Birth, Billy and Beyond

The delivery was awesome. Many of you followed on Twitter as I took my geekishness to new heights by tweeting one of my family’s most personal and dramatic moments. It was such a great way to keep our family updated all at the same time. I’m glad we did it but I’ll be deleting the tweets and moving them here so as not to leave a permanent record of Baby Wanda’s birth date up on the interwebs. (yes I know it will still be up there somewhere but I’d rather not have it on my active Twitter page.)

So, from some “mystery” date a while back, here are my birth tweets:

– 11:12 PM: No baby yet but my mom’s here to play. Get to start calling and begging the hospital for induction tomorrow. This should be fun.
– 6:20 AM: No room at the inn yet. Call back in an hour.
– 7:14 AM: AAAAHHHH!!!!! Headed to the hospital.
– 8:33 AM Just signed the forms that say “I may die here but I don’t mind.”
My friends love me.– 8:36 AM: Wearing the bracelet my friends made me with beads and good wishes given at my shower.
– 9:57 AM: Came in dilated to a 2 and 75% effaced. Waiting for petocin. Suddenly busy here so we’re napping till it’s our turn.
– 10:22 AM: Petocin started. It’s go time.
– 11:19 AM: Listening to old CarTalk podcasts and watching Wanda’s roundhouse kicks. No major contractions yet.
Zune is Awesome.– 12:22 PM: Moved on to This American Life. Contractions picking up.
– 12:24 PM: Nurse must read same parenting books as us. I asked if I could have pudding. “Sure,” she said, “As soon as you have the baby.”
– 1:23 PM: Nurse just came in to check ma vitals. Said “Oh dear” at one point for apparently no reason. Back to CarTalk. Aye! Contraction!
– 2:25 PM: Oww. Mom. Very slow progress for the ouchiness. At least the nurses are cool.
– 2:49 PM: West Wing Season 1 is like a warm blanket to my heart. The epidural coming in 45 mins will be like a warm blanket to my uteris.
– 4:12 PM: I should have gotten that epidural two months ago.
– 4:25 PM: Water hath been broken which is normally painful but it’s okay because it feels like my lower body has taken a bath in Anbesol.
– 5:20 PM: Gonna push soon! Will update when baby is here!
Smurfy– 7:04 PM: Thick dark hair, 8lbs 10oz, 20″, 15 mins pushing, so gorgeous!
– 8:27 AM: Here she is un-blue. So sweet. Slept all night (unlike the rest of us) and is eating well. Still no real name

The delivery went really smoothly. After the epidural and the water breaking, I went from a 4 to complete in less than an hour and it only took 15 minutes of pushing before she was born. She came out fist first, our little Ninja, causing us to briefly add “Norris” to our list of names in honor of his venerable Chuckness.

Now with less Smurf!The doctor said, “I’ve delivered an arm,” and I said, “Oh good. Her head is out?” And he said, “No, just her arm.” But her head came out next and then the rest of her and that sweet squawky little cry and she went from being a bulge in my abdomen to a living breathing person whom I get to love, take care of and repress most cruelly for her own good for many years to come.

We did pick a name before we headed home from the hospital, put it on the birth certificate and everything. Here’s a list of the names we were mulling over on our giant spreadsheet in the hospital. You were all so good to share your ideas with me. This list includes all the names we seriously considered at some point during the pregnancy. One of them is the name we chose. So if you’re looking for baby girl names, have at it.

Anne, Jane, Ivy, Josephine (Finn), Eve, Lucy, Adele, Violet, Eden, Ruth, Gail, Estelle (Stella), Lynn, Daisy, Jean, Nina, Kathryn, Robin, Susan, Ruby, Amelia, Nora, Sally, Jill, Leah.

She is gorgeous and sweet and we love her, an amazing sleeper and a champion nurser.

There have been a few little things to work out, as there are with any baby. First, I’m working to find my emotional happy place, working with my people to get me to where I need to be mentally. It’s not the most fun but not nearly as hard as it was with Magoo when I didn’t know what was going on.

The emotional transition to third-time motherhood was complicated by the fact that 2 days after birth she developed some moderately bad jaundice and we were set up with a light box in our house that we needed to keep her strapped into whenever she wasn’t eating. A nurse has been out here every day since to take her blood and check her vitals.

It’s amazing how something seemingly small like that can send everything out of whack. Just watching her lay there on the florescent lights and not being allowed to pick her up or comfort her when she cried unless it was time for a feeding was much harder on me than I would have guessed. I guess I got the smallest taste of what it’s like for mothers whose babies end up in the NICU and they don’t get to bond with them in the typical way.
blue baby box light
Holding and cuddling Magoo was one of the only ways I could soothe and calm my anxieties during his early life and sitting next to her light box, smoothing her hair while she screamed had just the opposite effect.

They also asked me to wake and feed her every two to three hours, take her temperature each time and record how many minutes I fed on each breast, what her diaper looked like and how many minutes I had her off the lights. They also wanted me to pump after each feeding and then give her a supplementary bottle for dessert, which meant I then had to wash and sterilize all the pump and bottle parts before going to bed before the next feeding, so sleep was rough.

My mom and Dan are here and doing everything they can to help but I want them to be at least somewhat fresh to make things seem normal for Laylee and Magoo during the day as I lay around and heal, nurse, and question my every thought, feeling and emotion to determine whether or not I’m “O.K.”

But today Wanda’s blood had improved a ton and the nurse called this afternoon to tell us we could take her off the lights and hold her as much as we wanted. This was good news, sort of tears-of-joy ecstatic news. This gives me hope for more restful nights and emotional calm in the coming days. I still plan on waking her up every three hours to feed just to make sure she’s pumped full of enough to get all the bilirubin out of her system.

So that’s where we stand. Newness, weirdness, sweetness and family. Everything feels very fragile and every minute very important. Her squirks and squeaks fascinate me and her gassy smiles melt my heart the same as if they were real smiles. I can’t get over how soft she is or how much her siblings adore her. I can’t get over how vulnerable she seems or how scared I am that I’ll never be able to keep this little person safe through adulthood. Suddenly the other two seem so fragile as well. There’s nothing like bringing a new baby into the world to make you wish your world was just a tiny, well-padded, time-proof bubble.

Rain is pouring down on our new roof but we’re safe and dry. The big kids are asleep. The baby is passed out on my mom’s chest and Dan is puttering on the computer. Ours is a good little bubble. Here’s to hoping you’re all staying dry and warm in yours.

This entry was posted in all about me, baby stuff, brains, health, parenting, postpartum, preg-nancy, unbearable cuteness. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Birth, Billy and Beyond

  1. nantiemeg says:

    I love you so much!! I wish I could be out there now, but I will be soon enough. Love you! Love You! Love You!! You are a total champ!

  2. Mrs. Organic says:

    She’s absolutely beautiful! Congratulations!

  3. FawnDear says:

    Oh Kathryn,

    Beautiful post. Beautiful baby. Beautiful Mom. Wanda’s an angel and I’m so glad your able to hug and snuggle her now. Meeting new babies so new from Heaven is the closest thing there is to pure Joy! I can’t wait to meet her.


  4. cyndi says:

    oh, how wonderfully written – it took me right back to our nine days of NICU and those joyfulscaredawed times. Mine feel a little more miraculous and fragile now, so thank you for the reminders. Enjoy all the snuggles and love – thank you for sharing, and best of luck to your expanded family!

  5. Carolee says:

    Lovely to read this and such a pretty girl! Best of luck for the coming adjustments to life. Enjoy the newness of her!

  6. Jann says:

    Congratulations! She is adorable.

  7. Beth says:

    Congrats! I miss those days with my baby girls. Enjoy every moment 🙂

  8. Jamie says:

    She is beautiful! Congrats congrats…enjoy this time. And your bubble.

    p.s. I am particularly partial to the name Amelia 😉

  9. beck says:

    Oh congratulations! I’m so thrilled for you. I will be hoping and praying that you will indeed be “OK” as I’m currently working up the courage to even just consider if I could handle a third child.

  10. Carmen says:

    I have been watching your site for a few days now to find out how everything went. So I appreciate you keeping us in the loop. It’s always so exciting to hear about you and your family. We have been hoping all would go well and that you’d be doing good too. We’re thinking of you and wish you all the very best. Wanda sure sweet and her face so round and beautiful. She really couldn’t be any more precious.

  11. Congratulations to the Daring family!! And so glad that all went (relatively) smoothly. What a blessing!

  12. allysha says:

    I loved following your labor on twitter. I can’t wait for the Christmas card; email me her name!

    Congrats to you all. Here’s to getting a little bit of sleep! Cheers!

  13. Faith says:

    I, personally, am a big fan of bubbles. At any rate, I’m so glad to hear that she’s off the lights. Our newest little munchkin had some trouble maintaining her temperature and had to be under the heat lamp a few times after she was born a couple of weeks ago. That was hard enough, and that was only a couple of hours here and there while we were in the hospital.

    We also considered the names Nora and Amelia. Anne with an “e” is a favorite as well!

  14. Carrie says:


  15. Carrie says:

    I’m so glad she’s doing better! Congrats again!

  16. Chief says:

    The last paragraph of this post is beautiful! Congratulations!

  17. Stephanie says:

    Yay for being off the lights!

  18. grammyelin says:

    She is darling and precious and completely huggable. I love that kissy spot on the back of her neck and the feel of her sleepy breathing against my chest. Love this experience and getting to share it with all of you.

  19. Melissa says:

    Oh, she is beautiful! I am so glad to hear you are both doing well!

  20. bon says:

    What a sweet little glow worm! I had two that had to do the bili… double plus un-fun. I have done both the suitcase and the “bili-blanket” and am a big proponent of the blanket style. It’s awkward, but at least ya get to HOLD them!

  21. Carrie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all about what your family’s going through! I’m so glad your little girl is doing better – it must have been heartbreaking to watch her lay there in the lights!!! God has really been reminding me of you a lot this week, and I’ve been praying for you, and He was just impressing on me the other day that feeling that you must feel that you wrote about, like, “Am I still okay now?”. Anyway…I’m praying for you!

  22. Emily says:

    Congrats!! What a beautiful little girl. I laughed really hard that you listened to Car Talk and This American Life while in the hospital. One more reason I want to move to Washington and be your neighbor, then I would love to babysit Laylee and Magoo while you figure out your every emotion. We all love you and are cheering for you

  23. Andrea says:

    Congratulations on a sweet little baby.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    I agree with the bubble. Wishing you lots of sleep and happy days.

  24. Emlouisa says:

    Congratulations Kathryn! How exciting. And much needed to hear since I am still in that puking phase of pregnancy that we have all come to adore. Glad to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

  25. Leah says:

    Congratulations Daring Family!

    I especially love the list of names. One in particular 🙂 I know people by 12 of those names, and they are all great.

    I don’t comment much, but I’m an avid follower. I love love love your blog and just couldn’t resist sending a congratulations your way! I’m also very glad little miss is kicking the yellowness. Woo!

  26. Diana says:

    Congratulations! She is just beautiful. I’m kind of wondering if she was born on my birthday…Sept. 14? I’ll be praying for you as you make the adjustment to mom of 3. Enjoy this precious time because, as you well know, it goes by so fast!

  27. Heffalump says:

    WaHOOOOO!!! I am so happy for you! I’m glad the jaundice is over and you can snuggle her all you want to now.
    I’d love to know which name you chose. I already know Laylee and Magoo’s real names…

  28. She’s beautiful and wonderful. Congratulations to you all.

  29. oinorton says:

    I hope you find your happy place soon. Must be scary b/c you know what it can get to. I will pray hard that you will be ok. don’t want you to go “there” again. I’m sure not being able to hold her was hard. I hope you get lots of time this week and that you get to heal.
    Take care!

  30. Marian says:

    Hooray! Congratulations! She’s gorgeous. So teensy. (Did Magoo feel suddenly huge when you got home?) Love to you.

  31. Mother of the Wild Boys says:

    Congratulations, and what cutie pictures!

  32. It sounds hard and wonderful! You really should have asked me about the whole bili-lights thing because after four kids I am a pro. They are really sleepy because they’re sick but as soon as they start to fuss and cry under the lights that means they are feeling better so I stop putting them in there. Well, now you’ll know for next time. But I am really mad that they sent a nurse to your house to draw the blood. I had to haul all my newborns to the hospital the first week of their lives and it is not fun to be out and about at that time of their/my life.

    In a couple weeks when you want to start teaching her to sleep at night let me know and I’ll give you the scoop. Enjoy your warm little bundle!

  33. Janel says:

    You are a champ! Congrats! And you always know exactly how to make motherhood sound as hard as it is and as sweet as it is.

  34. Congratulations…”Wanda” is so precious.

    Out of curiosity, why wouldn’t you want your kids’ birth dates on the internet? I understand not using their real names, but what is the big deal about the dates? (I’ve just never heard of that and now I’m wondering if I should remove all traces of my kids’ birth dates from my blog, etc.!)

  35. Nancy says:

    Congrats! She is beautiful. I”m stll getting over the fact that ‘Nancy’ wasn’t on your preferred list of names, but I’ll move on. Please DON”T hestitate to call for ANYTHING, really!

  36. craftybynature says:

    I just somehow deleted a really long comment. I am so tech challenged!! Congrats on getting the tanning bed out of there & I am so glad to hear (from Dan & your mom that i beg for info whenever I see them) that things are getting better & you are feeling good!!! I am glad she pooped & is a good eater. I so hate that you & Wanda had to start off with hardship but from now on it will get better & better!!! I am next door so if you guys need anything just let me know & enjoy your comfy bubble as long as you can, this time is sacred & short!! The rest of the world and all its stuff can wait for you & your family to just be together and soak it all in. MUch love!!! Frankfurt went to his new home today, Rowan is heartbroken, even thought I wont miss his mornign calls I feel like I just sent off a child to boarding school or something, its weird!! I know, but you know how I am with the furry creatures. Ok, night!!! KIsses & she is so sweet looking with her big cheeks and that scrumptous pout.


  37. kris says:

    Congratulations 🙂 We went in two years ago today to have my little girl, thought we were going to name her Nora, ended up naming her Leah. She also had to be in the light box for several days to get rid of jaundice, but we had to stay at the hospital for that part. It’s cool that you got to be at home. Hope everything continues to improve in the ‘bubble’ 🙂

  38. DaMomma says:

    She is lovely, and so is her Mama. Hang in there, it will get better. So soon you’ll wake up feeling good, with those three beautiful pairs of eyes peering at you over the breakfast table, and you’ll know what a champ you are.

  39. Paige says:

    Oh, Congratulations!!!

  40. Wendy says:

    Just to let you know…someone slipped up and put your baby’s real name in her comment…

    she’s beautiful, and I’m glad you all are doing well. I’m at 34 weeks now and hoping my labour will be as smooth for my twins.

  41. Kork says:

    Congratulations! She is a beautiful little girl, and I can’t wait to see how her personality emerges, and the changes she will affect in the lives of those around her!

    So glad to hear she’s improved from her time on the light box, and my continued prayers are with you as you heal and adjust, both physically and emotionally!

    We’re barely at 14 weeks, and I’m already looking forward to our scheduled C-section (how silly is that to say out loud?!?!?!) just because I know that at the end of the drama and excitement will be our baby, perfect and beautiful, and I can’t wait to meet our new little one!

    Congratulations again, and rest while your mom is there to care for your house and family.

  42. Katherine says:

    So glad everything went well and now you can hold her as much as you want! 🙂

    Enjoy the baby moon! 🙂


  43. Jess says:

    Congrats! She’s adorable. May you enjoy your time in the newborn bubble! My newborn is 5 months old already…

  44. aimee says:


  45. Holly says:

    Congratulations! Welcome, Wanda! She sure is beautiful.

  46. Eve says:

    YAY! So happy to hear that, spoke with your mom on Friday and things sounded stressful.
    Hoping this means I can come and meet little Wanda for myself soon?

  47. Congratulations! Sorry about the scary episode. Hope things will soon be back to normal.


  48. Kathryn in NZ says:

    Have been thinking of you for days – so thanks for the update.
    Congrats!!! Welcome baby daring.
    Sending warm happy place vibes to you for as long as you need chick

  49. Honey Mommy says:


    I am glad that she is here and you all seem to be doing O.K. I had postpartum with my first, so I was a bit scared with my second… but it actually was better. I hope that by the time I get around to having a third I can avoid most of my anxieties!

    Keep it up! You are doing great.

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