A funny thing happened on the fourth of April. I woke up, pregnant, and had a good day. Some work, some play, some rest. In close to a month I’d be having a baby, and I was settling into that stretch of pregnancy where you are uncomfortably large and eager for it all to be behind you.

At night, I went to bed.

A few hours later, I woke up to find that my water had broken. Since I didn’t really know what that meant, I had to Google to see if that was really what was going on. But Google wasn’t very definitive about the whole thing, so I called Lara, now a doctor. She hemmed and hawed. Maybe it’s broken. Maybe it’s not. And so then I called the midwife. I still hadn’t met her, and I’d been meaning to go to a few of her classes in the month to come. She said more of the same. Maybe, maybe not.

I sent my first tweet.

Then I called my parents. It was the middle of the night in California also, and I talked on the answering machine for a while until someone picked up the phone. It was my father, disoriented, and when I told him I thought I was in labor he said, half asleep — “That’s nice honey. Good luck with that,” — and tried to hang up the phone. I told him to wake up my mother. By the time I finished talking to her, I was pretty sure that things were moving along. A pain started that felt like a tiny little cramp (via clement). A bit later, I noticed the cramp again, ever so slightly. By the third time I thought, could this be a contraction?


We started timing it, just to be safe. Seven minutes apart, then six.

Throughout it all, I kept saying the same thing to my husband, “Do you think I’m really in labor?” And then, as it became clearer, “I can’t believe I really might be in labor.”

And then I remembered that they had told me to eat. All my friends who’d gone through labor had said the same thing: “EAT BEFORE YOU GO TO THE HOSPITAL.”

I went down to the kitchen and made myself a huge chicken quesadilla. I poured on lots of salsa.

“Are you sure you don’t want something more bland?” My husband asked, ever so quietly, not wanting to upset the ravenous one.

I made mincemeat of his question. “No!” I boomed.

(And later, when the midwife asked who on earth fed me so much, I tried to look like it wasn’t my idea.)

The contractions kept coming, and the midwife told us to come into the hospital. We packed a bag and I put on my Twitter jacket.


A lot of things happened over the next few hours. The car broke down, we had to take a taxi to the hospital, and the labor was harder than I ever imagined it would be. And then it was done.





We stood on the side of the road in an early Buenos Aires Saturday morning. My husband called my father in law, who was headed off to golf, and just as he arrived a taxi (finally) did, too. He followed us in his car.



Checking in at the hospital was not a joy. I spent most of that hour on a few floors of women who had programmed C-sections coming up. (Saturday is a big day for programmed C-sections). They stared at me, moaning. My room wasn’t ready, apparently.



It all continued to be extremely unpleasant.



And others in the Twitterverse started to catch on.




I kept at it, and found it proved a welcome distraction. When they told us not to bring our phones into the labor room, we disobeyed (naturally).






And then, with a few big pushes, she was here. (We had figured out the name during all the pushing.)





Lucia (@lucia) tweeted, too.



And she got a big welcome from the world.












She remained calm despite the excitement.







No, live-tweeting your labor is not something I recommend to everyone. As I told the BBC though, it can be a fun and welcome distraction. And it was a neat way to involve some of our friends and family from afar in the process.

Finally, if she cares, little Lucia will one day be able to see some documentation of her birth, as she made her debut on some fun places like Good Morning America,  The Today ShowFox NewsNewsweekTime, and even in a joke in Conan’s opening monologue. (My favorite piece is likely The Daily Mail as it focuses most on my husband’s ukelele.)

In the end, though, it’s all about the baby. And she’s a great one, that baby.

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