Marc’s Birth Story

Last Thursday my baby boy Marc William turned one year old. So, as you can see, I’ve been thinking about writing his birth story for a YEAR now. But the little dude keeps me pretty busy, so I’ve just never had the time to sit down and just write. (As you can see from the lack of ANY posting for a year now…) But I really do want to get this story out before he gets any older and before any more details get lost to my fading memory of the night/early morning I labored and delivered him. So without further ado, here’s Marc’s Birth Story:

On Thursday December 29, 2011, I went to my midwives’ office for my 36 week checkup. I’d had a fairly normal pregnancy. Nothing out of the ordinary except for continual nausea and vomiting I experienced the entire pregnancy. It wasn’t bad enough to land me in the hospital with IV fluids or anything, but boy, did it suck to puke and/or retch almost every day for 9 months. Everyone kept telling me “Oh it will get better at ___ weeks!” (insert whatever week milestone it got better for them… 12, 15, 20…) But it never did. What this meant for me was understanding co-workers willing to cover for my classes at a moment’s notice, a lovely prescription to Zofran, and a total weight gain of 7 pounds. Fortunately, my midwives were not concerned about the weight thing. I continued to measure right on track for fetal growth and that was all they were concerned with.

Anyway, at my 36 week checkup, I had my strep B test done. Since I was undressed from the waist down, my midwife Christy asked if I wanted to be checked for dilation. I think Kelly said something like “well, since you’re under the hood, you might as well check the oil too!” Color us all surprised when Christy discovers that I’m 3 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced! (And I think I’m remembering something about the baby being at either zero or -1 station as well…) I’d had no indication at all that that might be the case – I’d had not even one Braxton-Hicks contraction at all! Christy warned me that it was entirely possible I could walk around for a few weeks like that, but also that it was fairly likely that I’d go into labor sooner rather than later.

So there it was. I posted this news on Facebook, but I don’t think I really believed that I would go into labor soon. Perhaps because of the lack of any Braxon-Hicks. I didn’t feel like I was in labor, I just felt achy and tired. So when on Monday around dinner time I felt some pain, I first thought it was just nausea or indigestion. But then I realized it was a sort of pain that I hadn’t quite felt before. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom a little bit after that and saw some pinkish tinged mucus (cue Googling “bloody show” on my smart phone…) that I realized that this really might be labor!

I alerted Kelly to what was going on and then started up my contraction app on my phone. What a great tool! I just pushed a button when the contractions started and stopped and it calculated the duration and the time in between. Which was good, because they weren’t at all regular. 15 minutes, 5 minutes, 40 minutes… they just seemed to come and go at random and last between 30 seconds and a few minutes. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to contact the midwives until I hit the 511 threshold (5 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration for 1 hour), so I went to bed and tried to relax through them when they came.

After midnight, I realized that the contractions had been coming a lot closer together, and after I lost my meager supper (one last pregnancy puke!), I hopped in the shower to breathe through a few more contractions and to relax a bit in the hot water. While I was showering, Kelly scrambled to get a hospital bag together (we seriously hadn’t even done that yet…) I’m not sure, but I think the shower actually began to speed up the contractions a bit too. After 1 AM, Kelly then called the midwife service and talked with the midwife on call, Cindy (who hadn’t been at my previous appointment, so I don’t know whether she had been aware of the state of my cervix.) She seemed a little skeptical about the contractions (who wouldn’t be after being woken up in the middle of the night) but told us to go to the hospital and have them check me out. If I had progressed, the hospital would call her in.

So, we called Kelly’s mom to come over and watch the older boys and we finished packing up the bag and left to go to the hospital. At this point the contractions were coming quite steadily, though I could still manage them fairly well. I felt good enough that when Kelly offered to run red lights to get to the hospital, I told him not to. When we got to the hospital, we forgot that since it was after 9 PM we needed to use the ER entrance, rather than the labor and delivery entrance, so therefore we went over 3 separate speed bumps 2 times correcting our mistake. That’s tough on a laboring woman!

When we finally got up to the maternity ward, even though I had preregistered with the hospital, I still had to fill out a ton of paperwork. At one point, Kelly joked that he though I had just bought a new car. Because I hadn’t gotten the results of my strep-B test back yet, I had to have IV fluids, which was a little annoying, but mainly just a pain in the back of my hand, where the IV was started. It was a little after 2 AM when they finally were able to check on my progress. And lo and behold, I was dilated to 7 cm! They called the midwife pretty quickly at that point. I don’t remember when she finally got there, but it was pretty quick.

The rest of the night seemed to go by both extremely slowly and extremely quickly. I remember that I kept looking at the clock and it seemed to be only an hour later than when I last looked at it – 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM, but each hour seemed to me to be an eternity. I labored for a bit standing up, I labored for a bit on a bouncy ball near the bed, I labored for a bit while Kelly held me, but I did mostly labor on my back or on one of my sides in the bed. I remembered my birth educator telling me to get gutteral with my breaths and moans, so that’s what I did. And after each one, Cindy the midwife told me to breathe out the pain and to breathe in fresh air. She was a calm rock, Cindy was. I don’t remember ever feeling like I couldn’t do it. I never felt like it was too much that I couldn’t bear the pain. But don’t get me wrong, I wanted it to be done! The main thing I asked was whether I could push yet – because I wanted it to be over! And Cindy would just say, “If you feel like you need to push, you can” and somehow each time she said that I just didn’t need to push quite yet.

Finally, I felt like I needed to pee, so I just had to let loose. Turns out that was my water breaking. At this point I was pretty much fully dilated and I asked if I could push again. This time, I just felt like I needed to, so I started. I pushed and pushed. At this point my memory is a bit hazy and Kelly doesn’t remember times either, so I can’t remember whether it was 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours that I pushed. It felt like a long time. I know that I had a bit of a cervical lip which Cindy had to get in and help out of the way when I was pushing. It didn’t seem like I was getting very far in my pushing until Cindy rigged up some sheets to a bar across the bed. When I grabbed ahold of the sheets and pulled on them, pulling my top half upwards, that’s when my pushing got some results.

Finally after a few growly monster pushes, I could feel his head emerge – what a relief! A few lighter pushes and the rest of him just slipped out! And Marc William made his entrance into the world at 7:02 AM at 7 pounds 10 ounces. Good thing he was early! He was blonde and little and smushy and they put him on my chest and I just looked at him marveled. They got him weighed and measured and cleaned up and brought back to me. At some point, Cindy mentioned that he looked like he was wanting to nurse – he was rooting around, so we tried it out and he latched on like a champ.

In thinking back on the pain, it’s funny that the pain that I remember the most is when Cindy went to massage my fundus after I delivered the placenta. That HURT! I also wasn’t expecting that kind of pain at all and Kelly had to hold me back from punching the midwife to get her to stop! Ouch!

As I posted a few days later on Facebook, doing the whole thing with no drugs was for me really exhilarating. I simultaneously felt like I couldn’t believe I did it and also that I could do anything! It was very empowering for me.

Marc

Marc

When I was in labor, Kelly had notified my parents as to what was going on, and had called work saying he wasn’t coming in. We also called Joey’s mom to let them know what was going on and to see if Joey could stick around a few more days (he was due to go back to Oklahoma that morning…) Gran and the boys came into see Marc later that afternoon, as did Uncle Skip. A doctor friend of mine also stopped by later. We ended up staying at the hospital that night through until the next lunchtime and then went home!

Marc

Marc

Marc

And then 12 months later – boom! Our little boy!

Marc at 1 monthMarc at 2 months
Marc at 3 monthsMarc 4 Months
Marc 5 monthsMarc 6 months
Marc 7 monthsMarc 8 Months
Marc 9 MonthsMarc 10 months
Marc 11 Monthsmarc 12 months

DPP 2011: December 13

DPP December 13

Last Saturday, Baylor’s Quarterback, Robert Griffin III, won the Heisman Trophy! The university is BEYOND way excited about this. One fan page on Facebook was asking for fans to take a picture of themselves in a Heisman pose, so this was my creative take on it.

DPP 2011: December 12

DPP December 12

We had our departmental Christmas party on Monday, and someone brought in this cool gingerbread house. (Apparently it’s from a cool bundt pan mold…) We had a white elephant gift exchange and what I received will get wrapped right back up and put into another white elephant gift exchange I’ll be a part of on Friday!

DPP 2011: December 11

DPP December 11

After church on Sunday, I helped some of the kids with making ornament crafts. These were the ones I made – a little stocking for baby Kellen and a Christmas tree. I’d never seen a craft like this – you use a little tool to scratch off the paint, and the glitter shows through. No messy glitter crafts, but you get the same sparkle!

DPP 2011: December 10

DPP December 10

On Saturday morning, I was finally able to get to the new Downtown Farmer’s Market, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lots of great vendors for produce and meat, and some great food vendors too – including the Green Kitchen, which uses ingredients bought at the market to make breakfast and lunch food. We saw lots of friends there, including one of our midwives. And we bought some eggs from a friend who sells his good through the Urban Gardening Coalition co-op booth.

DPP 2011: December 9

DPP December 9

Well, we finally purchased a Christmas tree – after work on Friday. We got it inside and set up in the Christmas tree stand. It took Kelly a while to get it completely straight upright. On his belly on the floor, turning screws, he said that it was a close approximation of what he does at work, except on airplanes, not Christmas trees.

DPP 2011: December 8

DPP December 8

In the midst of preparation for finals, the students decided to #occupythelibrary

(Because 1% of the semester owns 99% of the stress…)

DPP 2011: December 7

DPP Dec 7

We had a brown bag discussion over lunch at work on December 7 about e-books. This spreadsheet got pulled up on the big screen and, well, call me a geek, but the contents were kind of fascinating.

DPP 2011: December 6

I’m way behind on blogging my DPP 2011 pictures. Let’s catch up, shall we?

DPP Dec 6

We’ve been working on the former craft/office/storage room to turn it into a nursery. Here you can see a partially scraped window frame and some test paint swatches. It’s hard to tell in this light, but there are actually three shades of yellow there. The middle one – the lightest one – is what we are going to paint the room.

DPP 2011: December 5

DPP Dec 5

Because we have been working so hard on the nursery preparations, we’ve not done any Christmas decorating yet. But at least on Monday all the camping equipment that was occupying our living room (from our post-Thanksgiving campout) went back up to the attic and the Christmas decorations came down. So now I can work on it a little bit at a time…