Birth story: Parker Cromwell (part 1)

At 10 days past due, Parker officially cooked longer than any of his siblings so far, but I don’t doubt the midwife’s assessment that my dates were a week off and he was probably closer to 3 days past due.

He is the hairiest little guy I’ve ever seen, with muttonchop sideburns and copious black fuzz on his back and shoulders.  He’s also one of our smallest babies, weighing in at 7 lbs. 5 oz.

But he has a big head, big hands and feet, and long rangy limbs so I have little doubt that he’ll have that Coghlan growth spurt and wind up wearing size 13 shoes just like his dad someday.

His birth was, I think, one for the books.

I typically spend some part of each pregnancy dreading the impending labor, but this feeling normally abates as the duedate approaches.  This time, I was still struggling when the duedate came and went.  I tried not to complain aloud, but I inwardly cringed each time a well-wisher blurted out, “I’ll bet you can’t wait!”  Oh yes, I could.

I shouldn’t have worried.  I’ve always thought that God prepares us emotionally for labor and delivery, and the fact that I didn’t feel prepared could have – should have – been taken as an indicator that labor was just a little farther off than I thought.  By the time it started in earnest, I was ready.  Oh me of little faith.

In the meantime, one way that I tried to deal with my lack of psychological readiness was by exercising.  I knew that physical fitness often plays a part in how labor proceeds, and I knew that I had spent a large part of the last 6 years being much less active than I used to be, so I finally got in gear.

I started walking daily, building up from one mile at a time to over 3 miles.  I didn’t start this until 4 weeks before my duedate, and I worried it would be too little, too late to affect my upcoming labor and delivery, but hubby encouraged me enthusiastically, often walking with me, so I persisted.

God encouraged me too, with unseasonably mild weather and plenty of cloud cover.  The blazing south Texas sun hardly showed its face for the entire month of May.

I also found that contrary to what I expected, I immediately felt better than I had in months.  My typical aches and pains nearly disappeared, my piriformis syndrome seemed better instead of worse, and my energy levels were much improved.  I forgot to be bothered by the mild arthritis in my knees.  My prenatal checkups showed that my uterus and the baby were growing, but my weight stabilized and I began to lose some excess padding all over.  To top it all off, I found that I felt stiff and achy on the rare mornings that I missed my walk.

My outlook improved, though I was still apprehensive.  I found myself hoping to go past my duedate so I’d have a little longer to prepare, both physically and emotionally.  God granted that desire.

At 7 days past due, I had a chiropractic adjustment.  It wasn’t because I was in any pain or discomfort, but because I had done the same thing just before Becca’s birth – my fastest and easiest labor ever, so fast that the midwife missed the grand event entirely.  I didn’t mind at the time because I had been very apprehensive about the labor and I was just glad to have it over with so quickly.  In fact, I had been hoping for a repeat performance ever since – the fast and easy labor, that is. Not the part where the midwife arrived after the birth.

Two days after my adjustment, hubby and I walked 5 miles.  We didn’t really set out to walk so far, but a casual joke became a challenge and so we did it.  Later that day, my intermittent contractions seemed to settle into a 10-12 minute pattern, and I began to suspect that I was in early labor.

Contractions continued throughout the night, still regular but mild enough that I was able to sleep well.   On Sunday morning, we decided to go to church as usual.   Based on past experience, we knew it was likely that labor would pick up that night.  Daytime has always been pretty safe for me, and this time was no different.  We stayed out the entire day, and on the way home I finally felt the contractions becoming more intense, though they didn’t increase in frequency right away.

We put the kids to bed and made a few phone calls: the in-laws, and a heads-up call to my mom and the midwife who would be attending the birth to let them know that we’d probably be calling on them in the wee hours.

Then we settled into bed ourselves, hoping for a few hours of sleep before the excitement started in earnest.

cont’d here


  1. Thank you, Kim, for answering my query.
    Here is a funny/God’s timimg is interesting anecdote:
    a friend bought a pair of shoes, didn’t fit her, don’t want to take them back, would you like to try them, sure I said. I wore them for the first time today, all day. My feet still feel happy. I checked your blog to see what was happenin’, read your answer to my query, went running to my closet to check the shoes…would you believe…they are…Sketchers! Isn’t it amazing how God is always There before we get There. This is going to be a summer where I am going to need comfy all day, outdoor work shoes.
    Thank you, Kim!
    Parker is adorable!

  2. oh, you are killing me… Can’t wait to read the rest of the birth story. love birth stories. 🙂

  3. No! No! Please don’t finish this up quickly! Personally, I’ve been waiting for this.

    He his just adorable. What a charming photograph.

    PLEASE tell me what kind of shoes you wore for your walks. My feet need to know and as they can’t ask, I’m askin’.

    I smile wide at your smile-ing everytime you must look at your new baby!

    • Jamie,
      My shoes are Sketchers. I don’t normally go for name brands but bought these for helping in the VF warehouse during the busy season a couple of years ago and knew I needed good support for the concrete. I’ve been very thankful for them since then!

  4. My little girl was very very fuzzy like that, shoulders, forehead, ears, everything. When she was 5 weeks old we were in the ER, and as I stripped her down to go to x-ray a very loud german lady looked over at her and exclaimed “Oh! She’s so hairy, like a little rat!”. I was shocked! I looked over at her, and in all of my postpartum hormonal-ness, very UNgraciously replied “No, she’s hairy like a GERMAN BABY!” and got up and walked away. Not my finest moment!

  5. I can’t wait to hear the rest!!!! He is so precious. Who does he look the most like so far? I was LOL at your comments about how hairy he was, that’s how my #3 was and to this day he has the thickest, wiriest, craziest hair. It’s like we have an African American somewhere in our lineage, that is how thick and wiry his hair is (and we are as white as can be)…so be prepared for him to have SUPER thick and coarse hair 🙂 He is so cute, can’t wait to see more pics 🙂

  6. Alanna N. says:

    He is absolutely beautiful! You are so blessed! I’m waiting on that “second part” of the birth story…post it soon please…maybe now…right now?

  7. Kimberly in Idaho says:

    I agree, I want to hear the parts we don’t know yet!! He is so darling. And his name, I love it!

  8. Part 2? To be continued? Like, in 5 minutes??? 🙂 Great story so far – – can’t wait to hear the rest! He is a beautiful baby!

  9. Ummmm……..Those of us who read your blog already knew all of this! Not fair!!!!!

    And everyone here reading over my shoulder will attest to the unfairness ; )

    Can’t wait to hear the rest.

    The Seargeant Family

    • Sorry for the review but it just came out that way, and it was already so long splitting it up seemed like a good idea. Besides, I wanted to make sure there was a single cohesive account for later so I could remember how it all happened and learn from the experience for next time.
      I’ll try to finish up quickly!

  10. I was so excited to see that you posted the birth story. But, in typical Kim fashion….this is just a teaser!!!! :0) This is what keeps me coming back wanting more! Waiting for “the rest of the story”. 😀

    He is such a beautiful baby!

  11. My goodness! He is so pretty!
    Congrats! I love having a baby in the house, don’t you?
    Parker is a good name too. Does everyone want him to be a boy? I know the feeling. We have 4 girls and 1 boy.
    But we are thankful anyway. Congrats again! 🙂

  12. Precious picture!

  13. Do you think the boys are going to have similar builds?

    And I agree…time for a new header!

    Also,with so many June babies are you going to do start having group birthdays, at least while they are young?

  14. Oooh fun! I’m looking forward to part 2.

    And no fair on the due date being off! I had a highly scientific calculation that I used when I made my guess for the giveaway 🙂

    Ok no, actually I went with Memorial Day because of your track record.

    But June 7 is a holiday, too. In fact, it’s “National Chocolate Ice Cream Day.” I think we can all get behind that.

    Enjoy Parker!

  15. how cute!! you need a new header now!!

Leave a Reply to Alanna N. Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: