The Story of Mack

Gather more than one mother together, and something will remind someone of their child’s birth story.

“Oh, you’re eating a sandwich? Let me tell you about how sandwiches remind me of when I was in labor with Penelope and I wanted to eat a sandwich. ” “You have a green shirt on today and it’s so funny that you’re wearing that because I was wearing green when my water broke with Micah…” 

Every birth story is amazing and miraculous and somewhat horrifying, and my story of Mack is all those things but, it is also slightly ridiculous.

We decided to move in February, on a whim, to follow Hubby to his next job. So we merrily packed our organized boxes and smiled and held hands and sang hymns and it was the best of times. False. But we got where we needed to be in order  to be closer to the next bridge project so that he would come home at night, so moving seemed like a major win.

Until, there was some kind of natural catastrophe that prevented said bridge from being started, so he worked on a different project that was even further from our new home (3 hours).

So there I was, 36 weeks pregnant and alone in a new city, terrified that I would go into labor and have to bring my one-year-old with me to the hospital because I had no friends to watch her, my family lived 5 hours away, and Hubby only came home on weekends. I explained this to my newest and bestest friend in town, the OB nurse, and asked her if I could have her number so I could call her in the middle of the night if I needed to. True story.

There was ONE week that worked in our timeline for Mack to be born, the week my mom and sister, both teachers, had Spring Break and were visiting me. Thursday morning arrived, they were leaving Friday, and Hubby called from the other side of the state to ‘encourage things along:’

“Hey, it’d be really great if the baby came today because then I could take the weekend off and be around.”

Me: “What? Why? I'm not due for two weeks and the doctor said I don’t look ready to go anytime soon. And can’t you get a few days at home to help after he comes?” (The first time we were having a critical conversation, last minute of course, story of our marriage)

Him: “No, didn’t I tell you- I can’t take more than one day off because of how delayed this project is?”

I hung up on him.

I had no signs of labor at this point which was opposite from Lou where I walked around for weeks thinking she was about to just fall out of ‘there,’ huffing and puffing and yelling and saying, “This is IT, we should go the hospital!” And we went three times, no baby. I cried wolf so much that by the time we really DID need to go to the hospital, Mike didn’t believe me and I almost gave birth in our bedroom.

So my mom and sister took Lou to the park that March morning, I hung up on Hubs, and then I prayed, “So help me Jesus, I know this is not always how things work, but please bring this baby today.” I texted my prayer posse and asked them to pray too. And I KID YOU NOT, I had my first contraction.

But I was not sure it was actually a contraction so when my mom came back, I said, “Hey, let’s take a walk.” She gave me a suspicious look, I did not want to tell her I was in labor because I knew she would ask me lots of questions and jinx it. So we walked to the park. The one that was 10 blocks away. And when we got there, I said, “I think I’m just going to sit down for a minute.” Then on the way home, I had this crazy stomach "cramp" every five minutes, and I would have to stop and bend over and my mom would look at me all crazy-eyed.

Next I called my two baby mama’s who know lots more about labor then I ever will. The one we affectionately call the Baby Whisperer calmly said, “Yeahhhh, I had that too with my three. You will probably have it on and off for a few days.” Okay, bummer, but that made sense. Then I called my other (more erratic and dramatic friend, the one who had convinced me to go to the hospital 2 out of the 3 false alarms for Lou) and she said, “OH MY GOD. You’re having a stomach pain that makes you unable to walk everyone 5 minutes? YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THAT BABY ON THE TOILET. GET TO THE HOSPITAL NOW.” And because I didn't want her to be mad at me, I believed her and called my husband and told him to start driving. The second miracle of the day.

I then decided to tell my mom that I “might be in labor.” I crawled around the bedroom floor, packing duffle bags for Hubby (and OF ALL THE THINGS, I forgot his socks, Heaven forbid, I heard about it the entire weekend).

I drove myself to the hospital, and it was a really nice Spring day. 60 degrees, sun shining, the perfect weather to take a little nap in the parking lot. That annoying stomach pain would wake me up, and then I would doze right back to sleep. Finally, I realized I was getting hungry and I had better check on this whole labor thing before I went to Jimmy John’s. I was about to get out of the car, but looked in the rear-view mirror. Sheesh! I looked rough! So I spent another 15 minutes sitting there, putting on my make-up because a woman’s gotta look presentable in case she has a baby.

I walked into the hospital and denied the wheelchair they offered me (because I was CLEARLY in labor and everyone else knew it but me) and walked myself to the OB department (ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOSPITAL) stopping for a “breather” every now and then.

I arrived (30 minutes later) they checked me out, rushed the doctor in, and told me that baby was going to be there WITHIN AN HOUR. “Wait, what?!” So I called Baby Daddy and told him to drive realllly fast. And he did, and there are other details which would stress my current pregnant friends out but everything went “fine” (as fine as natural, unexpected childbirth can go) and as chill as ever, our precious baby came into the world.

 Michael Thomas, we call him Mack.

To this day, he is still chill as a cucumber (thank the Lord Jesus who brought Him to us because his sister is a traveling circus in a two-year-old’s body). Although, we will hold it against him that he woke up every 2 hours through the night until he was 10 months old...

Content, loving, snuggly, adorable Mack.

People warned me about having two babies close together-- after I was already pregnant—but the best thing in my life is watching these two toddle around all day.

Happy Birthday Mack!  


  1. I love that you call Emmy "a traveling circus in a two year-old's body." I think most moms would agree with you.
    Yesterday I had to bribe Lucan to get out of his carseat with a chocolate covered Peep because I had yelled at him for hitting the garage door button four times. What kind of mom has to bribe her child with a chocolate covered marshmallow bunny because she yelled at her son and made him sad?

    1. Thanks Kara! Aw poor Lucan- him and Emmy can swap horror stories about this very thing! I realized I was training her to want chocolate chips or apple juice every time she got hurt because I wanted her to stop crying. This is how people become emotional over-eaters, I am seeing it with my own eyes!

  2. Love it, Ally! I remember talking to you in the driveway that spring day and you telling me that "something might be starting" and watching your house all day to see if I could tell what was happening...nope, nothing nosey about me! Your sweet babies are precious--and well loved by their mama! Happy birthday, Mack!.

    1. Yes! I remember asking you what labor felt like and you were like, "Well... didn't you go through this once before?!" I don't know how I would have gotten through that time of life without you. So glad we decided to rent that house SOLELY based on the fact the Schuring's told us, "There's a nice Christian lady who lives next door and she has a few kids too." Michal kept saying, "But it doesn't have a dishwasher!" And I would say, "Who cares, there's a Christian lady next door, I'll do 'em all by hand" So desperate for a friend, and you were worth all those hours scrubbing dishes :)


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