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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Maggie's Birth Story

Thursday, August 26th: I went to my regular appointment with the midwife. This was an appointment we had made when I first moved to Indiana. A "just in case" appointment. An appointment I never intended to keep, and, yet, here we were. I was 41 weeks and 6 days into my fourth pregnancy. Before I even sat down, I was in tears. I informed her that we needed to find a way to get this baby out even if it meant having a C-section. I was done. I felt fine physically, but emotionally, I was a wreak. I expected to be overdue, but not this overdue. After my checkup, she told me I was a good 4cm dilated and 85% effaced. For the third time, she "stripped my membranes" which with my previous two pregnancies, put me into labor within 12 hours. I, however, was not convinced that it would work this time.

Friday, August 27th: I woke up still pregnant, but determined to do anything I could to get labor going including taking castor oil. Yeah, people have warned me that it's awful, but I always think it's funny how people won't use castor oil but they'll sign up for pitocin. So, I began the regiment of castor oil that my midwife recommended. Two ounces with food and orange juice for breakfast. The taste wasn't so bad. By lunch time, I still hadn't used the bathroom. So, although the thought made me cringe, I sat down to a lunch of another 2 ounces with food and orange juice. By dinner, my system was well cleaned out, but I wasn't in labor. We spent the evening with friends which helped take my mind off the fact that I was soon to be two full weeks overdue.

Saturday, August 28th:
2:45am Woke up to use the bathroom. It occurred to me that I hadn't felt baby move in a while. Decided I would wake her up with some pushing, prodding, and orange juice. She pushed back a few times which satisfied me that she was still alive in there. I went back to sleep.

Approximately 5:00am Woke up to a quick 30 second contraction that I felt deep down in my cervix. I had felt hundreds of contractions in the last several months, but this one was different and I knew it. I layed in bed through five or so of these.

Approximately 5:15am Felt the baby pop and drop. I wondered if my water broke but felt no gush. I did feel a stronger, longer contraction. I pushed Stephen. Unlike the day Schroeder was born when Stephen literally popped out of bed the first time I called his name, I had to tap Stephen a couple of times. When he opened his eyes, I said, "I'm in labor." Hmmm, really was the jist of his reply. He said something about giving me thirty minutes, but I said we needed to get up now.
At this point, we got up and timed two contractions on the Contraction Master. They were lasting 50 seconds and were three minutes apart.

5:30am We called the midwife and when she asked if we were ready for her to come we said Yes. At this point, I got into the shower, handled a handful of manageable contractions, washed my hair, gave Stephen instructions on who to call, etc. The 8 or 10 contractions I had in the shower were about one minute long and two minutes apart.

5:55am I felt the urge to push. I didn't think I could trust the feeling since the contractions I was having couldn't have been transition! Then I remembered that I've done this before. When Schreoder was born, I was in labor for forty minutes and didn't trust my instinct when I felt the urge to push. I layed in my bed writhing in pain for ten minutes or more because I didn't want to push until the midwife confirmed I was 10cm. I had told myself several times during this pregnancy, that I would trust my instinct and push when my body told me.
So, I began to push. I used the bar in the shower to support me as I squatted and pushed. By this point, Stephen had joined me in the bathroom. He tried to get me to move to the birthing tub, but I refused. The contractions were coming quick and I needed to get this baby out. Every time I squatted to push, I would start to get a cramp in my leg and butt so I was screaming for Stephen to massage the muscle. He kept suggesting that I stop squatting, but, again, I didn't listen.
After a few strong pushes, I reached down to see if I could feel her head. I could.

6:05am Gave a push, then paused as I guided her head into the world (I'm pleased to say no stitches were necessary). I screamed for my mother in law to come help us. Stephen was behind me to catch her, and Dianne helped Stephen remove the cord from around Maggie's neck. Stephen said "oh, no" which I thought was in regards to the cord, but I immediately said that it was ok. She looked good, pinked up quick, and began to cry. We coordinated in order for me to lay down in the bottom of the shower with her on my chest. I was so relieved it was over.

6:10am Woke D'arcy up to come see her newly delivered baby sister.

6:15am My mother and sister streamed in to find me still in the shower.

6:20am My midwife came in to find me still in the shower. We knew it was a possibility that my labor would go quickly so Stephen and I had prepared ourselves for the possibility that we might have to catch this baby on our own. However, we needed our professional midwife to help with all the other stuff which she got busy doing right away. I found out at this point that Stephen said "oh, no" because he thought he saw the cord spurting blood when Maggie was first delivered. He was watching to see how much I was bleeding and was relieved when the midwife came to confirm everything was fine.
Midwife asked if Stephen wanted to cut the cord. His response was, "I caught,I'm good." We invited D'arcy back into the room to cut her sister's cord with the midwife's direction and Stephen's help.

We are thrilled to have had another home birth and to have Maggie in our arms even though she kept us waiting and wondering for so long.


  1. i am absolutely in love with this birth story- to me, it was perfect and i sure wish it could happen for me that way. God really knew what would be best for you- wow. incredible. THANK YOU for sharing this.

  2. Amazing!! You have four incredible stories for getting your precious darlings into the world. Thanks for sharing this one... and so soon after :) Welcome Maggie!!! (also, my midwife told me due to cycle stuff that I need to add 12 days to my due date... perhaps this is your case too? :))

  3. You are amazing Melissa and Stephen. What a special family - I'm just speechless. Your children are beautiful and you guys are an inspiring family, and I love you. Hugs to all of you. Shout out to Darcy's Lion.

  4. Super cool! I can echo what Kellie said, "I wish it could happen for me that way." Maybe someday. In the meantime I will enjoy all of your wonderful birth stories and be inspired by you guys.

  5. How absolutely perfect! I love your story, and I'm so excited about Maggie Lu! :) :) :) :) Lots of hugs for you and your lovely family! <3

  6. Congratulations! SO happy all went well for you!

  7. Mel, you are a pregnancy and birthing machine, girl! The Lord has certainly blessed your body to do what you and Stephen dreamed of in agreement with His plan. Thanks for sharing the story ;)