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Veronica Chatterton Boose, Birth Story

P1020222 I have a daughter.

Veronica Chatterton Boose.

Greg and I left the hospital with her yesterday around noon and drove home along Clark, right through Wrigleyville where the streets teemed with people out to see a Cubs game. The world felt like a new place. I had to remind myself of who I am. I'm Claire. I'm 31 years old. I live in Chicago. It was as though I'd forgotten, or that those things ceased to matter, at least for a while. All that mattered was our little daughter asleep in her car seat in the back seat for the first time.

She was born on June 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm weighing in at 8 lbs and 4 oz. She was robust and healthy with a full head of dark hair. I truly went into labor around 11pm on June 9th, after a day of on and off contractions and feelings of frustration on my part. But at 11pm that night the contractions kicked in regularly, growing strong enough to keep me from sleeping and causing us to call our doula around 3am.

Holly (who was absolutely amazing and without whom we never would have had such a good experience) arrived around 4am, helping us to work through my contractions until they suddenly tapered off around 6am. She went home for a while and I actually slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up Greg and I took a walk and ate some lunch and we both felt a bit dismayed that the labor had stalled.

I took another nap in the early afternoon and when I awoke the contractions had come back strongly. I took a bath for a bit to ease some of the discomfort and Greg called Holly to come back over. She arrived around 4pm and the contractions were coming hard and strong then. We decided to wait a bit before leaving for the hospital because it was traffic time.

At 6pm we let the midwives know that we were going to head to the hospital and Greg took our bags downP1020217 to the car. My contractions were coming every three or four minutes at that point and were strong enough that I was moaning through most of them. I was worried though that the car ride might stall my labor again and I also wasn't looking forward to experiencing contractions in the car since they were already requiring so much concentration to work through.

Rather than stall my labor, the car ride seemed to bring it on even stronger. All three of us went to the hospital together, Greg driving and Holly and I in the backseat. I kept my eyes closed the whole time and had to grip the handle above the window as the contractions increased to every two minutes. We finally arrived and, while Greg parked the car, Holly and I went in through emergency. I was immediately put in a wheel chair and taken to triage to be checked out.

The midwife examined me and said that I was already 8 centimeters dilated and that they were preparing a room in the alternative birthing center for me, which is where I'd hoped to give birth all along. The room was lovely with dim lights and a big queen-sized bed. I labored for the next five hours on the bed with both Holly and Greg at my side.

It's hard to describe those hours. I was in a place, psychologically, emotionally and physically, that I've never been in. The contractions came in waves and I worked through them, moaning, breathing, screaming and sometimes sobbing. But after each one ended I was in a place of calm again. I never thought about asking for an epidural or wishing I was doing things a different way, but there were times when I questioned whether I was physically capable of getting through the whole experience.

Holly was amazing, so soothing and encouraging, reminding me over and over that I could do this. And Greg was incredible as well, staying at my side relentlessly, massaging my back and letting me squeeze his hand practically to the point of breaking.

My favorite midwife ended up being on call during my last two really hard hours and it was so amazing to have her there for the delivery. The last two hours were, by far, the hardest and most intense. The pushing stage was incredibly painful and difficult. I labored in several different positions, finally finding one that worked for the final 45 minutes in which I worked to birth our baby.

P1020186 When she finally came out, Greg was the one to look and proclaim, "It's a girl!" and she cried out at the same time as they placed her on my chest. "It's a girl?!" I could hardly believe it. I can still hardly believe it. When Greg went next door to the waiting room a few minutes later he told his parents and they said, "We know. We heard everything," both of them having listened to me labor for all those hours. 

I've only been away from her once for about ten minutes since then and I've fallen in love with her a thousand times over. I'm completely enchanted with her fingers and her toes and her little snorts and her soft, soft head. My daughter.

There's so much more to write but I have days and days to do that. Thank you so very much to everyone for all of your incredibly thoughtful comments andP1020257 notes and wishes. Greg and I are so thrilled to have brought Veronica into the world.

17 Comments

  1. Such a wonderful story. Huge happy tears falling for you here in Cupertino, Claire.

    Comment by Carroll on June 13, 2009 at 11:20 am

  2. You had a queen size bed?! Fantastic.

    Comment by Daniel on June 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  3. Well, I am sitting here at a window looking out into the lush greenery of Eugene, Oregon. I was hoping and wishing for “the story” today before we got on the road once again towards Seattle. I am crying. I keep just breathing in deeply and thinking “Claire & Greg have a daughter.” Last night, I said to Daniel, “Tonight is Veronica’s first night at home.” This morning….”This morning is Claire & Greg’s first morning at home with Veronica.” I am just so happy for you two. Two loving, creative, and fabulous parents who will enrich the planet with the intrinsic beauty of the daughter they raise. I am thrilled….and now…getting in the car to drive.

    Comment by Zora on June 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm

  4. What a beautiful birth story. Tears of joy came to my eyes as I read your words, your story, you Claire making your own way, your own life as you always have. It seems you have come full circle from daughter to wife and mother of a daughter yourself. There will be so many moments of joy and beauty as you and Greg raise your Veronica, enjoy them all. As an outsider peeking at small glimpses of the world you have created, I can’t wait to hear more of your story!

    Comment by Wendy on June 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

  5. u three look awsome ! wish u good time ahead

    Comment by sam,UAE on June 13, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  6. I am amazed and glad to see Veronica’s birth story!! How do you remember all those moments and write them down, Claire! I am imagining the future moment that Veronica is reading this page with great love and awe to you and Greg. Good for her!! Enjoy fully every second with Veronica!!! Again, congratulations!!

    Comment by Sarah Chang on June 13, 2009 at 2:13 pm

  7. I’m a regular blog reader who has enjoyed your writing and life’s stories. It’s been a joy to follow your pregnancy and then to read the announcement, etc. is just amazing. We don’t know each other but I sure feel like I’m part of the extended family! Congrats to you and Greg. Veronica is a real beauty! Love those feet! :)

    Comment by Missy on June 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm

  8. What a cute little bundle – this little being will bring much joy and happiness to your lives. Enjoy.

    Comment by Maryanne on June 13, 2009 at 10:24 pm

  9. Congrats again, Claire (and Greg!). I was thrilled to read your birth story — it sounds like you did such an excellent job. Welcome to the club of women who give birth naturally! I’m glad all went well for you and everyone is doing good. Thanks for sharing your story with the world and congrats again. And no, you can’t damage the little one with too many photos!!! There’s no such thing as too many photos of your baby/ies. Peace & Love, Kathy (Zora’s sis-in-law)

    Comment by Kathy on June 14, 2009 at 8:51 am

  10. Forgot to say that she is a beauty, too!

    Comment by Kathy on June 14, 2009 at 8:52 am

  11. she’s a beaut!

    Comment by RPC on June 14, 2009 at 11:50 am

  12. I’m sitting here in tears as I read this. So happy for you all! Looking forward to meeting Veronica.

    Comment by Evelyn on June 14, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  13. Congratulations Claire and Greg. Veronica is beautiful.

    Comment by Claire Bajada on June 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm

  14. Congratulations you guys! I LOVE the name Veronica and hope to meet the little lady some day. I was traveling without Internet this past week and it was literally killing me to be “away” from the action. So I am now relieved that she has arrived and the birth was a positive experience.
    -Kristine

    Comment by Kristine Hansen on June 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm

  15. What a great birth story! Thank you for sharing it.
    Veronica is absolutely beautiful. I definitely look forward to seeing more of her, and hearing more of your account of motherhood.
    She is just so gorgeous. I could look at these photos all day.

    Comment by Sophie on June 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm

  16. Oh God! I’m at work…and in tears…my colleagues are wondering what’s going on. I’m so happy for all of you!! Congratulations and looking forward to reading more of your daughter veronica :) that’s a beautiful name btw.

    Comment by Among on June 17, 2009 at 7:56 am

  17. and yes, she is absolutely beautiful! :)

    Comment by Among on June 17, 2009 at 7:57 am

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