Welcome to the 2nd post in a series of birth stories that will run from August through September, Birth Story Celebration. Keep checking back on Tuesdays and Fridays for new, awesome stories of the miracle that makes us parents! I shared Cabin Girl’s on her birthday, and today is Mr. Monkey’s birthday, so I’m sharing his, too!
We give our babies nicknames while I’m pregnant. We don’t find out the gender, and I don’t like the idea of calling a baby “It” for 9 months. This baby’s nickname was Twig, bestowed by Captain’s Grandma, who said “Another twig on the family tree!” when we announced our pregnancy.
Twig’s due date was the first week of August. Some calculations said August 2nd, ultrasounds said August 7th, so we just gave ourselves a whole week.
I took Cabin Girl to get a birthday pedicure on the 2nd, and told the lady working on my toes that I was READY, so massage away! The next day, Wednesday, I went in to the midwife because I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I was dilated to 3 and 50% effaced and I had high blood pressure but my contractions petered out. She stripped my membranes and we set up a blood pressure check for the next morning. Thursday I was at 4 cm and 80%, my blood pressure was back to normal but my contractions were still sporadic. We were scheduled to be induced Friday morning but labor and delivery was absolutely slammed so we were asked to wait for a call to come in. I started having semi-hard contractions every 10 minutes or so. Never heard from labor and delivery, which in hindsight, I am grateful for.
Saturday morning, I got up and started making my hippy sister’s psychedelic tie-dye birthday cake. I had some pretty hard contractions on and off throughout the day. We like to say I made her cake while I was in labor. At one point I headed over to my doula’s house, where she had invited her midwife friend to come and check me, since my contractions were hard enough to warrant concern. Still around a 4, we went home prepared to get serious at any time. That night I started having super hard contractions. The first woke me up around 1:30 a.m. and was followed by a bunch that woke me up every 30-60 minutes. Since it was my sister’s birthday and I was due at any time, we had a house full of family, which took a huge load of stress off when considering who would watch the big kids when I had to go into the hospital.
By 6 a.m. they were consistent and hard, 5 minutes apart. We stayed at the house until 8:30 and when I was checked in to labor and delivery at 9:00, I was 7.5 cm and completely effaced. I was borderline desperate to have a completely natural birth experience this time, so I had asked the Captain to remind me that I needed to let the contractions happen, instead of tensing up every time one hit. His reminders to relax, let it happen and to breathe through them worked. 2 more hours of being allowed to labor on my own and my water broke as I reached 10 complete cm. We got in the tub, had a few more contractions to get the anterior lip out of the way, and 3 minutes and a couple good pushes later Mr. Monkey was born! It was absolutely amazing being able to push when my body told me and deliver how I wanted/needed to instead of being told what to do by nurses/Drs. It helped that the Captain and my doula were, once again, the best labor coaches I could have asked for!
Mr. Monkey was born at 11:16 am on Aug. 6, 2011, 8 lbs. 2.8 oz, 21.5 inches.
Cabin Girl was disappointed at first that Twig wasn’t a girl, but as soon as she saw MM in the hospital she fell in love. Cabin Boy liked the “beebee” but wasn’t quite sure what to make of him at first.
We’re all still in awe of how much hair he had!
Now, 2 years later, he’s the Repeat to his brother’s Pete, fearless and inquisitive, and 110% rough and tumble boy.