Dec 272012
 December 27, 2012  family

Birth Story - It has been a week since Baby Monkey arrived, and already it is hard to imagine our family without him.  My Big Boy Monkey has demonstrated what an amazing brother he is, always careful to be gentle with Baby Monkey and making sure the baby has  been properly introduced to all of the toy trucks and trains in the house.

It seems like there is already a friendly competition between the Monkeys as to who can add the most drama to our lives.  Monkey was born a week early, so Baby Monkey was born 3 weeks early. Monkey was born just before New Years, so Baby Monkey was born just before Christmas and a day after my husband’s birthday. And the births themselves? I’ll let you be the judge.

The Birth of Big Boy

Most hospitals in our area ask you to check in when your contractions are consistently 5 minutes apart.  But our as-natural-as-you-want-we-have-birthing-tubs-and-volunteer-doulas birthing center advises you to wait until contractions are 3 minutes apart for an hour, so you can labor at home as long as possible.

When my contractions with Monkey reached 5 minutes, I called the midwife on duty, and she reiterated the advice to wait, even though we lived 30 minutes away.  After all, it was my first baby, and they always take a long time, right?Birth Story -

After a few hours, my contractions reached 3 minutes, but only 45 minutes went by before I went through transition and felt the urge to push.  By this time, my husband was frantically loading the car and trying to figure out how to move me down the two flights of stairs to the garage.

We managed to get me into the car in between contractions, then we peeled out of the garage and sped down the highway at 90 miles an hour to the hospital, as my husband kept yelling, “Don’t push!!”

Although we had alerted the midwife, she really didn’t understand how far long I was until she examined me upon arrival and could already see Monkey’s head!  Thirty minutes after we arrived, our little Monkey was born.Birth Story -

The Birth of Baby Monkey

As a result, this time around we made sure to head to the hospital quite a bit earlier, when my contractions were just 5 minutes apart.  But Baby Monkey decided that was a little too tame for our family, so he made sure things slowed down once we reached the hospital. As my contractions slowed and then stabilized at about 8-10 minutes apart, we reluctantly headed back home.Birth Story -

By now it was about 1:30 am, so we  sent the babysitter home and tried to get some sleep.  Only a couple hours later, though, my contractions had sped back up, and we knew we had to make the long drive back to the hospital.  Big Boy Monkey, somehow anticipating that something was afoot, was also wide awake.  It didn’t seem worth calling the babysitter, who in any case would have to head to work soon, but we didn’t have anyone else to watch Monkey until about 8 am.

So after much debate but few options around 4 am we bundled him up and headed back down the highway.  Monkey was wide-eyed, as he is rarely out after dark, and I tried to carry on a broken conversation with him in between contractions, though it got more difficult the further we got down the road.

They set us back up in a birthing room and hooked me to a monitor, then dimmed the lights and left me to labor and my husband to try to figure out what to do with Monkey.

Over the next hour or so my husband tried in vain to get Monkey back to sleep, then finally gave up and entertained him with some new games that we had packed.

Meanwhile, my contractions were getting more intense, and finally I buzzed the nurses station to tell them I had the urge to push.

The nurse and the midwife rushed in. “Really?” the nurse asked. “But you’ve only had 3 contractions that were 5 minutes apart!”Birth Story -

But the midwife took one look and declared, “We have a baby! You’re fully dilated, so get ready to push!”

About 20 minutes later, Baby Monkey was born, as my husband called out encouragement and blocked our older son’s view by showing him a favorite video on his Tablet.

Amazingly, Monkey was fairly nonchalant about the whole experience. After all, we had been prepping him for Baby Monkey’s arrival for months. Plus, as someone pointed out, perhaps he is still simply too young to understand and therefore be concerned about the birthing process.

Birth Story -

And so within minutes of the birth he was able to greet his brother and give him kisses, as well as open a present “from Baby Brother” that I had tucked in my bag. He finally napped once they went home later that morning and was excited to come back and visit us later in the day.

The Homecoming

Unfortunately, this story has a negative twist, since Monkey woke up quite ill on the morning Baby and I were set to come home. So he and my husband couldn’t meet us in the room as we had planned but had to wait for us just outside the hospital entrance, since the nurses were nervous he might get someone sick (if he hadn’t already).

As Monkey’s illness has advanced from croup to a bad chest cold to finally an ear infection, for fear of getting the baby sick, we have had to keep the boys more or less apart.  This also means splitting parenting duties, so that I primarily take care of Baby Monkey and my husband primarily takes care of Older Brother. In other words, not the family bonding we were hoping for.

The silver lining? So far Baby Monkey has decided not to up the ante in the family drama competition by getting sick himself. In fact, he and Grandma are the only members of the household so far without any sign of illness. [Update: As of this writing, unfortunately, both are now sniffling.]

Looking Ahead

And so, as the year draws to a close, we are grateful to have both of our boys home with us, safe and (soon to be) sound; grateful for grandmas and aunts that fly in from faraway places to lend a hand when they are most needed; grateful for friends that run errands, drop off dinner, and generally check in on us; and grateful for all the love that has been poured on our Monkeys.

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What are your birth stories? When have you had things not go according to plan? What are you grateful for this year?

  35 Responses to “Our Birth Story and An Update on the Monkeys”

  1. How beautiful, and what a blessing! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. As I’m sure a lot of us were anxious to know how it all went. Congrats on the baby, and Happy New Year!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing your stories! That’s pretty crazy your son ended up coming to thr hospital with you. That’s one of the things I was most afraid of this time around. I’m glad it didn’t end up happening here, I think my daughter would have been pretty traumatized by all my screaming LOL. Too bad everyone had to end up getting sick 🙁 praying that new baby monkey stays healthy!!

    • Thank you, Honey! Yes, never in a million years did we want our son coming with us. I wasn’t even sure I wasn’t even sure I wanted him visiting us in the hospital later because I thought it would be scary for him to see me like that. Luckily he took it all well, but it could have just as easily gone the other way!

  3. Congratulations Leanna! I always like reading birth stories and for some reason, they always make me overcome by emotion. It was great reading yours and wow- your labor sounds so fast both times. Hope your older one feels better soon and you can all bond as a family.

    • Thank you, Stephanie! I love birth stories, too. Thank you for your interest in ours! My older son is starting to feel better, plus he seems not to be contagious anymore, so happily he is starting to be able to spend more time with the baby.

  4. Wow Leanna what a story!!! I was laughing aloud reading the part about your son being there, how incredible! I’m glad it went so well, considering the other possibilities 🙂 And so glad you have had a straight forward birth and no complications 🙂 Sending much love to you and get well vibes to the whole family!

    • Thank you, Chelsea! I know, who would have thought we’d have to take him!! And I am so grateful that everything with the birth went well, I know how incredibly lucky I am.

  5. Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize you had such speedy quick births! That sounds like a whole lot of excitement, but in a mostly good way. I’m so glad everything ended up going smoothly, and so so happy for you. I’m sorry that your big Monkey is sick (and it sounds like you were, too!), and I’m sending my wishes for a full recovery for the whole family soon. XOXO

    • Thank you, Melissa! Yes, both births were incredibly quick but also luckily uncomplicated. It’s fun when you get to surprise the nurses and midwives who do this all of the time! And luckily Monkey is starting to feel better, but we are all know congested, including the baby. Let’s just say it’s been a loooong week, but I suppose that the advantage is that now when we are all better, handling two healthy kids will seem like a breeze! I’m just grateful that my mom could be here, and that my husband could take plenty of time off of work, so that I still have a chance to rest, despite everything going on.

  6. I have been waiting for the birth story!!! And WOW you sure know how to have a baby 😉 Congrats on the new addition! So sorry everyone has been sick…hoping for a quick recovery!

    • Thank you, Katie! Lol I think these boys have an agenda of their own and want to hurry up and get here! After my older son was born, a friend told me, “He must have a lot of things he wants to accomplish in this world!” So far that certainly seems to be true!

  7. So glad you have your baby safe & well, and what a dramatic couple of birthing tales! I hope Big Monkey’s feeling better now. It seems to be quite common for siblings to get a bit under the weather around the birth, but I’m sure you’ll soon have lots of lovely family bonding to make up for it.

    • Thank you, Tallulah! That’s so interesting about the older sibs tending to get sick. Maybe from being so out of their routines? I am sure that’s part of what happened with Monkey, plus it’s just that time of year. We’ve already decided – if we have another baby it will not be in the winter!

  8. What a beautiful story! And wow, you birth fast! Good for you! Congratulations again and glad all went so fast and well! Hugs

  9. How lovely! Congratulations again Leanna. I read birth stories and always wonder how the Mums remember all the details. Do they take notes? Both of mine are extremely blurry memories, despite being drug free home births. I remember lying on the sofa watching Top Gear and then a bit of pushing and having a cup of tea and a biscuit. I’ve no idea about cm s and times between contractions. Both mine were quick and easy, best way! Birth is the easy bit, it’s the next few years that take it out of you. Good luck with the little monkeys!

    • Alyson, that is crazy! It sounds like your births were even easier than mine! (Love Top Gear, btw!) And so true – I remember going to my 4 week checkup after Monkey was born and getting nostalgic on seeing all the pregnant women in the waiting room. So much easier to take care of babies on the inside!

  10. Congratulations, and I hope everyone in your house is completely healthy soon!

    My two oldest both got sick when #3 was born, made for a tough transition home. And, if I’ve learned anything about childbirth, it’s to expect the unexpected!

    • Thank you, MaryAnne! Sorry to hear you had a similar experience, but when caring for THREE little ones! I just keep reminding myself that everyone will feel better soon, and that eventually we will have the family time we were hoping for.

  11. Congratulations on your baby and your story was a delight to read! I am sorry for your child’s illness, I hope he will get better soon. You asked to share our birth stories, so here is mine: My first birth was long and hard, and basically pretty much nothing went according to plan (from how long it took to who was present at the birth), except for the most important thing- my girl was healthy, even after a 38 hours labor. Such a blessing! The second time around it took all of 6 hours, was not very painful and my older daughter was with us in the hospital, experiencing her little sister’s birth. I went back home the next day, and was on my feet, and feeling absolutely well! We’ll see how it goes the third time, I hope it will be just as smooth and easy! I wish you the best of luck with your children, and of course, lots of joy!

    • Wow, Olga, 38 hours! You are a tough mama! And how amazing the contrast with your second birth! That’s great your older daughter was there, We weren’t sure we could handle it, but in the end it went well. I just wish we could have had a designated helper for our older son, so my husband wouldn’t have been so distracted. He really feels like he missed a lot.

  12. my second birth was very similar in that once i arrived in the hospital room, i gave birth in 18 minutes! it was incredibly quick, intense and amazing! so nice to read your story!

  13. Congratulations! What a beautiful story! I got sent back home with my first one the first time. The second one they told me to walk for an hour so we walked up to a hill with over 100 steps. I was not sure if I was able to make it down after I got to the top. Good health and happiness to you and your beautiful family in the New Year!

    • Amanda, what a great story! I bet it must have been difficult to make that climb back down! Thank you much and best wishes to you and your family this year!

  14. WoW!!! THank you so much for sharing both of your birth stories. Sounds like your kids are both good at being born!! It’s funny how ‘off guard’ midwives, docs, nurses are caught when a first born comes quickly!! A friend of mine has a similar story. By the time she got to the hospital she only had 30 minutes to push and out popped the baby. Hope monkey feels better soon and you can start bonding as that full family unit. I’m just so happy for all of you for this precious addition to the family!!!!!

    • Thank you!! Luckily everyone is starting to feel better, and we even did a group storytime tonight, which we all loved, although Baby was less than impressed – he fell asleep 5 min after we started 🙂

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your birth stories. I love hearing about people’s experiences. Omigosh – I can’t believe Monkey had to come with you. I don’t think it’s completely out of the ordinary anymore – it’s just too bad it had to be the middle of the night for him! What a wonderful Christmas/holiday present! I’m sure the sniffles will all pass and you will get into a great rhythm.

    The only drama I had was when my waters broke in a restaurant for my number 2! All of a sudden I wasn’t hungry and bam! Gushing … not a trickle. I can laugh about it now but we sure provided a story for the other diners that night. We went back with the baby about a month later and they all remembered us.

    Big hugs, xox

  16. Congratulations. So lovely to read your two birth stories and so happy to hear that baby monkey arrived safe and sound. I hope all are healthy soon. We also had to divide parenting responsibilities for a while after my second was born. It got to the point where one night when I was tucking my oldest into bed she said, “I’m Dada’s girl and Kooks is your girl!” So happy for you and your family.

  17. […] Love the idea of a home birth but not sure you’re that brave? Want the security of a hospital without the pressure? Try delivering in a birth center! When you are expecting your first child, there are so many decisions to make about the kind of birth experience you want: Who do you want with you? Do you need a birth coach? Do you want an epidural? Would you consider a water birth? And the list of questions lengthens with each pregnancy book or website you obsessively read. Yet so much of your birth experience depends on where you will be delivering. Most hospitals have certain restrictions, and very few have birthing tubs, for example. So when you are deciding where to go when your time comes, make sure you know what you will be getting into. We were so happy with our first birth experience that when we found out we were expecting again, neither of us questioned but that we would deliver at a birth center. (You can read our birth stories here). […]

  18. […] Baby Monkey was born, we were blessed with extended visits from first my mother (from South Carolina) and then my […]

  19. […] only a few weeks ago, but already I am feeling like I’ve always been there. A while ago, Leanna of All Done Monkey had her second baby boy, and she had this brilliant idea of asking other bloggers to submit guest […]

  20. […] of All Done Monkey – Leanna shares her experience of birthing at birth centers and on how a mom’s intuition is often more correct than professional expertise when it comes to birthing […]

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