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Johnny’s Birth Story (Seven Years Later)


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!


My Other Children’s Birth Stories

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MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

12 thoughts on “Johnny’s Birth Story (Seven Years Later)”

  1. Huh, either my comment didn’t go through (quite possible because I frequently close the tab before it finishes posting comments) or I completely forgot to hit post comment. Now I wonder how many of your posts I missed having my comment go through….. (I randomly decided to go back and read responses to my comments, because I just realized I’d been missing them all).

    I don’t remember what I wrote beyond just thinking a lot of OW! in response to the broken tailbone. And Happy birthday Johnny!

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    Wow, fractured tailbone sounds so painful! It’s good that “parental amnesia” makes us forget the trials of childbirth. To be fair, I had it very easy with a scheduled C-section, which was an absolute only choice for my cross-lying baby.

  3. What a handsome boy! Happy birthday to him. Sorry to hear about the fractured tailbone, ugh. I can’t imagine going through complications during childbirth, though I know it’s all too common. So glad you guys were both safe though.

  4. I love birth stories, but yours sounds like a tremendously painful one – did you feel your tailbone break? Ugh!! I imagine you tried every position during those hours stuck at 7cm. I hated the feeling of being “on the clock” in hospital. After such a quick first birth the slowness of the second must have been that much more agonising. Motherhood requires so much bravery, sometimes. But even the most painful sacrifices are worth it for our children! They are so precious!!

    Happy birthday to Johnny!! That’s a wonderful picture of him in the autumn tree!!

    1. The thing that I found most challenging about this birth was that his heart rate was SO steady that they wouldn’t let me off their OLD monitor onto their new wireless water proof monitor – due to some archaic rule that the nurse on duty chose to enforce. I had actually planned a hospital water birth and they had the tub set up and everything, but thanks to the monitor rule I wasn’t allowed off the bed, which may have added to the complications. These are the sorts of things that make people such strong advocates of home births, but we lived so far from any hospital that I didn’t feel like that was a good option. I have wondered since what would have happened if I had just climbed into the tub – would they have stopped me, or merely scolded me? The midwife thought it was silly to enforce the rule, but the nurse was threatening to report her if she skipped out on it so her job was on the line. A sad state of affairs, really, and definitely not a patient well-being centered situation.

      I didn’t feel the tailbone injury, because I was scared of Pitocin and had opted for an epidural before they started the pitocin. I had hoped that the epidural would get me past the 7cm mark without pitocin, also, but no such luck. At least the epidural worked like a dream. I’m glad I didn’t feel it break, but there is also the question if it would have broken at all if I had been able to feel what was going on better. We will never know, and the main thing is that everyone is okay now.

      And yes, thankfully, children are well worth the sacrifices we make!

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