Connor, Part One

Good gravy, the last two days have beat me up and left me for dead. Birthdays are fun, but I swear I had no sooner finished one task than it would be time to start the second. "The cake is in the oven. Now, I can blog.... Except I'm supposed to be making the icing right now. And as soon as that is done, I'll need to wrap his present before Dad gets home so we can open it and he can play Legos while I decorate his cake and make dinner so we can rush to church at 6:30 and later I'll melt into a steaming puddle of goo next to my bed."

But roughly 80% of the festivities are done at this point -- we still have a family party on Sunday to look forward to -- so I finally have time to sit in my white Ikea chair and type up Connor's birth story for you. Which will truly be a pleasure. In fact, if Corey hadn't just crawled into bed at 9:00 PM (!!), I would ask him to make me some decaf so I could enjoy this experience to the hilt.

The most important thing you need to know before I start is this: I have been terrified of childbirth for most of my life. As far back as my memories go, even before I knew what was involved, the idea of birthing a baby scared me nearly to death. As a scrawny ten-year-old, I would lay awake at night, eyes staring into the darkness, and I would pray that God would never, ever make me endure something so hideous, so excruciating, so awful.

I trace the roots of this fear back to one source: "Little House on the Prairie."

Those of you who grew up with "Little House" know of what I speak. Childbirth on the prairie was akin to torture. It usually involved the mother-to-be writhing in a damp bed, with her normally well-braided hair flying askew. Doc Baker would wash his hands next to the bed and look hopeless. (Now that I think about it, Doc Baker always looked hopeless.) The next scene would be the father-to-be standing outside the house, while a anguished scream rent the heavens. And it usually ended with Doc Baker handing a bloody infant to the father, while simultaneously giving him that wearied shrug that clearly said, "Don't ask. You don't want to know."

So deep-rooted was this fear of labor that Corey and I didn't even consider having children until we'd been married eight years, and even then, the "goalie was pulled" only because a handful of my close friends had given birth at that point with the benefit of epidurals, and they swore by them. "I actually slept through part of my labor, Kelly. You can do this."

So we had Natalie, who's birth story will be saved for a future date. And she was a joy. My heart could scarcely contain the euphoria. I was a Mom. And I loved it. Who knew?

About 18 months after Natalie, I discovered I was pregnant again. We were thrilled, but it was rough timing. We were literally in the middle of our move from California to Minnesota. Corey wasn't even with me when I got the positive test results; he was driving our cars through the middle of a blizzard in Nebraska at the time.

The fatigue and nausea of the first trimester made our first few months in our new home a blur. (A blur of "Playhouse Disney," to be specific. To this day, I still get vaguely nauseous when I hear the theme for "Higglytown Heroes.") Eventually, I made it to the second trimester, and I started to venture out into my new community to make friends.

And that's how I found myself standing in the middle of a playground on a beautiful summer day, gasping as I heard the words, "No, they don't do epidurals here. Why?"

(Whoops! There's the baby. To be continued...)

(But thanks to the miracle of technology, you don't have to wait! Click here to go to Part 2 right now.)


  1. You had me at Doc Baker.

    I can't wait to read the rest. I think.

  2. No epidurals! Just when you thought you were golden :)

  3. LOL..."Go fetch Doc Baker!" is a family phrase we trot out when sickness is brewing. 1970s TV was brutal: I can thank The Waltons for my consuming childhood fear that our house was going to burn down.

    No epidurals in MN? I can't wait to hear the rest.

  4. Oh my. Hurry with the rest of the story.

  5. You left us waiting, just like those poor daddies waiting outside of their log cabins. Now I don't know whether to expect a scream or a hopeless expression. The no epidural comments leads me to believe scream...

  6. Oh, I LOVE me a birth story....HURRY!!! I got pregnant with my third when the second was only SIX months old (yep, you read it right). From the moment I went to my first gyno visit, I reminded him I wanted an epidural. And I said it every time thereafter for nine months. Can't wait to hear your story! Angela

    I'm new to BLOGGING. Check me out

  7. I am so with you about the Little House effect. Plus I read one of the Waltons books and it talked about the mom's cast iron headboard being bent from her efforts during labor.

    The only thing that slightly encouraged me was the fact that people had more than one child.

    I'm doing Lamaze breathing waiting for the next installment.

  8. Okay. I'm hooked. I have a snack and a drink and I'm ready for the next episode of Little Kelly in Minnesota.

  9. You're right Doc Baker did always look like a deer in headlights.

    Dana's comment "little Kelly in Minnesota." So great.


  10. what a tease lol...i am sure the rest will be a great read...i cant wait!!!