I almost cried! So sweet! And don’t feel weak, I thought I had cramps too! 10 hours and 10 lbs. later it’s a boy. :) he is so precious congrats!
Congrats to your family! He is simply adorable! Thank you for sharing your story!
Looks like the best dish you’ve ever came with it! Congratulations!
I loved this. I laughed and cried during it. My husband and I have had baby names picked out for years too. I’m hoping we’ll be able to use them someday soon. Baby Max is just adorable. And I love that you didn’t find out the sex of the baby (though I could never do that since I’m crazy and I’d snap not knowing).
He such a handsome little guy!
Such a great name, too!
Sounds like you were a trooper!!
I love your story!!!! Max is ADORABLE and such a great name. As a fellow Pittsburgh preggo due next month I’m super terrified of 1) there being a huge freak snowstorm and getting stuck on 79 getting to magee and 2) also being told to go home because I’m not dilated enough. Your post made me feel better about freaking out about everything dealing with labor. I hope your little family of three has a wonderful Christmas and new year!
OH. MY. GOSH. We have practically the same birth story. I was having cramps ALL DAY before I went into labor ( I thought I was just uh…constipated and had to go). It was nothing like I expected it. My husband and I went to the grocery, watched TV, etc, until I spoke to my mom, and she was like… uh…are you timing these “cramps?” Anyway, i got to the hospital 7 cm dilated and was the same as you, pretty rough around the edge. My epidual wore off THREE TIMES. Anyway, it was fun to read about someone who had pretty much the same experience as me! Everyone I have talked to about it are like…what? Cramps? You thought you had to go to the bathroom? haha….I’m glad someone understands!!!
Oh and CONGRATS!!! You will get sleep again, trust me.
He is that beautiful. He is just a doll. Again congrats and thank you for sharing.
He is so precious. I remember when you announced you were pregnant I had just found out my sister in law was also pregnant. Now after seeing pictures of your precious newborn, I can’t wait for my brother to have one too!!! Congrats to you and Eddie, you’ll be the greatest parents.
He is so beautiful! Congratulations.
Girl, you are LUCKY! What an awesome birth story. I’m an L&D nurse and let me tell you, first time mama’s rarely go that quickly! And your pain tolerance sounds amazing (didn’t know you were in labor until 8cm?!! Impressive!) Way to go, brave woman! And he’s beautiful. Congrats and welcome to mama world. :)
I’ve got tears in my eyes and I’m smiling like an idiot right now. Haha! This was so sweet. Especially the parts about his name. That’s just SO special. I love it so much. :) Congratulations!!! I’m so happy for you!!
Biggest congratulations ever!! Max’s birth story gave me goosebumps. I’m so happy for you and your family. As a momma of two boys, I can honestly say it is truly the most amazing gift. Enjoy your precious little guy!
Congratulations! Wonderful birth story!
Wonderful story!!! Now you know to get to the hospital even sooner for the next baby. I’ve heard 2nd ones are even faster. My daughter was also super fast, I had flashbacks while reading. :)
Oh my God, so, so so SO SO much love for you and this post and Max and EVERYTHING. You are such a freaking rockstar and I could not be happier for you, Eddie, and Max. I love the name, I love the whole story, and of course you had me rolling laughing as always. All the congratulations in the whole wide world for you lady!!!!! I’m just hoping I’ll be half (quarter? tenth? sixty-fourth?) the wonder woman you are when that day comes!
OMG, Jess! So happy for y’all! I am right there with you with feeling everything! My epi wore off before I had our little man so I felt every last push. It was absolutely horrible, but so worth it. My husband and I also had (have) our kid’s names picked out for years too. Isn’t it so awesome that you now have a face to put the name too? He is soooooo cute!!! Y’all did an amazing job! Congrats!
Congratulations! He is beyond beautiful/handsome!!!
Wow, what a beautiful memoir of the special day, Jessica! Thank you for sharing your story! Congratulations to you both!
Such a lovely story!! I totally cried like twice reading this. Congratulations to you both, he really is the cutest!
I was actually in the hospital being monitored for contractions when you posted that Max was born:) It totally made that miserable day better!!! I am so happy for you and your husband! I’m 28 weeks pregnant and thought I was just having stomach flu symptoms. Haha, nope, contractions! Now i know better too.
I’m 29 and was not sure my husband and i would ever be brave enough to have kids so my first few weeks pregnant were really scary too just thinking about how my future would change and how I would deal with being a mom. I’ve been reading your blog for years and it has been so fun and comforting reading about your pregnancy journey at the same time I’m going through mine. I’m so glad you’ve been so honest and hilarious!
Congrats and please keep posting baby updates! He’s a beautiful baby! Great name too!
PS Come to New Orleans for a book signing!!!
Such a great birth story!Max is very cute!!!So happy for you and Eddie!
LOVE your story! And he is a *doll* – yes, totally *that* cute! Enjoy your babymooning. Such a wonderful time that you’ll always look back to and smile.