Birth Story: And Everyone Had Cake

This birth story series is sponsored by HCA Midwest Health

We were grown-ups when we got married. In fact, we’d been grown up for several years when we found each other and fell in love. Since we were a little late to the baby game, we were anxious to get started. Most of our friends already had kids—some of them had teenagers!

I came down with a cold just a few weeks after Project Pregnancy began. I went to the doctor and he wanted to prescribe an antibiotic. I was hesitant because I might be pregnant and he asked “how long have you been trying?” When I answered, he chuckled and said “you aren’t pregnant after the first month, but we’ll do a pregnancy test to be sure.” The doctor and I were both surprised when he came back a while later and said, “Congratulations.”

This earlier-than-expected beginning should have been a sign of what was to come.

I had a dreamy pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness and only threw up once when I took my prenatal vitamin in the morning instead of at night. We attended our birth classes and decorated a nursery. I felt great and only gained a little weight. It turns out eating right makes a difference!

Four weeks before the due date, I was home by myself on Friday night. My husband was scheduled to be part of an improv show and I stayed home to relax. (Not many couples can say that improvisation comedy brought them together, but that’s our meet cute story.) Just after 7 p.m.—which is important only because that’s when the show began—my water broke.

After talking to my mother—who made me promise not to drive myself to the hospital—I realized I needed to find a ride. Since the show was already going on, I tried several friends with no luck before giving up and calling the theater. The person who answered the phone said I couldn’t talk to Bob because he was in the middle of a performance. It took a little bit of explaining for her to understand that I, too, was in the middle of a performance, and really needed to talk to my co-star.

In spite of being older first-time parents, we were as dumb as any others. I didn’t even consider that the baby might come early. My legs weren’t shaved, my toenails weren’t polished and my suitcase wasn’t packed. While I waited for Bob, I gathered up some things I thought we would need and took a shower.

Off we went to the hospital. And so did our dear friends, as soon as the Comedy City show was over. That night we sat around and talked and laughed and waited for the baby to come. My parents arrived and couldn’t understand why so many people were squeezed into our room.

With not much progress happening, I was induced the next morning. Nicholas Clay arrived in the middle of the afternoon, about four hours before our couples baby shower was scheduled to begin. Not to worry. The host and hostess came to the hospital, decorated cake in hand. The cake said “Welcome Gabe”, the name we had chosen, but not the one we gave to our early-arriving baby.

Once again, we were the center of a crowd of folks who loved us and would love our baby.  And everyone had cake.

Many of the details of our first birth story are pretty particular to us. And I love everything about our story. I love that I interrupted a show to go to the hospital and that our friends were with us through the process.   even love that Nick came early, although it meant some extra time at the hospital and some extra worries after we went home.

Here’s the part of the story that still makes me a little weepy. On the night that I became a mom, the nurses brought my baby to me every few hours. By this time, Nick was in an incubator, sprawled out getting extra light to help him thrive. I set my alarm throughout the night so I could comb my hair before he arrived in my room. I wanted to make a good impression. I really wanted him to like me.



HCA Midwest Health logoFor labor and delivery expertise, more moms in Kansas City choose an HCA Midwest Health hospital. Our OB/GYN teams at our delivering hospitals – Centerpoint Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center and Research Medical Center – ensure every woman has access to top-quality maternity care, including specialized services for women with high-risk pregnancies. By delivering more babies than anyone else in the region, our maternity hospitals deliver experience and safety. Learn more at

Beth is mom to a high school sophomore and a first year college student. After fourteen years as a professional writer and editor, she earned graduate degrees in counseling and play therapy. Now she exercises her creativity as a school counselor. Beth loves reading, especially mysteries.