My very first post on this blog is the story of Lyla’s birth. I wrote it out because I know how quickly memories fade and change and I wanted to remember as much as possible about that amazing, terrifying day. Now, more than two years (and a lot more blog readers — hi everyone) later, it feels a little different writing out something so personal on such a public forum. But, if you know me well you know I tend to overshare. Plus, I want to remember the details about welcoming Maggie to our family, and this is my little space for documenting those memories. So, here it is, the story of Maggie’s arrival — feel free to skip over it if you are squeamish or are here just looking for how to make DIY towel hooks for your bathroom.
Side note: this is my side of the story which, in the midst of it all, isn’t likely as accurate as Joe’s account.
My water broke at around 11:20 pm Saturday August 3, just about 5 minutes after Joe and I had both went to sleep for the night. It woke me up and my “ohmygod, my water just broke” in turn woke Joe up.
We quickly called my mom to come over and started gathering our things. I was feeling contractions but they were bearable enough to walk through. I even had Joe snap this probablymylastbellyshotever photo.
We arrived at the hospital right before midnight — in fact on half of the admittance paperwork, I signed and dated 8/3/13, the other half I dated 8/4/13, as the clocked turned.
By the time we were checked in and were admitted to the delivery room, my contractions began to get more intense. I ended up on hands and knees on the bed, desperately trying to breathe through each one. After that, the contractions came quickly without much rest in between. Too quickly. Too intense. My breathing turned quickly to a mix of sobbing and swearing (sorry nurses, I promise I don’t drop f-bombs every 30 seconds in normal life…except maybe when I’m driving through the Costco parking lot). I could not calm down enough to breathe, despite the best efforts and encouragement of Joe and the sweet nurses. So, in came an oxygen mask for me and a fetal monitor on baby’s scalp — her heart rate was all fluctuating all over the place — later we’d find out that was because the cord was wrapped around her neck.
Long story short, I went from 4 cm to complete in just under 90 minutes. About halfway through I had requested an epidural. (Can I just note the power fear can have on the mind is amazing? Nothing but simple fear convinced me to get the epidural. Not pain, not the doctors, not Joe. Just fear.) In any event, they started the process of putting in the epidural when I was about 8 cm. By the time it took effect, I was 10 cm and ready to push.
But, in the end, even though it wasn’t something I intended to have, I was glad for the pain relief. It allowed me a short break to rest, recharge, and most importantly, take some slow, deep breaths.
And those slow, deep breaths helped bring Margaret Jo Spencer into the world at 3:50 am, after just 8 minutes of pushing, and less than 4 intense hours after we’d arrived at the hospital.
Our 7lb, 4 ounce Maggie, free from the cord that was wrapped all around her, was placed right on my tummy. There she stayed, wrapped in my arms for more than an hour. Surreal.
Welcome to the world, sweet baby sister.
No matter what twists and turns my life takes, I want to always remember how I feel this very moment: overwhelmingly blessed.
On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…
ever in the world.