I had been about 3cm dilated the last two week of my pregnancy. I was also group B strep positive. I completed my normal work week on 10/5/16. Will and I went on our last date before Darren was born on 10/7/16 at Szechuan’s Dumpling.20161007_192855

On 10/8/16, my due date, I went into labor. I started tracking my contractions at 7:18am. I think I had one in the early morning while I was sleeping, but I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming it or not! Contractions ranged from about 30 seconds to 1 minute long:












Since I was group B strep positive, I was going to need antibiotics during labor and the sooner they can get the IV in, the better for the baby. So once I knew I was in labor, I called my OB at 8:27am. Dr. Thomas called me back at 8:36 and told me to come in so they could start the IV. We took our last photo as a family of three:


Will and I left for the hospital around 8:50am. My parents stayed at home with Tyler. We arrived at the hospital around 9:10am and got settled into a room. Deb was my nurse. The IV was placed. Since I have an allergy to amoxicillin, there was a slight concern of a reaction because of the IV, but thankfully I didn’t have any adverse reaction. I was checked at around 9:45 and was at 7cm. It is definitely true that you forget how bad labor pains are. They were no fun near the end. Now that this was my second labor experience, I have enough data to know what my usual reaction to labor is. To get through the pain, I just tense up my body and breathe through the pain. I did find it helpful for the nurse to instruct me to breathe even if it was hard to take deep breaths. Occasionally I would moan, but for the most part, I was pretty silent. I guess I am not the type that screams or needs to sway with the pain. I remember with Tyler’s labor, the nurse wanted me to hold onto her and sway – and oh no, that was not what I needed so we only did that once. I just hold onto Will’s hand and breathe through. (Dr. Thomas and Deb told me afterwards that they were very impressed with how I handled labor. Haha!) While I was being monitored, Deb asked me if I was feeling the smaller contractions. I told her I wasn’t sure and asked, “Why? Did I just have one?” She replied, “Yes. So I guess you aren’t feeling those.” Haha. I was checked again and had just a little bit of cervix left on my right. Deb had me roll onto my right side (rolling was difficult!)

Me at 10am:


I asked Deb when I should start pushing. She told me to start pushing when my body told me to. What? I had no idea what that meant. Oh, I quickly figured out what that meant. Sure enough, I knew. I was rolled onto my back and started pushing around 11:30am. With Tyler, I pushed for 2.5 hours. Darren? 20 minutes! Score! Dr. Thomas told me to open my eyes as he came out and was put onto my chest. Will cut the umbilical cord – Dr. Thomas commented on how he was able to cut it in one cut.

Darren DeHuan Shao was born at 11:54am. 8lb, 1oz. 21”.


Some notes: Darren was one of only a few recent vaginally-delivered babies. A lot had been C-section. He was also the only baby born at Emerson that day!

We were moved to Room 331. I was discharged on 10/10. Darren stayed an extra day and was discharged on 10/11. More on that later.