Meeting Maggie Grace

I have been asked so many times about Maggie’s birth story that I thought maybe I should chronicle it. Then I can just hand out cards with a QR code on it and not have to go into detail ever again. (Just kidding, I don’t mind sharing about meeting my babe.)

Truth is,  I’ve always been a little squeamish about labor stories. Yes, I realize it’s a beautiful thing and all that, but it still makes me feel like I need to run to a bathroom.

I hated hearing birth stories as a young woman. Sorry. As someone who had never given birth before, it was scary, gross, and in waaaay too much detail. Then I got pregnant. And I realized that there had to be an end to the pregnancy. And that end was birth. Oh no.

I’m not a huge wuss normally. I’ve always been an accident-prone tomboy, so I had my fair share of blood and pain. Labor is the ultimate tops when people talk about pain. All other pain is compared to it. “Yeah, you broke your patella and elbow, and had a migraine at the same time…well, at least it wasn’t giving birth!” Yet, it was inevitable. And by the grace of God, I managed to act less terrified than I felt on the inside.

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I’m thankful that I took the classes, watched the videos, and read the articles all about birth. They made me queasy and nervous, but at least I knew what was going to happen and prepare myself; the best advice I got was to take what I could to make it seem homey. Really great plan, but all I really did was use lavender spray because the hospital smell is gross, wear my cozy robe, and play music from my phone. I took time to make a playlist of music that I loved and knew would keep me calm and focused (lots of worship). Funny thing is, I realized afterwards that I tuned it out most of the time! My nurses and doctor commented on how much they liked the music though, so at least someone benefited!

So with all that, here we go.

Pre-labor began at night, about 1 am on Saturday. It was uncomfortable enough to keep me awake, but not intense or consistent enough to do anything. I fell back asleep around 6 am after walking around the house, trying to get things moving.

A frustrating morning but a good ending at night.

Around 10 am, I started feeling more intense contractions, but could walk and talk easily so kept going about my day. Bear went to his parents’ house around 1 pm to play board games (their latest obsession). Around 2 pm, my contractions began to get more painful so I hopped in the shower to get some relief. Somewhere around 2:30, my water broke and I called Bear to come home. He said he would be home after the game was over. I said, no now.

My contractions were still not super intense so we took our time to get going. I had a friend who had spent so much time with false labor and labor not progressing, that I wanted to be sure I would be admitted and well on my way to having a baby when I got to the hospital. I loaded the dishwasher and put away some last minute laundry (no one wants the baby to come home to a messy house, right?) Bear suggested we take the dogs to his parents’, but my contractions were getting about 5 minutes apart and more intense, so I vetoed and we headed to the hospital.

It seems like everyone needed to be at the hospital that day, unfortunately. (And the street parking is for women about to give birth, people!) After going around the parking lot for FOREVER (ok, like 2 minutes), Bear parked and I hightailed it into the building, leaving him behind to grab the bags.

They got me in to be monitored at 3:30 and I was already 5 cm! While we were waiting for a room, Bear suggested we look up some boy names (nothing like the last minute!)

Because my water broke at home, they gave me Pitocin (not on my birth plan) and kept me hooked up to an IV and fetal monitor (also not on my birth plan). I had wanted to labor in the shower, but it just didn’t work out with the monitor (lesson being: not everything goes as planned). Thankfully, I could still be mobile and wander the halls and use the birthing ball. Honestly, the best thing for me was Bear. I had back labor and spent most of the time leaned over the bed with Bear putting all his weight on my back. At about 8:15 pm, I was at 9 cm and finally in so much pain. I asked for some Nu-Bane, but the “relief” was laughable. I wonder how much we were charged for it.

Finally, I made it. They had me start to push around 9pm and oy vey! No amount of videos or articles or stories can prepare you. All I know is I should’ve done more cardio during pregnancy!

After 11 hours of labor and 1 hour of pushing, our baby was put on my chest and It wasn’t until my doctor said “well, what is it?!” that I realized we got a precious little baby girl. Thankfully, we had picked out a girl name when we had gotten pregnant (truthfully I had it picked when we were dating…just a little creepy, I know). Margaret, after both of our maternal grandmothers. And Grace because of God’s grace in our lives and His grace during the process of giving her life!

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So there it is, as brief and without gross details as I can put it. The story of how we met our sweet little Maggie Grace. There’s plenty more to the story, like me passing out on the toilet, but I’ll spare you.

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