Because a mom needs to reflect sometimes, I’m sharing the birth stories of each of my children as we count down the weeks to Baby Whitaker. Most of these were pre-blog days, so while I share these with you, I’m really writing these for the kids. And, here’s hoping I don’t cause them to duck under the nearest table from embarrassment.

Baby #1: Will
Baby #2: John Paul

Baby #3: Anna-Laura
Baby #4: Clare
Baby #5: Luke

Will was our very first pregnancy. At the time we were living near Indianapolis, Indiana, and we had traveled to Italy with our high school youth group and served as chaperones. It was the time of our life. We were both working full-time and saved like crazy to make that trip happen. It was one for the memory books – amazing and spiritually awesome. We call Will our Italian souvenir. Aaaand, now I’ve embarrassed him for eternity.

When I took the pregnancy test, I laid it on the bathroom counter, skipped out to the bedroom and Scott and I sat on the bed and prayed. Two minutes later, the lines showed up “+” and we nearly did backflips. This was back when I was sort of in shape. By sort of, I mean not at all.

Then, the doorbell rang. It was our next-door neighbors inviting us to dinner. We barely managed to make it through that evening without busting with our good news. I think we lasted like a week or two before we told the world. Again, pre-social media days here. We actually had to call people. On our landline.

As the due date inched closer (March 19, Feast of St. Joseph), I began to get anxious. My OB reminded me, “Kathryn, God makes you so uncomfortable in the last few weeks that you get over the fear of childbirth.” That man is a genius. And so right. I hit 40 weeks and was still working full-time at the National FFA Organization. My boss allowed me to work from home until delivery and in between conference calls and answering emails, I washed baby clothes and finished the nursery. I also worried and fretted and kept wondering if this baby would ever be born. At my 41 week appointment, I must’ve looked miserable, because the OB said, “Let’s see if we can strip some membranes and get some things moving.”

Oh sweet Jesus.

I don’t think I will ever let “strip membranes” and a doctor’s hand EVER be a part of my future ever again.

I went home that afternoon and just felt lousy. Around 8pm, I finally had Scott cook me dinner – a grilled cheese sandwich and an apple. Nothing else sounded good. We settled in to watch the Purdue v. Notre Dame women’s basketball NCAA championship game. At 9pm that’s when the party got started, just as the game was finishing. I saw the Irish girls start jumping up and down in celebration and I promptly tossed my cookies. So much for a nice dinner.

Poor Scott. He kept asking what he could do and I kept running to the bathroom. Finally, around 11:30 we made the call to the OB. He ordered me to the hospital and I gladly complied. My biggest fear was the 30-minute drive there, but at midnight, it seems as if the roads are pretty darn clear. And, I’m also sure Scott ran almost every red light because he was so worried. We arrived in triage just after midnight. I sat on the table and had just changed into a gown so the nurse could check me and whoosh. Hello, water breaking all over the bed. “Well, honey, you just earned yourself a first-class L&D room,” said the nurse. God bless her. I almost hugged her neck. But, you know, contraction. Come to find out I was at a whopping 2cm. All that pain and 2cm. At this point, I started begging for the epidural. This was well before my high-pain tolerance days. Miraculously, the OB said yes.

Anesthesia came in, I slept a tiny bit and an hour later the resident arrived to check me. Just before putting his hand – you know where – he belts out: “Are you an Aggie? Me too!” Um, awkward? That’s not the very best time to declare your collegiate affiliation. My OB sauntered in the room, with coffee in hand, leaned against the doorway and said, “You’re welcome for the epidural early.” Turns out I was at 10cm. He said we had one too many Texans in the room and ordered the resident out.

Then, Scott did something unexpected, but so totally awesome.

He pulled out a cup of Texas Panhandle soil and placed it under the bed. Dr. T just shook his head when Scott said, “We might be in Indiana, but this kid is going to be born over Texas soil.” Because we’re crazy Lone Star people like that.

For about an hour and a half, I pushed. We chatted between contractions and then I pushed some more. At 4:56 in the AM, Master Will made his big debut.

IT’S A BOY!

This is the reason we never find out. The incentive to push so we can hear the doctor say those three magical words. Scott and the nurse were busy taking pictures and weighing that sweet babe as Dr. T was stitching me up from delivery. You must understand. He had a bit of a sarcastic streak to him which is why we got along beautifully. So when he said, “This is why I do what I do. For moments like this,” and then patted my leg, I teared up. Big time. I’ve had the privilege of having a different OBs for every delivery (I’ll explain later) and that moment counts as one of my very best memories of childbirth.

I held Will in my arms, gave Scott a big smackeroo and cried. It was a beautiful moment.

William Nicholas, I cannot wait for your 13th birthday tomorrow. Oh wait, yes I can! I’m not that old.

will name_blog

26 Comments

  1. Nicole on March 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Oh, I love a good birth story! Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to reading the others. My biggest memory of my first delivery? The triage nurse verifying that I was dialated to a 10 and asking me if I would walk to delivery. Um… let me think about that… NO! 🙂

  2. Michelle F. on March 26, 2014 at 8:30 am

    We had the same Dr. T assisting for our fifth; a 4th time C-section. Given that my husband and I were both veterans with C-sections, he and I were both more worried about getting the Tweet announcement ready than the surgery prep. Just as they rolled me in, Dr. T turned to hubby and said, “Don’t worry. It’s just like field dressing a deer. We’ll have her in and out in no time.” If you knew us well, you’d know it was the perfect comment. Priceless.

    • Kathryn on March 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

      I LOVE THAT MAN. Best OB I ever had.

  3. Jamie on March 26, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I love birth stories! Thanks for sharing. I was a State FFA Officer from Michigan who gave tours during the opening ceremonies of the new National FFA Headquarters in Indy. That is a beautiful place. What a small world!

    • Kathryn on May 3, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Jamie, I wrote that tour script. Funny coincidence! I bet we met and I didn’t even know it. Molly Ball, also from Michigan and an FFA employee, is one of my good friends.

  4. Molly on March 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I love a great birth story! I’ve never really shared mine, but here goes #1, Lucas. I was due on August 31 and my last OB appointment I asked, “so if he doesn’t come this week, what’s the plan?” Because I’m an ultra planner and Kevin gave her that look like, “tell her something, even if it’s nothing so she doesn’t freak out.” My OB was a mid-wife in an OB’s office who was an amazing woman. She answered with, “Well, I’ll see you Sunday give you something (can’t remember the name) and then Monday (Labor Day), I’ll admit you.” Ok, plan is action, now I can relax. So, August 30 was the evening a dear friends son’s first birthday. It was hot and I just sat in their pool, really relaxed, even had a few sips of beer (what the heck, he’s already cooked) and headed home around 10. Kevin took his position on the couch as I was more comfortable in the chair next to him and I ran downstairs to feed the cat. As soon I bent over, whoosh. Water broke. I yelled up to Kevin and of course he comes running down the stairs, “are you sure?” I gave him one look and then looked at the carpet, “um, yes” with a few explicits. We got in the car and headed for triage. My mid-wife has been through the drill with first babies so she asked some questions, and she could over hear the strain in my voice as the contractions were worse and closer. Anywho, we got to triage and the nurse checked – wow – you are already at 4cm. I then swiftly asked. “can I stay? Please?” Long story short, after a few tries of the old epidural and a husband who could have kissed the anestheiologist, it was in and we were on our way. Little did we know, Mr. Luke would be born only six hours after labor and half hour of pushing on his due date. He still a very prompt little boy. Lauryn’s story can come later…hers…a bit more intense and exciting. One for the blog books. Love you BK! Can’t wait to hear your stories.

  5. Kimberly on March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Birth stories are definitely something to treasure and I love reading them. My favorite part was that he was born over Texas soil….so thoughtful!

  6. Verdina on March 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Thanks so much for sharing, Kathryn! Great memories! We were all so excited bo welcome that young man, and I can hardly believe it has been 13 years; but that Italy trip was in the Holy Year 2000, so I guess that’s right.

    Your children are so blessed to have you and Scott as parents and to have your blog to cherish for generations.

    God bless!
    V

    • Kathryn on March 26, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Most definitely the start of one of the most blessed chapters of our life. Viva Italia!

  7. Julie G. on March 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! We have souvenirs as well – one from Hawaii and one from Australia. Our youngest is just from here in CA, as is baby#4 (due in September.) And yes, I keep telling people about our souvenirs despite their embarrassment!

  8. Audrey on March 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I had different OBs for all of my boys. I love that I can associate their particular personalities with each of the birth experiences (and they were all different as were the babies and their stories). Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading more about your family!

  9. Nicole on March 26, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    How fun to reflect on the births of all your precious babes… I may have to copy the idea when summer rolls around and school takes a break… Maybe I’ll have more time then? Like you, we’ve had a different doc deliver each of our little ones… In hospitals all over the city even. And as a momma by both birth and adoption, the moments and memories leading up to each one’s arrival are unique and stressful and beautiful in their own ways. I still remember when Will was born! And for the record, we have a souvenir from Michigan as well. Best vacation EVER! A big hug to you friend!

  10. Micaela @ California to Korea on March 27, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Yahooooooo! I have been neglecting Bloglovin lately, and I’m so glad I jumped in tonight. Can’t wait to read the rest, and a very happy birthday to Will!

    • Kathryn on March 27, 2014 at 12:13 am

      Thanks. Can’t wait to see his sweet face in the morning!

  11. Rebecca on March 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Oh my goodness! I’ve read your blog off and on but this is the first time I came across the names of your children. We have a few of the same ones:

    Baby #1 Ty Matthew-13
    Baby #2 Mary Kathryn
    Baby #3 Luke Michael
    Baby #4 Gwen RaeAnne
    Baby #5 Anna Lynn
    Baby #6 Jon Paul Jr. (only reason it’s not spelled John is because he’s named after his Daddy who is obviously Jon too) 🙂

    • Rebecca on March 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Oops forgot to finish:
      Ty- 13
      Mary- 8
      Luke- 6
      Gwen- 5
      Anna- 3
      Baby Jon- 16 mos.

    • Kathryn on March 27, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Great taste!

  12. Megan on March 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Ha! We conceived our first in Italy as well! We spent our honeymoon in Rome and I was so tempted to pick up a onesie or bib just in case we had conceived. I didn’t, and now I wish we had! I still tease my husband that one of these days I’m going to make her a “Made in Roma” onesie, but for her sake, perhaps I will show some discretion. 😉 Yay for pilgrimage miracles!

    • Kathryn on March 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Pilgrimage miracles are the best kind! And, I totally think you should make that onesie.

  13. Rachel S on March 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I’m curious to hear more about how you had a different OB for each pregnancy. I had the same OB for both of my deliveries and I LOVED him and trusted him. We recently moved and I’m upset and anxious about getting a new OB if/when we have a third child. I’ve even considered if there is any way I could possibly still travel to my old OB (who is now 1.5 hours away) or just show up at his hospital when I go into labor. Ha. I’m hoping I can find another OB who I like and trust as much as the first one.

    • Kathryn on March 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Rachel, my first OB was in Indiana and then we moved to Texas two years later, so that was our first change in OBs. Traaveling 16 hours just wasn’t feasible 🙂 The rest have been a combination of bad front office staff, rotating on-call doctors and a high-risk pregnancy. We’ll see if I keep the streak alive with this one!

  14. […] Baby #1: Will Baby #2: John Paul Baby #3: Anna-Laura Baby #4: Clare Baby #5: Luke […]

  15. […] Baby #1: Will Baby #2: John Paul Baby #3: Anna-Laura Baby #4: Clare Baby #5: Luke […]

  16. […] Baby #1: Will Baby #2: John Paul Baby #3: Anna-Laura Baby #4: Clare Baby #5: Luke […]

  17. […] Baby #1: Will Baby #2: John Paul Baby #3: Anna-Laura Baby #4: Clare Baby #5: Luke […]

  18. […] Baby #1: Will Baby #2: John Paul Baby #3: Anna-Laura Baby #4: Clare Baby #5: Luke […]

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