A Birthday Story: Zoe

Oh hey! Finally sitting down to write out Zoe's birth story! Luckily, there's a lot less detail than Jack's birth story or Phillip's birth story so pretty sure even though it's two weeks later (ahem - I started writing this at "two weeks later" which was almost two weeks ago but here I am finishing it up the day after Zoe's official due date!) I can still remember it all. (Update: I just finished writing it and it turned out pretty detailed and long, sorry! Just preparing you!)

It all started...well, 8 months ago. But the labor part "started" after my last appointment at 36 weeks. T came with me while my grandma watched the boys. For insurance purposes we were really wanting Baby Girl to arrive (and be discharged from the hospital) by June 30. Long story short if she came before July 1 we would save about $3,000-$4,000. Anytime after 11:59pm on June 30 and...saving no money. So at my 36 week appointment my doctor decided to induce me sometime between 39-40 weeks. Because labor is "easier" if you go on your own she said she'd check me to see if I was dilated and if I was she'd strip my membranes. The plan was to continue stripping my membranes each week at my appointment to see if it would get anything started. (History: had my membranes stripped with Jack - twice! - nothing ever happened. Ended up being induced at 40.3. Had my membranes stripped with Phillip, lost my mucous plug the next day and my water broke 4 days later which was the day before my due date).

So anyway, according to my dr I was dilated at "an easy 1cm" so she went ahead and stripped my membranes and sent me on my way. T needed to return something at the mall which was down the street so we went together to do that. In the parking lot on our way back to the car I suddenly had a VERY sharp lightening pain that stopped me dead in my tracks and made me gasp haha. Pretty sure Tom was like "what the heck?" Looking back, I think that's the moment Baby Girl dropped ha.

Later that afternoon I lost my mucous plug (sorry if TMI ha!) and I immediately started panicking that baby might be coming...soon! I wasn't worried about her health considering 36 weeks is pretty safe to deliver but you guys, I was not ready!

Sunday night (early Monday morning) T & I were laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep and right around midnight I felt a contraction. I'd been having Braxton Hicks all through the third trimester but never were they ever painful. This contraction was. I immediately told Tom "I just had a painful contraction. Maybe this is it!" At the second painful contraction I downloaded a contraction timer app and started timing, just to see. After that first contraction, I continued to have painful contractions every 15-20 minutes. I knew they were nowhere near close enough to mean anything yet but they were frequent enough & painful enough that I couldn't sleep.

Finally at 2am I gave up on trying to sleep and went to the kitchen to catch up on all my missed days of journaling in the past few weeks haha. I stayed up journaling & watching Netflix til around 4am, occasionally using the contraction timing app to see if they were getting any closer. At 3am contractions were anywhere from 6-14 minutes apart and painful (but nowhere near unbearable).

My mom was out of town visiting my sister in Kansas and I texted her to warn her that she might miss baby's birth as I was having semi-regular contractions. Pretty sure nobody believed me that the baby might really be coming (3.5 weeks early!). I only halfway believed it myself so I can't really blame them ha.

I finally crawled back into bed and got a little sleep between 4-6am but by 8am I was timing the contractions again as they were feeling more painful and closer together. By this time they were 6-8 minutes apart.

I still wasn't anywhere near convinced that this was the real thing so we still held our weekly toddler music class at my house (and I taught it ha!). Sometimes I had to not stop singing the songs to get through a contraction haha! But they still weren't that bad so I soldiered on.

One of my mommy friends from music class offered to take Jack with her on some errands so I could get things done. He was obviously thrilled since he got to spend a couple hours with his BFF Emma. And it turned out to be very helpful to me as by the time they left my contractions were getting pretty hard. I put Phillip down for a nap and tried resting but...nope.

So I'd run around the house checking things off my to-do list (starting to really worry this could actually be it!) and then I'd stop when a contraction came since at this point I had to sit or kneel down to get through them. At 1:30pm I texted Tom saying "THIS IS NOT FUN" haha so I guess they were getting pretty bad by then! At 3:45pm I texted Tom telling him that I thought my contractions were finally subsiding. But then at 4:40pm I was texting him again telling him that I was having "terrible, awful contractions that I can barely concentrate through" haha. But they still were not close enough together to warrant a trip to the hospital.

OH. Let me stop right here and tell you a very important part of this story - Tom was scheduled to go to San Francisco that night for a training the next day. For most of the day we were still planning on him going but by late afternoon I was starting to feel really nervous about it. I still wasn't sure if my contractions were the real thing but I was worried I'd end up needing to go to the hospital in the middle of the night and he would be 2+ hours away! He originally was going to take the train down but we decided he'd better drive just in case...that way he could come home at any given time, if needed, and not have to wait for a train departure haha!

The boys & I were planning to head to my mother-in-law's for dinner that night. Before going over I finished folding up some laundry and was trying to decide if Tom really should go to SF or not. I was feeling so nervous about the whole thing but didn't want him to miss his training and have the contractions all be a false alarm! They were painful and kind of regular but not regular enough that I felt convinced of anything. I felt so frustrated and so I knelt down and said a prayer asking for the contractions to either stop so I could feel OK sending T to SF or for them to become regular enough that I could feel justified in telling him not to go haha. Immediately after that my contractions became more regular and much more intense. Enough that I decided I'd better throw some things into my hospital bag (thank goodness for that list I made in bed a few nights before because I couldn't think straight enough to know what to pack haha!). At 4:39 I sent the first message in this conversation to Tom. The second text was sent 12 minutes later...and my prayer was said in between those two text messages. You guys...prayer works!

I laid out clothes for the boys for the next morning (just in case!) and put some jammies in my diaper bag (just in case!) and we headed for my mother-in-law's for dinner. But only after sitting in the van in the driveway waiting for a contraction to come and go so I could hurry and drive the 5 minutes over there before another contraction hit haha! I knew I would have to pull over if one started while I was driving so I wanted to try to just make it over in between contractions. I did make it, in case you are wondering! As soon as I got out of the car though I had my worst contraction yet. It seemed like it lasted forever. At this point I was feeling totally exhausted having barely slept the night before and having contractions anywhere from every 6-20 minutes for the last 16 hours.

When we walked into my MIL's house I told her I'd been having contractions all day and they were getting pretty bad. She said I had looked really uncomfortable when I was walking into the house haha. After being over there for just a few minutes I started asking when I should maybe consider going into the hospital. When my MIL & sisters-in-law heard how close together my contractions were they all thought I should go in. So then I started to feel convinced that maybe this could be it.

At 4:50 I sent these to Tom:

At 5:56 I started this conversation (clearly, I was a little bit dramatic. But I had never done this whole labor at home thing before and with contractions being close together and pretty painful I didn't know how long I still had. In my defense, I was a 6.5 when I checked into the hospital so that IS kind of close, right?! haha!):

At 6:25 Tom got to his mom's house, we stopped by our house to grab my hospital bag (which I still had to throw a few things into like my toothbrush/straightener and everything else I didn't put in there before because I didn't want to have to unpack it all if it was a false alarm haha!), and then we were on our way! My contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and I just kept telling Tom "this better not be a false alarm because I really want an epidural right now."

^pretty sure I skipped timing one when I clocked that 6:47 break between contractions. I know I did not have a break that long at this point (I wish!) haha!

When we got to the hospital I waited for a contraction to come/go in hopes that I could make it up to labor & delivery before another one hit. Yeah, we barely made it across the parking lot and I had to stop to get through another one ha!

We checked in and they brought me to a triage room to check me while T went to fill out some paperwork. The nurse asked me how much water I'd been drinking and I told her I'm generally really bad at drinking water but when I started having these contractions I tried to be really concscious of downing the stuff in case they were coming from being dehydrated! She told me that especially since it was a really hot day (105!) they had been seeing a lot of dehydrated mommies who thought they were in labor and I thought "oh great, they're going to check me then send me home telling me to drink more water." But then she checked me (around 7:15pm) and said "oh yeah, you're definitely in labor. 6.5cm!" AHHH. I had just kept hoping to please be 4cm, please be 4cm so 6.5 was a complete shocker! I was so relieved that it wasn't a false alarm and also that I'd be getting an epidural soon (woohoo!) but also overwhelmed that Baby Girl was really on her way and I was so not ready yet! The house wasn't clean, my to-do list wasn't to-done, we were nowhere near choosing a name! As soon as the nurse left the room I started crying due to feeling so overwhelmed haha! Tom walked in and I was crying and told him I was 6.5cm and I'm pretty sure he was confused why I was crying about that haha!

Don't worry, I got over the tears pretty fast and then was just in shock that I was actually about to have a baby 3.5 weeks early! I never would have thought I'd get an early one!

I got my epidural around 7:45pm (best epidural I've had so far! The doctor was totally calm, unlike the other two I've had who totally freak you out about NOT MOVING ONE INCH and he was lightening fast like the whole thing was done in two minutes, I'm not even kidding! Oh and obviously the epidural was magic and within 3-4 more contractions I could feel absolutely nothing - bliss, my friends!).

I was checked again at 8:30pm and was 8cm. In what seemed like a matter of minutes my doctor arrived, checked me again, broke my water and said "okay it's almost time to start pushing!"

^^just a few minutes before pushing!^^

^aaand right after my "practice push" and about to real push and meet this little girl!^

While the entire day seemed like it lasted forever with all those contractions, from the time I checked into the hospital til the time I delivered was a complete whirlwind! They had me do one practice push and then a couple pushes later Baby Girl was here!

We are obviously completely smitten and so in love!

Since my mom missed the birth due to being out of town we FaceTimed her during the delivery so she could at least sort of feel like she was there haha! Her first look at her newest granddaughter:

Side note: my doctor was not on call but the doctor who was on call is the doctor who delivered me when I was born! Craziness! Meet Dr. Hiuga:

Jack Jack & Phillip came to visit about an hour after she was born.

Jack's first questions was "what's her name?" and Phillip's first word was "BAYYYYY!" (baby) which he had never even said before haha! They were both very curious and they've been the sweetest big brothers since day 1.

It took us a full 24 hours to decide on a name for her and I think we surprised ourselves and everyone else when we announced that we were naming her Zoe Sophia. Zoe had made it onto our list just days before. I don't even remember how it came about? Maybe from my baby shower game where everyone wrote down name suggestions from A-Z and basically everyone wrote Zoe for Z. I just know I texted Tom a few days before she arrived asking him if he liked the name Zoe and he said he did. I didn't think we'd actually use it but I added it to the list just because it was one of the few names we actually agreed on!

When she came, I liked Isabella (Bella) the best and Tom was leaning heavily toward Hallie (Jack's favorite name too!). He wasn't at all sold on Bella and while I like the name Hallie I wasn't sure I wanted to use it for this babe. I thought she looked like a Zoe but Tom thought she didn't (ha!). He ended up leaving for SF that night around midnight so he could go to his training the next morning and so I texted him through the night with name suggestions (mostly all shot down) and in the end (after a bath, girl clothes, and a headband which I felt she needed in order to really decide what she looked like haha!) it came down to Hallie or Zoe. I told Tom we should call her Zoe for an hour and then Hallie for an hour and see which we liked better. After calling her Zoe for an hour I didn't even want to try Hallie because I was so in love with Zoe haha! So, I won out with Zoe (which Tom liked too, I promise!) and I told him he could pick the middle name as we hadn't even discussed middle names at all and I was totally exhausted with the name game just from the first name haha! I suggested a few...Elizabeth, Nicole, Olivia...I don't even remember them all now. And then he asked if I liked Sophia and yep! And so Zoe Sophia it is. And I'm still surprised myself at our choice of Zoe but completely in love with it!

Do you want to see our full conversation? Ha! Because here it is (Tom was still in SF at this time so we had to text each other to discuss her name haha!):

We are so, so happy to have this sweet little girl in our family!

PS I know I've been totally MIA since Zoe arrived (sorry about that, hope to get caught up soon!) but I am way more active over on insta so please follow me there if you want to keep up with our happenings!



  1. I enjoyed reading your post. You and Tom make such a cute team! I love you and your sweet littles, mommy of three. :)

  2. Marci!! Congratulations!!!! Your little girl is beeeee-yooo-tiful!! And what a gorgeous name!!! I'm not blogging this week because I'm away, but I'll def link to this when I get back!

    1. Thanks, Kate! Zoe was a complete surprise to both my husband & I but we totally love it and it suits her perfectly!


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