Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Chunky Monkey Butt!

Let me tell you, I’ve hatched two little humans myself, and maybe it’s the pain a woman feels during the baby-delivery process but seeing it happen feels much more like a miracle than actually doing it. Don’t get me wrong, seeing my little girl, my daughter, in pain just about ripped my heart out. No matter how old your babies get, you never stop wanting to be the boo-boo fixer. But unlike when my girl was young and thought scrapping her knee was the end of the world, no Smurf band aid was going to fix this.

Once or twice I was tempted remove a few body parts from her husband for getting her pregnant. How could this be fair that men didn’t have to suffer, too? But then my son-in-law, a true hero, was so sweet to his wife/my little girl that I decided to spare him. “Here, squeeze my hand,” he told her.

She looked up at him, pain clouding her eyes. “I don’t want to squeeze your hand.”

“But I don’t care if you hurt me,” he insisted as if he wanted to feel some of her pain to make it right.

Gritting her teeth, she answered, “But hurting you isn’t going to make me feel better.”

She didn’t say, “If it would help me, I’d kick your butt.” But it was pretty much implied.

For certain, I would have gladly taken the pain on if I could have saved her. But darn it, it doesn’t work that way. This was her time, her pain, her baby. But not for one minute did it mean she wasn’t still my little girl and for every pain she felt, my stomach knotted.

I stood by her side, brushing a hand over her brow, saying consoling words to comfort her, and spooning ice chips into her mouth. Once during a difficult contraction, her face pinched in pain, her eyes went wet with tears and she reared back her head and yelled out, “chunky, monkey butt!”

I swear that’s what she said. I waited for the pain to ease and then asked, “Baby, did you really just scream ‘chunky monkey butt’?”

“She doesn’t like to say bad words,” my son-in-law told the nurse who stood by monitoring her.

“I’m sorry,” I told my daughter, but I’m going to have to use that one in a book.” We all laughed. But I was serious, so you can guys can watch out for the words: chunky monkey butt to appear.

A good fifteen minutes later, things got serious. She reared back her head, and screamed, “Shit!”

Hmm…I guess chunky monkey butt, only covered mild contractions.

That’s when she got the epidural. Who ever invented those things needs a big award. My sweet daughter stretched back on the bed, got a goofy smile on her face and said, “Wow, this is great. I haven’t felt this good in nine months. It’s like two…no make that three . . . four margaritas.”

I really tried to get the doctor to give me one, but no cigar.

My hubby and my son, waiting in the family room, popped their head in every few minutes to wish her well. All the laughing stopped when a few hours later, doctor and nurse came scrambling into the room. I knew from their body language that something was wrong.

“Lay on your side,” they told my daughter.

“What’s wrong?” we all asked in unison and the seriousness in their eyes had my heart doing laps around my chest.

Air caught in my throat and fear swelled in my lungs as I waited for them to answer.

“Your baby’s heartbeat’s dropping,” the doctor explained. “I think the cord is around the neck. I’m thinking we’re going to have to do a C-section.”

My normally skittish daughter, the kind who would worry herself sick over getting blood drawn, proved to me right then that she was indeed a mother. She looked up at her husband, at me, and in the calmest of voices said. “I’m not afraid of surgery.” Then she looked the doctor in the eyes and said, “Take her now. Don’t wait. Get her out now. Please don’t wait. Don’t let anything happen to my baby.”

The doctor insisted they wait. My daughter, a smidgen away from panicking, kept staring at the monitor, tears glistening in her eyes; her husband, who never let go of her hand, kept murmuring words of encouragement. I stood close and prayed that whatever happened, my little girl and her little girl would be okay. I wanted so badly to cry, but I knew if any sign of weakness from me, and my daughter’s panic would increase three-fold. In a few minutes, all our prayers were answered when the heart beat went back to normal.

Hours passed. Finally, it was time. I hadn’t planned on being in the room when the baby was born, but the nurse gave me a job. Grab her leg. Her hubby had the other leg. There was counting, breath holding and a lot of pushing.

We’ve all heard it said that nothing is more beautiful than child birth. But let me correct that. It was amazing. It was a miracle. I’ve never seen anything so soul-shaking--so breathtaking. But it wasn’t beautiful. Nope.

My sweet adorable little girl who, thanks to her husband and me, had her legs held up beside her ears turned a bright purple with every intense push. Pushes in which her breath was held at counts of ten. There might have been a few more “chucky monkey butts,” screamed out. And I’ll admit it, I might even have been the one screaming it. You see, when she pushed, I pushed. When she held her breath, I held my breath. I’m lucky I didn’t mess my pants.

And then it happened, my granddaughter, Lily Dale, came into the world all covered in mush, drawing in her first breath, and letting everyone on the second floor of the hospital know that she was a force to be reckoned with. She weighed in at six pounds and six ounces, is 18 1/2 inches tall and has a set of lungs that don’t quit. She is perfect. My daughter is perfect. Life is amazing.

But the whole birth made me certain of one thing. You know how we all ooh and ahh over perfect heroes. Well, ladies we have it wrong. Women are indeed the superior gender. I mean, try to talk a man into opening up his body and pushing out another human being. Not happening, I tell you—especially if “said” entrance happened down by Uncle Jimmy and his boys.

So that’s the news at the Craig house.

Any birthing stories to share? Come on. Don’t be shy. I’d love to hear them.

Oh, I’m also giving you guys the heads up. Next week, I’m going to be giving away an ARC of Gotcha. That’s right you can get your hands on an early copy, with a few typos, of my June release. Also, next week Barbara Vey is celebrating her blog anniversary at: http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288.html and on Tuesday she’ll be giving away a copy of Gotcha! So plan to comment next Tuesday both here at Killer Fiction and Barbara’s Vey’s blog for a chance to win. And . . . on Thursday and Friday of next week Barbara Vey will be giving away a copy of The Everything Guide To Writing a Romance Novel.

Crime Scene Christie


Jo Anne said...

I've been thinking about you all week, Christie. Big congratulations, Grandma!! Lily Dale is beautiful!

I had an editor tell me in revision suggestions last year that there was nothing new in my mother's flashback scene to her daughter's birth, so I think I'll leave the birthing stories alone. :-)

Keena Kincaid said...

Congrats on the granddaughter, Christie. Lilly is beautiful.

Christie Craig said...

Jo Anne,

Thanks girl.

Nothing new, huh? What do editor's know? She was probably sixteen.

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Donna Marie Rogers said...

Aww, you brought me to tears, Christie...and made me chuckle, too...LOL Congratulations on your beautiful, healthy, granddaughter, grandma!!

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Keena!

She is a cutie.

I'm blond, fair skinned, and green eyes, and both my kids have been olive skinned, brown hair and brown eyes. But Lily is sandy blond, and her eyes are lighter than I remember my two being, so maybe at least my grandkid is going to look like she's related to me.


Christie Craig said...

Thanks Donna,

It was a totally amazing experience.


Keri Ford said...

Christie she's beautiful! Glad your daughter made it through and she didn't need surgery after all.

I hate she had a rough time with early labor. My sister had real bad back labor. I wasn't there, but when mom was telling me how she was in so much pain I could see that 'wanted, but couldn't fix it' in her voice.

Congratulations! Best of luck to your daughter in a speedy recovery so she can get home and settled in.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Keri,

Thanks for stopping in.

Mama's never stop wanting to fix the pains of their kids. Even when they are normal.



Christie Craig said...

Hi Keri,

Thanks for stopping in.

Mama's never stop wanting to fix the pains of their kids. Even when they are normal.



terrio said...

Awwwww, she's BEAUTIFUL! And you brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations again and I'm happy to hear everyone is healthy and doing well.

I got very lucky and had a very easy birth. After a very easy pregnancy. Which is probably why I shouldn't do it again. No reason to push my luck. :)

And I agree, whoever created the epidural should be granted sainthood!

Colleen Thompson said...

Awwww... And what a gorgeous little girl! Congratulations to you and Steve and the proud parents! But you're way too young to be a grandma!

Kristi said...

Congratulations Grandma. She's gorgeous and I love the name.

I would kill for a copy of Gotcha since I already read your last three twice in as many months.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Terrio!

Thanks girl. We're so proud of her.

And you did get lucky with an easy pregnancy and birth. But who knows...it could happen again for you. Of course first let's find Mr. Right. :-)

And yup, those epidurals are a wonderful thing!


Christie Craig said...


((But you're way too young to be a grandma!))

This is why I love you girl!! You always say the right thing.

Thanks for stopping by.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Kristi,

Thanks. I'm so proud.

And just make sure you pop in next week and visit Barbara Vey's blog, too.

Thanks for stopping by.


Edie said...

Congratulations, Christie! What an awesome story. Lily Dale is beautiful.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Edie,

It was amazing. And of course I think she's beautiful. Don't all grandmas?

Thanks for stopping in.


Theresa Meyers said...

Congratulations, Christie! She's beautiful!

I've heard being a grandmother is even better than being a mom. :) You'll have to fill us in on that as time passes.

I had both my kids at home with a midwife and it was an amazing experience (even with the pain!). Children sure do give us pause to rethink the world.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Theresa,

You had your children at him. I'll bet that was amazing.

And I'll keep everyone updated on the emotional high of being grandma. I've already been hit up to baby sit in a couple of weeks and I'm gonna love it.


Teri Thackston said...

I've been crossing my fingers she could wait until after Friday...yay! Congratulations! And what a great story...beautiful baby, beautiful name, beautiful daughter and grandma!

Gemma Halliday said...

Oh, she's so beautiful! I had tears in my eyes reading that, CC!!
(Then again I get tears in my eyes at kleenex commercials lately...)


Christie Craig said...

Hi Teri,

Thanks. Those babies have a mind of their own. And darn if they don't pretty much rule the roost.

Thanks for popping in.


Gemma Halliday said...

Theresa - I had my son at home with a midwife, too. Great experience and a really easy birth. I remember thinking when the midwife said I could start pushing, "Really? That's it? We're done?" Lol! In fact, I've got my first midwife appointment for baby #2 today. :)


Christie Craig said...

Aww, Gemma!

Those pregnancy tears fall way too often, but they are so normal. My poor daughter now has the after-pregnany tears. She cries at even the mention of crying.

Darn those hormones.

Take of yourself and baby.


Tessy said...

What a darling baby, Christi and just a lovely story!!

Christie Craig said...

Thanks Tessa!

I'm still on a grandma high.


Ruth said...

Oh, Chrisie I know exactly how you feel. The birth of a child is wonderous, but the birth of a grandchild is a mircle wrapped up like a christmas package just waiting for you to enjoy it. As you know, I have experienced this wonder a few times, and will again in August. There is no greater love than that of a chubby little person, who holds up their arms and looks at you with the biggest smile in the world and says granma or when they say "I wuv you" for the first time.Enjoy your beautiful Lily, she will be your greatest legacy.

Linda Warren said...

What a beautiful story. I had tears in my eyes a time or two. Glad everyone is okay.
Lily is so precious.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Ruth,

I knew you'd understand. I can't wait to hear her talking.

And let me tell you, if she takes after he mama, once she starts talking, she won't ever shut up.

Thanks for stopping in Ruth.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda!

Thanks so much. It's been an amazing ride.


Kate Douglas said...

Congratulations, Gramma! Lily Dale is absolutely gorgeous. My daughter, mother of three (I'm Dabba, not Gramma, thanks to #1) has decided that the epidural should be administered in the parking lot, prior to admission. My daughter-in-la, mother of two, concurs...of course, they both delivered eight and nine pound babies...

Linda Barrett said...

Mucho congratulations, Christie, to you and the whole family.

Lily Dale is simply beautiful. And special. And unique...

I have a plaque in my house that says, "When a child is born, so is a grandma." I think it's true.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Kate,

I think my daughter would agree with your daughter and daughter-in-law. I had both of mine natural, but not by choice. And I was all for my daughter getting some relief.

Jeepers girl. I can't see anyone giving birth to a 9 pounder. I think the six pounder was all my daughter could do.

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Ahh, Linda.

I need one of those plaques. It's so true.

This is going to be fabulous.


Terry S said...

Welcome to the world, Lily Dale! Luckily you have a grandma whose writings will memorialize your childhood with words to match all those beautiful pictures going into the scrap book I'm sure has already been started.

Congratulations to the whole Craig family on their newest member and newest names - grandma, grandpa, uncle, mom and dad.

Christie Craig said...

Thank You TerrY!

You have to know that this little girl will inspire lots of scenes.

I've got a plot about a heroine who is a new mom already in the works.

Thanks for stopping in.


Anonymous said...


Mary M

Christie Craig said...

Mary M.

Thank you so much.

Funny how much you can love someone that you just met.

Thanks for stopping in.


Terri said...

OH my gosh WONDERFUL POST! And super mega CONGRATULATIONS to you, your daughter, her husband, your husband...everyone!! I can only imagine how thrilled you are and the baby is indeed BEAUTIFUL!!
I remember holding my husband's hand when my second daughter was born. When I almost put him on his knees he gave me a tennis ball to squeeze instead. haha


Nancy Kay Bowden said...

Lily is beautiful! Excellent job, Nina! Congrats, Craig and Company!!!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Terri!

I think I did some damage to my hubby's hand when my son was born. Too bad he didn't think about a tennis ball!

Thanks so much for stopping in.

We all so thrilled.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Nancy,

Thank you so much. She so perfect. And she smells so pefect. Nothing is like that new baby smell.


Michelle (MG) Braden said...

What a great story - totally made me cry (I'm a bit of a sucker for stuff like this). Also made me think of my beautiful daughter who, thankfully, is only 7 so I still have a ways (hopefully at least 15 or so years!!) to go before I experience this with her.

Congratulations on your granddaughter!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Michelle,

Ahh, give your little girl a big hug. I swear it was yesterday my little was catching lightening bugs.

Thanks for stopping in.


Tambra said...

Lily is beautiful! Congratulations!
What an amazing experience you related.

Thanks for sharing your new granddaughter with us.


Christie Craig said...


Thanks so much girl.

It was awesome. You're time will come.


LuAnn said...

Wow! I'm (im)patiently waiting for the birth of my grandson. The due date is tomorrow.
I like your comment about men not delivering babies. In fact, I heard someone say years ago if men could get pregnant, abortion would be the norm.

Christie Craig said...


Wow!! Congrats on the little one's soon-to-be appearance.

It's so exciting. Let us know how things go.

My daughter didn't make her due date. She was about two and half weeks early. But I never carried a baby past seven and half months so I was happy my daughter kept Lily in the oven as long as she did.

I'll be hoping you get the call soon and everythng go well for mom and the new little boy.

And yup, I think the human race would have petered out by now if birthing was left up to the men.

Thanks for stopping in.



Elizabeth said...

Totally awesome! And you are very brave AND blessed.
Today I registered my "baby girl" for her senior year. I'm not ready for her to go anywhere beyond that!

Christie Craig said...


They grow up too fast, don't they?

All we can do is love them and deliver those life lessons that we hope will see them through all the hurdles they'll face.

Thanks so much for popping in.


Tessa McDermid said...

Yeah, Christie, to your daughter and all of your family!! Lily Dale is a doll.

And, yes, sainthood would be perfect for the epidural developer.
We went through the same thing with our first son - losing the hearthbeat - and I did have a C-section. Because I'd had an epidural just before that, we could go right into the operating room. I'd had an easy pregnancy so bounced back quickly. And that's the grandkid that had my mom's red hair, her love of history, and was #1 in her book all the time she had with him.

And now my 'baby' is in college, with his little brother set to start next year! Thanks for reminding us how miraculous having a baby is. Looking forward to lots of grandma stories.

Christie Craig said...


Thanks so much for stopping in.

Baby business can be scary business. I'm glad my daughter was able to deliver normally, but we'd have gone with whatever was better for the baby.

Those little ones grow up so fast. We really need to be able freeze time.

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. She is adorable. :)

Estella said...


Christie Craig said...


Thanks girl. We think she's the grandest of all. Don't don't all grandparents think that?


Christie Craig said...


Thanks girl. It's going to be fun watching her grow up.


Michelle said...

Wow that is an amazing story, Congratulations again. I had tears in my eyes when I got to the part about the heartbeat dropping. So glad that everything worked out, and that you have a perfect little granddaughter to spoil.

Christie Craig said...


Thanks. I managed not to cry during the crisis, but boy howdie, when I wrote my blog the tears rolled.

Thanks for visiting today.


Refhater said...

Congrats on the Grandbaby!

My birthing story is actually from my sister in law. It all started with the baby shower. It's a long one, so forgive me.

It was 3 weeks before the baby was due when we had the shower. My brother & dad had just arrived to pick us (my sister in law, my mom, and myself) up and we were going to have a nice lunch before we went home. (They only served cake and punch at the shower.) Not more than 5 minutes after Bill & Dad pulled in the driveway, Hilary announced to us all that "My water just broke."

After a few moments of stunned silence, we hurried to get her to the hospital. Bill kept trying to insist that it was simply braxton hicks contractions, except in his panic he called them "Hyper Kitemans."

Then after several hours of labor, the baby's heart rate continued to drop. The doctors came in and told Bill that they were going to do an emergency c-section right then and there(in the labor room.)5 minutes later, at 3:33 AM Leah was born.

But during the procedure, in the rush to save the baby who's heart rate continued to drop, they accidently nicked Hilary's bowel.
That nick wasn't discovered for 3 days and we almost lost Hilary. She ended up having a second surgery that night and they removed over a foot of bowel that had become septic.

Poor Hilary wasn't allowed to eat for 3 weeks after having the baby. All's well that ends well, though. Leah was perfect and is now a big sister to Susanna.

Christie Craig said...


Jeepers. How very frightening for you and your family. I'm soooo glad everything went well after that.

I'm sure the only upside is that your sister-in-law lost the pregnancy weight quicker. But seriously...I'm glad everything went okay.

My daughter's water started the day before the baby was born. She had been sick and she called me and said "Everything I cough, I pee on myself."

I told her I didn't think it was pee. The visit to the doctor the next day proved me right.

And I laughed at "Hyper Kitemans." Poor guy, little does he know his goofs are being enjoyed in the blog world.

Thanks for stopping in and sharing.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Christie. Now it is up to you to make sure that beautiful little Lily doesn't end up with any insulting nickname.

I always think of twins I know...No Neck and Squatty Body. Those horrible name haunt them to this day!


Christie Craig said...

Okay Grace,

I'll be on the outlook for anyone calling my precious baby names.

Those poor twins!

Thanks so much for stopping in.


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Congratulations, Grandma! I was in the room when my grandson was born. He was bigger than the doctor expected and she had to use the foceps. They caused his head to cone and turn purple. So when he was born, I really thought he was deformed. He looked like a purple conehead! Luckily, the swelling went down quick (within hours).

My other daughter had to have an emergency c-section, so I didn't see her daughter born, but all was well with them inthe end.

It is a miracle!

Granny Melinda

Christie Craig said...

Granny Melinda!

Too cute, girl. Thanks for stopping in. My son had a huge cone head and yep, I thought someone was wrong, too. Even Lily had a bit of cone head, but not nearly as bad as my son.

Sounds as if you got some experience behind your belt as grandma, I'll look forward to getting tips.

Thanks again for stopping in.


Ciara Gold said...

Big time congrats, Christie! Wow, I had tears too. I tried to imagine my daughter giving birth. She's only 17 so I'm glad she hasn't traveled this route yet, but even so ... Your daughter 'done' good. The photos of Lily are precious.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Ciara!

Thanks for stopping in. I'm telling you seventeen, or twenty-seven that route takes your breath away. Ahh, be we raise them to take part in life. I proud of her as I'm sure you will be someday with your girl.


EmilyBryan said...

Congrats, Granny! What a little doll!

Christie Craig said...


Thanks. She's a doll with a set of lungs. Boy howdie, can she cry.


catslady said...

My story would take too long but all ended well so I just want to say Congratulations to all!!!

Christie Craig said...


Thanks! Ahh, don't we all have a birthing story.

Thanks so much for stopping in.