Sunday, June 28, 2015

For the Record

After church photo taken with a self timer on top of the big box our double stroller came in. 

So roughly 6 months ago I vowed to be a better blogger, if for no other reason than to keep a somewhat good record of our life for my children. And, that's been the only post for this year. What can I say? I have many excuses for not continuing to blog, the biggest one being having no camera (because what is a "mommy blog" with no pictures?). I also worked (babysat a little girl roughly 32 hours a week), was pregnant, and well, that's about it (in addition to running around with my three other kids). Well, now we have a camera, now I'm not working, and now I'm not pregnant. Seems like my excuses are gone.

I would like to try again. I celebrate second chances and renewed goals. Big plans, big plans I say! I'm not going to try to backlog and document things like Theo and Mabel's birthdays, my trip to UT in January (which Todd gifted me so I could see family and my dear friend Rachel and friends at her baby shower), and everything else, though I wish I could. Doing that seems just too much; I'm sure I'd be scared away from ever blogging again.

The truth is, years ago, probably 15-20 years ago I accidentally found one of my mother's journals from when she was younger. I can't remember the dates of her entries but I know they spanned many years, from before I was born to a little after (if I'm remembering correctly) and there were only a few entries. Each entry was pretty short. Some were about moves, some about day to day activity, and some were spiritual thoughts. I loved reading them though I don't remember exactly what they were anymore. When there were large gaps in her record keeping I wondered what had happened during that time and wished I could read about it. I'm sure she was busy and journaling wasn't a huge priority, or maybe it had gotten lost or was boxed away, like many of my journals. But I wished I could have read even just a line or two from those gapped years.

Remembering that experience of finding her journal helped me remember that record keeping is of interest to my children and worth doing. In fact, my kids already LOVE looking back at the blog and seeing pictures and hearing stories of when they "were little". So, with a new camera (thank you, Steven) and a new member of the family, I'd like to continue blogging.

I think it would be best to start with Margo's life.

She drew her first breath six weeks ago, Monday May 18th at 11:47 am, only one hour after the midwife broke my water. I was 41 weeks pregnant and my parents were to return home in two days. I needed to have our baby, and not without my parents. She was "our baby" because we had not yet found out if she was a boy or girl. I guess we like surprises. Big ones.

She came out hollering, all red and full of life. I could not believe it. After Todd announced that we had another daughter I was so thrilled and said a couple times, "Wow, baby girl, that was craAAAAzy! Can you believe we just did that?!" Our Margo Jane had made it--and luckily I had gotten on the bed in the nick of time. This is how it went down.

After three weeks of early labor symptoms, two membrane sweeps, walking around at five centimeters dilated for who knows how many days, and support from the midwives, I decided to have an AROM induction.

My nurse was Katie. I loved her. She seemed very knowledgable and was very personable. Plus, she has a little son named Aimes so we felt connected thanks to The Bachelorette. She got me all situated in our LDR suite and prepped for the induction. Shortly after, my midwife, Vanessa, came to get things going. I was happy to see her since the midwives rotate for deliveries and you never know who you're going to get. Vanessa is one of my favorite midwives and I felt I was in good hands. She broke my water at 10:47 am and meconium was present. It was noted to call the NICU during delivery.

I preferred to labor mostly alone and unmedicated so Vanessa told me I was her number one priority and to call her whenever I needed her. She went back to the clinic. Todd and I turned on the TV and started watching HGTV; we love our home improvement shows. After about 15-20 minutes I got up to use the bathroom and 10 minutes later I felt I needed to walk/pace around the room. I pulled out my nano pod to listen to my birthing playlist. Because this time around I was prepared. I thought I could escape labor pains by listening to some tunes. Some of the artists included: Low, Pete and Ann Sibley, The Stone Roses, Kalai, Lee Williams and the Cymbals, Antony and the Johnsons, Talking Heads, Jewel, Brandon Flowers, Katie Melua . . . songs that transported me to happy memories.

I got through about 3 songs as I paced around the room. At this point I was feeling regular, what I would call, cramping surges. They did not feel at all like full uterine contractions like I remember with Mabel. Just low but intense cramps, with easing in between. The nano pod became too annoying to deal with so I asked Todd to tell me about the book he was reading. It was Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed. If you've ever read that book you may understand why I was more disturbed than relaxed listening to the synopsis so I tried to tune out his actual words and just listen to his voice. That worked for a minute and then I, as kindly as possible, requested silence.

Those of you who have labored unmedicated, or medicated for that matter, know that eventually mom needs silence and any kind of noise is a nuisance.

I paced the length of the room two more times and at this point the cramping surges were super strong and I had to stop and lean on something through them. Todd became my support and we walked the length of the room one more time and arrived back at the bed.

Suddenly my temperature shot up. It felt like the room was 110 degrees and I started sweating and feeling nauseated. I told this to Todd and immediately after I felt the baby coming. I started groaning like only a laboring mother can groan and told Todd to go get the nurse. I leaned on the bed and the cramping pain eased. I heard him say to Katie in the hall, "Uh, I think she's in . . . labor." When he came back Katie asked, "Do you feel like you need to push?"

Well, actually at the moment I didn't. "Well, not at the mo---Oooooooohhhhhhhh!" And mid sentence the urge to push came over me and the animal-like groaning began again. I held on to Todd and Katie told me to breathe, breathe, breathe and get on the bed. She started dialing numbers, calling the NICU and the midwife. The urge to push never stopped and neither did the groaning. Everything escalated. Magically Todd helped me to the bed. I heard Katie yell for Sheila (the nurse tending to another expectant mother down the hall) and then command Todd to take off my pants (not pants literally, but those fun hospital undies). He did so in a flash and was then at my side. I heard her on the phone yelling, "Delivery, delivery!"

She must have been yelling to be heard over me. At this point my body had fully taken over and I couldn't slow it down. With Todd on my right, and Katie on my left preparing for delivery Todd exclaimed, "There's the head!" Katie ran to the bottom of my bed as she finished putting on her gloves, the shoulders were born, Katie unwrapped the cord and our baby was born.

I could not believe it but I was so relieved it was over in such a short time. I was also super grateful she hadn't hit the floor. If I had known she was so close to being born I don't think I would have been pacing to the last second.

We were now a family of six and couldn't have been happier. As they were assessing Margo Vanessa came in, almost breathless. When she got the call she ran like mad, but didn't make it in time. She held my hand and told me what a good job I had done. I could tell she felt bad she hadn't been there, but her support then was just what I needed.

* * * * *

Six weeks later I am fully recovered, thanks to loving parents and friends and husband who helped nurse me back to health. We are still adjusting and finding our new normal. The three other children welcomed Margo Jane so lovingly. She is completely adored and cherished.

Family is really what life is all about.


Alysa Stewart said...

Yay! When Jacob got home I asked, "you didn't happen to ask Rachel about the birth story, did you?... I thought not." So I was planning on calling you this week to hear it. I'll still have to call ya, I think. Fabulously done! Thanks for sharing the record with me. :D

Katie said...

I love reading birth stories! Thanks for sharing yours. Baby Margo is beautiful. I share similar feelings about journaling/blogging/record keeping. I need to be doing it more, even if it is just little snippets.

Melanie Sweet said...

Love that Todd gave me a sneak peek of a sleeping Margo Jane, today at church. That alone was almost worth the effort to go. She is so precious!! Love your ever growing, eternal family. You're a rock star Mom and I look up to you!!

Brittney Richards said...

Congratulations on beautiful Margo. She is about 1 month younger than my little Hazel Mae. Too as we are not still neighbors, Margo and Mabel and Zabien and Hazel would be great playmates. You are amazing and your family too cute!