Over the last few days, I have felt this incredible need to write. There are so many things running through my mind, so many things to do, trying to stay organized and trying not to forget anything….
Our birth story is a great success, and I’m incredibly happy and thankful for how everything went.
I was about 9 days overdue, and didn’t sleep much Saturday night. I got out of bed early on Sunday morning and ran a bath. I was getting pretty frustrated and didn’t want to have to be induced. I got into the tub with the novel I’m reading.
Martin and I had decided on the name Marigold a long time ago–maybe even before I was pregnant. Strangely enough, my book introduces a new minor character (a makeup artist for a wedding) and her name is MARIGOLD!! No joke, moments later in the tub, my contractions started. That was somewhere between 7am and 8am. I got out of the tub and told Martin that he should probably get up. The contractions began at about 7 minutes apart and quickly progressed to 5 minutes apart.
It was the worst pain of my life. I was throwing up and felt pretty bad. I had expected that when labour started, I would have time in between contractions where the pain was gone, but what no one really told me was that the pain DOESN’T stop in between contractions. It still feels pretty awful (like bad period cramps) but the contractions were insanely painful. I thought I would have time to tidy up before I left the house and pack a few last minute things in my bag. Not so much–at that point I didn’t care about anything other than the pain.
Martin made a call to the doctor who promptly called back and asked if we had got the message she left earlier. Apparently there was some availability at the hospital for me to be induced and she had scheduled me in. Fortunately, I didn’t need it. She told us to go ahead to the hospital, so Martin called a cab while I got dressed.
When the taxi arrived, Martin brought our bags out and told the driver that I was in labour. We were lucky he was still willing to take us. He drove us quickly to the hospital (taking the exact route which I would’ve taken which makes me happy). I went right to triage where they monitored my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. The admitting nurse told me that it only gets worse and I promised her I would never do this again. Then I asked for an epidural.
The resident doctor, Dr. Scott came in to check where I was at and I was about 3 centimeters dialated. They got an IV in and moved me to a delievery room. The delivery rooms at Mount Sinai are amazing. It was about the size of our kitchen with it’s own bathroom and beautiful tub and shower. Shortly thereafter, the needle guy showed up to put a big needle in my back (epidural). Once he had the catheter in, I had to wait about 15 minutes to see if it was actually working. He admitted that he wasn’t sure if it was in properly, and the only way to tell would be to wait to see if I was still in pain.
Turns out the needle didn’t go in far enough so they had to do it again. Another needle man came with an ultrasound and the two of them worked out where it should go. 15 minutes later I was a completely different person.
Prior to the epidural, I had mentally “checked out” and could only really respond to questions that were being asked of me. I couldn’t even look at Martin. He was being so supportive and talking me through the contractions but I couldn’t make eye contact because of the fucking blinding pain.
The actions that helped best while I was in pain was slowing down my breathing, taking very deep breaths and then when I needed to moan, low/deep moans really helped get through the contraction. Martin also applied counter pressure during a contraction where he squeezed my hips and that really aided with the pain.
The epidural wasn’t painful, though the docs warned me that it would be. I didn’t feel the needle at all–I guess they don’t realize that in comparison to the contractions, the needle paled.
Once the epidual kicked in, I was a completely new woman. I was able to talk and laugh. I even got out my makeup case and put a little makeup on. I wanted to look good for this baby. It was nice spending time with Martin and talking to the nurses. The nurses said the contractions were mild to moderate, which I found puzzling since there is no way they could’ve been any worse in my opinion.
At around 1:30 Dr. Scott came in to break my water and check how far along I was. She was surprised to find out that I was about 7 centi….no, wait…..9 centimeters dialated! This was all happening very very fast. They thought I was going to go quickly, but were surprised at the progress.
It was time to call my OB and get her to the hospital. I was just about ready to push, so all I had to do was wait for the doctor to arrive. It was really nice, because Martin and I got to spend our last few moments alone together. It was really rather romantic.
I would recommend that anyone giving birth has an epidural if possible. Don’t be a hero, Martin says. It made the labour process enjoyable for me and for him, and we really got to take the time to get excited about the impending baby.
There were some minor complications–as the baby’s heart rate kept dropping, which was likely due to the head pressing against my cervix. Rolling from side to side and a little tickle on the baby’s head by the doctor helped that. Also, my contractions were not coming regularly and were still only mild to moderate so they gave me some pitocin to pick up the contractions. I was only on it for like a second, and it did the trick…
Anyways, around 3:42, my doctor advised me to push. Martin was instrumental in getting this baby out. He was very actively involved in helping me hold my breath, my legs and my head while I pushed my heart out. About half way through pushing, my doctor, Karlinsky, asked for my hand and she made me feel the baby’s head down below. I couldn’t believe how fast it was all happening!! Moments later, at 4:08, a baby squeezed it’s way out and landed on my belly (well, the doctors put her there). I had to ask what it was, and when they told me it was a girl I was sooooooo surprised. Almost everyone thought it was going to be a boy!
Martin cut the cord and the rest is history….or rather, our future.
Our baby, Marigold Charlotte was born happy and healthy. I only needed one stitch, and the labour and delivery was like a gift from the universe. I know that almost no one has a simple labour like mine, so I am VERY thankful. The whole process was a lot easier than I expected it to be, and I felt as though I could deliver a baby again the next day.
I used to talk about having 7 kids so that it was always an instant party, and sometimes I think I only want just one because I like Marigold so much. She looks exactly like Martin’s Sister, Kyla, when she was born, so most of her looks are McWaters. However, sometimes, you can see a deep dimple in her right cheek and that she gets from her Mamabird.
Everyone always talks about how you find a love for the child that you never knew existed. I knew I would love the baby, but I thought it would change our relationship. I was worried that Martin would love the baby more than me, that I would no longer be attractive to him and that we would grow apart because of the stress and frustration and lack of sleep that comes with a newborn.
I know it’s only been 6 days since she was born, but she has brought us closer together. My love for Martin has increased exponentially (and I was REALLY in love before) and I love the feeling of building a family. We amaze each other everyday with the love and support we provide to one another, and with the way we interact with Marigold. We really love our little baby, and in turn it makes us love each other more.
Sometimes life doesn’t always deal you the best hands, but I truly believe that people are in control of their own destinies. You get what you are given, but you are responsible for what you make of it. I feel as though the universe is constantly rewarding me with amazing things that I never dreamed of. I am so lucky to have this village of support around me to help raise this little baby and to make her into an awesome person who will do good things and make people feel amazing.
I love my life.