On the Day You Were Born

What do rational people do when they know labor is imminent?

I woke up around 4:00 AM on August 31, 2008, and I just knew I was going to have a baby that day. Contractions indicated labor was imminent, but not quite immediate. So what does a rational person do in that moment? Of course, go to Panera to enjoy a cup of coffee and a light meal.

So there Joel and I sat, in the far-corner booth, enjoying one last meal as a family of two. Every now and then the contractions intensified, resulting in some grimacing and shifting in my seat … along with a few stares and raised eyebrows from fellow Panera patrons. The whole experience was thrilling, really. We were excited yet anxious, prepared yet clueless.

It always takes a few cups of coffee to get my wits about me. After sipping on the requisite amount that morning, reality set in. My water hadn’t broke and it might be more prudent to wait things out at home. So we headed back home and packed our bags for the hospital. Sure enough, just a few hours later, the contractions progressed and labor was now immediate. It all went rather smoothly and a little after 2:00 in the morning, I labored our first-born into this world. It was September 1, 2009 — Labor Day. I didn’t make my prediction for having an August 31st-baby, but I’m okay with how the story ended. It’s a little sweeter to say I labored on Labor Day.

Now every time I step inside Panera, I remember that day 4+ years ago when Joel and I sat there and chatted — filled with so much hope and anticipation. Our marriage and family has changed for good because of our daughter and now our son. I look forward to the day when I might take Lucy to Panera, fill out college applications, and tell her about the morning some 17 years ago when her father and I sat in the corner, drank coffee, and enjoyed one last meal together before welcoming her into the world.

And the moral of the story? Enjoy a date at Panera before giving labor, of course!

What “on the day you were born” stories do you share? Tell me about them in the comments.

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  1. says

    I just told Alex about his birth story at First Reconciliation “centers” the other night. The picture is what makes me teary-eyed here! Such a beautiful, beautiful photo.

    • says

      Thanks, Kathleen. Lucy & I had a heck of a time getting along yesterday. But when I pulled that photo out, I got all teary-eyed, too. Nothing like that child’s newborn photo to snap you out of mood, huh?!

  2. Sue Smith says

    Thinking of the day my firstborn arrived…my parents had driven 4 hours to be in town with us because I was 10 days overdue and certain they would induce me. I was sent to the hospital after a check at the office for induction to begin. My parents, on their way to the hospital from across town, had a horrific car accident. Dad was brought to the same hospital I was in via ambulance, Mom was well enough to ride along in his ambulance but got checked over at ER, too. The hospital chaplain came up to my room, spoke with my husband outside, and then it was decided they must inform me. The nurses allowed me to be wheeled down to ER so I could see them. Mom paced the floor between CCU and Maternity ward all night awaiting our baby, and praying that Dad would live through the night. Baby and I were released in 2 days time. Dad had to stay in hospital for a week!

  3. says

    This is so sweet, Lisa. I don’t have as sweet of a story with our first born. I was fed up with being pregnant and I all out said, “I am having this baby today!!” We left for the hospital early in the morning and he came around 3:00 that afternoon.

    My daughter on the other hand, came quick and took us by complete surprise. I was actually getting a pedicure, thinking I’d be induced in the morning, and enjoying a few precious hours to myself. The whole time I was getting the pedicure, I was having the most painful and intense contractions. She was born about 8 hours later! My sister told my OB in carpool that day (their kids go to the same school) that I thought I was in labor. My OB said, “If she’s getting a pedicure right now, there is no way she’s in labor!” Ha! I was totally in labor!


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