I didn’t want to hold my baby


This post is part of an editorial series, Birth Stories, is brought to you by UnityPoint Health and Des Moines Mom. All 5 original articles from the Birth Stories series can be found here.newborn cryingA blissful picture of a mom holding her baby close right after giving birth – that’s what everyone has in their head when they’re pregnant, right? 

That isn’t the case for so many moms and families. Before I share my somewhat cheeky birth story, please know I don’t take any of my routine story for granted.

A Positive Test and 150+ Miles

We had a house full of people the morning of RAGBRAI 2011 and were planning to ride three days. It had been a year of trying to get pregnant but I took a test that morning anyway. A bloody Mary was waiting for me at our first stop and I wanted to be on the safe side.


My husband and I did a quiet happy dance in the cellar-like basement bathroom of our first house. We proceeded to ride three days with family and friends, carefully hiding our news.

A Routine Pregnancy

Like I said, things were pretty routine. I fell on the ice – the baby was fine. Doctors chided me at nearly every appointment for my weight gain. Guess what? Those tears were a complete waste of energy because the same thing happened with my second kid. I was active. Pregnancy just liked to make me ginormous.

The (non) Gender Reveal

I was pregnant when Instagram was about a year old. Gender reveals weren’t really a thing. Being overly practical, I didn’t want to know the baby’s gender because I didn’t want a bunch of tiny clothes the kid would grow out of in a week. It’s tough to buy clothes when you don’t know the baby’s gender.

My (non) Birth Plan

There’s a theme here. I didn’t really have a birth plan. I just wanted to hold off on drugs as long as I could for zero logical reasons. I was a few days overdue when labor started the morning of April 6, 2012.

It just kept going.

Walking, a bath, changing positions – none of it worked and I was tired. Later that night, I got an epidural and fell asleep. My husband did, too.

Side note: If you’ve been keeping your family in the loop and suddenly go radio silent, they won’t sleep. In fact, they will drive to your city of residence to hang out in the parking lot just in case. I am still sorry about that!

I woke up, pushed for a few hours and our baby finally arrived at 4:11 a.m. Turns out, the baby was a boy. I was convinced I was having a girl! Crying, gooey and attempting to cut the umbilical cord, they wrapped him up and tried to give me the little freak show. I was like, “A: No. And, B: That’s not my baby because I am having girl.” 

Seriously, I wanted nothing to do with the kid. Somebody take him, clean him up, and make him stop crying while I figure out how many of my organs ended up on the floor of the delivery room because it sure felt like all of them!

Eventually, I held him and it was fine. I’ll be honest, it took a few days to like him. Of course I loved him – but this was a new relationship and we were both feeling our way through it.

Luckily, he was an awesome baby who was happy most of the time and slept through the night pretty early.

Round 2

Just when I got used to that kid, his brother came along. Because of a slow amniotic fluid leak, I had to go in and give birth. There was some crying on my part. No way could I do this whole birth thing again.

Can I mark “epidural” on my check-in form?

A quick and easy delivery, our little chubbers was born in time to order Casey’s taco pizza for supper and watch a Cyclone basketball game. I held the kid right away, it was awesome. I mean, he was a horrible sleeper for a solid year but a better birth!

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The Moral of the Birth Story

It’s okay if you don’t want to hold your kid. It’s okay if plans don’t go how you had them drawn up in your head. Every birth is different. Nothing about your birth impacts your ability to parent your kid.


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