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Chaniel Garrett: The Birth. {Part 1}

In: Celebrating Our Little One

So here’s the story. I’m gonna try to make this as dramatic as possible while keeping to the facts. But it won’t be easy. Because the whole pushing phase of the delivery could have fit on an Instagram video. (That’s 15 seconds, ya’ll. 15 seconds. Of pushing. I know. Not fair at all.)

Before I get to that phase of excitement, though, you must know how it all began.


The morning of the 19th, we got up early, packed a picnic lunch, and loaded up the car for our favorite arboretum about a half hour away. The girls, my doula, Jaalah, who had come up to hang out for two weeks from South Carolina, and I were all planning to head out to walk at the park. Because not a single thing was happening on the contraction front, I had sent Chris to work down in Center City – a 35 minute train ride and 2 mile walk away, so about an hour commute.

I had been using the bathroom a lot more than usual for a 10 month pregnant woman that morning, but didn’t think much of it. I made one last quick bathroom trip and jumped in the car with everyone else. I was carrying my water bottle with me – I keep it close by. While I was driving, I was holding it between my legs.

We arrived around 10:30 am, and excitement levels were high as my girls love any chance to act as tour guides to our guests. I got out of the car – and felt like…well, I’m still not sure what I was feeling…it just wasn’t normal. Lots and lots of fluid…but I knew I wasn’t peeing. So I kinda just stood there thinking it must stop at any second right?  Spoken like a true woman who has never had her water break before she got to 10 cm dilated…

I walked around to the back of the car to get our backpacks and lunches and Jaalah asked – “Ummm…did your water bottle leak? Because your pants are, like, soaked.”

I looked down, and couldn’t see much because of my gigantic stomach. I said, “Oh seriously? I’m wondering if my water broke?”

Chloe kept looking at me with one eyebrow raised. “Ummm, mom? Did you pee in your pants? I really think you did.”

Kami just said, “Oh mooooooom.” 🙂 🙂 🙂

So, here I was. Just having arrived. a good hour away from my hospital, a good hour+ away from my husband, my water is broken and my girls think I’ve totally lost it. Like lost all bladder control.

But I still wasn’t having any contractions. So, I said to my doula, “Well, if I’m gonna walk this baby out – this is kinda the place to do it.”

I sent Chris a text. He said, “I have a meeting at 1 – should I leave before then?”

I said, “Oh goodness, no. Do that meeting. I’m seriously fine. You can just catch the 2:30 train and we can head to the hospital when you get home.”

Sometimes, I really think my denial of the fact that we *were* having a baby was making almost crazy. I mean, who doesn’t freak out when their water breaks?!?!

So we walked. Me with my crazy wet shorts. Then I find out from my ever-so-smart doula that your body keeps making that amniotic fluid – and in even more amounts as labor begins. So this leaking thing wasn’t gonna stop. Of course I felt like EVERYONE could see and knew what was happening. I knew I needed to make myself a tad less conspicuous.


We walked around a corner behind the rose garden, and found a rogue water sprinkler behind some trees. Bingo.

“GIRLS!”, I said. “GIRLS! Come with me – it’s too hot to stay dry today.”

And in that water sprinkler we ran and danced and jumped until we were all three soaked from head to toe. And then, my confidence levels soared. No longer did I look like I peed in my pants. I look like I jumped and danced like a crazy woman with my girls in an off limits water sprinkler.

Which was much less embarrassing.

And it bought me another 35 minutes of hanging out at the park.



The girls made wishes in the fountains. I’m such a cheapskate. My girls have to fish coins out of fountains to be able to make their wishes.

I call it recycling wishes. Saving the planet and all.

Chloe made a wish that her baby brother would come that day.

I told the girls, “I think he really will come today!” Chloe said, “Yeah, yeah, whatever mom.” Like, I think she had given up hope that he was gonna come as much as I had. 🙂 Then I explained that my “water balloon” had broken, so he had to come today or tomorrow. Kami said, “oh my word! oh my word! oh my word! WE ARE GONNA HAVE A BABY SOON!”

Then I had to quiet her down. I mean, really. I felt like things were obvious enough. Shouting wasn’t necessary.


We decided to head home and have lunch – my shorts were starting to dry. Well, most of them were drying. 🙂 Still no contractions, so I didn’t feel the need to rush off anywhere.

I called my doctor around 2 PM. She wanted me to come in to the hospital – I told her I would when Chris got home.

I got a shower, fixed myself all up real nice like, and finished packing my bag. The babysitter came over – excitement levels were now really high. She prayed with us.

Chris arrived. He was nervously excited. He packed up the car and kept me moving.

Still no contractions.

We headed off to the hospital – it was around 4:30 at this point. I knew I probably wouldn’t wanna eat much once things really got going, so we made a quick stop at Chipotle for some good energy food for delivery. We even sat down and ate there. Seriously – I was not in a hurry to face all the hospital hullabaloo and deal with all the Kyle triggers. IMG_0632


Around 6 PM, we arrived on the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital. We were all carrying bags – even me – I walked right up to the counter…the super friendly lady said, “Well hello there. What can I help you with?”

I said, “I’m having a baby I think.”

She looked at me like surely I would be heading back home to wait this one out. I wasn’t even breathing hard.

But she said, “Well, maybe you will! Come right on through here to triage and the doctor will check you out. Do you have an induction date? If they keep you here, I’ll give that date to someone else!”

We chatted about the picture of her kids on her ID badge. Then Chris and I headed back to the triage unit.


At this point, once the nurses heard who I was, they said, “Oh your doctor has been waiting for you! She thought for sure you must have stopped at a closer hospital to have this baby!”

Oops. Maybe I took my time a bit too much. 🙂

The nurses asked me all the questions –

* What pregnancy is this?

* What live birth is this?

I hate that part.  Rehashing it all for the 6th time this pregnancy. I kinda had it down now and I could almost say it without thinking about it.

“It’s my sixth pregnancy, 4th hospital delivery, 3rd live birth.”

But honestly, I got the sweetest nurse who listened to all my fears and my rambling about Kyle – she asked me, “Did he have a name?” That one question brought my blood pressure levels down to a normal level.

She cared. And to these people, he counted. Every one of them counted.

I could trust them. I was so thankful.

I had a small fever – so to make sure I wasn’t getting a uterine infection from my broken membranes. the decision was made to go ahead and induce me with low dose Pitocin.

Thankfully, the fever seemed to be just from walking inside with all those bags in the heat – because when they checked again an hour later it was gone.


They moved me to a Labor and Delivery room.

“You’re not sending me home?”  I asked.

“No way, girl! You’re having a baby!” my nurse, Diana said.

I asked them to close some doors – I didn’t wanna see the empty baby bassinet/warmer thing in the corner, and I asked for constant monitoring. I wanted to hear Chaniel’s heart beat the entire time.


I was fine with the Pitocin until it got to around 6. At that point, the contractions were coming on every 2-3 minutes but not really breaking in between.  I’ve done two natural, no medication labors – Kami, who weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs 4 ozs, and Kyle, whose labor lasted 16 hours. But nothing in those labors was like those pit contractions. And, since my other labors were 12-16 hours, I knew there was no way I was going to last that long with these contractions.

Right about that moment, a woman, bless her heart, came in already at 10 cm. I’m sure she didn’t even make it to a room and ended up right outside my door, which was right in front of the nurse’s station. She was holl-er-in’!!

I said, “Oh goodness, someone needs to give that poor woman a baby!”

Right about then, her baby was born. And it cried. Loud.

And I completely lost it. Truly. I was not prepared to hear a baby cry. For those of you who have been around awhile, you might remember my first panic attack happened when I heard a baby cry while I was walking the halls in labor with Kyle. The tears started rolling down my face. My nurse was there, and she leaned in close and said, “Your baby is gonna cry too. Just you wait. He’s coming.”

At that moment, I knew that I needed to eliminate some sorta pain. Either the emotional pain I was facing had to go away so I could focus on those darn crazy Pitocin contractions, or I needed some relief from the physical pain so I could process what was happening.

I opted for an epidural.


And at this point, this is gonna have to be continued. Because of two reasons.

1) This post is 1700+ words. That is breaking every blogging rule in the book.

2) Chaniel is hungry again.

Come check out the second half? It’ll be worth it!

Promise. 🙂





  • Jane Quigley

    September 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Love it!!! Can’t wait to read the rest on Monday!


  • Judy Mishler

    September 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I can hardly wait for the rest of the story. We don’t care if your blog is over 1700 words. LOL I am so happy for you and the blessing GOD has give you. Chaniel is so sweet and cute and the pictures of him with the girls that you have posted previously are priceless. Can’t wait to hear how the girls responded when they first saw their brother and hear how excited you and your husband were to meet him. God Bless you all always.


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