Females Are Strong as Hell: Case’s Birth Story

20 Jun

“Are you sure that the first available Wednesday you can take a tour of the hospital is June 3rd?” I pleaded with Dan. “I’ll be almost 38 weeks then!”

“Yes, it’s all I can do. I’m sorry.”

“Okay, I’ll schedule it.”

I went into labor with Dax when I was 38 weeks and 6 days, so I really wasn’t super thrilled about having to wait until I was full term to tour The Birth Place, but it was silly to do it without Dan so I made the appointment and said some prayers.

June 3rd came and went with only a few Braxton Hicks contractions here and there, so we were able to enjoy our hospital tour no sweat.

The next day, however, was June 4th and I was officially 38 weeks. When I got out of bed to use the bathroom I saw something pretty gross that I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing while pregnant with Dax: I’d lost my mucous plug.


I texted a bunch of my mom-friends the news and most of them bet I would be going into labor soon, even as soon as that day. A few hours later I started having contractions, and I got really excited.
They weren’t terribly strong, but they were consistent and wouldn’t go away if I got up and walked or drank water. I had a lot of work to do that day, so I just downloaded a contraction timer app and kept plugging away. My contractions didn’t stop even at noon when I had to leave the house for a meeting, and they continued a few hours later when I was doing work at the library. I brought my phone with me to the bathroom to continue monitoring my contractions, and a big one came just as I was walking into the stall. I tried to get my phone out of my pocket fast enough to log the contraction, and it slipped out of my hand and PLOP, into the toilet it went.

My contractions persisted even through panicking, grabbing my phone out of the toilet, running out of the library, jumping into my car, driving to Publix, frantically purchasing a bag of rice and tupperware, and throwing my phone into said tupperware with said rice. After all that, I was pretty much just done for the day, so I went to the church to wait until Dan was done with work.

Contractions continued while I sat and waited for Dan.

Once he was done with work, I told him that it was probably best to take Dax over to a friend’s house and go to the hospital. Just to check. It was weird that my contractions weren’t going away despite everything going on, and they were even starting to become painful.

There was a full moon (the strawberry moon, actually) just two days prior, and consistent with lots of old wives’ tales, The Birth Place waiting room, where we’d been on a tour only a day earlier, was packed with pregnant women waiting to be seen. After waiting about an hour and a half, we were finally brought back to triage.

They hooked me up to the monitor to show that, yes, I was having pretty strong contractions (one even lasted four and a half minutes and I thought I was dying), but they weren’t as regular as the nursing staff would like. They checked my cervix and I was only 1.5 cm dilated. They had me walk around the hospital for an hour and checked me again. Still 1.5 cm. They called my OB to tell her, and she sent me home, but told them that she would be surprised if I made it through the weekend (which made me really sad because I knew my OB wasn’t on call that weekend, and I really wanted her to deliver Case).

I went home and took some Benadryl (per Dr. Kara’s orders) to help me sleep, and when I woke up, my contractions were gone.

The next day was Friday, and I went the whole day without even a single Braxton Hicks contraction. It was as if my body had no recollection of the day before, and I was really frustrated. After experiencing such an active day, I was mentally ready to get the show on the road.

Around 2:00am Saturday morning, I woke up with pretty strong contractions. But I didn’t wake Dan right away. I just walked around the apartment and drank water, hoping they would subside. After an hour they hadn’t, so I woke Dan up and asked him to draw me a bath. We timed my contractions and noticed they went away once I got in the bath. So we figured that it was yet again another false alarm. Dan made me some ramen and then we went back to sleep.

At about 9:00am, we awoke to hear Dax singing to himself in his crib. Since it was the day after National Donut Day, we had planned to go out as a family to get donuts for breakfast. I got up to use the bathroom, and once I was done, I noticed a large amount of blood in the toilet.

And I was terrified.

I started shaking violently, and told Dan, and told him to take Dax to our friend’s house again and I threw some clothes on and ran downstairs, jumped in one of our cars, and began to drive myself to the hospital. I held back tears as I called The Birth Place and explained what I was experiencing and they demanded I come in to be seen right away (which was obviously not really comforting).

I texted a handful of good friends (especially the ones after whom Case is named) and let them know what was going on and asked for prayers. Some people mentioned it was probably bloody show, but that the amount of blood was certainly concerning. And on top of all that, Case, who was also constantly moving throughout my entire pregnancy, was extremely still in my belly. And my heart was pounding because, thanks to our miscarriage, I know first hand that a pregnancy isn’t over until it’s over and you’re holding the baby. Anything can happen until that moment. Life is precious and precarious and at that moment, when I was alone in my car driving myself to the hospital, no one knew it more than me.

I grabbed my belly hard and shook it and sobbed and cried out to my belly, “PLEASE move Case! Please move baby boy!” And then cried out to God. “PLEASE let this baby be okay. PLEASE let this baby be okay.” (Just retyping it is bringing these memories back in a painful surge.)

When I arrived at the hospital, after the longest 20-minute drive of my life, I only had to wait a few minutes before being called back to triage. They hooked me up to monitors and basically as soon as the doppler touched my belly I heard the woosh-woosh-woosh of my little one’s heart. And the tears stung in my eyes as I picked up my phone and just texted the word, “HEARTBEAT!” over and over and over.

I was having contractions that were registering up on the monitor, but I was too worked up to feel them. They asked me what my pain was on a scale of 1-10 and, at that point, it was a 0 despite having really regular contractions. They checked my cervix: 3 cm!

After a while, Dan joined me (with donuts, thank God) and sat with me while I calmed down and started feeling the contractions. Then, the nurses had us walk the halls for an hour to see if it would move labor along.

It did.

Dan timed my contractions while we walked. They were about 2-3 minutes apart and getting really strong. Every time one would come along, I would stop, brace myself on the wall, and breathe through my labor mantra: “females are strong as hell”.

After an hour, it was about 12:45pm, and they checked my cervix again: 5 cm! We were in labor! For real! We were having this baby! And at that point, our dear friend Corri showed up with Jimmy John’s, but because I’d JUST been admitted, I couldn’t eat it. So I was going to have to go through this whole labor after only eating one donut.


They moved me to my labor room, got me all set up on the monitors, and then Dan turned on the TV. My contractions were pretty strong at this point, so it took me a while before I realized that “Walker, Texas Ranger” was on, and I demanded it get turned off. Dan sat next to my left and rubbed my head and helped me breathe through contractions while Corri rubbed my feet.

Then, the worst part of the whole thing: the IV. They tried twice on my left arm, leaving me severely bruised and in pain. When they switched to my right arm, they had worse luck, but were out of options, so they jabbed me with the giant needle over and over and the pain of that, coupled with the contractions, was too much. I burst into tears and started to scream. It was the worst pain I’d ever felt in my life, I’m pretty sure.

Finally the IV was in and labor was moving right along. I was progressing nicely, and then everything became a blur.

They checked me again. 8cm.

Then again. 9cm.

Then I had the urge to push. Still only 9cm. I pleaded with the nurses through closed eyes to let me push. They couldn’t.

“They’re bringing in the delivery table! You’re almost done!”


“Nope, still just 9cm.”

My body shivered and I was instantly covered in a cold sweat and the urge to vomit became very real.

“Something just happened. I’m in transition. I know it. It’s time to have this baby.”

Then Dr. Bevins came in (again, not my OB, but super nice and wonderful anyway) and told me to push at my next contraction. I did, and my cervix that was at 9cm gladly moved out of the way.

Four or so pushes and the worst pain of my life (since the IV) later, and he was against my skin. And I marveled at how he reminded me of his big brother in some ways, but was so very different. He let out the littlest cry, which sounded like a baby mandrake from Harry Potter, and I was in love. Just like Dax, he was perfect and I couldn’t believe he was mine.

Case Daniel Durrenberger, born June 6, 2015, at 4:12pm. 8 lbs, 1 oz, 20 inches.


The Rest of the Pregnancy

20 Jun

The last time I blogged about this pregnancy was when we found out about WHO I was carrying in my body.

And now, I am no longer carrying that person in my body. He was born two weeks ago.

Yikes. THAT flew by.

Some notes about the rest of the pregnancy:

  • Case was a mover and a shaker. He was constantly wiggling around in my belly and kicking me something fierce. He is STRONG and I knew it more than anyone.
  • I couldn’t really sleep much. I had pretty consistent pregnancy insomnia for the remainder of my pregnancy so Benadryl was my best friend.
  • I never got really “huge”. Numbers-wise, I was 20 lbs lighter when I had Case than I was when I had Dax, and I gained 10 fewer pounds the entire pregnancy. This led me to believe I’d have a smaller baby than Dax.
  • GBS test was negative. So no antibiotics for me.
  • I only made it to 38 weeks.

And honestly, that’s really it. My pregnancy was really low-key. Nothing out of the ordinary. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time I didn’t really feel pregnant (that is, until Case would jab me in the ribs with his right heel).

I feel bad for not blogging as much this pregnancy, but it was pretty similar to my pregnancy with Dax save a few minor differences. Case’s birth, however, was MUCH different.

Stay tuned…

What’s in a Name?

18 Feb

So last week we found out that Durrenbaby 2: Electric Boogaloo actually has a sex!

And it is…

a BOY!


::shifty eyes::

Yeah so I went a whole week knowing the gender of my baby and forgot to blog about it. Sorry. I’m actually currently in the process of transitioning between jobs, which means I’m pulling double work duty right now, so I only kind of feel bad.


So, of course, the first thing people ask when they find out the sex of our baby is, “Do you have a name picked out?”

And yes, we do.

DB2EB’s name is

Case Daniel.

Gah! It’s in writing now! It’s so legit!

And naturally, after I tell people the name, they furrow their brow, assuming they didn’t hear me right and ask, “Oh. Case? Does it have a meaning?”

I kind of want to reply back with, “Nah. I just really like cases. You know, like, briefcases and beer cases and CD cases, so I thought I’d name a person after one.”

But I’m not a jerk. So I don’t say that.

We got the same thing when we named our first son Dax. I guess people just think we’re weird for the sake of being weird. But there is a method behind our weirdness, and here it is.


It’s a tradition in Dan’s family to name boys with D names. (He is Dan, his dad is Don, and so on.) So when we found out we were pregnant, we scoured every baby name book we could find for a good D name. And you know what? We didn’t like a single one. Not. A. One. So we felt a little dejected.

But a few weeks later, a new kid came to our youth group and introduced himself as Dax. And as soon as the name came out of his mouth, Dan and I looked at each other and just knew — that’s our name!

According to some translations, Dax means “water”. Which is kind of eh. But in other translations, it means “leader”, which I think is an obvious fit, especially for my first born.

His middle name Arthur is the same middle name of my cousin Brian. He and I grew up so close together, basically like siblings, so I always knew that if I had a boy I wanted to name him after Brian somehow. And how rad does Dax Arthur sound?


So, the middle name is obvious. That’s after Dan.

But the first name… Case

When we got pregnant this time around, we were a bit stumped. Dax was, as you now know, LITERALLY the ONLY name we liked for a boy. So, one night, we were sitting around running through other names.

“Do we have to do another D name?”

“No, we already did that. So I think we can move on to other names.”

“What names do you like?”

“I don’t know…”

And that went on for SEVERAL minutes. It got so frustrating that we started talking about something else, which led me to bring up a story involving this guy, who just happens to not only be my pastor and mentor, but also an adopted dad.

“What about Eric? You have another cousin named Eric?”

“Yeah but it doesn’t sound super great with our last name. Plus I went to high school with like five Erics and they were all jerks to me.”

“Hmm. You’re right.”

“But..but…hey, um. What do you think about Case?”



“I like it!”

“Me too!”

“Case Daniel?”


And that’s literally how we named our second born son after an entire family of dear friends of ours. And I am so proud of and grateful for his namesakes.

I also really like beer cases.

Half Baked.

28 Jan

I’m really terrible at this blogging thing. Like, super terrible.

But one of my goals for this year (that is already one month in, yeah I know, shhhh) is to be better at blogging. So…

To pick up where we left off (two weeks ago, again, shhhhh) here’s our little Durrenbaby!


Everything looked good! Measurements were good, heartbeat was strong.

Durrenbaby was shy.

Well, breech actually. Which made it quite difficult to see the sex. We were a little bummed out (Dan more so than me) because there was obviously so much hype behind finding out “who” is in there. But we’ll try to see again at our next appointment in two weeks.

I was convinced it was a girl until our appointment. The tech said she saw something between the baby’s legs, but couldn’t say for sure what it was. Could have just been the umbilical cord or something. But she said that if she had to guess, she would say boy. So that’s what I’m leaning toward now.

So. How are things?

  • Pregnancy insomnia is still pretty brutal. I am usually the first person in the house to wake up, usually when it’s still dark out. And then I’ll be in DESPERATE need of a nap later on in the afternoon (which proves pretty problematic, what with having, like, a job and a life and stuff.) But I’ve been using that time awake and to myself to read or pray or eat breakfast without having to share it with a toddler. So it’s not all bad.
  • Am I a bad mom for not wanting to share my breakfast? Sorry. I’m just REALLY hungry lately.
  • That’s another thing. I’m really hungry lately. I can’t seem to get full. I guess I really am halfway through now, and it’s time to start plumping that baby (errrr, myself) UP.
  • I only have one wearable pair of maternity jeans, which means I’m currently still squeezing into regular jeans. It wasn’t really a problem until yesterday when I had to unbutton my pants during a staff meeting. (Sorry guys.) I just can’t justify spending the OUTRAGEOUS amounts of money required on maternity jeans. I mean have you tried shopping for them recently? Oh my GOSH, what a racket. I’d spend the entirety of my spending money on two pair. It’s obnoxious.
  • So. Baby is breech. Which, at this stage in my pregnancy is NOTHING to freak out about. And I’m not freaking out. (Yet.) But because Dax was head-down from the get go, I never even had to THINK about the possibility that he wouldn’t be born naturally. But with this one, I’m looking up ways to flip breech babies, breastfeeding after c-sections, and all sorts of stuff so that while I’m expecting the best (the baby flips and is delivered naturally) I’m prepared for the worst (c-section).
  • Dan has felt the baby kick a few times, which is so fun to me. He or she is always the most active when I first wake up, which is a great start to my day.

That’s all for now. 😉 Who knows when I’ll check back in but I PROMISE I WILL.

17 Weeks Already?

9 Jan

Phew. I’m really off the ball on this pregnancy blogging thing this time around. I guess it’s true what they say — second kid gets shafted. I’m so sorry, DB2EB! I love you! I really do! It’s just that blogging with a toddler is a lot harder than blogging without any children. Your big brother needs a lot of attention. But look how much you’re growing!


That was taken last week; I’m 17 weeks now, and this coming Wednesday I will be just shy of 18 weeks, and we’ll have our anatomy ultrasound to hopefully determine whether DB2EB is a boy or a girl.

I felt like my pregnancy with Dax went on forever, but this one is flying by! It’s hard to believe that in three weeks I’ll already be half way. Dang.

Some quick updates:

  • Pregnancy insomnia is really fierce with this one. If I can manage to fall asleep at a reasonable hour, which I usually can’t, I’ll be wide awake (and probably starving) by 4AM.
  • Apart from that, no real symptoms. Praise.
  • Been craving tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes just the vinegar. I never knew my own strength until the day I willingly drank the vinegar straight.
  • Even though he can’t possibly be totally aware of the implications of a sibling, Dax is SUPER EXCITED about the “baby in mama’s beh-wy!”It’s precious. He talks about it all the time to everyone.
  • We are totally set on a boy’s name but are still on the fence if it’s a girl. However, I’m not sweating it until we see the ultrasound. Although I should probably make a decision, because everyone around me is positive it’s a girl and because of the minor differences between this pregnancy and the one with Dax, I think it’s a girl, too.

I think that’s it. I’ll definitely be updating more soon, especially once I find out the gender!


The First Ultrasound

6 Dec

When I first found out I was pregnant, I went on my insurance’s website and looked up the OBs in our network. I found one, and called to schedule an appointment for my 8 weeks check up and first ultrasound.

Because I had a miscarriage last year, those first four weeks seemed to crawl by. I wanted so badly to see our little one and hear its heartbeat and know that he or she was okay.

Dan and I were so excited for that day; and we explained everything to Dax, too. So when we drove over to the OB’s office, all Dax could talk about was seeing “baby mama belly!”

My hands were sweating so badly when I was filling out the paperwork. Because I haven’t had any symptoms, I was so nervous that I wasn’t actually really pregnant and that my body was playing a horrible joke on me, or worse, that I was a day or two away from another miscarriage.

Halfway through the mountains of paperwork, a nasty girl at the front desk informed me that they didn’t take our insurance and that we’d need to pay them $400.


We got on the phone with our insurance and they informed us that, yes, they had made a mistake and that OB office is no longer part of the network. So we left, very frustrated. And I cried in the parking lot while Dax screamed in his car seat, completely unaware of why we didn’t see the “baby mama belly” after all the hype.

So our insurance helped us find an OB that WAS in the network, and I made an appointment with her for the following week.

THAT week also crawled by, and then the day before my appointment, I got a call from them informing me that they didn’t schedule my appointment right and that they’d need to move me to the following week.

I tried not to cry AGAIN while the poor girl on the other end of the phone fell over herself apologizing, acknowledging that she was new to the office and had no idea what she was doing. I forgave her and hung up without leaking even a single tear. (A miracle in and of itself considering that the slightest thing can set me off lately.)

So when the day of my appointment finally arrived, it didn’t seem real. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and to find out that we’d have to AGAIN be sent away and rescheduled. We got to the office about 20 minutes early and saw a sparsely populated waiting room.

While I was scribbling on the many (many, many, many) forms I needed to fill out, I kept waiting to hear my name called for bad news — insurance was wrong again, the appointment was on a different day, anything. But nothing came until…

“Helen Durrenberger? Let’s take you back and get your ultrasound now.”

I looked at the clock. It was ten minutes before my appointment time!

So I scrambled to gather up my things, including the clipboard of all my unfinished paperwork and my two-year-old and husband, and headed back to the ultrasound room.

There was the bed I’d lay on next to the ultrasound machine and computer — two things that, the last time I saw them, caused me severe anxiety and sadness — and a big screen TV mounted on the wall that was broadcasting the ultrasound images. And my stomach was in knots. I prayed so hard, “Please God, please let there be a healthy little one in there. Please.”

I lay on the table and as soon as the ultrasound tech got to work, that little blob popped up on the screen and I shrieked.

“Oh my, there it is! There it is!” And tears jumped out of my face as Dax yelled, “BABY BIG TV!”

We watched the tech look around and say that everything was good and that Durrenbaby 2 Electric Boogaloo (DB2EB from here on out) was measuring right on time.

“Alright, now let’s hear the heartbeat.”

Once I heard the first few WOOSH WOOSH WOOSHes of the little heartbeat, I shouted out again in joyous sobs. The tech got annoyed with me. “Well, I just lost it, be still.”

“I’M SO SORRY.” I tried to scale back the heaves of my quiet cries. And Dax got confused.

“Mama sad?”

“No bubs, Mama’s not sad,” I said wiping tears. “Mama’s happy. Sometimes people cry when they’re happy, too.”

“Mama sad happy?”

Sure. Sure, bubs. That’s about right, actually. Mama sad happy. Very sad happy. 🙂

– Lindsay

update at 12 weeks.

6 Dec


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With Dax, I waited until now to go public. But we went public with this pregnancy back when I was only ten weeks because I was ALREADY SHOWING.

I guess when your body has already been pregnant, it wastes no time spilling the physical beans.

So here’s what’s going on:

  • Symptom-wise, this pregnancy is only a LITTLE bit different than the one I had with Dax. Thankfully, no nausea again (I can’t say how thankful I am for this). However there are some minor hormonal differences: pregnancy insomnia is a thousand times worse (hence the late blog post) and I go from zero to completely annoyed in about two seconds. Also my skin and hair are reacting a bit differently. For this reason, I will go on record and say that I think this one may be a girl. Maybe the extra lady-ness in my system is making me all wonky.
  • Everyone else is convinced it’s a girl so I mean… hey. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. A friend of mine even said she could tell it was a girl from the ultrasound. Take a look — do you agree? (Disclaimer: I can’t tell. It looks an awful lot like a couple blobs. Really cute blobs. But gender-ambiguous blobs nonetheless.)
  •  My due date is June 18, a month and one day before Dax’s 3rd birthday.
  • Dax is stoked.
  • My OB is seriously amazing. I love her so much. If you’re looking for an OB in the southwest Florida area, I will send you to her. She is phenomenal. (Also I think she’s younger than me which is SO WEIRD TO ME.)

More later; now I’m going to take an OB-approved, pregnancy-friendly sleeping aid (sup, Benadryl) and hope for a few hours of shut eye.