I was watching the news a couple of years ago in August about a week before my youngest daughter Sarah’s birthday. A park in Manhattan Beach, called Sand Dune Park, had just been reopened after being closed for a year. The 300 ft. dunes had been damaged by years of people tramping up its sandy sides. The streets had been congested by excess traffic and parking problems, and constant noise well into the evening from all the people who came just because it was a cool place to hang out. The city finally had to come up with a solution to please everyone; or at least some. There is now a three dollar fee and a reservation required to use the dune.
36 years ago (now 38) on August 12, 1974, I was attending church, at a small hall our church was renting next to Sand Dune Park. I was miserable because I was more than a week overdue, and it had been a hot summer. I believe my daughter preferred the warmth and security of the womb, and refused to come out. She still prefers to curl up in the warmth and security of her bed, snuggling with her kitty, more than thirty years later. My son was born a year and one month before, on July 5, 1973.
I told my friend, Nancy, who was standing outside with me, that I was wondering if climbing the sand dune would help me go into labor. We decided it was worth a try if she went along to help me. We climbed about half way up the steep, leg-tightening dune, and then descended into ankle-plunging depth. Still no labor pains, so we turned around and tried again; this time – a labor pain. We were experienced mothers and knew how to time the pains to make sure it was real. It was. Away I went to the hospital, and delivered a beautiful baby girl, after several hours of labor.
Right after she was born, a nurse overheard us trying to come up with a middle name to put on the birth certificate. She peeked around the curtain and said, “Did I hear you say Monique?” We had already picked out Sarah as the first name and they sounded good together, so I said, “Yes, that’s it.” Her friends and I have teased her over the years saying she was very unique, that Sarah Monique. She truly is!
Just think: if I had climbed that dune to induce labor today, instead of 36 years ago (now 38), I would have had to pay a three dollar fee and on top of that; make a reservation.