Gabe Got Born Part 2

So where was I? Oh yes… uterus of pure power and might. Where any good story should both end and begin.

So the epidural saved my sanity and this was the point where we called my parents and told them they could come on over. I didn’t want them hanging out while I was going through so much horribleness. It was, honestly, way more intense of an experience than I thought it would be, and I guarantee you it would have been upsetting for them to have to watch.

A lot of people sleep once they get the drugs because labor is so exhausting, but I didn’t feel like sleeping because I had gotten almost a full nights sleep like normal and had only been in labor for about 7 hours by this point (counting from when I woke up at home), so it wasn’t like the women who have hours and hours and hours before they even get to the hospital.

Once they arrived, we visited, and then I sent Kamel and them to the cafeteria so they could make sure Kamel ate something. This was at 11:30. A few minutes after that my lovely nurse checked my progress again – because the epidural has a tendency to slow down labor, the nurse wanted to see if we needed to start pitocin. My contractions had spaced out a little bit, but I was hopeful that the epidural had relaxed me to where I wasn’t fighting the contractions anymore and maybe things had continued to progress. Well… the minute she stuck her hand up there she audibly gasped and said, “You’re already at 8!!” My response, “Awesome!” (Remember the last check they had done, I was at a 4.)

See, here is the thing … my contractions were not like clockwork, they were sometimes at 3 minutes, they were sometimes at 5 minutes, and on occasion at 7 minutes. In general, “real” labor is very rhythmic and predictable. You move from 7 min contractions to 5 and then 3 and they grow in intensity. So from the charting of my labor it looked like I was still in the early stages, but the reality was – I was nearing the end. This part is a little frustrating for me, because I had been picking up a “oh this is your first pregnancy, we’re going to be here all day, why did she come in when she was only 2-3 cm dilated?” vibe up until this point. I had also felt like the nurses (who were actually VERY VERY lovely and kind) were sort of… rolling their eyes at my pain level, thinking I was still in the early early stages. Thankfully my body sure showed them!

So, I texted Kamel that I was at 8, but that the baby still needed to move down a little further so he didn’t need to rush back. By 12:30 I had begun pushing, and at 1:35 Gabriel Esmay Dupuis-Perez was born. And I’ll get to the awesomeness of delivery in minute, but here is where I want to talk about going into labor on International Women’s Day (pointed out by a lot of people in comments on Monday and on twitter on Friday!).

When I was in the hospital during labor/delivery and afterwards in recovery, nurses and the staff kept saying how amazing of a job I had done, how they wished their labors would go like mine, and how I had a really great “anatomy” for birth, etc etc. And before this point, I think subconsciously I had this idea that if I took care of myself, and if I just “relaxed enough” or if it was “meant to be” or whatever bullshit leaked in there from TV and movies, that my labor/delivery would go well. I really didn’t want a C-Section and even though I KNEW that on “some level” that was out of my hands, I also thought … and maybe not even an out loud thought … that as long as I did everything right, I probably wouldn’t need one.

My entire labor/delivery was under 10 hours from start to finish, and I had absolutely NOTHING to do with that. Nothing! I was just as surprised as the nurses – except that I knew my pain level must have meant SOMETHING. I fully expected this kind of labor: at home having contractions for several hours, eventually going to the hospital and being there for 12+more hours etc etc. Baby coming some time the day after the first labor pains. Ta da. But nope, he came very fast for first time pregnancies… which really makes me wonder what baby #2 will do…

So here is my thing on giving birth on International Women’s Day: I learned that my body, that all of our bodies, are not always connected to our brains, or our “selves”. That control is a lie. That we tell ourselves we have control over our bodies just to make ourselves feel like we get a say, when in reality so much of what happens in there (besides preventative medicine and living as solidly as you can, mind you) is totally out of our hands. And yes, I did something really cool – I was able to assist in a miracle! (Quoting Beyonce, yes, I just did that.) But ultimately I was a bystander to my uterus and her kick-ass-ery. So, what I’m saying is: I’m going to be more kind to the ladies. There is a lot of blame and finger pointing about bodies and what we do with them and how we sport them and on and on and on. It’s dumb. It is meaningless.

But what wasn’t meaningless for me was the experience that lead to this:

Baby Gabe 1

(Literally moments after he was placed in my arms.)

I started pushing at 12:30 and it was just Kamel on one leg and our main nurse on the other. A contraction would come, I would feel the pressure build, and I would take a deep breath while Kamel counted to ten. I would push with all of my might while the nurse said things like “That’s it! you’re doing so well! Push up to the sky! Yes! That’s perfect! Just like that!” I would then run out of air, gulp another breath and attempt to do it 2 more times within that contraction. At one point I reached down and felt the top of his head, just a sliver of him, poking out of me. That was surreal. And it was much softer than I expected. It didn’t feel like head, it felt like another labia… super interesting. After about 30 minutes of that the nurse called in my doctor who sat in the catcher’s position at the bottom of the table and two other nurses came in to assist.

The number one most powerful moment was feeling Gabe’s head – actually FEELING his head – at the verge of coming out of me, and being capable of making the choice to push 1 second longer for him to make his arrival. After that the doctor had me do one more little push but basically pulled his body from my body. That is a feeling I will never forget.

And then he was born.

And he had his cord wrapped around his neck twice, but we didn’t know that until later and it wasn’t a problem at all.

And Kamel fell madly in love with him at first sight and I got to witness that, which was also amazing.


Meet Gabe. The most anticipated man in my life.


His skin came out very scaly – something I didn’t expect. It is in the process of peeling now. Like a little lizard. And his hair was much lighter than I thought it would be.


He’s also really, really funny in this weird wild animal/old man kind of way. I call this: Grumpy Statue of Liberty. He breaths like a little pug sometimes and he sometimes barks in his sleep like a little dog grunt out of nowhere. He pecks at me like a little piglet when he is hungry, and is fascinated by his flailing arms that often look like he is doing MAGIC and casting spells on us.



After spending Friday, Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night at the hospital in recovery, we finally got to take him home on Sunday. And that’s where this story really begins.

44 thoughts on “Gabe Got Born Part 2”

  1. Congratulations, Lauren and Kamel! I don’t comment much but I wanted to say thank you for documenting the entire process in the way that you have. I have been on the fence about babies my whole life and only now am I thinking about hopping off the fence. Although I’m nearly 10 years older than you and scared shitless of so many things, I love information. And not the WebMD kind of info; this has been wonderful. Thank you.

    And so many congrats and blessings.

    1. Carrie, you said it better than I could. The entire pregnancy and birth process is just foreign to me and filled with so much unknown, and it’s been super helpful to follow along on your journey, Lauren. So thank you! And congratulations on your new little man!!!

  2. Oh Lauren I am crying now. So proud of you and Kamel, and the nice kind nurses, and everyone. Kamel looks so absolutely happy, as you do too.
    And tell me about control being the biggest lie ever… I guess when you have to deal with unexplainable medical conditions you get to learn that first. Yes you can eat healthy, take vitamins, work on having a positive outlook, and showing the door to the negative thoughts and feelings, you can exercise, you can be open to what comes. But that’s about it,
    I am so so happy for you guys. So happy. You will make it, you are the best parents already, and you will figure out the hard bits.
    I hope Gabe slept in the end (ask the nurses / midwifes if there is anything you can do to soothe him… and you).

  3. Lauren, Kamel, congratulations! I wish you all the best in taking care of your new human. May he grow up to be a wonderful presence in the lives of those around him, especially you two.

    Gabriel, congratulations! Welcome to the world. I hope fervently that life will treat you well, but if ever it doesn’t, then know that you have two loving parents who will always have your back.

  4. Lauren, Kamel and Gabe,
    It was such a special time for grandma and grandpa to be there and do what we could to help out. You all are wonderful. With only a few days in it is clear that Kamel is a great dad. And to see how much you care for this little man, Lauren, you are awesome. I couldn’t believe how good you looked after spending nearly 10 hours in labor. I look forward to many more days of holding Gabe(pug) laughing about his funny little noises and faces that he makes and hopefully being a good Gramp to this little guy.

    love you tons.
    GDB (Grand Daddy Beans)

    1. Ok, I’d managed to hold back the tears until I got to this comment. Congratulations to you all proud mama, papa and grandparents! πŸ™‚

  5. “And Kamel fell madly in love with him at first sight and I got to witness that, which was also amazing.”

    I am such a sucker for men and babies. This made me tear up…a lot. :* )

    I have so many horror stories within my family when it comes to pregnancies and birth experiences that for once it’s wonderful to read about such a smooth, normal, and beautiful story.

    Gabe is adorable! So many congratulations to you and your new family Lauren!!!

  6. This IS SO EXCITING. All friday and essentially all weekend I would do little dances of excitement all around the cabin/apartment/grocery story while I madly checked facebook, twitter, and instagram for updates πŸ™‚ It was like some people see an election or the super-bowl.

    My Favorite Picture: his little stinking foot. OMG. and How Kamel is totally passed out in the background! Hehe

  7. I have never seen bigger smiles on your faces!!! And i too was surprised at how light Gabes hair is!! I definitely expected dark Kamel-y hair. I cant not WAIT to see you guys and meet him. And like everyone else keep saying, its ridiculous how good you look immediately after bringing a little human into the world! Amazing <3

    1. Bah!! I just scrolled back through the photos and just noticed Kamel passed out in the background of Gabes lizard foot pic! Hahaha! Sleepy daddy πŸ™‚

  8. I feel overwhelmed with emotions after reading this…I realize that must be nothing compared to what you felt, actually living this story. This line: “After that the doctor had me do one more little push but basically pulled his body from my body.” Ah, love so much. And Kamel’s smile in that pic- wow, just, wow. Can’t wait to continue to follow the adventures of The Grumpy Statue of Liberty and his Amazing magic show.

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I love your words on thinking we have control of our bodies – “that control is a lie.” Tears of happiness! Beautiful!

  10. Congratulations again to your beautiful family!

    1) If my littlest kiddo was sleeping through the night, you’d be making a very compelling case for me to have another one ASAP. Gabe is adorable. And that (weird-but-awesome) feeling of the baby actually being born? Addictive.

    2) Your description of the process of getting an epidural in Part 1 is totally why I couldn’t do an epidural. Sitting still through contractions? No way. Very impressed with you (and Kamel’s pep talk, which got me all weepy. That’s one thing I find fascinating is the job of the dad/support person during labor. I would go through labor again long before I’d want to be in that position.)

    3) For what it’s worth, my 1st labor was 8 hours & my 2nd was 3 (not including the on-and-off timeable contractions for a couple weeks beforehand with him). It was also easier because I knew better what to expect. And had an *amazing* nurse who just let me labor however I needed to.

    4) Ugh, those pictures! You & Kamel could not look more happy and proud. πŸ™‚ Pictures of parents with a brand new baby are the best thing.

    I hope you’re all doing well & recovering/resting as much as you can! I know it’s clichΓ©, but these early weeks will have gone by so, so fast once you’re through them.

  11. First, so many congratulations to all of you! I too love your giant smiles!

    And the illusion of control–YES. I feel like so many of the natural birth-y type videos/books/classes that I was (unfortunately) exposed to while I was pregnant give you the idea that IF YOU REALLY WANT THIS BABY/IF YOU’RE REALLY CONNECTED TO YOUR PARTNER/IF YOU ARE A GOOD AND ZEN AND KICKASS then you will have this beautiful transcendant labor that goes exactly like you want it to. And I had natural childbirth and my son was born in our house like we wanted, but afterwards for a while I felt like I HAD FAILED at having what was supposed to be this beautiful experience. Because up until the moment that I felt my husband’s tears on my neck and he was saying “MIRALO, MIRALO!”–up until then, it pretty much sucked for a good 9 hours. I didn’t do yoga warrior poses or walk around or gaze into my husband’s eyes or any of that shit. I couldn’t. And I felt like that was my somehow my moral failing, you know?

    But it wasn’t, it’s not. Great labor, not-so-great labor, we as…moral entities…don’t have much to do with that. Control is an illusion, your body’s going to do what it’s going to do, and you do the best you can with that. Thanks for saying that. I think it needs to get said more.

    Take care and good luck with your darling boy!

  12. Thank you thank you for sharing your story and making it seem… approachable. Even those of us who weren’t actively tweeting you on were sending good vibes your way on Friday!

  13. I love this Lauren (ok, you made me tear up). When it’s time for baby #2 and you go into labor, my advice is go to the hospital ASAP! My labor with Madison was 10 hours….my labor with Callie was about 3. I am so glad that I didn’t wait around at home because I’m pretty sure I would have had a home birth or a car birth. But for now, enjoy that sweet little man of yours. Congratulations to you and Kamel, nothing is better than being a parent!

  14. THANK YOU for posting all of this about your pregnancy experiences. For someone who doesn’t know if they’ll necessarily go through it, it has been so wonderful to read your real sounding experiences.

    Congratulations on Gabe finally arriving!! I love that last photo of Kamel – he looks so happy!

  15. Thirty minutes of pushing? What?!? Somehow in my head the pushing bit is always so much shorter. That sounds exhausting. Such a handsome little reward to get to meet Gabe at the end though.

    1. Mine was actually about an hour. But, truly it goes by SO FAST. Because once you get to pushing you are no longer just sitting there, and you feel the URGE to push, so it is pretty much the best part. πŸ™‚

  16. Lauren, you are awesome….we fell in love with little Gabe the minute we heard about him. You and Kamel are going to make the neatest parents on this earth. Take care. we love you all. Great grandma and grandpa xoxo

  17. Oh this is just too too sweet. Like most of the other commentors, I want to thank you for writing so beautifully and in a way that wasn’t scary like most other pregnancy posts are. I was totally cheering for you on Friday and just about jumped for joy when I saw that Gabe had finally made it here on Instagram.
    Congrats Kamel and Lauren for your new bundle of joy! You guys are going to have one awesome adventure and I’m so glad we get to read all about it =)

  18. What a wonderful, positive birth story! I’m so happy all of you are doing well. On the issue of control, my mom always tells the story of when I was born (I was her first) of how disappointed she was that she couldn’t make the pain go away by willing it away. I think think it’s interesting that it is one thing she still remembers so vividly almost 33 years later.

  19. Lauren, I love this post. I love what you said about the lie of being able to control the experience… I just breathed this giant sigh of relief at that. It was like I didn’t even know I had that worry until you verbalized it and that it’s a false dichotomy. Thank you so much for writing so honestly about your experience. Your family of three is beautiful!

  20. I’m back. Keep coming back to re-read what you’ve written and coo at Gabe πŸ™‚ You’re so beautiful in that photo taken right after Gabe was placed in your arms!

  21. It sounds like you had a really good epidural that allowed you to feel to push and have some control in that way.Hopefully this is a sign that they’re making improvements with epidurals!

  22. Lauren, this was an amazing story. You’ve been in my thoughts (still are!) and I’m so glad it went well for you. You also inspired me to be braver when I got an IUD inserted this weekend – I kept thinking, “Lauren just GAVE BIRTH like a boss, so you can definitely handle just this.” πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for honestly and openly sharing this experience.

  23. “I learned that my body, that all of our bodies, are not always connected to our brains, or our β€œselves”. That control is a lie. That we tell ourselves we have control over our bodies just to make ourselves feel like we get a say, when in reality so much of what happens in there (besides preventative medicine and living as solidly as you can, mind you) is totally out of our hands.”

    This bit? WORD. And congratulations! You made a person!

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