"wow. you have a baby... in a bar."


...said reese witherspoon's character in sweet home alabama. (great movie, by the way.)

also, famous last words.

for those of you who would care to hear about possibly the worst place for a forty-one weeks pregnant woman's water to break and a subsequent birth story, just keep reading.

a small side note: has anyone ever had an in depth one-on-one conversation with an overdue pregnant woman? unless you've been married to one or have had the misfortune of being one, i'm going to assume the answer is no, because anyone in their right mind stays clear of them. they're on edge, annoyed, filled to the brim with another human being/spawn. plus, they're too busy eating everything in sight to come up for air to actually form words, which, last i checked, were required to constitute a conversation.

may 4th, 2012
9 am
i am one week over due. my due date was six days prior, april 29th, 2012. i am huge, a beluga to be exact. my fingers don't touch when i reach out and attempt to wrap my hands around my belly. i'm convinced that the baby- the one that seems perfectly content to stay inside of me for forever- will actually be the size of a walrus when she decides to grace us with her stubborn-ass presence.

i go to the doctor that morning for yet another exam, just to be told that marlo is most definitely not coming out on her own accord. 'fucking fantastic,' i say. we schedule an induction for late that sunday evening for her to be born the next morning. so, it's decided, marlo will be born monday, may 7, 2012. that sounds like as good of a day as any to be born- unless yesterday is an option that i was unaware of- so i sign on the dotted line and make the necessary arrangements. i make four phone calls: joe, my mom, my dad, and my great friend, lucy, who is photographing our birth. i cry and curse often through each conversation. i stop calling people and send texts instead so i sound less pathetic and angry.

12 pm
i am very hungry. (due to a hospital stay a few weeks prior- a stomach virus that caused me to lose fifteen pounds my last trimester- i am following doctor's orders and packing back on every last ounce.) so, i have lunch with my mom. mexican. and after consuming inappropriate amounts of tacos, guacamole, chips, and salsa, we venture next door into west elm. i exercise my kegels the entire time, hoping the pressure will cause my water to break. no luck. my mom buys a pillow for marlo's nursery, which, i'm convinced she will never sleep in because i'm going to be pregnant for fucking ever.
2 pm
i arrive home and place marlo's new pillow in her never-going-to-be-used rocker. and i cry. and curse. a lot. and loudly. the neighbors can probably hear me. i don't care. i even lay on the floor for a bit and just stare at the girth that is protruding from my mid-section. i remember thinking, "marlo, you better be cute because you're being a pain in my ass right now." i'm feeling less than maternal.

3 pm
i look down at my hands and realize that i need a manicure. so i go get a manicure. a nice blazing red to reflect the anger that i feel towards my unborn child for making me such a gargantuan ogre. the woman giving me my manicure makes no less than six comments regarding my pregnancy. 'wow, your belly is huge!' (thanks, i'm aware.) 'you look like you could go into labor at any moment!' (doctor says there's not a chance in hell, but, i truly appreciate your positive thinking.) 'you can't be having a girl! you're having a boy because you are far too big to be having a girl! (i have the ultra sound in my wallet, would you like to see her va-jay-jay?) 'are you even allowed to drive?' (probably not.) please, fuck off and just paint my nails.)

4 pm
i arrive home. i have to pee. i always have to pee. i'm convinced that marlo is the reincarnation of mozart because she has been playing the piano on my bladder for the last six weeks.

i go to the bathroom. i realize that strange things are happening. down there. (in case any men are reading this, i.e. my dad, skip this next sentence.) a plug that was holding everything in decided it was time to come out.

i'm confused. i call call the same roster of people, leaving them all equally as confused as i am. just four hours earlier, i told them that marlo wouldn't be joining us until monday. uhhh, 'sorry to infringe on your weekend plans, terds.' joe googles 'mucus plug.' my mom calls my aunt, a nurse, to confirm what i just told her. my dad doesn't really know what to say because he's still stuck on the word 'plug.' and lucy informs me that she is prepared to be a nascar driver to make it to the hospital when it's go time. she also says that marlo has to be born before 9 am because she has a wedding to photograph the next day. 'i'll keep that in mind, luce.'

6 pm
joe arrives home and finds me lying on the floor. again. we decide to go for a walk, you know, to see if we can get things moving along. so, we walk. and we walk. for miles. i am not feeling so hot for the duration of the walk. it's torture, probably because there is a forty-two pound fetus inside of me who enjoys trying to break my ribs any time i move.

7 pm
somehow, my hugely pregnant ass makes it home. i'm exhausted. i'm also ravenous. so, i announce to joe that if by some grace of god that i do go into labor tonight, mama needs sustenance. and by sustenance, i mean the biggest damn cheeseburger we can find with bacon and french fries and a side of mayonnaise. conveniently, we lived in a condo above a restaurant that has us covered. i put on my maternity uniform- black skinny jeans, a grey t-shirt, and moccasins- and we make our way downstairs.

8 pm
we sit down at the bar. we order our food. joe orders a beer, the asshole. a friend of ours, amanda, who worked at the restaurant at the time, struts over and asks me the obvious question, 'when is this baby going to make her debut?'

'hold that thought,' i say abruptly to her.

8:05 pm
i look over at joe and grab his knee. he's in the middle of his third swig of beer. 'i think my water is about to break,' i say. (he chokes on his beer.) 'what?' insert internal popping. 'yep. my water just broke,' i repeat to him.

sure enough, niagara falls is now making an appearance in my skinny jeans. on a fucking bar stool. at a fucking bar.


8:06 pm
i excuse myself to the bathroom. amanda follows me. i sit on the toilet. immediately my contractions begin two minutes apart. amanda asks me if i need anything. she's oddly excited about all that is happening in my pants right now. 'i need my food made to-go. oh, yeah, and tell joe that i'm in labor.' meanwhile, the young college-aged single men sitting at the bar beside us are attempting to convince joe to take a tequila shot. intelligently, he politely declines.

8:16 pm
i make my way out of the bathroom and notice that everyone is staring at me. apparently, not only did sweet amanda inform joe that i was in labor, she informed the entire restaurant. i could've given a rats' ass about this; i was too busy attempting to walk in my skinny jeans that weighed fifty-two pounds from all of the fluid leaking out of my uterus. however, joe was incredibly uncomfortable. why he was uncomfortable when i was the one whose water just broke, IN A BAR, i still don't understand.

8:22 pm
i leave joe to wait on our food while i waddle the ninety-eight feet to our building, up our elevator, and into our bathroom. i immediately call the triage nurse (the triage line has been on speed dial because of the aforementioned hospital stay and two false alarms). because my contractions are so close together-the nurse secretly times them while i try to breathe and explain my predicament and they are less than one minute apart- she is convinced that i'm going to give birth while sitting on our porcelain throne. all i can think is that i haven't had the chance to shave my legs in three days and why the in the hell didn't i get a pedicure today, too? she tells us to drop everything and race to the hospital. she's is alarming. and it works.

8:29 pm
i hear our front door open and close but i do not see joe appear downstairs in our bathroom where i have left the toilet for a far more comfortable fetal position on our cold subway-tiled bathroom floor.

8:31 pm
i am in extreme amounts of pain and extremely perplexed as to why this is all happening so quickly. what happened to contractions five minutes apart? seriously? what happened to being induced in two days? while in this deep assessment, severe pain, and still leaking extreme amounts of fluid, i realize that joe has still not come downstairs. i politely call out for him between contractions.


'yeah? what do you need?'

wait. what? that's his response? my water just broke in a bar for fuck's sake!


i hear some sort of muffled response. it occurs to me that the father of my soon, as-in-very-soon-to-be-born, child is eating his goddamned cheeseburger. i'm enraged. and still famished. all while he's stuffing his face full of cow and carbs and everything that a pregnant woman's dreams are made of.

*i'll admit that my anger may have been slightly elevated due to the rush of hormones from my water breaking and i may have behaved a tiny bit irrationally. i just could not believe that he was able to eat a cheeseburger while i was laying on the bathroom floor, dying and hungry. (we laugh about this now. but it was a sensitive topic for a few days afterwards.)

8:46 pm
although it's a blur, we have managed to pack a bag and travel the half-mile to the hospital. for the record, the car ride was the worst thing ever. i wanted to throw up the entire time and i kept reminding joe that hitting every single pot hole did not earn him any sort of prize. we arrive at the hospital and are immediately checked in, thanks largely in part to the triage nurse who called immediately after we spoke and informed the labor and delivery staff that there may be a newborn baby arriving via four door acura sedan.

8:59 pm
family and close friends have been notified of the impending arrival of our little babe. my mother and lucy have arrived to join in on the festivities. i am convinced that i am dying. my mom is drinking coffee and crying already and lucy is snapping away. for the record, lucy was the most fun person to have around while in labor. she snorts when she laughs and it kept me endlessly entertained.

9:48 pm
i receive a little piece of heaven. also known as an epidural. people are now allowed to speak in my presence.

and we wait. and i dilate. and i'm starving. and we wait. and i dilate. i try to nap. but i'm starving. joe plays angry birds. and we wait.

my dad has arrived. he quickly becomes aware that i have very little modesty. i warn him that if he'd rather not see certain things, the waiting room has his name written all over it. so, off he goes with his ipad to work and pace. he checks in every few hours with kisses to my forehead and texts with my mom to make sure that i haven't killed anyone.

may 5th, 2012
4:45 am to 8:01 am
other family is starting to arrive. they all hang in the waiting room with my dad. i'm adamant that i do not want an audience.

the epidural is making me incredibly itchy, like spiders are crawling all over me. it's driving me mad. my right leg is also completely numb. i can't move it all and i find that strangely entertaining. my unshaven legs and less-than-presentable hobbit toes, however, are giving me serious anxiety.

i start to push. and i push. and i keep pushing. but my pelvic or butt bone- i can't remember which one it was- is not cooperating. marlo is stuck behind it. fucking pelvises. they just ruin everything!

joe stays up near my face, away from the business end of things. my mom on the other hand is all up in the action. and because i can't feel anything, i judge my progress by her face and reaction. she is VERY expressive and even claps a few times when marlo begins to make her entrance. the nurse announces that marlo has A LOT of hair. my mom is clapping again and starting to tear up. lucy is starting to cry, too, but is busy snapping away.

fun fact of the day: somewhere around seven am, while i'm spread eagle, pushing, and probably in the least attractive position of my entire life, my sweet and unprepared brother-in-law accidentally walks in the room, right around the privacy curtain, and sees me in all of my glory. he was a complete gentleman about it and still claims that he saw nothing. however, i know the truth. he's probably just suffering from severe ptsd and has blocked it out completely.

8:03 am
i am given an oxygen mask, the nurse says something about my heart rate dropping. my doctor- who was absolutely amazing and who i hope delivers all of our babies- threatens to go in and get her while he visually demonstrates the mechanics of a vacuum and a pair of forceps.

8:04 am
'over my fucking dead body,' i declare to him.
i push again.
and this time, i push like i mean it.

8:05 am
forceps and vacuum, be damned.

marlo mclean fadel,
seven pounds and six ounces,
twenty-one inches,
and stubborn until the very end,
is born and placed into my arms.

our first photo together taken by lucy of smitten & hooked
ps. if you are interested in watching our birth video that lucy put together for us (don't worry, nothing traumatizing is shown, you have my word!), you can watch it here. we are so grateful to her for giving us these images and we will cherish them forever.  


Anonymous said...

This made me laugh and then cry a happy cry after watching the video! So sweet.

Although, I'm sure you weren't laughing in when certain parts of this story were actually happening ;)

Jessica said...

Oh man. Just watched that video and here I am in tears. Just beautiful. You were doing your best for her even before she was born. Well done, mommy and congrats on ONE year!!! Xo

Unknown said...

I'm bawling now. That video is beautiful. Really, truly, beautiful. Great job mama!

dear olive said...

Wow, what an incredible birth story! I just came over from Diapers and Skinny Jeans and I'm so glad I did ... that story just made my night. I'll be back! Kellie xx


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