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#Gingerbaby: An Origin Story


The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

#Gingerbaby: An Origin Story

Alex Steinman

We went into getting pregnant with a pretty open mindset. "There's no way we'll get pregnant right away because it takes years for some people." Turns out we aren't some people. It took a few margaritas. Fat and Happy...Until the End

I knew right away that something was different. For me it was the cravings. I ate a donut and ice cream every day. People at work took turns walking me to Angel Food Bakery or Yogurt Lab because I'm sure they felt sad watching me eat like a diabetic alone. The kid liked everything except for chicken and salad, so we bonded pretty quickly.

In all, my pregnancy was really easy. Despite the sugar coma I put myself into on a daily basis, I avoided any complications by running (a story for another day), yoga (s/o to Blooma Minneapolis) and bubble baths (#gingerdad knows what's up).

No matter how awesome you feel, by month eight, you want to kill everyone. I carried very low, so it was like the baby was between my knees. He was also very active, performing ribbon dance routines in my stomach. "Be still, tiny dancer. Be still," I begged. But the little punk kept it up right until the end. I turned into a walking science experiment where you could see an elbow or footprint popping out at any moment.

Yes, very funny. I'm as big as a pumpkin carriage.
Yes, very funny. I'm as big as a pumpkin carriage.

Get Out

At 39 weeks and 5 days, I took the day off. I had an appointment to be induced because my doctor was on call that weekend, and I wanted her to deliver. A lot of people have different opinions on inductions, whether with pitocin, a membrane sweep or otherwise. I read all the things, and decided I didn't give a F what anyone else thought. I wanted to get the baby out immediately.

So, after my gentle (are you F-ing kidding me?) membrane sweep, I went to brunch with a girlfriend from work who was on maternity leave. Her sweet baby girl was all coos and snuggles, while I stuffed my face with bacon and hashbrowns. I'm fairly certain her child said, "GET OUT NOW!" to my stomach. He must have been listening.

I went home and jumped on a conference call while bouncing on my bosu ball. About halfway through the call, I started to feel contractions. Yoga breathing and the mute button saved me in this situation. I gave my closing thoughts, sent out a meeting recap and didn't open my computer again for three months.

Labor of...Oh, Shut Up

Matt came home from work after several texts like, "I'm ok, take your time coming home" and "COME HOME NOW, I'M DYING!" The contractions were close together in the evening, so I slammed half a bowl of mac and cheese and we hit the road to Maple Grove Hospital. I thought about that gross, unwashed bowl sitting in my sink all through labor. It was my focal point.

We decided just to have the two of us in the room. Matt was basically a doula with all the classes I dragged him to, so we were feeling pretty confident. I took some kind of sleepy medicine that had me contracting for two minutes and then slipping into a deep sleep for five minutes. This was the worst. When that junk wore off, I walked around a bit with the documentary Bears on in the background. It's about a mama bear and her cubs making a journey to somewhere...who the F cares...please just get the goddamn baby out.


At somepoint during the bear movie, my water broke. The overnight male doctor walked in, saw what I was standing in and said, "Let me get a nurse to clean that up." Men....I should preface this by saying my nurses and Dr. Sarah Manneh were incredible, and I would recommend the Birth Center at MG Hospital to anyone.

In between the pushing part, my nurse kept saying how long and light colored the baby's hair looked. I'm sorry, light? All through pregnancy we joked about my genes forming an army to kill all of Matt's pale, ginger traits. It turns out we played genetic roulette, and this time, the ginger won.

Cooper #gingerbaby Steinman was born a healthy 7 lbs. 11 oz and 21 inches on October 10 at 9:29am. And he had red hair.