Kiddo#4 arrives — the real story

Meet Kiddo#4!
All April Foolery aside, Kiddo#4 does in fact have a birth story that does not involve singing dolphins and a placental twin, nor a name that would land him on Baby’s Named A Bad Bad Thing faster than you can spell Tyrrainney Unique. Also, out of respect for general human decency, I’ll avoid graphic descriptions of bodily parts and effluvia. I promise.

I’ll give you the outline first, and some reflections tomorrow, because this has been fun.

I woke up at 1:04 on Sunday morning, felt a little uncomfortable, didn’t really think much of it. Started settling back to sleep. Ten minutes later, I felt tingly again.

From the outside, it must have looked funny, because I know my eyes flew open, and I thought, “???” Instantly I was on high-alert, and my brain started racing. I knew.

First off, my due-date wasn’t until April 10th, and I’d been saying “I don’t go early.” Second, we just weren’t ready yet. The birth tub wasn’t set up, and I had a ton of things I still wanted to do.

So I explained to God that I wasn’t ready. Besides, “I already wrote my April Fool’s post!” I prayed. “If I have the baby tonight, I can’t use it.”

I think God replied, “Use it, and post the real story on the second.” So much for my well-reasoned argument. My next thought was, well, the 30th is a good day to deliver. That means that of the living members of the family, two were born on the sixth of their months, two were born on the 17th, and two would be born on the 30th. I’d been figuring April 6th for that reason (plus it would put the same number of days between Kiddo#3 and Kiddo#4 as between Kiddo#1 and Kiddo#2), but if anything, this proves God is geekier than I am. Or at least, knows how to humor a hard-core geek.

I’ve never had a “typical” labor. They’re always massively fast active stages, no pushing stage to speak of, and zero-to-sixty in terms of how fast they start. This one? It started slowly, without the first contraction being “HOLY SMOKES!” They also didn’t start three minutes apart. I took half an hour and did the day’s prayers at 2AM, took care Kiddo#3 when he woke up in the middle of the night, put in a load of laundry (because I remembered too late I hadn’t laundered any receiving blankets!) and kept leisurely track of contractions, anywhere between 9 and 12 minutes apart. But mostly I spent it happy and relaxing in bed. I chattered a bit at my guardian angel, and I think he was excited too.

Starting at 3:30, I had three contractions five minutes apart, so I called the midwives, who said it sounded real. By 4AM, I slipped back into the bedroom, and I kissed my Patient Husband.

He mumbled, “Are you okay?”

I whispered, “Kind of.” And then, “I think we’re going to have a baby.”

He woke right up. The first thing he said was, “Is today the 30th? All right!”

Because, you see, geeks marry geeks. It’s like the law of the wild. I brewed a pot of coffee, and he went downstairs to set up the birth tub.

We had plans for how the Kiddo was to arrive, but God had slightly different ones. For one thing, the tub would not go together. It was missing a part, and when we tested the hose attachment, it tried to spray water sideways onto the electrical outlet. We made a game-time decision to abandon the birth tub.

(“It was a lovely homebirth, or it would have been had the home not been aflame.” Riiiight.)

We had spent Saturday prepping the room I intended to use, specifically chosen because it would handle a birth tub: it was the old garage from before the house got expanded, so the floors are concrete, the carpets are disposable, it’s got easy access to outside if you need to call an ambulance, and it’s isolated, soundproof, and filled with geek posters. My baby’s birth was witnessed by Condor Joe, Owashi no Ken, Jesus, Frodo Baggins, and Theodore Roosevelt.

By the time the midwives arrived, my Patient Husband tells me I “wasn’t there” any longer. There’s this amazing focus during labor, and I kept going into The Zone. I would hear people talking and I’d have an answer in my head, but then I’d just let it float away as unimportant and let them deal with everything.

Babysitter arrived at about 6AM to deal with the Kiddos as they woke up, so that worked really well. Had it been a school day, she couldn’t have been there. After the birth, she herded all the kids back to her place, showed them movies, and kept them for several hours. (Don’t gasp like that! We paid her!)

I remember the senior midwife telling the junior midwife where to sit and joking that she’d be the one to get gushed when my water broke. (She didn’t.) The midwife did keep encouraging me to strip from the waist down, but I didn’t want to until right at the end because I’m a prude. And I do kind of recall them commenting that I kept changing positions mid-contraction trying to find a more comfortable spot. My Patient Husband called it “birth-fu.”

At 7:04 AM, my water broke. At 7:05 AM, I had in my arms a Kiddo#4.

The stuff after that feels random to me. Everything was calm, but in my head it’s disorganized. I know they were thrilled with the quality of the umbilical cord (it really was pretty when I saw it, like pearls) and I got to look at the placenta (“See,” the junior midwife said, “it looks like tree roots!”) and I got to hold the baby right away. A boy.

They didn’t examine him for the first hour so we could have time to get to know each other. He settled down right away. They guessed he was smaller than the others, a little under 8 pounds. The other Kiddos got to meet him, and they were thrilled.

I congratulated Kiddo#4’s guardian, and told him the baby is beautiful.

Later on, they weighed him for real, and Kiddo#4 was nine pounds even, and 20.5 inches long.

Kiddo#4 and I tucked into the futon bed in the Geek Room, with the space heater on and my Patient Husband keeping me well-stocked with food and drinks, and we spent the day babymooning. Letting my brain drift while I dozed on and off, I kept imagining the household guardians’ friends popping by and congratulating #4’s guardian and blessing the little guy.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some of my demented reflections on birth, babies, newborns, and what it might be like to enter Heaven. Until then, thanks for reading!
it's a baby!


  1. SquishyMooMoo

    Congratulations!!!!! He is absolutely gorgeous, adorable, handsome… perfect! I’m glad that everything worked out for you–no nasty surprises (although the birthing tub thing wasn’t great, I’m sure), a healthy baby and a healthy mom. Welcome to the world, little guy!

  2. Ivy

    He’s adorable. Congratulations.

  3. Jen

    Congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Victoria

    Congratulations! What a beautiful little boy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Linda

    Congratulations! He’s precious!

  6. knit_tgz

    Congratulations! So lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Elaina

    Congrats. He’s beautiful, and makes a lovely geeek addition.

    “Because, you see, geeks marry geeks. Itโ€™s like the law of the wild.”

    LOVELY. I messaged it to my husband, as we are both geeks.

    enjoy your babymoon and looking forward to more stories.

  8. Julz

    He is Beautiful…….I am so glad you did not decide to name him Owashi Jesus Baggins. ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats to the whole family! Wish I had seen my “pearls & Tree roots”. what a blessing. Cant wait for the next story! Geeks of the world unite!

  9. xdpaul

    That right there is a baby. Hallelujah!

  10. Jenni

    And he just wanted to come 4 days after my berfday as he is kiddo #4. Geeks of the world untie!

    Congratulations! Enjoy your latest miracle.

  11. AuntMaud

    Congratulations! Welcome to the world, baby.

  12. philangelus

    I’m so glad you didn’t suggest “Owashi Jesus Baggins” to my Patient Husband, Julz. We had enough trouble opting against Samwise.

    Happy belated birthday, Jenni!

  13. Krista

    Congratulations! Though Samwise Owashi Jesus Baggins does have a ring to it (no pun intended ๐Ÿ™‚

    What an awesome blessing. ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. karen =^.,.^=

    Congratulations! {{hugs}} he’s so beautiful!! lots and lots of good wishes, blessings and love for you all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. doodlebug

    That is such a sweet story! I live the birth-fu thing.

  16. nolechica

    Congrats! I’m guessing hubby has a birthdate of the 30th?

  17. CricketB

    He’s adorable! Congrats to the big siblings!

  18. Grinningcomb

    CONGRATS So happy to hear it all went well.

  19. TeresaS

    Congratulations Jane, he is so gorgeous! What a beautiful peaceful birth! Sounds so much like it’s meant to be, wow on the 1 min push!
    Teresa Streckfuss

  20. Bill Snodgrass

    Another congrats from me!

  21. Kit

    I just literally stumbled across your blog and wanted to say hi – CONGRATS on the baby – so beautiful! And it seems we have a lot in common (seven guardian angels and a 10 yr. old Aspie). One big difference…you’re way better at birthin’! Two of my three fatheads got stuck and had to be carved out…including my 11 month old (thank the Lord), whose cord was wrapped twice around his neck and once around his ankles! We’re all happy, well, and enjoying life in upstate NY. Nice to meet you!

  22. philangelus

    Kit, nice to meet you too! I love upstate NY. I went to school in Ithaca and then did time in Brockport/Rochester as well.

    Kiddo#3 was so wrapped in the cord that they couldn’t find a place to cut it. It was around his waist and his thigh, and that was when I realized why he’d been stuck in the world’s most uncomfortable position for the previous eight weeks. :-b

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  24. AnotherFaceInTheCrowd

    Congratulations! I’m glad that Kiddo #4 made his way into the world with so little difficulty. ๐Ÿ˜€

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