Our little bundle, Monroe Allester Koster, came into the world on September 5, 2019, three days after his due date. Monroe’s first name came from a street in Grand Rapids. Kyle and I had a list of names compiled that we both like, but hadn’t come up with one that we both LOVED. One day, around 30 weeks, we were driving and Kyle was throwing out all kinds of far out names. And I read the street sign I happened to look up and see, Monroe. I paused for a moment, and said, “wait, I actually really like that name!” And shortly after it took over as the front runner. We have yet to adapt a permanent nickname, but I lean toward Roe, while Kyle prefers Mo. Monroe’s middle name, Allester, is also Kyle’s middle name and is a combination of his two grandfather’s names, Alvin and Lester.
MONROE’S BIRTH STORY
At my 40 week appointment I was dilated to 1cm, and it didn’t look like he was going to come into the world in any hurry. At that point, I was in a lot of pain. Just a couple days before my due date I began having sciatic pain on my right lower back. I could barely walk across the kitchen, so my last few days of pregnancy were not spent nesting, rather on the sofa, sitting which was the most comfortable position. Because of that pain, I was ready to get the baby out as quick as possible. At that time I scheduled an induction for 40 weeks, 3 days, or the evening of September 5. I didn’t really have a birth plan, more assumed it would be a repeat of labor and delivery with Oliver, so I planned to head to the hospital when I was in labor, get an epidural and give birth about 12 hours later with little pushing. Largely that is how it all went down.
September 4, 6:00 PM - On Wednesday, September 4th, Kyle went off to his baseball game, and I was outside playing with Oliver. I came into to go to the bathroom and noticed a significant, but not huge, amount of fluid. When I went into labor for Oliver, my water broke two days before his due date and came gushing out. This was not nearly the same amount of fluid, so I wasn’t sure what call to make. I didn’t really want to go to the hospital, be turned away and have to come back the following night, but I also didn’t want to have the baby on the bathroom floor. I consulted with a friend who happens to be a labor and delivery nurse. With her advice I decided to go to the hospital.
September 4, 7:30 PM - We arrived at the hospital and I was admitted. They looked at the fluid on the microscope looking for “ferning” which indicates that ambiotic fluid is present and your water did in fact break. There was no ferning. Again, I really didn’t want to leave just to come back 24 hours later and do this all over again. They let me know that they would bring in a midwife to do an additional test to see if the water was actually broken, and that test came back positive! Hallelujah! We could get the process started!
September 4, 8:45 PM - I was moved upstairs to the delivery room. Now only dilated to 2 cm. With Oliver I had tested positive for strep B, so they went ahead and treated me again this time, hooking me up to an IV and giving me antibiotics. For Oliver’s birth I didn’t have the sciatic pain, so I was able to move and walk around, this time around I was pretty much confined to my bed, breathing through contractions that had become very painful.
September 5, 1:00 AM - I tried to hold out from getting pain medication, though it was always my intention to get an epidural, but at 1:00 AM, I wasn’t getting any sleep and the contractions were very painful, so before the epidural I got Stadol, a lesser pain med. I was still only dilated to 3 cm. I don’t remember exactly when, but some time in the middle of the night, they also gave me pitocin to help move things along.
September 5, 5:30 AM - After sleeping on and off for a few hours I finally requested the epidural around 5:30 AM, and was able to sleep a few hours until about 7:45 AM, when I was still only at 3 cm.
September 5, 9:30 AM - Starving and wishing things would be moving along a little faster, I drank some black coffee and did not keep it down for very long. I hung tight for the next few hours and they measured me at 11:30, and was still only half way there at 4-5 cm.
For the next several hours there was not a lot of action, just hanging out, taking guesses on when the baby would arrive. My guess was based on my first experience with Oliver, I guessed he would arrive by 3:00 PM, Kyle threw out 5:18 PM, but I was definitely hoping he was over shooting. Several episodes of “Friends” later and it felt like things were happening.
September 5, 3:00 PM - At this point I realized that my birth time guess wasn’t going to be correct, but I did start to feel pressure.
September 5, 4:00 PM - I knew my doctor was done for the day at 5:00 PM, so I was hoping to push the baby out by then. The pressure was getting more sever and I let the nurse know that I thought it was getting to be time to push. She checked me, and I was still not to 10 cm yet, but when she checked I still had water in my sack and it burst and came gushing out. My doctor was delivering another baby, so they were going to send her in as soon as she was finished.
September 5, 4:45 PM - My doctor arrived and I let her know that it felt like I was ready to push. She checked me and I was still only at 9 cm. So she stretched out my uterus so I would be ready to push. At about 5:10 PM I started pushing. My doctor and nurse were encouraging me to push harder, to which my response was that I was doing my best. With the second and third contractions, they more forcefully pressured me to push harder. Then they said they had to bring in more people and “get the vacuum ready.” It was all happening so fast that I really didn’t know what was happening. He started crowning with the forth contraction and on the fifth they used the vacuum and pulled him out. His heart rate was dropping because he had the cord wrapped around his neck. After less than 10 minutes of pushing, he was born at 5:18 PM, Kyle’s exact birth time guess.
Monroe was 8lbs exactly and 20.5 inches long. 10 fingers and 10 toes and just a little beat up from the vacuum and birth canal. Our sweet little dude gave us a five hour stretch of sleep on our first night and we woke up feeling great. Once my epidural wore off, I realized that the sciatic pain had not subsided, but other than that I was feeling great. Oliver came to the hospital to meet his baby brother on September 6th. While at Grandma and Grandpa’s, he wasn’t sure what to make of it all and was really worried about his mama. Once he saw that we were all doing well, his fears turned to adoration for his new little brother.
Now we are home, Monroe is two and a half weeks old and doing outstanding. He is a super chill little guy, not too many tears, loves sleeping, is growing well and all in all a very happy baby!