Birth story - Margo

Colt predicted Margo would come on "Thorsday".  I said I was fine with that, since everyone on my birth team would be in town and ready to go, but I didn't think it was actually going to happen.  39.3 weeks pregnant and SO OVER IT, I was convinced she was never coming and that any hoping I did was just going to draw it out longer.  

Wednesday around lunch time, our neighbor came over to tell us there was a kitten crying in our driveway.  This is our neighbor that has a ton of stray cats and isn't quite the most animal friendly, so I did NOT want to deal with this, but we went out and looked anyway and saw a tiny few week old kitten with a pretty bad neck injury.  We managed to get the sweetie into a carrier and taken to the animal hospital where they told us they'd try to rehabilitate her, but by the looks of it they'd probably have to put her down.  While waiting for the vet tech I pet her cheek and let myself cry my eyes out.  I thought just briefly about why this was happening to me of all people, who would sit there in the waiting room and cry for a kitten.  I had a feeling as they took her back that I was there to let go of her soul in preparation for birthing a new one.

Around 4pm I went to the bathroom and had my bloody show out of nowhere.  I got a bit excited, but was nervous to get my hopes up so I called my mother and doula to notify them but told them not to get THEIR hopes up either.  As I was sitting there I looked up and saw a beautiful green lizard bathing in the sun.  Lizards are the creatures that make me think of my father.  Every time Colt sees a lizard he tells me about it and we pause and give space for my dad.

I started to have lower back pain almost immediately but it was mild.  We decided to go to the book store to grab my favorite author's first novel in 11 years, then get some fried chicken which I was craving.  At the book store I had more lower back pain and a little bit more bleeding and I started to think maybe I was in early labor.  At dinner I was a little more certain that what I was having were contractions, but they were about 20 minutes apart and entirely in my back which was unlike what I felt with Lane, so I still didn't trust them.  I called the midwife after dinner as a courtesy in case things picked up.

We came home and did Lane's bedtime routine.  During his stories and songs, I only had one contraction in my back, so again I thought this was pretty calm and didn't mean a baby in the next few hours.  Around 10pm, Colt decided to get some sleep "just in case" and I told him he was being ridiculous.  I checked in with my mom and doula and told them I didn't think I'd need them that night, but to keep their phones close just in case.  I laid down around 11pm and started to time the pains more out of boredom than anything else.  They were 40 seconds long and about 6 minutes apart, which kind of shocked me, but that didn't seem "long enough" for real active labor contractions so I put on a hypnosis track that normally puts me to sleep, but it didn't work.  Halfway through the track I had to get on all fours and wake Colt up so he could push into my back.  

It was around midnight when the contractions jumped to every 3 minutes apart.  They were all over the place in length though.  One contraction would be 40 seconds long, the next would be only 15 seconds, none of them were longer than 60 seconds.  I started to nervously look at the clock.  I didn't want to wake everyone up if this wasn't the real deal.  

By 1am my legs started to shake out of control.  They were trembling and vibrating and the pain in my back started to pick up intensity to the point where Colt had to press on my back with each contraction.  The shaking was scary and suddenly I said, "I need everyone in place".  We called my doula and mother and birth center and agreed to meet at 2am.  The midwife told me another mother was also in labor, so we'd be there at the same time.  It was hard to be in the car because of the shakes.  I couldn't believe my whole body was so out of control.  The midwife reminded me on the phone it was the hormones and that I shouldn't fight it, just let them surge.

We got to the center at the same time as the other mother.  She seemed so much calmer than I did.  She was smiling and walking around and I was having contractions in the parking lot that required everyone to focus their strength on my hip bones and back.  Still, I managed to smile at her and tell her, "We're going to have babies! Let's do this!" and she laughed.  We were checked in at 2:15 and I was 6.5cm dilated.  I couldn't believe it!  I didn't know what to do with myself, so I decided to try the bathtub which was already filled with perfectly warm water (thanks midwife).  The water was amazingly relaxing, but I still needed someone at my back for each contraction.

From 2am-3am I dilated the rest of the way.  The labor was very fast and very intense.  I had my hypnosis tracks playing in the background and occasionally I could tune out the pain and listen to the words which helped, but most of the time the contractions were so intense I couldn't do anything but cry.  At the end of one, I would already be crying that another was coming.  My midwife kept reminding me to let go of what just happened, that each contraction was really over and I should take my breaks.

I asked the midwife if she was going to check me for full dilation and she said nope.  She said my body would push when it was ready to.  When I heard that, I couldn't take it anymore.  With Lane - being 10 cm meant I could get active in the birth and move on from the pain, but suddenly not being able to know in my thinking brain meant I had to listen to my body, and listening to my body HURT.  I started telling everyone I needed medicine, I needed help, I needed someone to get the baby out for me - that my back couldn't take it.  My amazing birth team did exactly what I hoped they'd do at this point.  They all listened and said, "You're doing great".  At the time I hated them for this, but looking back, it was my way through.

3:15am I decided to try a few pushes.  Have I mentioned my back hurt?  It hurt.  And I couldn't get my knees wide enough in the tub to really bear down.  I said, "Screw this" and got out of the tub and stood up, wrapped my hands around Colt's shoulders just like Lane's birth, and decided to get the baby out.  I freaking pushed.  It took about 3 big pushes to get her head out alone.  When I pushed again, I felt the width of her shoulders and was surprised.  They felt so much wider than Lane.  It took another 4 pushes to get her all the way out.  The midwife later told me her arm was up by her face AND she was sunny side up, all making the descending and pushing harder to do.  But that girl was OUT.

I was reeling from the back pain for hours after her birth.  I didn't have the same flood of amazing feelings I had right after Lane because I couldn't believe how much it had hurt and the actual BONES in my hips still ached.  I knew I had just done this amazing thing to be proud of but I was also so surprised it had been that hard.

Our little Margo Mars was a 10 on the apgar.  The midwife told us she was the most alert baby she'd seen.  She was the birth center's 80th birth.

First time seeing his sister
Grandmother and Granddaughter

Now that I look back at the videos and pictures taken of the birth, I realize how calm it seemed.  I wasnt losing it during contractions the way I felt like I was, I was actually keeping it together pretty well.  The birth was beautiful and calm even though it felt chaotic and painful in my head.  And I did just beast through another natural birth.  

Welcome to the world, daughter.


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