Johnny turned seven this week, so I thought I would continue the tradition of sharing (non-graphic) birth stories when my kids turn seven. I keep details in a daily journal I have kept since October of 2003, so I don’t have to worry about forgetting what happened, and seven is a milestone age for me, so a fun time to look back.
Since Emma was born so quickly, I was worried about the 45-minute drive we had to the hospital with Johnny. We made two false runs to the hospital, starting two weeks before Johnny decided to show up. The midwife on call that night was sure he would be born in within 24 hours, but two weeks later my body was looking LESS likely to have a baby, not more likely. December 8th was set as an induction date (42 weeks). My body decided that the threat of an induction was enough to go into proper labor, but I still wound up with Pitocin after hours stuck at 7cm (not a fun place to be) to actually get Johnny into the world – and then I wound up with a fractured tailbone. I’m guessing that still beats having a C-section. As much as I would have loved a more straightforward birth, this was a case where modern drugs may well have saved both our lives – and for that, I am very grateful!
Johnny was nearly three pounds heavier than Emma at 8 pounds, 14.3 ounces, and he looked and acted more like a one-month-old than a newborn. He caught on to nursing immediately and painlessly, slept much better than a lot of newborns, and was fun to talk to (lots of eye contact and early smiles). He didn’t want to just cuddle up, though – he wanted to see the world and learn how to move!
21-month-old Emma adored Johnny – most of the time. She could be a little bit smothering-ish, and she did ask two or three times if we could give him back when he was brand new. Babywearing (usually in our ERGO carrier) solved both problems – he was out of reach, and I could spend more time helping Emma do activities that she cared about, which helped her see that life did not end when a new baby showed up. Pretty soon they were inseparable – and, seven years later, they still remain very close friends!
It’s amazing to me that my newborn baby is now a proper boy who loves to run, climb, and jump! Johnny still loves to stay active, and he still watches everything that happens around him very carefully. No slipping details past this kid!
Happy birthday, Johnny! I’m so glad you are my son!