Fable's Birth Story: Chapter Two

When my doctor broke my water I was still at 4cm. For some reason I was convinced in my head I'd be at six or seven centimeters by the time I reached the hospital but alas, I had not changed. It was almost 5pm, I was still feeling mild/random contractions when my doctor started the IV, one with my GBS antibiotics, another with a slow dose of Pitocin so my slow-active labor wouldn't continue with its slowness.

"And now we wait."

The contractions became painful around 6:30 but I was determined to see how long I could go without an epidural. Every twenty minutes or so, one of the nurses would come in, ask me if I was ready for my meds and every time I'd turn them away.

don't fuck with my birth plan, bitches!

"I think I can do this on my own," I said.

The nurses flashed me a "you go girl!" thumbs up and left me to contract painfully and nibble on ice-chips. By the time 7:30pm rolled around I wasn't even five centimeters yet.

"Almost five!" my doctor said before excusing himself to dinner."Going to little Tokyo with some friends. Be back in a few hours..."

A few hours? Damn, I thought. I'd still be in labor in a few hours?

Once again I was offered the epidural. Once again I refused.

"I have a really high tolerance for pain," I said. "I can handle this no problem."

The contractions got stronger, closer together -- they became familiar in a way pain isn't usually. I started to remember my labor with Archer and felt myself suddenly competitive with my former birthing self -- a self that needed drugs right away. I was three hours into the painful part of labor and still hanging in. I gave myself a high-five and sent Hal out for more ice chips as reward.

On a pain scale of 1-10, I'd say I'm feeling about a 34, right here

Around 9pm, my doctor came back. I was doing my homemade breathing techniques (which were probably all wrong) when my doctor came in to check my progress.

"You're still at five!" he said.

"Ahhhhhhh!" I said back.


"No! Not yet! I can DO THIS! I'M A MACHINE!"

Unfortunately, strengthening contractions did not mean a faster progression. I was dilating at about once centimeter every two hours... By the time midnight struck I was well in tears. The pain was too much to handle even for a machine.

"Unless I'm ten centimeters and ready to push I'm getting the epi," I told Hal between wails.

I was only at seven. I buckled. Pain threshold be damned I couldn't take it anymore. At 12:30am, I bent over a pillow and took the needle in my back. By 1:00am I was asleep, numb from the waist down and relieved to get some rest before push-time.

Come 3:00 am I woke with a bolt of pain. Somehow the epidural had worn off on the right side. I was like a stroke victim, numb on one side, twitching with pain on the other.

I paged the nurse who checked my progress. I was at ten. It was time to push.

Hal woke up and grabbed his camera before promptly putting it away the second my feet hit the stirrups. Apparently he had asked me if I wanted him to film the birth and I said "FUCK NO!" ... I don't remember saying this but I believe him because I would never allow such a thing.

"It's like the mommy blogger equivalent of having a sex tape!"

Okay so I didn't actually say that but thought that counts.

My doctor lowered the giant white light in the ceiling and...

"...When you're ready, you can push."

So I huffed and I puffed and I pushed... Two pushes and Fable's head was peeking out from between my legs, unfortunately with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck three times.

Casually my doctor delivered the news: "Your baby's umbilical cord is like a noose around her neck. I'm going to have to cut it now, while she's coming out. And... I just cut the cord. Go ahead and push..."

"What!? Huh!? Is she okay?"

My doctor nodded his head and got to work on some kind of magical perineum massage that Hal described as "cupping his hands and squeezing the baby out of your vag like one would catch a football."

Whatever he did worked. Fable was born moments later at 3:23am and contrary to my last experience my vagina endured quite unscathed.

Fable was placed on my chest, squirming and covered in blood and craziness and I just stared at her. For several moments I thought I was dreaming, re-birthing Archer because she so resembled him. It wasn't until I got a good look at her that I was able to grasp that I had just given birth to someone that wasn't Archer. To someone brand new. A baby girl. A daughter. Our little Fable Luella.

The nurses pulled up my robe and lead her to my chest where she latched on for the first time without so much as a struggle. And I looked down at my little girl and thought of my own mother. Thought about how excited I was to hear I was having a girl because of her.

Because it took me becoming a mother to really appreciate my own. To bond with her in a new way and how badly I wanted the same bond with a daughter... Passing it along like a strand of pearls... And here she was.

"Here we are."

Fable stayed with me for the rest of the night, against my chest, sleeping and sucking and being perfect and I stayed up all night watching her smile in her sleep as the sun pulled itself up by its rays over downtown Los Angeles.

I was shocked by how much I could love something so new. I felt the same way about Archer but how I'd forgotten until that first night with Fable. How I HAVE forgotten until now, how special the first few moments, days, weeks are with a new baby.

In the recovery room, Hal, Fable and I cuddled together in my hospital bed, still freckled with the blood from the birth. We compared the birth experience to Archer's -- how easy it was in comparison, how not scary, how incredible my doctor, the nurses... how AWESOME it was that my vagina wasn't sliced to smithereens. How perfect our new baby was and how excited we were to be a family of four.

And then our RN knock-knocked on the door.

"Come in!"

A kind woman stepped inside, smiled at Fable and took my hand.

"My name is Blessing and I'll be your nurse this morning," she said.



Well if that isn't the best name EVER for a resident nurse in a maternity ward, I don't know what is...

Blessing wrote down her information on the white board and scurried off down the hall, leaving Hal and I once again, alone. Without Blessing. Indeed blessed.

Blessed times a million zillion infinity.



angie | 6:53 PM

Gasp. Blessing indeed. What a wonderful story. Fable is beautiful!

Mirinda Dawe | 6:53 PM

That was such a great birth story and your family is so beautiful! Such an amazing God we have to create something so amazing as your baby girl. She's beautiful!

Issa | 6:58 PM

I know I keep commenting the same thing, but she's beautiful.

That first night, all I did was look at mine too. Somehow you forget that first night. I'm doing my best to remember it this time around.

Heather | 7:00 PM

Thankyou for sharing your story with all of us. I got chills hearing your beautiful birth story.

Anonymous | 7:04 PM

i have to tell you the truth. my friend just had a baby girl and i'm sure she will be cute one day soon but right now she's still blue from the cord wrapped around her neck and she's puffy and red and splotchy.... but fable really is like a fable. she is just the most gorgeous newborn ever. she really is.

lala | 7:13 PM

Wonderfully told.
It's such a magical time.

CaraBee | 7:21 PM

I think Fable is just the most beautiful newborn I've ever seen. Except my own, of course. :) And, it really pisses me off how good you look in labor and immediately postpartum. There really is no justice in the world.

Anonymous | 7:30 PM

Oh, what a lovely and blessed story!

JuJu | 8:35 PM

She's so pretty.

And I'm glad your vagina stayed trauma-free this time! YAY for not-sliced vaginas!

Windy | 8:45 PM

Congratulations to all of you! May you enjoy every second with your new little family member.

Unknown | 9:02 PM

First of all you look marvelous darling - even in the midst of labor. How do you do it? And second - what a lovely birth story thank you for sharing it with us. Fable is truly a blessing.

clueless but hopeful mama | 9:06 PM

So lovely. I'm so happy for you and your nethers! It gives me hope for my next go 'round.

I too hope to make it without an epidural this time (I got one at 7 cm last time). But my husband keeps reminding me that the day after my daughter was born, I adamantly told him repeatedly that next time I should just get the epidural RIGHT AWAY.

Rachel | 9:51 PM

Again, she is so beautiful!

Great birth-story and pictures; you make it look so easy!

Anonymous | 11:04 PM

Is it weird that reading your story makes me almost MISS my labor? Yeah, weird.

She's beautiful, again. Really really beautiful.

S.A. | 11:05 PM

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful tale.
I am so glad that you got to have a positive birth experience, and your yoni didn't get torn to bits. Score!
Fable is beyond perfect, I covet her yummy little lips.
Hal looks so stoked in that last picture. Love it.

Hillary | 4:14 AM

What a wonderful birth for everyone.

Fairly Odd Mother | 4:27 AM

I knew I'd tear up reading this post and then "Whammo" it hit me at that last photo---seeing you guys with your little baby girl. Oooohhh, too cute.

Blessing indeed.

Amber | 6:00 AM

I love your story, especially because I can relate as it is fresh in my mind having gone through the same experience one month ago. I also agree 110% with your rant on unecessary episiotomies because my doctor cut me the first time without even letting me push, and I pushed once after that and he was born. My 2nd, 3rd and 4th babies I didn't tear even a little. The most irritating thing about it all is that I didn't know she cut me, I thought I tore. My Mom informed me when I was pregnant with my 2nd and having some pain towards the end down there that my doctor had cut me. Then she kept catching areas that weren't numb with her needle as she sewed up a cut I didn't need in the first place and I was in hell the first week or so after birth. Like we don't have enough going on that first week with out dealing with that. I just found your other blog, and really enjoy it BTW...

tracey.becker1@gmail.com | 6:22 AM

Fabulous! And she is just absolutely gorgeous...

Tammy | 6:31 AM

Beautiful story to go with a beautiful little girl.

Is that half numb body thing not the most bizarre, freakish feeling in the entire world? One side of the body chillin', the other side in crazy pain! My epi wore off completely for about an hour and a half, emergency c-section time and they did a bollus into the line ... numbed the left half of my body. I got scared for a minute because, hello ... c-section people and only half numb. That was when I discovered the wonder and joy of a spinal block. LOL

April | 6:59 AM


Amy | 7:13 AM

She's absolutely gorgeous, and I am so happy for you that you had such a great experience this time around.

Zellmer | 7:15 AM

She's gorgeous.

What a champ you were to endure contractions that long after Pitocin. I've been through that and I know how much stronger Pitocin makes your contractions.

Anonymous | 8:48 AM

What an awesome birth story. I always cry at births. Sigh. Hiccup. Congratulations on such a beautiful baby.

Maria Melee | 9:19 AM

Ahhhh! CRYCRYCRY. I'm so excited/scared about my upcoming #2. Thank you for sharing this. Gah.

Jillian | 10:31 AM

Awesome! I'm so glad it went well this time. And she's adorable! You all are :)

Maggie May | 10:37 AM

She is so plump and has such beautiful skin for a newborn! She looks like she's already three months.
You did SUCH a good job. Brave and kick ass. LIke moms are.

Anonymous | 10:48 AM

I'm so happy for you.

Anonymous | 11:18 AM

I too went into labor saying, "No drugs! No drugs!" I hadn't had time for an epidural when my daughter was born, so I figured that with my son, I knew what to expect and could handle it.

And then I realized, as I was facing 5 hours of bitch-slappin' labor through the night, that an epidural would be a much, much smarter move. Never mind that I had a resident anesthesiologist get me into position and then WAIT for the attending to come in and supervise: there I was, my head folded down by my knees, in ACTIVE LABOR for about 30 minutes. But no--the res said I was in the PERFECT position, and there was no way I was moving.

So so so so so so happy for you. I love super happy, relatively drama-free birth stories. Keep on enjoying every minute.

ZDub | 11:37 AM

So sweet! I am so happy for you and that you had a drama-free-didn't-wreck-your-vagina birth!

Your daughter is gorgeous and you look amazing as well!

Anonymous | 11:38 AM

Awesome. I'm excited about my second birth/third baby coming in April. Only I've already been informed that I don't get to do active labor. Too much damage from the first c-section and too much of a chance of hemorrage. I'm glad things went better for you. Best wishes for you and your little family.

Rhea | 12:09 PM

Great story and I'm so relieved your vagina was sliced. I've heard of women who had slicing into their rectum...but we don't go there.

Welcome, Fable, an adorable baby girl!

Anonymous | 12:58 PM

Damnit, now I'm all teary! That takes a lot. Beautiful, just beautiful.

And might I say... 20 minutes pushing?! You GO, girl!

Anonymous | 1:44 PM

That is such a beautiful birth story. I got tears in my eyes. Fable is so gorg3eous and perfect. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous | 3:20 PM

The only word I can find to spit out right now is... hooray!! (wipes tears from eyes) Beautiful.

Anonymous | 4:09 PM

That was such a beautiful birth story. You have a precious little girl.

karengreeners | 4:52 PM

Wonderful. She's so beautiful - congratulations to you all.

Anonymous | 4:58 PM

Thank you for sharing that! I have been 4 cm. since last week and assume that when I go in for my induction TOMORROW MORNING(!!!!!) that I will be 7 cm., do you mean to tell me I might not be?!?

I just wrote my daughter, Sage a letter telling her how much these past 3 years with her has meant to me. Like you did, I feel like I am in mourning for our time together, just mother and daughter. Reading your post has brightened me up a little to the excitement and possibility of tomorrow, to becoming a family of 4. Congratulations again!


Anonymous | 7:09 PM

am impressed that you stuck to your birth plan for so long and through so much pain. congrats again, beautiful birth story. the half worn off epidural sounds awful! (i have this symmetry thing)

Anonymous | 9:01 PM

i never want to see you in pain like that again. so. no more babiez.

i miss you. nothing is as fun withoutcha.

Anonymous | 8:43 AM

Yay, I am so happy for you! Having That 2nd baby is such a special time.It's awesome too when you don't tear the 2nd time--you feel better soooo much faster! Hooray on the breastfeeding bit too! It is such an accomplishement and can be so wonderful if you can do it (I was finally able to with both of my children after much hardship, but I'm so glad now!!!) Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

Fraulein | 9:21 AM

Yep, here I am crying at work again...just awesome. What a stupendously lovely babe, and what lucky parents and big brother!

And how great is the name "Blessing"! Something to think about in case you ever have another little girl!

Sarah Myers | 9:29 AM

Beautiful, beautiful family, you are definitely blessed (love that name)! Your blog is absolutely my favorite, thank you for sharing your journey with us. Lately I just have to make sure I'm alone in the office or have tissues near by ;) Many many congratulations.

Anonymous | 9:31 AM

What a great birth story. And you are a machine. SEVEN??? I think I made it to six both times. I don't think it's coincidence that the second time around tends to be easier for most moms. I didn't have the vag damage I had the first time either, and Baby Pita (that's what I call her now) was born in just three pushes. Crowning, head out, then shoulders and the rest of her and she was out.

Fable is beautiful. And so is your family.

Micah & Brooke | 3:19 PM

Love it! She totally has your toes . . .

mo-wo | 10:00 PM

If you hadn't named her the perfection Fable -- she could have been infinity.

I love her. I love you. So happy for you all. Your happiness is seriously chewable here. Thanks for taking the time for us -- NOW BACK TO THE BLISS.

Love that doan fux with me pic!

Binky | 10:29 AM

The pain-scale-34 photo is classic. It's a picture that says a thousand swear words.

And the rest: beautiful, just beautiful. Congrats again.

Run ANC | 12:02 PM

It IS weird how you think the second will be just like the first, except - how can they be? They're a different person. Weird.


PAPATV | 10:08 PM

Congrats and very similar to our experience just last week with the exception of Sienna's head wasn't coming down, so she had to have a C-section and I wrote about the experience so you have a guy's point of view.
Great family shot of you guys and your daughter Miss Fable is cuteness.

Badness Jones | 4:52 AM

Congratulations a million zillion times GGC - she's beautiful. And you? Have no business looking that great in a hospital photo! :)

Anonymous | 5:03 PM

What an amazing story! You are truly one of my favorite writers.. you evoke such emotion with your words. Congratulations on your gorgeous daughter. Thanks so much for sharing your birth experience.