This is your birth story- the culmination of nine looooong months of waiting for you through chronic nausea, gestational diabetes, low amniotic fluid, and just plain impatience due to excitement. Your birth story began on Tuesday, March 6th. The day didn’t start with contractions or any other indication that you were coming soon. Your mom just had a regular, routine weekly check up at 10:30 am. There they declared that your fluids had dropped and therefore it was time for you to come. Your mom went straight to the hospital to get checked in and start IV fluids and get things gradually started. Because this was a bit unexpected, your mom had to spend a bit of time all by herself while your daddy ran to the house to take care of your pup-sibs, gather the hospital bags, and meet the furniture delivery men. In your mom’s typical fashion, she put on her strong, smiling face and endured the little feelings of anxiousness- mixed with excitement- while waiting for the comfort of your daddy’s support to return.
There were a few little things that made this particular day a little less than ideal- 1. Your daddy had worked the night before and was functioning on only an hour of sleep, and 2. Your Grandma was recovering from surgery just days before and her presence and your Grandpa’s presence was missed. Thank goodness for FaceTime updates and plenty of support people to offer encouragement, strength, and distraction- your Gigi, Great Aunt Holly, Reece, & your great Granny. The overwhelming anticipation to finally meet you far outweighed any other emotion or amount of exhaustion. It was almost time. The finish line was in sight and soon your parents would get to see your face and shower you with love.
It is unique when nurses reverse rolls and instead become the patients. Your dad definitely held the role of head nurse in many ways throughout, but even though he had his gloves at the ready he wasn’t the one running the show as usual. He was instead in charge of getting your mom’s socks on just right, tons of back massage, dispensing ice chips in the heat of delivery, and keeping a constant eye on your mama and you via the monitors. He had to rely on the amazing nurses- Audrey, Katie & Kate- to take care of all else. The supplementary support team also diligently monitored each contraction and provided all kinds of light and playful banter to help pass the time. Unfortunately, sometimes a watched woman in labor is a little like a watched pot of water on the stove. But as was oft said: “slow and steady wins the race.”
Around 5:15 pm Dr. New came in to strip your mama’s membranes to encourage things along a little. Though the pitocin was being increased regularly there wasn’t quick change happening in the way of dilation.
7:00 pm – The excitement that ensued when Wheel of Fortune came on was comical. Like a little old couple, these two took their sideline role in the game very seriously. Of course the competition continued with Jeopardy. One other thing kept your mama’s mind busy- an possible impending storm rolling in. Not only do storms make her uneasy, but she was also worried about your pup-sibs at home alone.
Throughout the contractions continued with gradually increasing intensity. Around 7:45 Dr. New returned to break your mama’s waters. It wasn’t until the back labor kicked in that your mama’s smiles became more forced, but they still managed to be ever present.
After realizing that the finish line could be pushed into a new day, your mama decided that an epidural would be necessary to get relief from the constant aching pain, allowing her to be ready to do the hard work of pushing when it was time.
Around 8:50 the epidural was inserted and the plan was to get a little rest. Uncle Grant arrived, driving all the way from college. He was expecting a little bit more excitement than he found, but he accompanied your dad for a quick bite to eat and at least got a some rest himself during the wait.
Thankfully, the back pain was alleviated some by the epidural after it was fixed by Nurse Tammy, but heartburn and nausea decided to come on board causing their own forms of discomfort for a period of time. Everyone was a little hopeful that this could mean transition was here. Dr. New did a check at 1:06 am on Wednesday, March 7th, but not before a few guesses were made. Both he and Nurse Kate were predicting 7-8 cm, but unfortunately your daddy’s guess of 6 cm was dead on. Progress was being made but still at the slow and steady pace.
This so perfectly depicts your daddy’s role- he kept constant and close watch in spite of the fact that he hadn’t slept in countless hours.
Though things were quiet in the room for several hours there was only very light resting happening. Nausea was an all too familiar constant companion and the epidural pump still wasn’t working the way that it should. Still, there were lighthearted memories shared about sweet high school days and nurse banter shared with sweet Kate.
Your daddy was all too happy to glove up to feel a little more helpful for the 4:10 am check. He kept a pair in his pockets so he could be ready at any moment. At one point he even said: “I’m helpless without the gloves. It’s like my force field is down.” It was exciting and energizing to hear that your mama was at 8 cm, +1 station, and 90% effaced. PROGRESS! The exact fuel that was needed to make it through the growing pain and added pressure.
By the 6 am check the room erupted with delight and joy because the magic #10 was here. And what’s more- Dr. New made special arrangements to see your parents all the way through so he could be there to meet you too.
By 6:21 pushing began with each surge of contractions. Much like the pace of the previous hours, the pushing progress was slow and steady- not because of your mom’s efficiency, but because the contraction surges spread out a bit allowing her a decent amount of time between each to rest. Perhaps all of this was an early indication of your calm and patient demeanor.
At 7:26 am you were here! The room instantly filled with love, laughter, and sweet tears of joy.
Your mom & dad got to oooh & ahhh over every bit of you and your daddy got to cut the cord.
The nurses made quick work of your newborn exam just a few feet away so that they could return you as soon as possible to your mommy. You weighed in at a healthy 7 lbs. 1 oz. even though you were just shy of two weeks “early”. You were 20 1/2 inches long, and your mom instantly said that you had your daddy’s feet and fingers.
Nothing could possibly compare to the joy of those first sweet snuggles, but the first taste of generic ginger ale and some animal crackers probably came in as a close second seeing as your mama had gone for so many long hours without anything besides ice chips as sustenance.
Daddy’s do skin-to-skin time too. This is a great way to promote bonding, but also has the added benefit of helping you regulate your body temperature since you aren’t able to that on your own yet.
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that you and your Uncle Grant already are exhibiting a similar fashion sense. 😉
A beautiful legacy of love spanning 4 generations.
This (above & below) is how parents look at their babies with an indescribable feeling we try to explain by the simple word: LOVE.
Welcome to the world, sweet Mav! You have already earned that nickname from me. We can cross “Rick” off the list. 😉 It has been an absolute honor and privilege to capture this entire first chapter for you to look back on some day. I hope you will relive your birth story with your parents each year on March 7th as a sweet reminder of the love that you created even before you were born, but most definitely the moment you were, and then every moment after.
Amber & Matt-
You are already incredible parents. I absolutely adore you both. Thank you for including me in your journey. I will continue to cherish watching you all grow together throughout the years. I pray you enjoy and savor every minute and that time slows down to allow you to do so.