Katherine’s Birth Story

10-1b* birth story

Just like for John’s birth story, this story is first being written down four years after she was born. I just never thought to write it sooner. But, like I mentioned in John’s Story, I absolutely LOVE reading birth stories, so I thought I’d share another one of mine for you all to enjoy.

First, if you’d like to read a little background to see where we were at as a family when she was born, check out the page “Katherine’s Story… Our Story“.

Ok, all set? A heads up, towards the end there’s a little more, shall we say, descriptive detail than some of you may want to read, I’ve noted it just before if you’d like to skip…

So, there we were having just moved into our new apartment on Saturday.

Getting settled in

I was continuing to work and unpack and wish longingly for her to “just hurry up”. I remember at some point specifically complaining to my mom about how I couldn’t unpack anything because I was so tired. She said, “don’t worry, once the baby comes, you’ll have so much energy.” {She was right by the way, which is why I really can’t stand when people tell new-mommies-to-be to “sleep while you can, ’cause once the baby comes you won’t be able to”. I happen to think that’s a bunch of baloney and here’s why: yes, it’s true, you will be up every few hours with the baby. If you’re lucky you’ll get a good stretch and sleep for three or even four. But here’s what I noticed. That last month of being pregnant was SOOOOOOOOOOO uncomfortable, that I was hardly getting a good nights sleep anyways. I spent more time tossing and turning (or trying to turn) and then getting up to pee that I was hardly rested come morning. Once baby came, when I was able to sleep, that sleep was SO. MUCH. BETTER. that it almost made up for not sleeping a full 6-8 hours. Yes, there were moments during the day when I was so exhausted I’d fall asleep if I sat down, but when I did sleep I slept. And for the most part when I was awake, I could *gasp* actually DO something.}

But um, pet peeve moment… where was I…

Oh yeah. New apartment. Feeling VERY pregnant. Tuesday morning, the 29th,  I was waking up every half hour or so to go pee. Somewhere around 5:00AM I realized that things were probably getting rolling. I took a shower. Started to feel lightheaded so decided that was probably not the best idea. Told Jared, he was excited. For the most part I continued my day as normal. I remember I went into the office, at my parents house, for a while and tried to work. I don’t think I accomplished much. I was excited to get things going too. Took a nap there. Chatted with my doula, Julie for a bit, told her I’d call once I thought things were further along. Things were picking up a little, but not much. After I got home, we kinda just hung out for a while. There were still a few things left to do on the apartment (some shelves or lights or something), so my dad was there doing them. I just went in the bedroom and was quiet. Around 6:00PM I called Julie. The way my dad explained it later, she got there and “took charge” of things.

The next few hours were spent timing contractions and wandering up and down the street. I forget how many times we walked those two blocks, but we ended up coming back inside around 9:30/10:00PM. On my end I felt things were regular enough to go to the hospital. We piled in the car, spent some time waiting in triage, they checked me out found I was only 2cm dilated, and they said I should just go home and rest there, that I’d be more comfortable. I was completely fed up with everything by this point, but decided that it would be better to go home and rest rather than walk the halls at the hospital. (I think it was around midnight by this time.)

I did manage to sleep for a little while. I fell sound asleep (whenever it was) and woke up at 2:30AM. I got up, walked out of the room, Julie popped her head up from where she was on the couch. She asked if I wanted to try anything else, maybe a bath? Sounded nice so I tried it. It was pretty good for a while. Contractions definitely felt a lot stronger and more regular. I decided I really just wanted to go back to the hospital. So we packed up… again. Drove there… again. Went through triage… again. They checked me… again. I had progressed exactly one centimeter. But, my water had broken (musta been in the tub, because I didn’t remember feeling anything else), so they let me stay.

I got a room. And started walking the halls. It must have been about 6:30/7:00AM because the on-call midwife switched. We went back to the birthing room and alternated between the tub, a little exercise ball, laying on the bed and walking the halls. I was getting pretty exhausted by this point, and basically starting to loose it. They checked me again around 11:00AM and I was to 5cm. Then I lost it and said I was done, get me an epidural because I’m not doing this anymore.

The epidural arrived around noon. And I was asleep a few minutes later. I went into a complete dead sleep, as someone was kind enough to document…

31st hour. Epidural!

The rest of the afternoon was a blur of me being completely out of it and slightly aware of people coming in and out of the room. I think Jared and Julie switched off getting lunch. Maybe they went home? I don’t know. They checked me at 5:30/6:00PM and said I was at 10cm, and “just wait a few minutes until everyone gets set up and then we’ll start trying to push”. I was happy I was to that point, but mostly I was out of it. We started the pushing, and to me, it felt like only a few minutes, but later they said it was about half hour.

Katherine was born at 6:58PM (on Sept 30). She weighed in at 8lbs 1oz.

The rest of the evening was basically a blur too. My dad, my sister and one of my brothers came (to the delivery room), they were there by 7:30PM.

I did manage to breast feed her a little, she latched right away!!! Jared left to go home soon after my dad left. Julie left right after Kat. was born. I was told I would be able to get a room “soon… after the bleeding got a little more under control”. Around 8:00PM or so they took Kat. to the nursery to bathe her, etc. I was really in no state to watch her while I was waiting for the bleeding to get under control. And they way the nurses were talking, it would only be a “little longer”.

Sometime around 10:30PM (still in the delivery room), bleeding still wasn’t under control (obviously I was hemorrhaging pretty seriously), someone, I guess a nurse, said they were going to have to try a couple more things, and if that didn’t work we’d have to go to the OR…. Then I started to kinda freak out a little because I was alone. Jared had gone, and I figured he was probably dead asleep by that point (he’d been up for a day and a half too), so I called my mom. She of course has no problem waltzing into “Restricted” areas of hospitals. 🙂


The nurse came back with the Doctor (first doctor I’d seen since I arrived, who actually happened to be someone we all know personally, so that was nice). They put some pill thing up my bottom, couldn’t tell you what it was… something to stop the bleeding is all I know. Then the doctor informed me she was going to reach inside me and use her hand to make sure everything was all cleared out. She said “you can do anything you want, but just don’t kick me”. That procedure hurt. A lot.

But it worked. I stopped bleeding 10 minutes later. I got to my recovery room at 1:00AM (on Oct 1). Apparently I had just managed to pass out again when they brought Katherine in for me to feed her. But my mom was still with me, and getting to watch her face as she saw her first grandchild was pretty special. I can’t say what time mom left that night. I didn’t leave that bed the entire two days I was there.

We found out later that Katherine had (and still has) a hole in her heart. (It’s not big and medically, there isn’t any reason to do anything to correct it, so we’re just watching it for now). But, she made it through that entire labor and epidural without any “stress” (dipping her heart rate).

Brand new family 🙂

Simple Things Sunday {4}


This evening at dinner time the kids found some granola bars (from where? I’ve no idea, I don’t normally buy them).

Karl of course wanted just something. I had John give him a small piece, and that was all I was going to give him. Then John reached across the table and said:

“Karl wants one. Here Karl!”

(Photo on bottom left is when John decided that it was too hard to reach across the table and just went around and gave it to him!)

Totally adorable when my children are generous without being asked. Gives me hope that the other lessons will stick as well, at some point.

Linking up with Simple Things Sunday

Family Update Vol. 2013-14


Well, this week was supposed to be “normal”, but it wasn’t. Not really. Jared’s foot flare up didn’t help much. Actually that probably threw most of the week out of whack. But I think if i really think about it, we don’t have a new “normal” yet. So it’s something that’s going to be learned over the next few weeks or months or whenever, which is fine, but sometimes the unknown is more scarey than the known.


Not much happened in terms of school. I think I will definitely try to get that back going again next week. It adds at least a little bit more structure to our morning. We did make it to spend a morning with some cousins this week, which was a nice get out of the house morning. But for the most part we’ve been home-bound.

We’ve made a little progress on our basement redo (see this 7QT take# 3 for “The List”). I think I’ll make a little post once we have more of it done.

We had a birthday party for my brother on Tuesday evening. And another party today for John and Katherine. Nothing fancy, but it was nice. We played and played and tried to round up people that kept leaving for whatever reason just so we could “sing and have cake”. Nothing like telling a handful of three-year-olds that they have to wait “just a little longer” for some cake. Thanks Mimi for taking the pictures on my phone!!!!

Nothing like Grandma to keep them entertained while waiting! (Push ups anyone?)
Nothing like Grandma to keep them entertained while waiting! (Push ups anyone?)

Karl – I’ve heard more words from him lately. He will consistently say “night-night” when I say it’s time to go to bed. He’ll say “apple”. He say “Yell-ah” (for the neighbor girl… and also for his cousin Ella). He’ll be “carrying on a conversation” with you and suddenly say “Hi!”. One of his current favorites with me is to rub my cheek and say “nice” (really slowly – showing me that he can be nice to me).

He’s been loving having all the parties going on. He really seems to enjoy commotion. Definitely not an introvert like his mama. Thanks to everyone who has included a gift or card for him in all the party-events 🙂


Johnny – He received a bike for his birthday, which was Monday. If you didn’t catch his birth story you can read it here. It didn’t have training wheels on it, so he begged for several days for someone to put them on (Jared finally felt well enough to do it on Wednesday). He’s loving riding it (see first picture of the post)… even though the tires could use a little air. I really need to start writing down some of the stuff he says, because he can be hilarious. He spent a good 45 minutes in bed with Jared the other night talking. Just talking. Whatever random thought happened to pop into his head. Things like:

Daddy?… {During a conversation about trucks}
Daddy? you have green eyes?

Just random. But so hilarious.

He has LOVED being 3. He’s very particular about counting it out on his fingers. He’ll also do things like hold up both hands and say “look! Here’s two 3’s” (which almost works, since he usually is holding up all five fingers!) He also loves green, trains, and dump trucks!


Katherine – I think she already thinks she is four, but that won’t officially happen until this coming Monday. She has been adjusting to having Jared back. I don’t know if she’s having a hard time, but I think she might be the most unsure of the situation. Not in that she’s afraid, but that she is old enough to know that SOMETHING happened that was out of the ordinary because he was gone for two weeks, and now that he’s back she’s confused? I don’t know. She’s definitely been acting out more, but maybe that’s just being almost-four.

Loving chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! (That’s my girl). She also loves her dolls, stuff animals, playing doctor/library/going to the store, cleaning…


ReadingCall the Midwife:Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth.

Coming up in the Liturgical Year

Michaelmas is tomorrow.

St. Jerome on the 30th

St Therese of Lisieux on 1 October

Guardian Angels on 2 October

St Francis of Assisi on 4 October

Testing 1,2,3…. 9,10,11….36,37,38…


Ok, So maybe not THAT many tests this week. But boy, it sure felt like there were a lot of them.

The Setting:

Jared came home last Thursday (YAY!). So I thought, good, now we can get back to being a family. And I’ll say, Thursday we did spend all together hanging out and just being together. It was great. Friday morning he woke up with a sore ankle. He thought he had twisted it during the night sometime (not unheard of for him, I don’t know how he manages it, but he always seems to be twisting something or other). Anyways, he went to work and came home around noon, normal for Friday. We did some more family hanging out, but his ankle was just getting more and more swollen and sore. Repeat Saturday. Repeat Sunday. Monday, he said he wasn’t going into work except to grab a few things, then he was going to the ER because it wasn’t getting any better, in fact it was getting worse. I took him, dropped him off (I just can’t manage to stay at the ER with three kids for an indefinite amount of time, plus it’s only five minutes away so I can be back to pick him up relatively quickly). Anyhoos… long story short the doctor THINKS he has cellulitis in his left foot. Ironically, the doctor also hypothesizes that the infection has probably been there for a while now (think in terms of years), but has been kept “under control” by the drinking… and now that Jared’s not drinking, the infection has really taken over. So. It being Saturday now, a week and two days later, things have gotten a little better with the foot, but pretty much until yesterday (Friday) Jared didn’t do anything (which is fine, that’s what he was supposed to do).


Moving on to the testing…

If there’s one thing I managed to learn, or realize, it’s that I have a lot of learning how to live with “sober Jared”. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it is hard. I’ve basically had a crash relearn Jared course going for the last 216 hours. And it’s been pretty continuous, since he hasn’t been at work. We just go from one extreme to another I guess.

Part of me isn’t surprised that we are already being tested. I knew that our marriage was something that was going to have to get some work pretty soon after he came home, but I wasn’t expecting to be pushed up against a brick wall right away. I don’t do well when I’m backed against a wall (I already knew that though).

Some other things I managed to realize were that I tend to react to “perceived actions” or to “how will so-and-so react lines of thought”… Basically, I react to something that isn’t necessarily real. Does that make sense? If I had thought about that before I probably would have realized that I do that, but I hadn’t thought about it before a couple days ago, and it’s been enough to make me TRY to at the very least react to the REAL situation and not some imagined situation.

Anyways, all combined, not a fun week. Today and yesterday have been LOTS better.

Another thing I “learned”: to not stop praying. This should be something that I have learned by now, but for whatever reason when I’m in the middle of falling apart and being extremely frustrated I tend to get so discouraged that I feel I can’t focus to pray. However, two times this week I pushed through and after each of those times I was able to get a handle on things…. so…. maybe I’ll be able to keep this lesson for longer than I have in the past.

Not sure if this post really makes that much sense, but I really felt like I needed to share it.

(A quote my cousin shared with me)

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is a great cure of all human ills

C.S. Lewis

And another one that has been popping into my head for the last few days:

Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet

Anne of Green Gables

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 3

— 1 —

Updates on last weeks QT’s. First, my sister-in-law did have her baby last Friday!! (QT#2) Yay for being an Auntie again. (Wow, that’s such a northern term, but oh well). Lanie Jane is the first cousin for our kids on Jared’s side of the family. More cousins the merrier 🙂

And I checked, Jared can fold shirts like that (QT#3) because apparently in the Marine Corps its required.

— 2 —

Cellulitis = no fun. So I really don’t know much about what this is, and this would probably be the best time for me to go do research into it, but… that’s not going to happen. Regardless, Jared has it and has had it since last Friday morning. We thought it was just a sprained ankle (??), but when it hadn’t got better by Monday, he decided to go the ER (only reason to go there instead of PCP is the PCP is REALLY hard to get an appointment for THAT day and they would have sent him to the walk-in anyways, so… ER it was). After numerous tests, an X-Ray, IV antibiotics, etc. they released him with instructions not to do… ANYTHING… for the next four days.


(I had planned to write a post about this week, and such earlier today, but… that didn’t happen… because….)

— 3 —

Basement Work. Last Sunday, we got all inspired to get working on our basement. Basic rundown of projects

  1. Finish cleaning out old “BAR” area
  2. Move “CHAPEL” to old “BAR”
  3. Move “SHOP” to old “CHAPEL”
  4. Move “PLAY ROOM” to old “SHOP”
  5. Parge walls
  6. Clean up
  7. Organize
  8. ETC
  9. ETC
  10. ETC

So we’ve been doing them in little bits and pieces. Which translates to me personally (because Jared obviously wasn’t supposed to be doing anything), moving the shop around in little bits and pieces and getting that area cleaned up enough to start moving the toys down there.

Today, Jared felt well enough to help so we made good headway on the New “CHAPEL” and parging the walls (or prepping for parging the walls is more accurate).

We also discovered that Johnny loves to work with hand tools. Any wall. Doesn’t matter. New walls. Nice ones. He’ll “work” on all of them. 😉

— 4 —

New Housemate. So, the big reason for all of this basement work, especially the PLAY ROOM part, is supposedly my brother is going to be moving into our 3rd-floor bedroom (which is the current PLAY ROOM). And, you know, he’ll need actual space for stuff that isn’t plastic kitchen food or mounds of stuffed animals.

— 5 —

Other sibling news!. Oh, in talking about my siblings…. My sister has decided to join the Roman Catholic church! She began the RCIA classes last Sunday at our parish! I’m so excited for her! I picked her up from the class and managed to have a great little discussion with her about Catholicism and Mary and Books of the Bible and Prayers… all in 10 minutes. I guess discussion is probably not the correct word, since it was very brief touches on all those topics.

But I do look forward to many more discussions with her in the future! Yay Abby!

— 6 —


  1. I finished The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton (FINALLY!!!!!) And then quick ran to the library to return it before it’s due date was passed.
  2. I did my first book review (Sisterhood of Saints) for The Catholic Company. BTW, they still have openings for reviewers so, if you have a blog and like to read, and would like to review Catholic Books head over and check them out. (Link to the reviewer’s page)

— 7 —

Karl. Just because everyone else has been getting most of the attention this week. I don’t think he minds though. He mostly seems to just LOVE a good party 🙂






For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!