Welcome Brooks Monroe (a birth story)

On October 25th, we joyfully welcomed the arrival of our third son into the world, Brooks Monroe Beaugh! I truly can’t believe that my water has broken on my due date TWICE now (Grayson was also born on his due date). I guess, if anything, my kids sure are punctual! 

I have been really wanting to share our birth story with you guys forever now but seriously have underestimated, ummm, having time to do anything with three little kids. 😉 Every time I sat down to write this, it just never happened. Well, my two older boys are in school right now and for the time being Brooks is sleeping peacefully in his bassinet, so here we go!

On October 25th I felt SO tired. Like, insanely tired. My mom and I went to Target (funny that I think of this now because I have walked Target the day before going into labor with all three of my kids now – there’s something to it!) and then I just laid on the couch and rested during the afternoon. I almost canceled the massage I had booked that evening because I was just feeling so tired and weary from being so pregnant. I did rally though and I went to my massage that evening at 7pm! I was having Braxton Hicks contractions the whole time but that was nothing really new. They were not painful or too close together so I just forged on.

My massage was amazing and when I got home I felt a little different. I started to think that maybe this night could be THE night. I was having the same (not painful) Braxton Hicks every 6-8 minutes but I definitely didn’t feel funny in a pre-labor sort of way. Nevertheless, I truly had a feeling something was going to happen so that evening I wrapped up all the baby blankets in foil (to be quickly warmed by the midwife for delivery) and I ground extra coffee. 🙂 I laid out both our Chemex coffee maker and our French press, along with all of the ground beans just in case! Then, I headed downstairs to bed. However, I couldn’t fall asleep and at 10pm came back upstairs for a snack. I ate a lactation cookie and a banana and then went back to bed.

Just as I was finally falling asleep at 11pm, the felt tons of wetness. I don’t know why, when your water breaks, everyone is always like ARE YOU SURE?? Yes, I’m sure I did not just pee myself. Definitely my water breaking! My first thought was oh no…I really was hoping my water would not break this time. My water broke with Grayson and labor was so much more painful. My whole pregnancy I had been praying for a quick and gentle labor this time around, since we were having a homebirth. Anyway, I got up to the bathroom and verified that, yes, definitely my water had broken. I woke up Adam and then I thought – well, let me try to go back to sleep like they all say because contractions haven’t started yet. I laid a giant Chux pad down on our bed and climbed back in. It really wasn’t comfortable though so I got back up and texted my doula and midwife. About 10 minutes later, contractions started! Adam started timing them and even though they weren’t very intense yet, they were all only 3-4 minutes apart. My doula was coming from a distance, so she headed our way and our midwife set out as well. 

Everyone got to our house around midnight. Contractions still were pretty manageable. I say “manageable” because if I can breathe through it, it’s not that bad yet. I bounced on the giant yoga ball and that really, really helped. Adam worked on filling up the tub, which was a good thing since it took 2 hours to fill up!!! When Melissa, my midwife arrived, she asked me if I wanted her to check me. I said yes because if I was only a 1-3, I was planning on telling her to go upstairs and take a nap. Well, she checked me and I was actually a 6!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I almost cried. A 6! I definitely did not feel like I was a 6 so I was very surprised. She went upstairs to make some coffee (glad I ground it all!) and another midwife started her way over to our house as well. It was going to be a full on party. 😉

I believe Melissa checked me around 12:30 or so. For the next hour, I took contractions on the yoga ball, toilet and standing against the wall. They hurt, of course, but it was still manageable. Finally, the tub was ready! I hopped in happily around 1:30am and that’s when things got real. I was expecting the tub to feel as good as it did during my labor with Luke, but this time it just didn’t. I felt extremely hot (my midwife and doula kept bringing me icy washcloths for my head and I was literally chugging ice water the whole time) and my contractions really were picking up. Let’s just say I wasn’t breathing quietly through them anymore! They HURT but I focused on welcoming the pain, really because pain meds weren’t an option and I just wanted him out. hah! Around 2:15, I announced I needed to get out of the tub and wanted Melissa to check me again. Somehow, I made that walk from the bathroom to the bed and Melissa announced I was an 8 but had some cervical lip going on. I don’t really remember the next hour that well! I was in a ton of pain and kept thinking the whole time – wow, this progressed so quickly!! I was literally fine one minute and then not fine the next. lol. I took more contractions on the toilet and then made my way back to the bed. I just sat there with balled up fists and pushed like my life depended on it (it really did). I didn’t know it was time to push and no one told me to push…but I had one mission in life and that was to get baby out. Now that I’ve done this three times, I can definitely say that pushing Brooks out was by far the most painful part and hurt way more than pushing Grayson or Luke out. Holy moly…even the hair on my head hurt. Anyway, I felt like pushing took forever but it really didn’t because 7 minutes later, out he came! Adam got to deliver him and I’ll never forget my doula saying “wow jenna, you birthed another toddler! he’s gigantic!”.  At 9lbs 6oz, Brooks was the biggest of all my babies and I couldn’t believe it! No tearing either – God had really answered my prayers and I felt so incredibly thankful for the experience. 

The most incredible thing about a homebirth was just getting to rest in bed right after and knowing that I was cozy at home. They put Brooks on my chest and Adam and I laid there like that for over an hour before Adam cut the cord and he was weighed. Then, Melissa helped me walk to the bathroom and I took a nice warm shower while she put clean sheets on the bed and heated up my soup. I put clean pajamas on and hobbled back to the bed to eat my soup and nurse my baby. It was truly a magical life moment, you guys. Melissa stayed for a few hours to make sure my bleeding was under control and there were no issues with the baby and then she left us. We had a very relaxing 40 minutes in bed before the big boys bounded down the stairs at 6:30am to meet their new brother. 🙂 My mom brought them breakfast downstairs and they had a floor picnic of bagels and fruit. It was a little chaotic (but what isn’t with a 2 and 4 year old?) but they were so sweet. Grayson “wrote” Brooks a poem and asked to sing him a lullaby. Luke offered him his favorite Elmo as a gift. Nothing like a dirty toddler Elmo in the face of a three hour old baby…but what can you do? LOL. 

So that’s really it! Many of you have asked how Adam felt about the homebirth. He was definitely all in! We had a lot of trust in our amazing midwives and doula, and both Adam and myself knew my body could do this. Honestly, the thought of going to a hospital was so stressful to me. It was wonderful to just stay home and get the job done. 😉 It all felt so NORMAL. I actually think Adam loved having a homebirth even more than I did. After a long few hours of hunched over getting that tub going, and then body blocking me when I kept pushing him during contractions with all my might (there aint no strength like the strength of a laboring woman), he was more than ready to climb in a clean cozy bed and have his newborn sleep on his chest. It was amazing! 

I feel incredibly thankful to have had the experience…and also suuuuuuper thankful I had such a fast “easy” labor. I definitely have had it both ways (Grayson’s birth was incredibly difficult and felt very traumatic to me for a long time).  I’ll post a postpartum update soon, but know we are doing very well and adjusting to life as a family of five. The transition to three kids definitely has proven to be more difficult for me than two kids, but I’m trying to embrace the chaos and remember that this really is just a short season of our life. 

All photography is courtesy of Julia Lorraine. We highly recommend her!! She is a doula and Bay Area birth photographer and we did a “first 48” session her. 🙂

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