Because I like to do everything myself.
Because I can fix a toilet while pregnant and taking care of 5 kids.
Because I decided being pregnant wasn’t going to stop me from getting out and running (or “running”)
Because running a half marathon at 37 1/2 weeks pregnant sounded like a fun idea. And it was.
During my pregnancy I ran a lot, mostly alone, tanned my giant belly, and made many people uncomfortable with my choices (slack lining well pregnant is an adventure!)
So basically I was setting myself up for a crazy birthing story. And boy did I deliver!
I was pretty sure the baby was coming out soon starting on Wednesday night. I ran on the canal with friends and really felt great. I hit 24 miles for the week that night and could not figure out why in the world I was feeling so awesome running. I felt like I could have run more that night, and I wasn’t feeling slow at all. Weird… and I ate a decent amount of food after, even weirder.
Thursday I decided to not run. My legs and unmentionable areas hurt (hello ligaments that loosen for birthing) and I just thought I would give myself a break. I did have moments of sadness wondering if I was squandering my last opportunity to run pregnant but I distracted myself with cleaning, shopping, and cake eating. None of those went well. I found myself beyond annoyed with people, I couldn’t really eat, but I guess the cleaning was OK (OCD much?). Thursday night I had fantasies of eating hoards of food but was too nauseous and just could not sleep. I was alone in the house awake, all night and could not figure out what was going on…
Until at 3am I rolled over “shit I peed myself..”. Up to the bathroom I would go, back to bed, another “shit I peed myself”, another bathroom visit… yes, super fun. In the back of my mind I knew my water was leaking but I also have a very hard time with the idea of being “the girl who cries labor”. I’ve always waited a long time to call my midwives and really thought I had a good handle on it this time. So I spent the night watching terrible television, trying to eat the cake and failing miserably, and lots of bathroom visits.
And lots of shorts changing… Because apparently putting a pad on was just not in my option bank at that point.
When it was finally a normal hour and the sun was up I decided to go for a hike. First I showered, because that makes total sense! In the shower I was having some contractions but nothing too terrible, I clearly have time here. New shorts, grabbed Piper and out the door I went. I was too uncomfortable to run, but why not hike in the mountains alone while I’m having “mild and irregular” contractions? I would be fine of course, I had my phone. I talked with the older kids dad for a while as he was planning on bringing the kids by for the birth (which was so awesome of him) and he pointed out “well you are talking through the contractions so you have some time”.
Yeah I did, I have time…. I texted people, made jokes, and figured I would hike 4 miles then head home and have plenty of time. Ouch…
Important note- I’ve vented about this before (https://sevenwildandfree.com/2016/01/28/hey-asshole-dog-owners/ ) But assholes with your dogs off leash!?! Two, yea TWO dogs ran at Piper and I while we were hiking. I’m pretty sure those owners would thank their lucky stars they survived after their dogs ran at a laboring woman and her giant dog. Ugh…
“Am I peeing myself of just leaking?”
I actually stopped to pee… I’m not sure why, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference… Luckily I put on a lot of Body Glide before I left the house (it works for amniotic fluid leaking chaffing protection too! Where’s my sponsorship?!)
Dance party through contractions…
At some point I was stopping a lot. I could not go up hill while having a contraction so it was dancing or standing still. And yes, lots of cursing loudly. If you were near the Phoenix mountains between 9 and 11 on Friday morning you may have heard me!
I was texting my friend Liz who I have known for almost 11 years now (important note, we met on baby center when our oldest girls were 6 months. We met on the internet and decided to meet in person and neither of us were murderers!) At some point she said “I am thinking this baby is just going to fall out. Please go home!” And really, that was it. For some reason her saying it made me flip out just a little. Also, possibly that “pressure on my bottom” I was feeling added to my agreeing to head back. So as I was about home I called my midwife…
10:44- “I can’t really time them, they may just be strong since I’m hiking…”
“Go home and drink something. Lay down for 20 minutes and time them, then call me back”
Home I came (after i finished my 4 miles!) and I tried to lay down. Piper begins barking and I have to go bring her inside… I lay down again-oh shit I need to make the bed-Oh shit contractions Oh shit I can’t lay down – Oh shit- Oh Shit- Call midwife 11:17
“hey so I can’t lay down…”
“because they hurt too much?”
“I’ll be right there
Seth shows up with Tea and Tru. I am way too worked up to sit and have a conversation with the kids. I felt terrible but I just couldn’t talk through the contractions.
Seth “What? you don’t want to have a conversation with me” (comedic genius)
Me “Go fuck yourself!”
Seth “Well I’ll take these guys and feed them, let me know how things are going and I’ll bring them back”
Midwife gets here at 11:37
Checks me- 9 cm…
Text Seth “ok now…”
Mom shows up and all I can ask for is her to clean the bathroom so I can take a shower in a clean environment after. Priorities!
11:47- I start pushing, because I am NOT waiting on anyone. It’s important to note I am very disappointed with how terribly I took the pushing. I think there was added stress in the room and just in general I wasn’t in the head space I should have been in . Instead of working with my contractions and understand this little one just wanted out I was fighting everything and making it worse. I also should have eaten more, I mean, I was on the mountain for almost 2 hours… and maybe hydrated… I was exhausted… But, he came out!
12:08- Cord around his little neck was unwrapped and I brought him to my chest. For the first time I was the one that got to look and was so excited to see he was a boy! ( I really did not have a girl’s name I loved and with a tween girl I had decided I can handle boys better!) 8lbs 3oz – 21 1/4 inches. 1 week early.
People showed up, things happened, I showered (me showering twice in one day?!?!) And the world was pretty sweet!
Laboring alone was very odd for me. I was literally on my own and in the mountains until 9cm. I’ve always had people around as a labored but this time the mountains gave me my strength. Damn, that’s pretty beautiful! I spent 2 hours in the mountain laboring and just an hour at home before this little man came into my world. I am beyond thankful.
His name! With nearly ever baby I’ve had I considered the name Taggart. It’s my Grandpa’s last name and he had 4 girls, seems only fair to add it to my list of T’s. In the end it just never felt right for any of my Littles… Until this little guy. I had always felt like he was a boy but never really admitted it to anyone. Taggart just felt like his name, my baby Tag. His middle name is James. Lets get confusing- It’s my Dad’s name, my brother’s middle name, AND when Tru came to me it was his middle name, oh and my cousins middle name. Overused? Maybe! But Taggart James is a strong name for this strong Little Man!