My Heart…On the Outside

When I decided to have a baby I had no idea what kind of challenges, life altering commitments and rewards I would be in for.

I remember going from one day to the next not having any feelings of wanting a baby to wanting nothing more than to have one.

Because the Wild Boar was an OB/GYN, the whole “getting pregnant” process was very scientific, planned and carefully carried out.  How romantic right?  That’s how we roll.  We have a goal, we execute a plan, we make it happen.

I went off the birth control pill, which I had been taking for seven years. 

I waited two weeks, which would have been the approximate time for ovulation to occur.

I met the Wild Boar at his office so he could perform a follicle study on my ovaries with the ultrasound machine.  This would check to see if I was ovulating.  Normally this is not done unless you are having infertility problems, but heck if your husband has an ultrasound machine, you’re going to make use of it. 

And how many kids have an ultrasound picture of themselves as an unfertilized egg in their baby book?  Mine does.

It just so happened I WAS ovulating and the next 24 hours were the optimum time to get pregnant.

We did what we needed to do.

It’s funny because I knew I felt differently about a week later but the Wild Boar said it was my imagination. 

At about 10 or 12 days after ovulation (sooner than a pregnancy urine test would have shown positive) the Wild Boar drew my blood at home (he’s kind of handy that way) before he went to the hospital to make rounds.  He dropped my blood off at the hospital lab for a pregnancy test.

A positive blood result is measured as anything greater than 5 Beta HCG IU. As pregnancy progresses Beta HCG IU can be as high as into the tens of thousands.

My result came back 12 Beta HCG IU.  Geez, I was probably hours pregnant.  If he would have drawn the blood any sooner the test would have probably been negative.

“I knew it!”  I told him.  He was honestly surprised.  I think he assumed after being on the pill for so long it would take my body a while to adjust and therefore get pregnant.

I was very proud of myself.  (As if I had any control over it.)

It was fun being pregnant for the first time.  Everything is done for you, you sleep when you want, and you obsess about the baby’s new room.  I remember being nine months pregnant and up on a ladder, while having contractions, stenciling stars on the nursery walls as if it were some type of an emergency to get it done.  If I didn’t finish, I thought the baby would know his room wasn’t absolutely perfect.

I was induced into labor two weeks early.  I wasn’t even dilated a centimeter.  I went into the hospital and my doctor (the Wild Boar’s partner) broke my water and left to go see his patient’s in the office.

The Wild Boar brought a stack of newspapers, assuming labor was going to take all day, typical for a first baby.  But first he took off down the hallways to make rounds on all of his own patient’s.  I did not feel this was fair, it was my day, but I was stuck in a hospital bed where my water had just been broken. I really couldn’t do anything about it.

The nurse was with me and I told her I was having excruciating pains.  This was all happening only a very short amount of time after my water was broken. I hadn’t even been given Pitocin yet (medicine given to help start labor when you are induced).  

I know the nurse didn’t believe I was in so much pain and chalked it up to the doctor’s wife acting like a princess.  I’m sure she went back to the nurses station to talk about me with her nurse buddies.

I was literally gripping the side of the bed thinking I was going to die.  I went from having not as much as a twinge to my eyes rolling into my head.  I begged (probably screamed) for her to find the Wild Boar.  She said he was on the phone in the hallway and she didn’t want to interrupt him. 

I told her to get her head out of her butt and get him!  I was in so much pain I thought I was going to vomit.  The contractions were coming so fast and so strong.

I know in her mind she was thinking, a half hour ago when I checked her, she hadn’t even dilated a centimeter.  She finally agreed to check me (before she would get the Wild Boar) and confirmed I was dilated to EIGHT

She was shocked, “Oh my gosh you’re in transition, just from breaking your water!”  I could tell she felt ridiculous and finally went to get the Wild Boar.  How nice of her! 

I begged for the anesthesiologist, I was lucky enough to get an epidural before it was too late. I wanted the actual birth to be a peaceful experience, without any crazy mouthing off from me.  In the end I couldn’t feel a thing and it was perfect. Epidurals are awesome that way.

But it all turned out great. After a couple pushes, the oldest hooligan was born.

Anyone who has given birth knows how amazing it is to feel the baby exit your body and be placed in your arms.  It’s when you start believing in miracles. 

I remember immediately counting fingers and toes and inspecting him to see who he resembled.  I could have cared less how dirty and slimy he was and just so grateful he was healthy.

Then life as I never knew it began.

When we brought home this little guy, I really had no idea what to expect or how the exhaustion factor would begin to take a toll.

I remember coming home from the hospital, the baby strapped in his car seat and the Wild Boar placing the seat on the coffee table. He proceeded to put together strollers, cribs, playlands and bouncer thingys, all that crazy stuff you think you can’t live without.

I sat there and stared.  I distinctly remember thinking, “Now what?”

The magnitude of the sudden responsibility sat on my shoulders like a ton of bricks.  It hit me I could no longer leave the house without this little person coming along for the ride.

Of course it’s not like you don’t know this before they are born but when you get them home it’s just so real, the responsibility that is. 

But after the fog lifts you realize how cool they really are.

And before you know it another one comes along.  This picture was taken Mother’s Day of 2002.  The littlest hooligan is four months old and just finished his three months of bloody murder, screaming colic, which I never thought I would live through. 

I actually look as if I finally had a good night’s sleep.  However, it’s Mother’s Day so maybe the Wild Boar let me sleep in that morning.

They grow up so fast and when you look back you wonder where the time has gone.  The saying, “the days are long and the years are short” never held so much meaning.

Before you realize it they are not only your sons but good brothers to each other.

And whether we are hanging out in Portland…

Or spending time in Puget Sound…

Or kicking back at home…

Spending time together always seems to be what’s best for everyone.

I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing than being a Mom to these little hooligans.

They are…

My heart on the outside.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the great Mom’s out there!


Post a Comment


  1. What a beautiful post, Cathy!! Happy Mother’s Day! :)

  2. Amazing. Story, pictures, life. You are blessed my dear and your children are too. You can see the love, the laughter and the sheer joy in ALL of your eyes. Way to go, MOM! :) Happy Mother’s day, dear!!

  3. Have a wonderful day! Love the ” babybutt” shot…those always get me;)

  4. Indigo 4

    Awww, happy mothers’ day!

  5. A lovely post and wonderful photos. Happy Mother’s Day!

  6. Rachel 6

    Happy Mother’s Day my friend! You are a wonderful, fun, loving and inspiring mommy. Hat’s off to you!

  7. This post brought tears to my eyes. As a mother of 4, I can certainly agree with you. You do where your heart on your sleeve. You have very beautiful children and I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day as well.

  8. Bee-U-Tee-Ful family! Your boys are so darn handsome and you are one gorgeous mommy!
    Awesome post… awesome mommyness…
    Have a great day!

  9. That was absolutely beautiful. I love your story about just knowing you were pregnant days later… I also loved your birth story. You are one lucky momma! Happy Mothers Day!

  10. annbb 10

    Just lovely, Cathy. And your boys are darling.

    May it be Mother’s Day for you every day of the year!

  11. Love me some hooligan pics! Great Post!
    Happy mother’s day!

  12. Deborah 12

    Happy mother’s day to you!!!

  13. So sweet! This so made me teary. Those boys are incredibly handsome!

    Happy Mother’s Day!!

  14. Alisa 14

    What a wonderful tribute to your gorgeous boys! Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you’re getting totally spoiled.

  15. sharon 15

    You have a beautiful family! Happy Mother’s Day!! I’m not a mother yet, but my husband and I have already joked about having that “Now What?” moment :)

  16. Very sweet! I love stories about people’s experience with child birth. Yours sounds pretty extraordinary. The picture of your older son hugging your youngers son is so cute. Happy Mother’s Day!

  17. Lex the mom 17

    It’s quite a journey. I’m hoping some of these years will slow down.

    Yours is a truly beautiful story and much happiness is visible in the eyes of all of you. Happy Mother’s Day to you, too!

  18. marye 18

    Wow. I thought I was organized. :) I had mine at home. I don;t get along well with Drs. :D

  19. Nice pics of the you and your children. I’m not a mother, yet, but seems like such a special thing. Happy Mother’s Day!

  20. Roger Roger 20

    Great story, and I noticed the change in your header for today…cool.

  21. grace 21

    awwww, i’m all tingly!

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again–i appreciate your brutal honesty! you should write your memoirs, i would totally pay money for that. :)

  22. Deb 22

    Happy Mother’s Day Cathy! Thank you for sharing with us your great guys!

  23. pam 23

    Beautiful post!

  24. Beautiful- and your boys are quite handsome!
    You are very lucky- Hope you are having an incredible day-
    The Mustang Winemaker

  25. HoneyB 25

    Happy Mother’s Day! You have a beautiful family!

  26. That was a very sweet post. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day Cathy!

  27. Tipper 27

    Such a sweet post! I remember those days when I was pregnant thinking “oh I’ll do this and my children won’t do this” I was so stupid! My girls have done it all and what they missed I did! After having children you realize what life is really like-and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

    Happy Mothers Day!!

  28. Jessica 28

    Your kids are so cute! Happy mothers day!

  29. renae 29

    That’s really a sweet post. Thanks! :) Happy Mother’s Day.

  30. giz 30

    Really special. And you’re right – they grow up way too quickly – yesterday they were 2 and 3 and today they’re almost 30. Life is but a blink.

  31. Flea 31

    That was the BEST. I love that you call them your heart on the outside!

  32. WTG 32

    Great stuff Cathy. Your little men are really cute – GOOD WORK!!!

    Happy Mothers Day!

  33. Meg 33

    Beautiful post, beautiful family and beautiful mom!

  34. This sounds eerily like my own birth experience with my first, except that it WAS too late for the epidural. I was in waaaay too much pain for the “I told you so” to feel very sweet.

    Lovely tribute, my dear. Happy Mother’s Day to you, too. :)

  35. Vonda 35

    Very sweet post. I always used to tell the friends of my children when they drove away that they needed to be careful because my heart was in their car. Cheesy maybe but it felt true.

    Happy mothers day to you.

  36. Maureen 36

    Happy Mom’s day! You’re boys are irresistable! You are a lucky woman.

  37. You little men are gorgeous–and so is their momma!

    What a lovely tribute and so, so true!

    “We did what we needed to do.” hee hee . . .

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  38. eliza 38

    happy mother’s day to you too! i really love the story…you have 2 beautiful kids, you look great and i hope wild boar looks as exciting as you three! :D

  39. Such a happy family :D

  40. We’re currently thinking about having children so your post made for really lovely reading (your ‘privileged access’ to ultrasound and tests made me chuckle ;) ). Happy belated mothers day to you!

  41. Marcy 41

    Wow Noble, the beginning of your pregnancy sounded like mine, minus the ovulation ultrasound. I worked in an OB/GYN office , so I had access to plenty of pee tests. I did two, faint positive plus sign showed so my friend drew my blood , sent it off for an HCG , and I was very newly pregnant. I think I conceived around the 3rd week of february, and found out aroudn march 9. When I showed the doctor I worked for the results, he told me it was probably a blighted ovum, NOT!!
    What he thought was a blighted ovum is now a happy, healthy almost 10 year beautiful girl:))
    Your kids are adorable, you all look great together!
    Happy belated mothers day

  42. I loved reading about your journey to motherhood, technology and all. Your sons are so cute.

    Hope your Mother’s Day was lovely!

  43. Lore 43

    I think your story about the begining of motherhood is the first story I’ve ever read on this subject and it got to me on so many levels. Thank you and happy belated Mother’s Day!

  44. Oh Heavens… I can barely comment through my tears here. Lovely post – took me straight through the emotions I have about my own hooligans… Love the pictures and the birthing recap – all of it is what shapes us as moms…

  45. Oh girl, what a precious story. Hopefully the wild boar let you know that was a preciptous birth. VERY hard on mom. Being a nurse since I was two it never ceases to irritate the bee gee gees out of me when nurses do not listen to their patients. You were quite ready to have that little boy. so you make beautiful children and money isn’t an issue. Looks like it’s time for a little girl to me. How do you eat like a PIG, and keep that adorable figure! Your dazzling. I’m so impressed. Hope you had a wonderful mother’s day!

  46. Elle 46

    Beautiful post! Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

  47. Got a little teary eyed over that one. Beautiful boys. Weirdest conception story I’ve every heard. Bet that one shuts up all the other moms in the room!

  48. Kate 48

    Incredibly wonderful post, Cathy. Happy belated to you.

  49. Beautiful photos and this was a really nice Mother’s Day post. What a gorgeous family you have. Happy belated Mum’s day to you.

  50. Pat Schneider 50

    Very cute pictures.
    I enjoy reading your blog. I found you on StumbleUpon. My family and I laughed so hard about why you should make the one dessert.

  51. Chou 51

    Thank you so much for sharing! I remember staring in silent awe the first time I had an ultrasound and wondering how sound could show such cool pics. No baby, :( but an interesting journey nevertheless. Your sons have beautiful smiles–I hope they share them regularly.

  52. Leslie 52

    Thank you for commenting on my site(Nutella Brownies..and not so Italian Spaghetti)..Love your site..the step by step pics are great..I’ll be back for sure!


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