Birth Story Celebration: Cabin Boy

Welcome to the 4th 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!  Since I’ve already shared Cabin Girl and Mr. Monkey’s stories, I had to share Cabin Boy’s!

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 Peanut.

Peanut’s due date was November 3rd.  The date meant a lot to me, as I had miscarried a baby prior to that pregnancy, whose due date was November 3rd of the previous year.

I was seriously hoping for a Halloween baby though.  How freaking cool would that be?  My wish nearly came true when I was sent to the hospital for an attempted induction with cytotek, as Peanut’s heart rate was dropping and my amniotic fluids were low, a few days before Halloween.  Eventually, Peanut’s heart rate normalized and my fluid intake made the nurses happy, so we were sent home with the prognosis of going into labor within 36 hours.  No such luck.  3 doses of cytotek and no consistent contractions.

I did make myself the coolest maternity Halloween costume ever though.

On Nov. 2nd I took my midwife’s advice and made a Castor oil/o.j. cocktail. I was up about 6 or 7 times during the night to use the toilet (which is the idea, stimulate the bowels to create sympathy contractions and release labor hormones naturally). 7 a.m. I was pretty much pooped out (yup) and my uterine contractions were 4-6 minutes apart. By 9 am they were 2 minutes apart.

My doula got me to the hospital around 10:30 and they admitted me, checked my progress, which was at 2 and 80, stripped my membranes and sent me to walk for an hour. The walking worked and I dilated to 3 and 90 so they broke my water and set me to walking the halls some more. We walked, used the body ball, showered and got in the tub for the next 6 hours to get to 6 cm. Captain had gotten to the hospital a while before then and my mom and sister decided at the last minute that they were coming over, so they hopped in the car to make a 4 1/2 hour drive across the state while I labored. My midwife checked me and I had stalled at 6, so she suggested a small dose of pitocin…


My hopes for this birth were to avoid pitocin completely so as to avoid any higher chances of an epidural and c-section. I also really wanted a water birth but my contractions were so strong and painful, and I was so ready to meet Peanut, that I decided to go for it.

Pitocin and pain killers.  My midwife used tetracaine via the IV to give me a break before the pitocin started and fentanyl after the pitocin kicked in, which kept the contractions at about the same pain intensity. I can’t imagine what it would have felt like without the locals giving me a bit off the edge.

Half an hour after they started my IV my mom and sister got to the hospital and it only took about another half an hour after that to get to 9 1/2.  My midwife had me push while she put pressure on my cervix with her fingers to bring me to 10.

4 contractions later, with no cutting or tearing thanks to my midwife using numbing cream and stretching me with her fingers to give baby a little extra room, she announced “Here HE is!!” I was in disbelief that Peanut was a boy, my pregnancy had been just like Cabin Girl’s.


Cabin Boy was born at 11:30 pm on November 3rd, 2009, 7 lbs 13 oz, 19.5 inches long.
They let me hold him for the first 5 minutes while they delivered the placenta and tried to stop my near hemorrhaging bleeding (it took a shot of something in my leg and something in my IV, I wasn’t paying attention at that point, to get it to stop enough for them to stop worrying). He scored a 9 on his apgars and took to nursing pretty quickly (although 1 bad latch gave me a pretty nasty blood blister).

He was a super mellow baby; only really fussing when we changed him or gave him a bath. Cabin Girl absolutely LOVED him and never really showed any signs of jealousy or resentment.  He looked exactly like she did at birth except he had Captain’s dark hair. And my mom and sister got to be there while he was born which was something I hadn’t realized I wanted until they were there… it was amazing the relief I felt knowing my mom was there.

Also, Peanut is allergic to peanuts.

trsfr 1088

Birth Story Celebration: Mommy Needs a Martini

Welcome to the 3rd 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!  Today our featured story is from Jeannette.

Jeannette is a married mother of two girls and works full time outside the home. She coaches girls youth softball, is active in her church and enjoys spending time with her family. In her free time, Jeannette blogs about her adventures in motherhood and her wonderfully hilarious crafting attempts (and fails) at Mommy Needs A Martini.

Motherhood seemed so foreign to me as a young adult. I was completely content being an Aunt and Godmother and I couldn’t imagine ever being responsible enough to raise a little human of my own.

Until one day I did. It just sort of hit me.

My husband and I were married in 2006 and never even discussed having kids until after the first year. Even then it was only in passing. It wasn’t until two years into our marriage that we really started thinking about it. So in 2008, we decided it was time. As it turned out, time is all we’d have for a while.

We tried to get pregnant, nonchalantly, for about eight months. Then I started getting spastic with calendars and temperatures and ovulation kits. But still, nothing. We finally saw a doctor who told us to try a little longer before moving towards fertility treatments. So we kind of gave up. Well, what I mean is, we stopped measuring and counting and worrying and agreed if it is to be, it will be.

And then it was. Just like that. The instant we stopped carrying on, it happened.

Six weeks before we were to start fertility treatments in 2009, we finally saw two pink lines! It took two years and two miscarriages to get there, but we got there! And I got really big really fast. They immediately thought gestational diabetes but I was barely borderline. So they ordered an ultrasound and discovered a second bag of water, a second sac, but no second baby. I was carrying a vanishing twin.

Overall, it was an okay pregnancy. I didn’t have morning sickness beyond random nausea but GAWD was I moody. I mean like certifiably, stay out of my way, you better not blink WICKED. I didn’t know it then, but you know what they say about hindsight! I should probably apologize to a lot of people, now that I think about it. Anyway, the worst part about my pregnancy wasn’t the typical symptoms. It was the jokes about how big I was getting and the strangers touching my swollen belly and people asking how many babies I was lugging around. The. WORST.

I was due on April 19th but went in for my weekly exam on the 15th. The Dr. said everything was fine and I didn’t seem to be quite ready. So I went home, like any other day, and went straight to the bathroom because my poor bladder had no room to fill up anymore. Only this time it wasn’t just pee. IT WAS BABY TIME!! We got to the hospital around dinner time, I got hooked up to the monitors and they confirmed I was definitely staying for the long haul.

And a long haul it was. I bounced on a balance ball, I walked, I slept, I puked, I screamed and I cried through sixteen hours of labor and two failed epidurals. For sixteen hours I was not allowed to ingest anything but ice and Alka Seltzer. Ultimately, I stopped progressing at 7cm and the baby started freaking out inside, so, at hour seventeen, I was rushed into an emergency C-section.

Since the epidurals failed, they had to give me a spinal. If you’ve never had one, I assure you, you don’t want one. I shook from head to toe for hours after the surgery, I was numb from the neck down and I couldn’t tell if I was breathing or not. I felt as if I was trapped in an avalanche and no one seemed to care. My mind was racing and I started to panic. They finally allowed my husband to come in and I stopped trying to climb out of my skin. Then, as we were desperately waiting to hear our baby girl cry for the first time, I heard the surgeon say, “Oops! Did you see that?”


No one would explain to me what that meant, but within minutes of the Dr.’s outburst, my baby was here and nothing else mattered. They cleaned her up and did their normal work up before bringing her over to me. I kissed her sweet head and cried like, well, a baby. They whisked her away and it was almost six hours before I saw her again.


That’s when I found out what the “oops” meant. That, you see, was the sound of my bladder being torn during the surgery. So for the next six hours, instead of bonding with my new baby, learning how to nurse and how to change a diaper, they were trying to get me to stop bleeding. It took hours for me to stop shaking, hours for them to explain anything, hours to breathe without hyperventilating. Who knew hours could feel like years?

When they were finally comfortable with my status and had me sufficiently medicated, they brought this teeny tiny little person into my room. She was perfect and tiny and everything I thought she would be. I was smitten! But I was also so unbelievably tired and sick and I couldn’t comprehend the level of pain I was in. I don’t remember much else about the hospital stay. I can’t tell you about that first diaper or how much she drank or what she wore. I can show you pictures, but I don’t recall any of it.

After four days of feeling like I was alone an awful lot, I was released and sent home with my new baby girl. I also brought with me an incision closed with 27 staples and surgi-glue, an engorged chest that my baby wanted nothing to do with, track marks and bruises on both of my arms as if I was coming off a bender and a Foley catheter that remained until ten days post-partum.

But I had my baby. I finally had my baby.



Birth Story Celebration: Mr. Monkey

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.


Birth Story Celebration: Cabin Girl

Welcome to the 1st 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!  Since it’s Cabin Girl’s birthday, I’m sharing her story first!

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 Bean.

Bean’s due date was August 1.  It was hot, hot, hot in Eastern Washington, I was swollen, and so ready to be done being pregnant.  At my 39 week appointment the Dr. stripped my membranes to encourage labor hormones to get going, but nothing happened.  On my due date, with no indications of labor starting, I went back to my OB’s office.

“I’m the on-call Dr. at the hospital tomorrow.  Want to come in first thing and we’ll have that baby?”

Uhm, hell to the yes I did!

Quick call to the boss to say, “Adios, amigo!” while I packed my stuff and then settled in to get hardly any sleep.

We checked into the hospital at 7 a.m., slogged through all the necessaries, and hooked up to pitocin around 8:30.

I should note here, that I had it in my mind the entire pregnancy that I was going to do it au naturale.  My mom did it, so I totally could!

Not with pitocin, I couldn’t.

Once the contractions hit, they hit and didn’t pull back.  I was having non-stop contractions for a good half hour before finally asking for an epidural.  I think I may have yelled at a few people at that time.

Once the epidural was in, my whole family came and hung out with me in the delivery room.  We watched movies.  We talked.  People floated in and out.  It was boring.  I felt great!

Lunch time came.  Captain went down to the cafeteria to grab something while I munched on ice chips (What is it about those things that are so awesome during pregnancy/labor?  I hate them any other time…).  My Dr. came in to check our progress and we discussed breaking my water.  Hubby came in and sat down with his lunch, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, just ask my OB broke our water.  Bean had pooped in utero.  So the pads beneath me were soaked in goo that looked JUST LIKE the gravy covering hubby’s lunch.

He ate it anyway, the animal.

Hours passed, progress was made, more people came and went.  At one point Bean was bunched up in the right side of my uterus, so we had to do all sorts of fun repositioning to get the contractions to have full effect.  Eventually though, it was time!

My dad, brother, and sister sat in the hallway while I pushed for about an hour and my epidural started wearing off.  My sister later told me that my cries of pain convinced her she never wanted to have babies.

When the Dr. gave me an unapproved episiotomy, I heard it before I felt it and gasped, which made my mom start to cry.

It took about 6 pushes from crowning to complete birth.

My mom had to remind the Dr. that we didn’t know the gender, “So, what is it?!” and happily screamed “It’s a girl!” for my family in the hallway to hear.

transfers 789

Cabin Girl was born at 11:32 pm on August 2nd, 2006. She was 7 lbs. 15.4 ozs. and 20 1/2 inches long.

Looking back now, I should have never agreed to be induced.  But, despite the added risks I unknowingly took by being induced with pitocin and adding to those risks by getting an epidural, we had a perfectly healthy girl and no complications.

She does have a scar on her head from the episiotomy though.

Now, 7 years later, she’s still my baby girl.  An only child for her first 3 years, independent, smart, inquisitive, and a veritable mother hen to her little brothers.  She made me a mom, and I will never be the same because of those big, hazel eyes.


Scroll To Top