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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Margaret's Birth Story, Part I (pre-hospital)

So Margaret is a few months old now... and I feel like it's a good time to get back to blogging. I hope you'll enjoy reading these posts - I want to continue to be writing honest and realistic memories and reflections about my pregnancy, my birth story for her, and my adjustments to life as a Mom! So sometimes I may share more than is typical... but due to my honesty following our struggle for me to become pregnant... get over it! This blog is my space and I want to be a resource for anyone else who may have questions or want to know if others had their experience. Love!

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My due date (March 17) came and went with Miss Margaret still not making an appearance. On Monday, March 20 I stayed up late in the evening to get some reading and organizing done (I REALLY needed to catch up on my hometown monthly paper The Rockbridge Advocate). Midnight passed. I was getting ready to go to bed and literally was laying down into bed at around 2:00am on Tuesday, March 21 when my water broke. I thought I had finally lost bladder control... but you quickly realize it's your waters when it just keeps going! Some mucus had passed in small pieces the past couple days (when you end up 'overdue' you really just feel the need to look into the toilet bowl...haha!) but I wasn't sure if there was any discharge or not. When my waters finally broke it was clear with very little blood. I shook Michael awake (who had been asleep for 2-3 hours), I said, "I think my waters broke..." and his very tired-REM sleep response was, "are you kidding me?" HAHA! I recall saying, "YES" and maybe even, "Yes, asshole!" I remember being both excited but also SO PISSED that I wasn't going to be able to get a full night of sleep before my labor started. By the time I hobbled to the W.C. there was some mucus visible - clear, white and snotty looking with some traces of brown (dried blood color). Thankfully, we had put a waterproof mattress cover over our mattress so I just plopped a towel down over the spot as it wasn't so much that I couldn't just lay there and try to nap once I returned to bed.

I felt really gross, so I told Michael to call the OB on duty line for our practice and I was going to take a shower. I remember him coming in with a disappointed face, and it turned out our favorite Obstetrician had been on duty that overnight, which meant she wouldn't be present when we delivered. Thankfully due to my PCOS and IUGR issues, we had gotten to know everyone in the practice so well! I enjoyed my shower and made sure to really enjoy it... I didn't know when the next one would be. I had gotten my hair and nails done in the two weeks leading up, so I felt as ready as I could be. I remember standing in the shower thinking, 'this is it' and feeling nervous about what all the labor could entail. I was excited to see what Margaret would look like, but the biggest thing is I was so scared she was going to be severely underweight and that we may get moved across town to UVA and the NICU. So there were many prayers about all of that... you just can't help it! I remember some early contractions pretty much right away, but they were so faint I didn't really know that's what they were as they were more at my back than anywhere else. I recall Mike said that the OB wanted us to go to sleep, so I sent Mike to bed and I... just lay there. I think I maybe got a 2 hour nap in before the labor really started moving.

We started tracking contractions when I learned what a contraction REALLY felt like. That happened at 5:48am. It was like a dull throbbing pain, but not as bad as I thought it would be. That said, I had had awful menstrual cramps for years and these early contractions weren't nearly as bad as those are for me. The fact that they gradually increased helped me kind-of surrender to the growing pain that I would still consider a discomfort more so than pain.

Contractions continued for several hours. Mike called the OB office during the workday, and we told them about the contractions, how they were pretty far apart and not regular (and when they were regular... still super far apart). We called my parents to let them know I was in labor but we'd rather they come after delivery... but Mike would keep them posted. My Dad responded by texting me a photo of the outfit he was wearing in honor of "his girls" - SO CUTE!

Mike called out of work to start his paternity leave. He also got our sweet Lily dog out of the house to go to her pet sitter for the next few days.

I took a bath to relax and be calm (and kill time)(but it turned out it stalled my labor... UGH). Day turned to evening again. We called the OB on duty again when I was about to go to bed... probably about 9:00 at night. I had wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but Mike was starting to get nervous (I really was fine, even though the contractions were uncomfortable I was prepared for that). The OB on duty wanted us to come in, I didn't want to, but Mike's face told me he would feel better so I had a really solid ugly cry about this not being my birth plan and I knew the baby was fine as our midwife class told us what to do about laboring at home and his stupid face was ruining it for me. haha. This OB on duty had already started discussing interventions and I was SO NOT HAPPY. So we got our bags and headed to the hospital which was a 30+ minute drive away. The next time we would be home it would be with Margaret!

When we arrived at the hospital it was so quiet. The parking garage was empty, it was a very still, cold winter night. At Martha Jefferson we go straight to the Birthing Wing - and since I pre-registered - and my OB on duty told them we were coming in - everything was a breeze (still had some paperwork though)(stupid bureaucracy). I had a contraction while we were speaking to the nurses at the check in desk. I remember just rocking back and forth in Michael's arms - like we were slow dancing - and it was so quiet in that hospital you could hear a pin drop. We were one of maybe 3 couples on the unit that evening when we checked in. We got to our room and it was just as serene and lovely as it had been in the hospital tour so while my tension was mounting I was also feeling at ease knowing everything would be alright. At this point it's just about 11:00pm on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, and I'm ready to get this show on the road!