Made For Television

March 21, 2017

I remember watching the first season of Jane the Virgin and thinking, "This is outrageous! Events like these would never happen!" At least, I thought nothing like that would happen in real life until my life became a telenovela.

Blake and I had broken things off at the beginning of July. I put all of my focus into training for my 50-mile ultramarathon and my work. Then I met a guy who made me think, "This is the reason I am almost thirty and still single. He is the man of my dreams." Just as I thought life couldn't get any better, I started feeling nauseous and losing endurance during my training runs. I thought I must be overtraining. When it persisted, I bought a pregnancy test.

Thinking there was no way I was pregnant, I didn't take the test. Two days later, I was early for work and thought, "Why not take the test now? I have time."

Oh brother.


That can't be right.

I called my friend and she said, "Well, first of all, congratulations, Mama!"

"It might be a false positive," I responded, defensively.

"No such thing," she informed me.

I was 3 months pregnant. Little did I know, my life was about to flip upside down. My journey was just beginning.

Fast forward five and a half months. I had gone up to Oregon to spend the last month of my pregnancy with my parents instead of being down in Santa Barbara in a studio apartment alone.

Mom and Dad were packing for Hawaii. "I really don't have a good feeling about this trip," Mom told me. "Maybe I shouldn't go."

Having been anxious to finally be alone in the house, I reassured them that both my doctor and the sonographer had told me just the day prior that there was no possible way this baby was going to arrive on time. Reluctantly, they boarded the plane and I celebrated by baking brownies with peanut butter M&M's, date-banana bread and gluten-free ramen.

The morning they landed on Oahu, I attended a cycle workout and a Yogalates class. The next day, I woke up exhausted, so I spent the morning at a friend's house, planning to come home and begin to nest. Kaenon's belongings were still in my car and his bassinet and changing table were on my back deck. I thought I could use the afternoon to call the fire station and ask if they could help me install my carseat. The combination of being at a friend's house and working out so hard the day prior had left me exhausted though, so I took a nap. When I awoke, my water had broken.

I need to shower and pack a hospital bag! I'm not ready!

I called my mom to tell her and she sent her best friend, my Aunt Sheryl, to drive me the 40 minutes to the hospital.

Sheryl was so good to me. She stayed at the hospital all night long, walking laps with me until my friend Amy joined us to help pass the time. My sister arrived shortly after and invited her new boyfriend in to join us. Not awkward at all. Not at all.

My mom was sobbing over the phone, afraid she was going to miss the birth of her first grandchild. The airline was not helping her catch a flight back and nothing was going to arrive until the next morning at 9:30AM. It was currently 5:30PM and the nurse was saying she would not be surprised if I gave birth before midnight. Not only did it sound like Mom wouldn't make it in time, Blake wasn't going to arrive until 4:30 the next afternoon!

The doctor informed me she was going to give me petocin to help move things along. I begged her not to so my mom could have a chance to get here. Kaenon, please stay inside as long as you can.

Then the contractions started.

How do I get out of having this baby?

We can fast forward the twelve hours that involved the nurse thinking it would be comfortable for me to bounce on a Swiss ball (why on earth do people think that is a good idea), my mom walking in as soon as my contractions got unbearable and vomiting all of my dinner on Aunt Sheryl's shoes. Skip ahead to 4:30: The doctor had just told me to start pushing and Blake walked in the door. Kaylee cried when she saw the baby's head for the first time. My placenta came out in pieces and hurt like hell.

That's a great birthing story, right? All worked out and mom and Kaylee and Blake all got to witness to birth of this new family member? Not quite. Stay tuned for the next chapter.

Ashlee Francis