Do’s and Don’ts of a birth story

May 28, 2007

#The Flinger Family#Baby O

There are things I’ve been mulling over for some time now about how we ended up having a baby three weeks early. About how I would cuss and moan about being pregnant right up until the moment they said I couldn’t be pregnant anymore. About the decision to call the doctor and confess I was having contractions for the past 24 hours, they weren’t going away, and they were getting stronger. I’ve been replaying the entire scenario at dinner where I joked with the waitress that I’d try not to have a baby there then reassured her we still had weeks to go even as I squeezed my belly from pain and gripped the table breathing over contractions. I can’t get my doctor’s face out of my mind when he said, “No, it’s tonight. We’re taking him out tonight.” I’ve had to sit and chat with him about that decision no less than three times to hear the words “You didn’t do anything wrong, it’s not your fault, it’s just that sometimes babies come early.”

Guilt is a hard thing to get over. Even if it’s not really your fault.

So, instead, I’d rather reflect on a few pieces of the story instead of the details that have weighed me down for over a week. Instead, I’d like to remind myself that some of these things I do want to remember, and some I do not. And I hope simply by writing it down, I’ll let those “don’ts” go, and keep the “do’s” fresh and safe in my mind to tell Baby O one day.

I do not need to remember that first poo after surgery. Not the details of it, anyway. But I do want to remember coming back to the NICU where Mr. Flinger is holding Baby O and saying, “Worst. Experience. Ever.” His reply, “You can barely walk from major surgery but poop is the worst experience ever? Really?”

I do not need to remember getting up every three hours to pump while my son lies 20 miles away. I don’t want to remember how I barely got 10cc of milk each night he was away from me. I don’t want to remember how frustrating it was to hear the mom in the pod next to use come in with bottles full.

I don’t want to remember how the anesthesiologist couldn’t get the spinal block in and had to try four times and how much it hurt and how I started to have a mild panic attack from the impending surgery. I don’t want to remember how my son was pulled out and didn’t cry right away. How he turned blue as Mr. Flinger held him and couldn’t breathe or how they told me I couldn’t see him for a few hours.

I want to remember how amazing the man I married is. I want to remember him walking in with flowers and a card to “O’s Mommy”  which simply said, “Let’s raise another kid together, ok?” I want to remember how he gives me the freedom to be a bit hormonal and freaky with a squeeze of his hand and lets me cry before kissing me and telling me I’m beautiful. I want to remember my doctor and his amazing patience and confidence and how he called the NICU to check on baby O every day.

I want to remember that my daughter’s voice sounds like honey to me when I get home. I want to remember walking from her room after putting her to bed and checking on Baby O sleeping in the cradle and thinking how much I love having two children.

I want to remember the support from The Internet. I want to remember how everyone who commented on his birth and followed his journey home gave me a little more confidence and great things to remember when I got stressed. I want to remember how they made me cry in a warm way.

But most of all, I want to remember that in the end, it’s all ok. Plans change. Babies come early. Babies surprise you with their tiny weight. But in the end, it’s all ok.

I just might need you to help me remember these things when I get a little sleepy later. Because let’s be honest; I’m going to get sleepy. I hope I don’t forget.


  1. We’ll remind you! wink

    By mdvelazquez on 2007 05 29

  2. All choked up here… look at you! So eloquent even when you’re sleep-deprived!

    By Marie on 2007 05 29

  3. ps—And that post-surgery poop? OHMYGOSH. My husband and I still laugh about it, and it’s been over 3 years.  It appeared 5 days post-partum. Painful. And substantial wasn’t even the word for it.  OUCH!

    By Marie on 2007 05 29

  4. Welcome to the preemie club. Both of my boys were early (Calix by 8 weeks..Maddox by 4) I know all of those things and more. They wouldn’t even let me TRY to breastfeed Calix till I got home with him because he was soooo little (and I also wasn’t allowed to SEE him for the first 2 days)..and yes, I also had the lady next to me who would bring in bottles upon bottles of milk..and I would stay up all night pumping only to bring in about 15CCs..and that was on a good day. But then there was also the woman behind me who was not going to nurse at all and only did the formula thing..and that made me feel like hey, it’s okay. You’re not a failure. This baby will never go hungry because there are OPTIONS!

    Those were the worst 2 1/2 weeks of my life..but then he came home..and he grew and grew..and got stronger and stronger..and now I can’t keep him out of anything. But, they DO grow..they DO get stronger. But in the meantime..you have me..and everyone else who support you through this (and everything it took to get you to this point) and all of the upcoming everythings.

    We love you!

    By Abby on 2007 05 29

  5. Truthfully, I don’t even know what to say.  Thank you for sharing your journey home and your thoughts and feelings.  I don’t know what my birth experience will be like, but I know I will draw strength from your courage and grace.

    By LauraLou on 2007 05 29

  6. I dont know how everyone elses brain works but mine forgets just about everything and that is why I love blogging. Having it written down will help you remember. With my first one I wrote down so little but I remember mostly the good things, probably because thats what I prefer to talk about. You have so many good things and two beautiful children to remind you of that.

    By Stephanie on 2007 05 29

  7. Aww ::sniffles::  Quit making me cry!  There’s no crying at 7am!

    You’ll remember it all, and it’s all good after some time goes by!  You’ll continue to look in awe at your babies at how amazing they are, how they’ve come so far in such a short time.  There’s nothing more humbling than looking at your kids and feeling blessed. 


    By Leanne on 2007 05 29

  8. Good reading.

    By Swistle on 2007 05 29

  9. So glad he’s healthy and home now.  Hope your little family is adjusting well!

    By Emily on 2007 05 29

  10. Hugs, Leslie!  Thinking of you, Baby O., your hot dh, and LB.

    By Karyn on 2007 05 29

  11. At 6 weeks postpartum, I realized that I dreaded the post-partum exam and experienced more anxiety over that than I did giving birth. And my birthing experiences weren’t pretty or easy, either! Go figure.

    Congrats again on your family of four!

    By MGM on 2007 05 29

  12. As far as the physical pain I kept saying, two weeks and I will feel better, two weeks!

    As far as the mental/emotional, I am still coping.  One this is amazing, all you have to do is look at those two beautiful babies you have and then the poops, stool softeners, post delivery pads, scars, etc. disappears.

    Hope you get a chance to rest and stew in all the love you got coming at you!!

    By Skyzi on 2007 05 29

  13. Oh yes, it’s so MUCH… so MUCH to comprehend and understand and take in and all at a time when your hormones are SCREAMING at you! 

    I’m so glad the littlest Flinger is finally home and you are getting adjusted.  Hang in there for the rollercoaster ride that is sure to come.  At least this time you’re not a newbie!

    Been there, done that sounds trite… but this is the same experience I had when I had B.  A lot of chaos and a little disappointment because it didn’t go “as planned”... but sometimes the best things in life just happen and you are forever changed!


    By Katie Kat on 2007 05 29

  14. Congratulations on having your little guy home with you. I’m not there yet, but I have all the confidence that everything I’ve been told is true—we only remember the important stuff in the long run.

    He probably just couldn’t stand waiting any longer to join what he could tell was an amazing family!

    By Nsmay on 2007 05 29

  15. I am SOOOO happy for you guys! 

    And ya know what?  B. seems like QUITE the keeper! wink

    You both rock!

    Enjoy your two little kiddos.



    By Christine on 2007 05 29

  16. Tearing up again - I’m so happy for you & your family, and Congrats to Baby O for doing such a great job of getting home so quickly!

    Birth stories are so hard to get down “on paper” the first time, but so nice to go back to over and over again later.  It’s funny how your memory of the birth changes over time: which parts you choose to remember, which parts fade into the background.

    Write it now - edit later!  Get as much sleep as you can!  wink

    By Karen on 2007 05 29

  17. Nothing to say really…just want you to know I’m reading, and smiling, and nodding in understanding…and sending your family lots of internet love.

    By sleeping mommy on 2007 05 29

  18. So glad he is home.  You have made it this far—know that you will continue making it.  I love the pictures.  You make a beautiful family.

    By nicole on 2007 05 29

  19. thanks for sharing your journey with us, the Internets!

    how wonderful for you to remember the good and look past the not-so-planned. goodgoodgood.

    By Liz on 2007 05 29

  20. Awww MAN! Totally sitting here crying…  stupid post partum hormones!! wink

    Off to smell my baby’s head and cry some more. Sheesh.

    By Erin on 2007 05 29