Category Archives: the passenger

adele’s arrival

part one here, in case you missed it.

so where were we? something about finally acknowledging i was really in labor and that a baby would soon be born. 

when pam arrived to our house, labor started to pick up and contractions went from something i could joke about to something i needed to hunker down and concentrate through. so per our plan, we labored at home like this for a while. i rotated from the bed, to the tub, to the ball, to the floor, but ultimately found that laboring on my side in bed was most comfortable. i also quickly realized that holding (er maybe deathly squeezing at times?) mr. hutch’s hand was essential to making it through every contraction. he was amazing and i’m positive i couldn’t have done it without him.

around 3a pam helped us decide it was time to head to the hospital. i remember this being so exciting to me. it meant it was almost time to have a baby! i also remember as soon as i got up and started moving around to get ready to go to the hospital, contractions intensified and started coming every 2 minutes. this is why people get drugs, i thought.

the car ride was uncomfortable but thankfully only about seven minutes long. it had originally been our plan to let family know when we were headed to the hospital and mr. hutch faithfully asked at a stoplight if he should be texting people to let them know. i mumbled something about that being the last thing i cared about right now and they were left in the dark. my lack of interest made me realize i was officially in “laborland” as pam would say. the zone – completely in my own world.

we got to the hospital and  for awhile it seemed like time was marked in contractions. get out of the car, have a contraction. walk to the door, have a contraction. get to the traige counter, have a contraction. the little buggers sure make for slow going.

we got to the triage counter just as i was having another contraction. during the contraction the traige nurse was trying to get me to fill out paperwork and answer questions. i remember thinking, seriously? do i look like i can answer your questions or fill out your paperwork right now? and why are you asking me things like what did i weigh before i got pregnant? that doesn’t seem relevant at this point. 

so we headed to our little triage room to establish i was in labor. i know it took me awhile to figure out i was in labor (see part one of the story) but at this point i thought it was fairly obvious. she checked me and i was 6cm dilated. then i puked. which actually felt great and i remember doing the happy dance in my head because pam had previously told us that towards transition a lot of people throw up as the body purges itself to get ready for the baby. so puking equalled progression and possibly transition and that was exciting. after some fetal monitoring and what not, the nurse determined i was in labor and we were granted permission to head to room 9 on the labor and delivery floor. 

part of my hopes for labor/delivery was to not feel “sick” or like there was something wrong with me just because i was in the hospital. so i had declined their generous offer to clothe me in the standard hospital mumu and gave the same response when they offered to transport me in the fancy wheelchairs. instead, dressed in my sweats and sports bra, big bare belly hanging out and all, we headed upstairs to labor and delivery. i remember having a contraction just as we were getting off the elevator. i was determined to make it to room 9 (wherever the heck that was) before i had another contraction. as soon as the contraction ended i marched off the elevator half naked through the halls until i found room nine where i collapsed next to the bed on the floor to have another contraction. looking back i can only imagine this was a sight to be seen. 

it was probably around 4a at this point and the next hour and forty-five minutes are a bit of  blur. i remember bits and pieces. like the resident coming in trying to give me a buffalo cap and draw my blood – both of which i declined. she said to me, “you understand that the buffalo cap is used to administer life-saving drugs right?” and i thought to myself, i don’t need life-saving, i’m just having a baby lady…

i remember the tug-of-war with the nurse about whether or not i could get in the giant, luxurious jetted tub (the only perk of laboring in the hospital) and the hoopla about not being able to track down the attending as she would need to approve not being monitored again despite the fact that i had JUST done the fetal monitoring down in triage. of course by the time they tracked down the attending (close to what i guess was over an hour later) the monitoring was “outdated” and so it needed to be done again. 

in the meantime i remember the nurse asking me really dumb questions while i was having contractions and ignoring her not only to concentrate on the contraction but because i thought her questions were dumb. in hindsight, i probably wasn’t an ideal patient but i couldn’t have cared less at the time. poor mr. hutch was left trying to answer the questions for me and a few times pam gently reminded me i actually had to answer some of her questions with a yes or a no. fine. no lady – i don’t like mustard on my turkey sandwich (not an actual question she asked, but that’s what the caliber of her questions felt like in the moment!)

i also remember when it was time to monitor me again it took her FOREVER to find the baby’s heartbeat and i thought to myself, is the baby dead? why am i still having contractions then? turns out, she just had the thing about eight inches north of where where the baby was at that point. i think pam even reminded her a couple of times that the resident had just confirmed that baby was at such and such a stage and would be much lower than where she had the monitor positioned. of course when she did finally find it, her heartbeat was strong, barely fluctuating during contractions. and after twenty miserable minutes on my back while they monitored the baby (why they make poor women labor on their back is beyond me!?) i was FINALLY given clearance to get into the promised land tub.

it was about 5:45a at this point (by the way, time seemed not to exist during the whole thing. it felt like it went by in the blink of an eye.) and the second i got into the tub i declared, “i have to push.” to which the nurse said, “YOU CANNOT PUSH IN THE TUB!” pam encouraged me to enjoy my time in the tub but to avoid using the word push unless i was wanting the nurse to revoke my tub privileges again. ironically, once the urge to push started, i just wanted to get back in the bed. making tubby time a whopping 15 minutes at most. (another funny memory along the way was making a pitstop to use the toilet on my way back to the bed and mr. hutch kindly asking me not have the baby in the toilet. ha! luckily she didn’t pop out quite that fast.) 

so i got back into bed and the resident came to check on my progress. it was a little after 6a at this point i’m guessing!? and she adamantly declared that because i was only 9.5 cm dilated at that point, i could not push yet. after hearing this from her i started laughing in my head and thinking this lady has obviously never had a baby. pushing is not optional at this point. in fact, i’m pretty sure i’m just a bystander watching my body do its thing and telling it not to push would be like telling it not to breathe. she made me promise not to push (she must have taken me staring at her like she was a crazy person as a promise) before announcing she would return in 30 minutes to check on my progress and i could push then if i was fully dilated. ok lady. pam leaned over and affirmed what i was already thinking – to trust my body, it knew what it was doing. 

pushing was such a relief. plus it was the beginning of the end! the contractions slowed down during this time to give my body a much needed rest between each one and i could literally feel the baby moving all the way through the birth canal – which was an amazing feeling. oh – another funny sidenote. mr. hutch swears i was grinning ear to ear and looked as happy as could be during each contraction. he wondered to himself if the orgasmic birth video had more of an influence on me than he originally thought. i assured him later that he was mistaking my grimacing for smiling…

so maybe 25 minutes or so after the resident left (it was just mr. hutch, pam and me in the room for awhile) pam encouraged me to see if could feel the baby’s head. sure enough it was RIGHT THERE. she left to go see if the doc wanted to be part of the delivery and for a contraction or two it was just mr. hutch and me in the room. at this point, i was laboring basically on my hands and knees completely covered in blankets because despite sweating profusely, my entire body was trembling and i felt like i was freezing. during a big contraction, mr. hutch recalls peaking under the blanket to make sure the baby hadn’t come out 🙂

the resident reappeared just as the baby was about to crown and if i remember correctly she made a comment about it being ok for me to push now…i remember finding that permission to be a little late. mr. hutch asked me at this point if he could stop holding my hands so he could watch her come out. it was the first time during the entire process that he left my side. did i mention he was amazing and i could not have done it with out him? close to this time, the resident must have touched the baby’s head or something and scared her because i could literally feel her retract back inside the birth canal and i panicked as i turned my head around and yelled, “are you trying to push her back in!!” i couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they would push her back in, didn’t they know i was trying to push her out?! pam reassured me no one was trying to push her back in. i think i was still skeptical/confused. the attending (who we had yet to meet) showed up as adele’s head came out. we had originally wanted mr. hutch to catch the baby but the absentee attending scoffed at this idea despite the doctors at our practice telling us it would be no big deal. in hindsight, i wish i would have just reached down and grabbed her before anyone else could get to her, but i was too lost in labor-land to think to do this. next time.

i remember feeling her finally slip out and having an immediate wave of the most intense and euphoric emotions wash over me.  i immediately said, “what is it!?!” and heard mr. hutch proudly announce, “it’s a girl!!” and thinking, “of course she is! i just knew it!” she was quiet as a mouse and happy as a clam when she arrived. no screaming baby, just as peaceful as could be. and after what felt like forever but was probably less than a minute, they placed her on my chest and i began repeating the phrase, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, i just had a baby, oh my gosh” at least 100 times. i was completely overcome with emotion.

looking back, it was the most surreal, incredible, amazing and empowering experience ever. i remember just being completely amazed by my body and how good and efficient it was at getting her out. after all, it had done an incredible job creating her, of course it wouldn’t leave me hanging on the whole having to get her out thing. 

mr. hutch describes the whole thing as very peaceful and calm. and tho it didn’t always feel that way in my head, i can’t help but wonder if the more i just accepted and trusted the process, embracing it for what is was (even if at times it was really hard) the more my body had permission to do what it was created to do and the better it was able to do it.

i know having a natural childbirth isn’t for everyone, but it was perfect for us. i can honestly say i wouldn’t have had it any other way. i loved the miraculousness of the whole process and will always treasure the experience. in fact, the morning after adele was born, i woke up an announced that i wanted another one. mr. hutch laughed and said why do you think i’ve been trying to get you to have a baby for the last five years!!

of course a big thank you to mr. hutch and pam. i really couldn’t have done it with out them and i’ll never be able to quantify the support and love they showered on me throughout the whole process. and then there is the star of the show. the adorable adele. to whom i personally credit for giving me such a wonderful and amazing birth experience. i’m pretty sure she’s going to continue to grant me some wonderful and amazing expereinces.

well that’s it. here i sit with a ten day old, gorgeous little girl in my arms and i’ll always treasure how she got here.

“oh my gosh, oh my gosh, i just had a baby, oh my gosh!”

so peaceful, happy and alert.

you are very loved adele!


the passenger has arrived!

you probably already figured this out, but our little passenger arrived. mr.hutch and i are over the moon!

adele james hutchinson was born may 21 @ 6:53am weighing in at 7lbs 12.5oz to be exact. and just because it seemed to be unclear to a surprising amount of people despite the name adele, she is a GIRL! (i hate to say i told you so, but i just knew it!!!!) 

so if you’re interested in how she made her arrival, keep reading. if not – skip down to the pics and bask in her adorableness.

i can’t remember if i blogged about how really the perfect time for her to come was the weekend of her due date. after having her go so easy on me during pregnancy it seemed a little much to ask her to arrive at a certain time, but the way it worked out with work/schedules/visitors that general weekend was really optimal. plus i was really worried about the pending fear of having to be induced should she decide to take her sweet time.

so that friday was actually my 28th birthday and we celebrated with a night out on the town, happy hour at linger with friends and great dinner out with just mr. hutch and myself at charcoal. both were fabulous as we sat around and wondered, is this our last time out before the passenger arrives?

i had planned to start off the next morning (my due date) with a nice long hike up in evergreen to encourage the passenger, but when we woke up saturday morning to freezing cold weather and pouring down rain we decided a day on the couch (in our new basement – yipeeee!) was a better plan. so we rented some movies and lazily enjoyed some quiet down time. 

sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful day and a burst of energy. i practically hopped out of bed and announced that today would be operation “get the baby out.” looking back, i wonder if that burst of energy was a sign that miss adele was coming no matter what plans i had, guess we’ll never know! so despite a few hesitations about heading off to go hiking with his 40+ week pregnant wife (i reminded him we were perfectly capable of delivering this baby on our own, even in the woods and he of course examined my motives to make sure i wasn’t trying to have a baby in the woods. no mr. hutch, just trying to get her out…) so we went to one of our favorite little loops affectionately known as the three sisters (adele, are you going to have two sisters??) and started off on our hike. 

it was beautiful and so fun but i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t disappointed that at the end i wasn’t in full blown labor. we contemplated doing the whole thing again but decided to spend the afternoon crossing off some of the other “labor-inducing” methods like stocking up on spicy food, bouncing on the birthing ball, and of course the unmentionables. 

so around 6p after a “busy” afternoon with no arrival of the passenger we decided to head out on a nice long walk around the ‘hood. i declared we would just walk until the passenger arrived but due to some hunger pains we probably only made it about an hour. the good news is, is that during that hour contractions started. 

the problem was, i had no idea they were contractions. i kept saying to mr. hutch, “do you think i’m having contractions?” unfortunately, he wasn’t any better at making the diagnosis than i was. as much as i was excited for the possibility of labor beginning, i was also very nervous that i was going to “get my hopes” up only to be prego for two more weeks. so i basically ignored it. looking back this was definitely the start of early labor.

so we came home and made our spicy chicken avocado enchiladas (yum!) and sat down to dinner about 8p. what i now know were contractions, continued while i continued to ask mr. hutch if he thought i was  having contractions. poor guy didn’t know how to answer that. convinced i was reading into things and again not wanting to get my hopes up i settled in for a marathon of gossip girl on the couch while mr. hutch worked on caulking the bathroom.

about 9p i decided it couldn’t hurt to look at the clock and determine if there was any regularity to possible contractions i may or may not have been having. sure enough, ever 5-7 minutes they came and went. about 10:30p i decided it wouldn’t hurt to pack a hospital bag…just in case. (by the way, why the heck do people make a big deal about packing the hospital bag!?!? i had a hard time figuring out what to pack besides a toothbrush and change of clothes.) 

so another hour or so passes (it’s now about 11:30p) and i’m thinking, maybe we should call pam, our doula. she’ll help determine if i’m in labor or not. (yes, i still didn’t know/was afraid to believe it might actually be happening!) so i made mr. hutch call because if i wasn’t in labor, i didn’t want to be the one to feel bad for waking her up in the middle of the night! 

of course she was happy to hear from us and asked us to time five of the “contractions” (which i needed instructions on how to do since i wasn’t sure what you were supposed to be timing) and then call her back. sure enough the contractions were exactly one minute long and exactly five minutes apart.

so we called pam back to report to her our findings and she said she’d be there in thirty minutes.

i was ecstatic at this point as i realized i was in labor. yippppeeeee! 

to be continued…*

hiking the baby out with oscar

come out, come out!

meet the passenger: adele james


adorable adele

*sorry, i hate the dramatic pause but this is taking too long to write and will need to be written in two parts.

when is the baby coming??

i’m starting to feel sad about losing my bump soon. it’s really grown on me. no pun intended.

so to distract myself i’ve decided to start focusing on the arrival of the passenger. and what better way than some competition. my favorite.

and you are invited to compete. if you want to play, click on the link below. LOWEST score wins btw.

and what do you win do you ask? well i don’t know… a free weekend of getting to babysit the baby?? perhaps we still need to figure that out.

happy guessing! may the passenger’s favorite person win!

ps – the good news for you is i’m not sure i can cheat with this game. tho if there are ways i can, let me know…

it’s may folks

and i hear may is a great month to have a baby. tho i have no idea when the passenger plans to arrive, i’m pretty confident it will be sometime in this great month of may. i do try and explain to the baby that with wrapping up things at work, finishing up house projects, visitors making plans, and dad’s paternity leave, it would really be for the best if he/she decided to to make an appearance sometime the weekend of the “due date” give or take a day or two. i’ll try not to be be too picky tho – the passenger has been such an easy “passenger” so far that i suppose he/she can come whenever they feel like it.

speaking of, i think part of me is going to be sad when the pregnancy part is over. i feel pretty lucky to be able to say, i’ve actually really enjoyed being pregnant. 

here are some of the things i think i’ll miss:

*the self esteem boost! people are just so sweet with the, “you look great! what a great little belly bump! you’re so adorable!” and i’ve come quite good at soaking up the compliments. i think in the future if i’m having a bad hair day or something, i’ll just get pregnant…

**the reaction children have to the fact that i’m pregnant – specifically on how i do not know if it’s a boy or a girl. i work with a lot of kiddos at my job and they are downright hysterical about the whole thing. each week, like clockwork and despite the fact that i’m pretty sure my belly has increased in size since i saw them last, i get the “have you had your baby yet!?” no, no i have not. thanks for asking tho! and then each week they say “is it a boy or a girl?” and i explain, for the upteenth time that i really, honesty, madly, truly, deeply (just like last week!) do not know. which, for the life of them (all of them!) they CANNOT UNDERSTAND. kids are constantly telling me, “they can do xrays that will tell you, you just need to ask the doctor!” or, “does that mean it is both a boy and a girl?” “how come you don’t know!??!” and then my absolute favorite kiddo response was the little girl who when i asked what she thought i was having (boy or girl?) she thought for a second, her eyes got real big and she confidently said, “A PUPPY!”  definitely going to miss my daily dose of  laughter in this form.

***i am going to miss using pregnancy as my get out of jail free card. quite frankly, i don’t think i have taken enough advantage of this and am currently making a mental note (which i will later forget – see below) to do so. tho unfortunately it really doesn’t carry much weight in this house. since i basically ignore all pregnancy “rules” anyways, when i go to make up my own, “i read somewhere it’s really not good for pregnant women to pick up dog poop – something about the germs in the feces…sorry babe!” i get the, “good thing you don’t pay attention to those rules!” sometimes it works tho and i love it.  “can you get me my water and take off my shoes and i think i need another cookie and my computer charger. i’d do it myself but i can’t because i’m pregnant.”

****my fun game every morning of, “what the H. E. double hockey sticks am i going to wear today!?!?” i have really prided myself in buying little to no maternity clothes (remember when i told you how i hated them and thought they were ugly and planned on not buying them??). outside of a two pairs of maternity jeans, some maternity stretch pants and maternity dress, i have creatively managed to make my current wardrobe manage. this of course means things like a button popping off my dress during church on easter sunday and giving those sitting next to me a nice peep-show. but like i said, i see the whole thing as a game and i’m dominating the game sans empire waisted garments.

*****and of course i’ll miss my almost daily intake of an extra thick oreo malt. that’s my official craving this pregnancy i decided. and i have had no shame in giving into said craving. plus – as long people keep telling me how cute i look, i’m going to keep eating inhaling them.

******lastly, i’ll miss having the passenger all to myself. it dawned on me that once the baby is out, i have to share. i’m not sure how i feel about this quite yet. possibly pretty good when he/she is screaming for no reason at three in the morning.

of course there are things i will not miss about pregnancy…

*like the dumb people (roughly 1 out of every 100)that do not say nice things about my belly but say things like, “how many do you have in there!?!?!?” and, “are you sure that’s when you’re due!?!?” yes idiot – that is when i’m due and i am sure. it’s taken all the self-control i have not to exercise my right as a therapist to put them on a 72hr psych hold. because clearly they are psychotoic.* 

**and i’m not going to miss pregnancy brain which i decided was a real thing. it started when i found our deli cheese in the pantry and came to fruition when i realized i was accidentally posting pictures of the baby bump while standing in my underwear on the interwebs. (sorry instagram users! i didn’t know people could follow me until after the damage had been done! i blame the idiocracy entirely on the baby). i also had the thought the other day (when poor mr. hutch was trying to figure out what the heck to do with TONS and TONS of extra dirt we had as a result of redoing our front yard) why don’t we just dig a hole and burry it?? goodbye IQ…

***and i’m not sure i’ll miss the crazy dreams. i cannot believe i am admitting this but last night i had a dream i was breastfeeding oscar…it frightened even me.

****oh and the peeing! the constant sensation of having to pee! i will not miss you. please come back chriptonite bladder that could previously go for impressively long amounts of time before needing to be relieved. please.

so now that i’ve embraced pregnancy (most of it anyways), i’m really going to devote these last couple of weeks to understanding the concept that pregnancy results in a baby. my belly is nice and round, we have a house full of baby stuff, we have written out our birth preferences and met with our doula. i own things like nipple cream and at some point we’ll install the carseat and get around to buying diapers. and yet, i cannot believe that all of this adds up to a teeny, tiny, little human being becoming ours. eek!

stay inside a little longer little passenger – i still haven’t  figured out what the heck you are supposed to do with a baby.

oh and just in case you thought bungalowhutch has turned into a baby blog – we  mr. hutch is STILL slaving away on this house of ours. he must love me A LOT because he’s been working well past dark every night trying to finish this or that. in fact, it’s after ten and he and the tilemaster (who is making an appearance this week) are downstairs tiling the bathroom as we speak. thanks father of my child! and thanks grandfather of my child! (or should i say geezer as you’re hoping to be called).

yipppeee!!! only 1093834 more things to do!

geezer laying the tile while i’m busy being pregnant.

*DO NOT TELL OR IMPLY TO PREGNANT PEOPLE THAT THEY LOOK HUGE! under any circumstance. ever. period.

preparing for the arrival

well now that i’ve finally let it sink in that i’m pregnant (a big, round belly that’s constantly moving has really helped with grasping that concept), it’s time to start working on letting it sink in that pregnancy results in a baby. did you know?! i think this one runs the risk of not actually sinking in until the passenger makes their appearance and possibly until it’s about two years old.

so since i can’t seem to mentally prepare, we’ve been preparing in other ways. like working on the nursery. remember when it looked like this about a month ago?

those were some fun anxiety attacks. luckily i think it’s fair to say we’ve made quite a bit of progress since then.

the whole room got cleaned out, miss maggie (she’s the best!) helped me put a fresh coat of paint on the walls – half of which are a dark, deep navy and the other half a really light, soft grey. then i acquired some furniture off craigslist – a sweet rocking chair and an old dresser that will double as our changing table. i found the decals off of etsy and they WERE A NIGHTMARE to put up on textured walls. mr. hutch and i may or may not have bickered throughout that process while muttering something about the passenger better appreciate those darn decals. then this past weekend, i put on my tool belt and hung the wall of books. 

what’s left? i have plans for some avocado colored curtains (if the online fabric stores ever decides to send me the fabric i ordered weeks ago) along with some fabric roll down shades using one of the fabrics above. and of course lots of plans for some DIY crafty things above the dresser/changing table  and i think we will get a crib at some point.

so basically when i freak out about  what we are going to do with a baby, i focus my attention on decorating the nursery . it’s working out well so far. if i can  hang shelving and deal with the decals i’m sure i can  figure  out things like swaddling and blowouts right?

how else have we been preparing? well by getting showered of course. i absolutely love showers. not for the gifts and the games but for the realization that so many people are already loving on this baby. what a blessing if i do say so myself.

 the denver shower hosted by the sasters and some great friends – complete with an adorable onesie making station. i loved it!

and of course the family shower in chicago. BEE themed with all the special little details like the amazing  beehive cake my mama made.

next – our friend todd was driving through denver and he’s an amazing photographer (check out his work here!) so we shamelessly asked him to take some photos of the bump. tho it was tempting to do a shoot that would earn me a spot on awkward pregnancy photos – we instead opted for the clean, natural (please no cliche) pregnancy photo shoot. here’s a few of my favs. thanks todd!!

finally, i’m helping prepare mr. hutch. not so much for the baby – he’s feeling very confident about that. but more so for the crazy that might come out in his wife from time to time. so i’ll come home ranting and raving about how the heck are we supposed to have a baby if we don’t even have diapers. and then i make lists about all the things we need to do and tell him he’s not allowed to make any plans for the next five weeks because we’ll be busy getting diapers and stuff. poor guy.

just about a month left. i’m sure it will be the most exciting  interesting yet.

early morning workout

what are you supposed to do if your east coast sister wakes you up at 5:30 in the morning and you can’t fall back asleep?

videotape your belly for a solid 15 minutes in the dark obviously.

i know this is probably creepy, weird, and boarderline inappropriate for about 99% of you but for the other 1% i figured i’d post it on my blog. 

tho i was a little grumpy about the early morning wake-up text, the alien the passenger chose to take the opportunity to get in an early morning workout. ‘atta kid. don’t worry, i cut down the footage quite a bit as i’m guessing you won’t find all 15 minutes as fascinating as i do.

happy friday!


plans to birth the passenger

i promised you plans and boy have i got some. included in them are a way to get the passenger to her final destination (yes i still think it’s a girl, no nothing has confirmed this).

in fact, i have a video to show you my ideal birth…..

since everyone always says you need to be flexible with your birth plans i’m willing to say i don’t need to give birth specifically in a car. i would be fine with accidentally giving birth on the street like this mom who dropped her pants and gave birth on the sidewalk.

it sounds so great to accidentally give birth. i think because it makes it seem so natural, like something you were made to do. like you’re going about your day and you realize there is a baby in your pants. oh, hello baby! glad you have arrived. 

since i can’t control the accidental part, i am focusing on the natural part and find myself pretty passionate about it for my own experience. (disclaimer – no offense and i mean this is the sweetest way possible, but i couldn’t care less about what you did or what you do. to each his own. unless of course you had a great natural birth experience and then i want to hear all about it.)

ok so how i have arrived on these passionate plans to birth the passenger:

i haven’t always been ready to be pregnant and i haven’t always been ready to have a baby. what i have always been ready for is giving birth.

i have a weird fascination and great excitement about giving birth and always have. perhaps it stems from a strange, random memory in which my aunt deb (or ampy dampy debbie as i called her at the time) told me i was going to be a good pusher when i grew up. my mom had just finished painting my nails at her house and they were using reverse psychology to get me to sit still while they dried when my aunt made the comment our of the blue. i’m not sure how old i was but i must have been pretty little because i didn’t yet know you “pushed” babies out and worse i was really confused about where you pushed them out of. (don’t worry, i think i know now.) so perhaps that off hand comment 20+ years ago instilled in me a confidence that i carry with me today. thanks aunt deb!

beyond that – i think i’ve also had a fascination with birth because in my experience it seems primarily associated with horror and fear. i just really don’t understand how the human race has continued to survive when birth has such a sitgma. why do women feel like birth needs to be a war story where you talk about how awful it was? is there some kind of competition about who had it the hardest? and quite frankly, how can it be that bad if women have been doing it for thousands of years – i’m pretty sure our population would be extinct if it was as horrible as some make it sound. perhaps we’re taught to fear how horrible it will be and then affirm our thoughts – you know a little self-fulfilling prophecy action going on there? since i actually haven’t given birth, i probably can’t say.

luckily there is a corner of the birth world that makes it seem magical and exciting and wonderful. i like to call this group the hippie dippies. so i’ve chosen to side with them when it comes to my thoughts on birth. quite frankly, they make giving birth seem empowering, exciting and at times orgasmic.*  i want to talk to them and hear their stories and believe birth is what they say. and so i do.

and tho i’m not a natural hippie dippie person by nature, i think some of  my personality is more than i realized. i love a challenge, i love seeing what i am capable of mentally and physically. i love setting goals and working to attain those. i love people saying you can’t, and seeing if i can. i am also a big believer in the power of the mind and how so much of what we are capable of comes down to our mental ability, not our physical ability.

in this regard, i view giving birth like climbing mt. kilimanjaro (which i did one summer in college with my dad). it was a long grueling process but i went into it determined one way or another to make it to the top. i was absolutely confident that i was not leaving tanzania without stepping foot on uhuru peak, despite the fact that many people don’t. an interesting aspect to our climb was that after your fourth full day of hiking they have you do your final summit that night on no sleep in the pitch dark. it seems a little counterintuitive to bundle up at midnight and take off for 8-9hrs of hiking in the pitch black up steep switchbacks to reach 19,341 feet. they would say you summit at night for reasons like the footing being better in the bitter cold at night or that it’s so you can be at the top for the sunrise. but really it’s for the mental reasons. when you are hiking in the dark, you can’t see how much further you have to go and you don’t get defeated by how daunting the task is. you just keep putting one foot in front of the other…

reaching the top was by far the hardest thing i have ever done physically and mentally and in the same breath it is one of the most rewarding and empowering things i have ever done. sure, i could have taken a helicopter to the top (in theory) or  looked at pictures of what the top looks like just like a runner could drive to the finish line of a marathon. but i believe there is something innate within us to see what we are made of, to never stop pushing our limits. to do things that require great effort because we know they will bring great reward. 

at least those things are innate to me. so back to giving birth and seeing it like climbin mt. kilimanjaro – do you see the connection or am i crazy? i didn’t climb the mountain to prove to others how tough i was or to make a statement (common feedback from people when you tell you want to give birth naturally). i climbed it for myself, for my own desires to push my limits and strengthen my trust in what i’m capable of.

so with images of climbing kilimanjaro in my head and knowing the accidental thing probably won’t work out here’s what i do want:

have a natural, intervention-free, or as my doctor likes to continually correct me, “an unmedicated child birth.” (she says natural implies giving birth in a rice patty field which i actually think sounds great and goes with plan A, i just unfortunately don’t know what a rice patty field is or where to find one).

i want to labor at home as LONG as possible. i would literally only like to show up to the hospital to actually push the baby out and if it accidentally comes before then (say at home or in the car) i’m fine with that. what!? i am. don’t worry – mr. hutch won’t let that happen. even if it means him tossing my contracting booty into a car and taking me against my will.

what else? oh – we have a doula which i’m super excited about. she will support us through our birth and help with natural pain relieving techniques, and helping us know when it’s time to go the hospital since i could see mr. hutch and i getting into an agrument about it. (mr. hutch, “i can see the baby’s head! me: “i don’t think it’s time yet, five more minutes…”)

and then the only other thing i really want is for mr.hutch or i to catch the baby. i think i would like our baby to have his or her mama/papa be the first to welcome them into the world and not the doctor we met a couple of hours before (since chances are almost 100% the first time we meet the actual doc on call will be that day). plus one of those kardashian girls caught her own baby…

so that’s the gist of my birth plan. i have nothing against doctors/medical interventions/modern medicine. lord knows i’ll be so thankful to be in a hospital with great care if something does go wrong. but rather than assuming i will need those things, i want to trust that birth is a natural thing, something my body was made to do on its own with out intervention. and so i am approach it excited to see my body and my baby do its thing and trusting that it will be a wonderful, empowering experience.

see, i told you – just call me a hippie dippie.

my dad and i at the top of kili in 2003. and no i was not 250lbs back then. you just need a lot of layers at that altitude.

*sorry – had to throw that in there for a few select friends. you know who you are.