Birth Stories

Birth Story of Asher Lucas Hosburgh

Asher

Asher Lucas Hosburgh was born Sept. 1, 2013, at 7:30 a.m. He weighed 7 lb., 4 ounces, measured 20 inches, and was full of hair. He was a super vigorous baby, kicking, punching, and even rolling early on. Asher means “blessed” or “happy,” which is what he makes us feel everyday. Lucas comes from Matt’s beloved cousin Lucas Pfaff, who passed away when Matt was a kid. Matt tells me about him all the time, and looked up to him like a brother. We hope to memorialize and honor Luke by giving Asher his name.

I wanted to talk about the delivery and give my thoughts on how CrossFit affected it.

I delivered Asher at home. That was our plan and intention, and it was a great experience. It came fast. One minute I was on the couch watching The Office, the next minute I’m in full-blown labor. It took about 15-30 minutes before I was only at 2 minutes between contractions. I was so comfortable pregnant, no back pain, no hip/pelvic pain. All I ever felt was tired. I think Asher was positioned and ready to go. I attribute that to squats and deadlifts. If I was tense in these areas, lifting weight correctly and soundly always made me feel better.

Soon into labor, I was literally floored and shocked. Holy pain. Instead of feeling like I had come into this with some kind of pain tolerance, I quickly felt out of control and unsure if I would make it. Matt and the midwives set up the baby pool, and that felt much better. I tried to stay in the pool as much as possible, and eventually pushed Asher out in it. Even though I had progressed fast early in the process, I ended up laboring for about 10 hours before pushing. In total it took 12 hours to get Asher out.

I was naked. The whole time.

I screamed. A lot.

I broke down.

I definitely wanted an epidural in the midst of it all, or just some relief. After a while I was just fighting fatigue. The contractions just crashed into me, as I got more and more tired. Soooo, I didn’t really meditate through the contractions or settle into it. It just hurt the whole time. And Matty was great at just being by my side the whole time. I labored through the night, and he held me up and kept me going.

So CrossFit makes me strong. And when I got to push, Asher eventually exploded out, giving me a bad enough tear I had to go to the hospital to get stitched. But, my pelvic floor and how I pushed was so tense and inward, I think I made my labor longer. I couldn’t push out or down, I just squeezed in … like a hollow rock or pushing out of a heavy lift. I wasn’t getting the “act like your pooping” thing down. At all. Until the end, when Ash flew out and almost took my vajay with him.

Asher

Here’s where CrossFit is really rocking, though: in the recovery. At about 4 weeks, my bleeding stopped. Diastasis is gone, and I’m not sure I ever had it. I’d regained most core control. And I got back in the gym. No jumping, running, sit-ups, or squatting weight at that point. The tear was the hardest thing to recover from. But otherwise, things have sort of knit back together really well. I produced a lot of milk, and Asher ate well and thrived! I eased into workouts, because I didn’t know how one really gauges their pelvic floor except for the bleeding. So for the sake of long-term healing, I was planking, hollow holding, doing pull-ups, and really light non-squatting movements.

At first, I thought this whole thing was insane and I would never want to do it again. But then you have your baby. And I’d do it all over 10 times. I also said next time I want an epidural … but, that pain is seriously a badge of motherhood. I’m glad I felt it. Somehow I think the pain drew me into God and Asher more. Without it, I wouldn’t know the sacrifice Ash took, and I cried out to Jesus with a new voice. A mama roar. And being home was awesome. I could get all crazy a lot easier. And getting crazy was necessary.

Written by Leah Hosburgh

Birth Stories

Birth Story of Samuel Owen Schultz

On July 4, 2017, Josh and I welcomed our second son, Samuel Owen, into the world. This is the story of his birth.

In hindsight, it all started about 12:30 a.m. I woke up and had to use the bathroom in an urgent way that had me questioning, “Is this a sign of labor, or did I catch a stomach bug?” Lack of contractions made me think it wasn’t labor. A couple hours later I was up again with a similar issue, and I was nauseous.

By morning, I was feeling okay, but still felt off and could barely stomach food. But it was July 4, our house is really close to the parade route, we had a good spot reserved, and family had come over to watch it with us. Charlie could only handle so much parade (it’s a long parade), so I brought him back to our house where I could sit in the shade. When Josh came home, I took a nap. I totally skipped saying goodbye to family because I just really needed a nap.

The nap refreshed me enough to have some food. Both Josh and Charlie were napping, so I took advantage of the quiet house, and reviewed the resources I had gathered for labor on pushing, visualizations, and breathing techniques. The fear of tearing again had been brought forth by The-OB-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named during my non-stress-tests with her (my OB was out on vacation). You might wonder why I’d been having NSTs at 37-38 weeks pregnant. Well, Sam was due July 17, but I turned 35 on July 10, so I was being treated as advanced maternal age. *eye roll*

Side story: The-OB-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named tried to scare me into a c-section, basically. She’s a serious person and was “very concerned” with my decision to go forward with a second vaginal delivery, after the tear I experienced during Charlie’s birth. I did go to her after Charlie’s birth once, for some help with healing tissue. It was just so appalling to me to bring these things up to an 8.5-months pregnant woman who isn’t your patient. Even her nurse was in on it. She remembered me from that appointment after Charlie’s birth, and felt the need to tell me how she had torn like I did with Charlie and didn’t have more kids because she couldn’t risk “going through that again.” Thanks lady. *face palm* Even though I think those comments were totally insensitive, I am glad they forced me to confront my fears and review the information I had gathered.

It also made me decide to add “no coached pushing” to my birth preferences sheet, especially since The-OB-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named was on call on July 4. So I added it to the plan. This ended up being pointless for a few reasons, one of which was that our printer was out ink.

Alicia and Sam

After Charlie’s nap, we played trains on the living room floor. As I was leaning over putting together some tracks, I felt a pop in my lower right abdomen, then a small gush of fluid. I stopped dead in my tracks (heh) and headed to the restroom. I noticed that the fluid was yellow (mucus plug?). I wondered if my water had broke, but didn’t seem to be leaking more fluid. I looked at my watch. 5 p.m. So I headed upstairs for some fresh undergarments, which led to more fluid and this had the distinct pink color of amniotic fluid. Yep, water had definitely broke.

After getting cleaned up, I told Josh what happened and expressed my worry that I hadn’t had any contractions. Of course as I’m saying this, I had my first contraction.

After having a few contractions, I decided it was a good idea to time them. Josh called his mom to come over so she’d be here to take care of Charlie once we were ready to head to the hospital. I texted my doula, Candace, and the friends we had planned to meet for fireworks. “Sorry friends, not going to make it, just went into labor!”

Contractions were about 45-60 seconds long and about 7-9 minutes apart. They slowly got closer together and consistently 1 minute long. I made sure to drink my electrolyte/juice mix or water after each one, to stay hydrated and fueled for the coming work. I also tried to stay upright and walking around. Everyone else had dinner, but I wasn’t hungry. After dinner, I tried to spend some time with Charlie, knowing that I likely wouldn’t see him for a couple days. Contractions slowed during this time. It’s like my body knew to slow down to give me the time I needed to have that time with him and mentally say goodbye to Charlie being my only son. All throughout this, I was texting my doula, who was giving me support and advice. Once Charlie was off to bed (about 8 p.m.), things started to pick up. Contractions steadily increased from being 7 minutes apart, to being 5 minutes apart. I called and talked to The-OB-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, who was okay with my decision to head to the hospital once I felt contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart. Well, contractions very quickly surpassed 5 minutes apart and things got really intense really fast. Josh realized we needed to head to the hospital, partly to avoid any post-fireworks traffic. So away we went.

Let me just say, contractions in the car are the worst. Josh was a bit hyped up, as to be expected, and started heading to the highway a weird way. I was still able to direct him between contractions. We also got to view every surrounding city’s fireworks. Exploding fireworks work amazingly well as a visualization for contractions, especially intense contractions.

Sam

We got to the hospital about 9:15-ish. Being July 4, we had to go to the emergency room entrance. I directed Josh to “follow the red signs.” Once there, I was quickly put into a wheelchair. Josh got our stuff, and put the car somewhere, then we were transported to labor and delivery. The nurses there quickly realized my state and we we surpassed triage (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and went straight to a room. Of course, a nurse wanted to check my progress, and when she announced 3 cm I was like “what?!” and mentally was like, “There is no way this intensity is only 3 cm,” quickly followed by, “There’s no way I can do this without an epidural if this is going to be this intense for several more hours.” She noted my cervix was very soft, which was encouraging.

Soon after this, Candace walked in, which immediately put me at ease. Another nurse attempted to put an IV in my arm, but it never got put in, there was no time. The last two contractions I timed, before giving up on timing them, were around 9:30 p.m. lasting a minute-and-a-half, and were 3-and-a-half minutes apart. I ended up hanging on Josh through contractions while he and Candace reminded me to relax, breath, and visualize. I did the best I could, but the intensity made it almost impossible, and I said as much. Josh and Candace reminded me that I could, but I was highly doubting myself. In hindsight, this was probably transition. Soon after, a doctor entered the room.

To my confusion and excitement, it was not The-OB-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but another doctor from my OB’s practice, Dr. Schell. She said she just happened to be at the hospital and came in to help since the other doctor wasn’t there yet. I was like, “Hi, nice to meet you, okay, my doctor told me about you.” (Reason 2 why editing the birth plan earlier in the day was pointless.) She had me lay back down on the bed so that a more accurate fetal monitor could be put on Sam, a vaginal one, since he was showing some signs of distress. She also decided to check me since I was laying down anyway. Then she gloriously announced that I was completely dilated. So, since getting to the hospital, I had gone from 3 cm to fully dilated. NUTS!

Let me just say that again. In like, I don’t know, 20 minutes (?), I dilated from 3 cm to 10 cm. It was C-R-A-Z-Y.

Then Dr. told me that I needed to get him out quickly because his heart rate was dropping when I had a contraction. This freaked me out because this is what happened with Charlie. I somehow was propped up in the bed and nurses were holding my legs and everyone was talking and telling me I need to push him out, and I just turned and looked at Candace with what I hoped was a “help me, I’m freaked out” look, and she turned to the Dr and just said, “She’s afraid of tearing again, you need to explain this all to her.” This is when the Dr. got everyone to be quiet and directed me to look at her. She told me everything was going to be okay, I was not going to suffer another 4th-degree tear, she was going to coach me through this, and I needed to push him out because his heart tones were going dangerously low, in the 70s. For whatever reason, her doing that, made me trust her. I told Candace it was okay, he needs to come out, so let’s do it this way. The situation called for it. (Reason 3 editing the birth plan was pointless.)

Alicia and Sam

So even though he wasn’t fully engaged in my pelvis, I pushed him down and pushed him out with the coaching of Dr. Schell. I could feel her pushing down on my perineum, stretching it out and scratching Sam’s head between contractions. It took me five pushes to overcome my fear and finally push through the pain to birth his head. The cord was tightly wrapped around his neck. Dr Schell couldn’t get it loose to pull it over his head, so she had to cut it. I said okay to this, even though I had really wanted delayed clamping. The situation called for it. But the fact that Dr. Schell told me it needed to happen, and I said okay before it was cut, made a huge difference in my acceptance of it. With one more push, he was out. Due to the low heart tones, the NICU nurses checked him out before getting him to me, but he was screaming up a storm, so we knew he was fine. It didn’t take long for them to put him on my chest and cover us with a blanket. I just sat there in amazement at the amazing little person who had just come out of my body. I looked down at those blue eyes and said, “Hi, Sam.” It was intense and incredible. We had our magic hour during which Sam searched for and found my breast. He latched on right away.

I did suffer another tear, but only a 2nd-degree this time, so there was some stitching up that needed to happen after I birthed the placenta. Also, because there was no time for an IV, I was given a shot of pitocin in each leg. And at some point my legs were shaking uncontrollably.

After it was all done, and I came out of my amazement fog, Sam was weighed and measured. He was just shy of 7 lb. (by 0.01 oz) and 20.5 inches.

Welcome to the world Samuel Owen Schultz!

Written by Alicia M. Schultz

Birth Stories

Birth Story of Warren James Justice

4:57 a.m.

I woke up for what I thought would be my typical 5 a.m. pee. I’m sure many pregnant women can relate. As I sat down on the toilet, I had a brief thought that this could be my water breaking, as I was one day away from my “guess date,” which is what I like to refer to my due date as. Seeing as I could control it, I knew it wasn’t my water breaking, as I’d have no control over that. Walking out of the bathroom, I walked over to my dresser to change pants (yes, I thought I had peed myself!), and when I stood in front of it, there was a HUGE gush of water down my leg. I know they say it won’t be like it is in the movies, but for me, it was! As if I could actually catch the fluid, I frantically threw my hands down to try to prevent it from going all over the floor. My husband, who is typically a very sound sleeper, shot up out of bed and asked, “Was that Roscoe (our dog) peeing on the floor?!” I replied, “Uh … I think my water just broke!” and hobbled back to the bathroom. Jared (my husband) brought me my phone so we could call our midwife.

A little backstory: We had planned to do a home birth, but at my 20-week ultrasound, it was determined that my placenta was lying very close to my cervix and I would need to be monitored. I had another ultrasound at 36 weeks so I could be cleared for a vaginal birth. My placenta had moved up enough for a vaginal birth, but our midwife was more comfortable with me delivering at the birth house, as it was closer to the hospital in the event I needed to transfer. While it was safe for me to deliver vaginally, there was a higher chance of bleeding because of the location of my placenta.

So, I called the midwife, Sara, to let her know that my water had broken, but I was not having any contractions yet. She told me to eat breakfast and try to get some rest. It took about 45 minutes for contractions to start, and they were very mild. They were coming every 8 minutes or so, and I was easily able to talk and move in the midst of them. Around 11 a.m., we decided to start our journey to the birth house, as we had an hour drive to get there. Contractions had increased to 4-5 minutes apart, and were lasting about a minute. I was beginning to turn inward and focus on breathing and releasing any tension or fear of the contractions.

The drive to the birth house seemed to slow the contractions and make them less intense. Maybe it was my lack of movement, or the heated seats in the truck. Once we got there, we were greeted by Charis, the student midwife. She took some vitals and suggested we go for a walk around the block to see if I could get things to pick back up. I laugh thinking back on this memory—what a site to see we were. There I was, with my giant belly sticking out of the middle of my winter coat, clinging to Jared’s arm so I didn’t slip and fall on the ice. Mind you, we woke up to a snow storm this day, so people were outside shoveling the 12 inches of snow on the ground, as I am waddling along. I remember thinking they probably thought we were being so unsafe—me being so pregnant and out walking in the snow and ice. Little did they know I was in labor, trying to walk him out! Walking through the contractions really picked things up and made them much more intense. After about 20 minutes, we made our way back to the birth house.

The next few hours were filled with swaying through contractions, bouncing on the birthing ball and spending some time soaking in the tub. There was no real concept of time during labor—it felt like everything blurred together and I just kept my focus inward. I was much quieter than I had anticipated. I focused on my breathing, kept my sounds low and kept reminding myself that all of this had a purpose. My body was feeling what was happening and responding the way it needed to. But holy sh** were things intense. Looking back, I have no real way to describe what labor feels like. It’s like nothing I can put into words.

When it started to get dark outside again—I had no concept of time besides knowing the sun went down—I began to get discouraged. Things were extremely intense and I felt like I was on a never-ending roller coaster. Contractions felt like they were on top of each other, and I began to feel like I was starting to suffer mentally and physically. I felt like I couldn’t get any relief, no matter the position I was in or what I tried to do. I remember turning to Jared and my sister and saying, “If this isn’t f***ing transition, I am going to kill someone.” My sister chuckled and told me without a doubt that it was. I also remember thinking to myself, “Jared and I want multiple kids, but I am NEVER doing this again.” I was legitimately worried about that—in the midst of labor!

From all of my birth preparation, I thought once I got through transition, I would find relief with pushing. I knew transition would be where I wanted to give up, but I kept telling myself to KEEP GOING, you can get through this, you can do it, you ARE doing it. I had heard people say they enjoyed pushing, it felt good and was a relief. So, I looked forward to pushing. My sister reminded me that when I felt “pushy,” I needed to let them know, and Sara (midwife) and Charis (student midwife) would come in. Until then, they had both been outside the room, only coming in periodically to check my vitals as well as Warren’s. I felt a slight urge to push, so I asked if my sister could go get Sara and Charis. I thought to myself, “Lindsay—you did it, you made it through transition—now, let’s meet that little boy! Sara asked if she could check me to see if I was fully dilated, as she suspected I might have a cervical lip preventing me from fully dilating. Until then, I did not have any cervical checks, so I was praying that I was fully dilated. Upon checking me, she said that I did have a lip, and on my next contraction she would need to push it back so I could fully dilate. She said that she apologized in advance and I knew that I wasn’t going to like her after this. I thought, “It can’t be any worse than what I have already felt, so I don’t know why she is saying this.” Boy, was I wrong. That was hands down the most intense moment of all of labor, probably more intense than all of labor combined. This was the first time I remember letting out a full-blown scream. It still gives me goosebumps. Praise the Lord she only had to do that once. It took me a few minutes to recompose myself, but then I was ready to push.

Lindsay and Warren

And push I did. On the bed, birthing stool, toilet. For nearly three hours. For all of those who enjoyed pushing—I envy you. I HATED pushing. For some reason, I had thought it would feel “good” to push, but for me, it sucked. I dreaded each contraction knowing that I needed to push. I never had that overwhelming or uncontrollable urge. I could have never done it without Jared. This is when I really realized how much I needed him. His encouragement, excitement, and physical presence gave me the strength I needed to keep going. After a while of pushing on the toilet, Sara asked if I wanted to make my way to the bed so I could get a little bit of rest between pushes. Walking back to the bed was the weirdest feeling. It’s like I could feel how open my body was, and how far down Warren was. Laying down in the bed, I knew we had to be close to him making his official entrance. I used this, along with the anger I felt at how long this was taking, to give some really intense pushes, which got me through that dreaded ring of fire. Sara told me to get his head out, and she would help me with the rest. I pushed SO freaking hard and out came his head! Everyone told me to look down and there was my sweet boy’s face. Holy crap. On the next contraction he was out, and I helped pull him up to my chest. I’ll never forget the physical sensation and relief that came along with him coming out. I announced to everyone, “I am so happy that part is over.” It was 11:35 p.m. and my boy was finally here.

Unbeknownst to me, I was bleeding quite heavily once he came out. I was too busy staring at his perfect little face to notice anything else. Sara told me that they needed to get my placenta out so my uterus could start contracting and get the bleeding to stop. After having to remove my placenta, I was still bleeding quite heavily and it became apparent that we would need to transfer to the hospital if it did not stop within the next 30 seconds. I was given a shot of pitocin in my thigh to try to get my uterus to contract. During this time, Charis had examined my placenta and amniotic sac and determined that my placenta had two lobes, one of which seemed to be inside my uterus still, which was causing the bleeding. After going back in to retrieve this lobe, the bleeding stopped. I am incredibly thankful we did not have to transfer.

Warren

Upon further examination of my placenta and amniotic sac, it was discovered that when my water broke, the amniotic sac was a hair’s length beneath a vein running from my placenta to one of the lobes. Sara said she did not want to scare me, but had this nicked the vein, Warren would not have made it more than 5 minutes, and I would have been none the wiser. I praise God that he looked over us that day, and my sweet boy is here with us. He’s my lucky charm. It is uncommon for a placenta to have a lobe, let alone two like I had. So the fact that he was here, completely healthy, and I was too, is something I will never stop being thankful for. I am also eternally grateful for the collected and calming presence of Sara and Charis that day. Not once did I ever feel like they were not in complete control. I have never felt so respected, cherished, and celebrated by a team of medical professionals. During this whole experience, Warren was still lying on my chest, and this gave me so much peace. Once the bleeding was under control, we got more comfortable in bed and enjoyed the most blissful uninterrupted bonding time. Snuggling, latching for the first time and repeating over and over how perfect and beautiful he was. After about two hours, I was helped to the bathroom and they did his measurements. He weighed 6 lb., 8 oz and was 19 inches long. Jared took a turn doing skin to skin, and I was able to eat a snack and take some pictures.

There are no words to describe what it’s like to see your child for the first time, and to spend those first couple of hours together. To put a face to all those kicks and flips you’ve felt inside of you. To see who they look like and take in every little feature. It is truly magical. You forget all about the pain and intensity of labor. It’s like everything else stands still. It’s just you and your new little family.

I think about his birth often and there are times I still can’t believe I actually birthed a child. I freaking did it. I felt like I truly honored my body and what it was created to do. I have never felt more primal, raw, and like a total freaking badass. I am forever changed by Warren’s birth. I’ll never look at myself in the same light. The empowerment I gained cannot be fully expressed.

Written by Lindsay Justice

Birth Stories

Birth Story of Timothy Brendan Scahill

When I met my husband Joe, he was divorced and 12 years my senior with two children as part of his package deal. We were married in 1979 and moved halfway across the country to settle into family life in Omaha, Nebraska. Since he had primary custody, the kids were with us during the school year and part of the summer, as well.

Having children was a serious decision for us. Being a product of an older father himself, Joe didn’t want to be the oldest parent going to PTA. If we were to have children, we decided it would have to be within the first five years of our marriage. We decided to increase the family and became pregnant in 1981. When we told Andrew and Melinda, then ages 6 and 12, about our pregnancy, they were both delighted. Melinda was especially excited being at an age when she was getting too old for dolls. This meant she would have a real live doll to play with. To Andrew, the new baby meant that he would no longer be the little kid in the family. He was going to be the “big brother.” Up until this time, both children had called me by my first name. It was during our time of pregnancy that Andrew decided it was time to start calling me, “Mommy.”

We had determined by use of a pregnancy test that I was pregnant. But one morning when I got up, I discovered that I had quite a bit of vaginal bleeding. I dressed and went to work with the assurance that Joe would talk to some of the ladies in the church office to get the name of an OB-GYN. I had planned to use our family-practice doctor during the pregnancy but this seemed like something we should trust to a specialist. The school secretary called me out of the class I was teaching and an anxious Joe told me via the telephone that we had an immediate appointment. The doctor to whom we had been referred was wonderful. He indicated that it was not necessarily a problem and went on to listen for a heartbeat. Even though it was very early in the pregnancy, we were able to hear a strong and regular heartbeat. It seemed that I was just producing more blood than was needed and this old blood was being expelled. This lasted through the first trimester then gradually disappeared.

As the pregnancy progressed our doctor began to be concerned about how quickly my girth was increasing. He feared I might be pregnant with twins and he hated multiple births. Our doctor was cautious when it came to doing ultrasounds but, in order to be forewarned should this be a multiple birth, he ordered an ultrasound. Apparently this baby liked being horizontal rather than vertical so the baby was showing early. In these days before ultrasound technology could accurately determine the gender of the baby, we speculated as to whether this would be a boy or a girl. There were three votes for a girl but Andrew held out for a little brother.

I was just 26 years old and healthy so we weren’t anticipating any problems with delivery. We signed up for Lamaze classes; Joe had been through Lamaze with his first two children. The classes were wonderful for me to prepare for the whole birth process. What I learned was so beneficial because it took the unknown out of labor and delivery. Though I was not opposed to the use of drugs, if needed, I preferred using the techniques I had learned without drug intervention.

I was fortunate to have only minimal experience with morning sickness. While my stomach did feel queasy in the first couple of months, I never felt the need to vomit. I loved being pregnant!  The feel of the baby’s movements inside me made me realize how special this experience was and helped me to feel close to the developing child. As a school librarian, I did a lot of reading to my students. This child heard a lot of stories in utero. As the baby grew, my students would watch in fascination as a foot or elbow pushed out on my belly while I sat reading to them. I remember feeling lots of movement while singing in the choir and ringing hand bells especially during the Christmas Eve service at church. This child was obviously moving to the music. It was also during this time that I took my first computer programming classes. How was I to know that my interest in instructional technology was transferring to this baby and that he would grow up to work with computers?

Marilyn

We had timed this pregnancy perfectly. I had just enough sick-days at school to be able to work until the due date and be done for the rest of the school year. The main downside of going until my due date was doing library inventory at 8 ½ months pregnant. Remember, these were the days before most school libraries were computerized. We were still using card and pocket technology in books with cards in a catalog drawer.

I worked until my due date and took the rest of the school year off. I enjoyed going out to lunch with friends and having time to finish up the nursery including completion of a rainbow baby quilt in pastel colors. Our doctor said that he would induce at two weeks overdue. Knowing that there would be an end to this stage was encouraging. Six days proceeded with no movement toward delivery but at last the time came when I woke up during the night with contractions.  Joe took the kids to a church member who also lived in our neighborhood and we headed to the hospital. I remember on the drive to the hospital we had to go through a cloverleaf-style traffic area. My contractions were becoming a bit intense as we headed into the first curve. Oh, my goodness, but it felt like a carnival Tilt-a-Wheel ride. We checked into the hospital in the early morning hours on May 19, exactly one week past our due date.

Joe, a minister at a local church, had a funeral scheduled that morning and was concerned about whether he would be able to make it to the funeral or needed to find a replacement. The nurse didn’t give him much hope explaining that first babies usually take a while.

Our labor and delivery was a classic, by-the-book process. We headed to the hospital around midnight. I was dilating steadily and the contractions continued to get steadily more intense but with breathing and concentration, it was manageable. In order to keep the process progressing, my water was broken manually and things started to move quickly. My tolerance for pain is very good but by the time I started to think I should have considered drugs, I was in active labor. I do remember that at some point close to delivery, I became nauseous and vomited. It did serve to take my mind off of the pain for a short time.

Timothy

Timothy Brendan Scahill came into the world at 5:23 a.m., in plenty of time for Joe to make it to the funeral. The widow was comforted by this cycle of life event …  the thought that Tim was assuming the place in this world that her husband had held.

Timothy arrived exactly one week overdue but healthy and very beautiful. Joe had taken some fast-developing Polaroid photos so that he could show off the new baby. He stopped by the school to show Melinda and Andrew pictures of their new brother and give them I’ve got a little brother pins. When they got to hold him after school Andrew marveled, “I can’t believe it … my little brother.”

Our foray into breastfeeding caused a bit of anxiety for me. It took a couple of days for my milk to come in but the nurses were very helpful and calming. By the time we left the hospital, Tim and I both had the general process under control. Once we got home, though, Tim started projectile spitting up toward the end of his feedings, especially during the night. It seemed that I was producing more milk than he needed. It took me a while to figure out how long to feed him.

My employer, the Omaha Public School District, was instituting a brand new program for staff members. As a new mother, I was one of the first women in the district to take Child Rearing Leave. This allowed me to take a year’s leave of absence without pay to stay home with my baby. Although I wouldn’t be guaranteed my same job for the next year, I would be guaranteed an equivalent position with no loss of salary or benefits. This was a wonderful option for me since I didn’t want to give up my career but I did want time for bonding. With two older children at home, this allowed me to have some alone time with the baby. As it turned out, I didn’t take the full school year. A school library position opened up mid-year in a single building just a few miles from our home; I had been driving over 20 one way and splitting my time between two schools prior to pregnancy.

I loved the time I had at home to bond with our happy, active Tim. However, I am grateful to have worked and put in the years that allowed me to retire in a timely fashion. I have time to enjoy retirement: traveling and working on projects with my husband, and taking time to be Grandma.

Written by Marilyn Scahill
Read the birth story of Allison Leigh Scahill, Marilyn’s daughter