I'd like you to meet our sweet girl, Margot Louise! It's 10:00 pm on her birthday, June 21st, and I can't stop replaying her birth in my head, even when I try to close my eyes. At the moment, she is snoozing away next to me and Sylvain and Sylvia are safe and sound at home, so now is as good a time as any to write about our story.
I knew it would be fast. Everyone's been saying "Wow! That was fast!" But I promise you, every sweet second of it felt like an eternity. I feel like today was about five days long. At least. But it was worth it! Here's how it went down.
I started feeling some contractions last night before bed, just like the last few nights. These were a little different, though. These contractions told me "Hey! Let's start thinking about getting this kid out, okay? Why don't you get some sleep and we'll come get you in the middle of the night?" I obliged, preparing for another 3 am birth. Imagine my surprise when I woke up at 7 am by myself! The husband didn't wake me up, because he moved to the couch when I started snoring. Margot didn't wake me up because those contractions weren't ready to get serious yet. Sylvia didn't wake me up either, sweet, precious, blessed girl. I woke up at 7:00 and felt pretty darn great. Then I got out of bed. Different story.
I felt a contraction when I stood up, but I could handle it, no big deal. I still wasn't sure if it was a "real" contraction, so I took a few minutes to straighten my hair and eat some breakfast. Girl's gotta look good if she's gonna deliver a baby, right? No sense in wasting a perfectly good morning. Sylvia woke up at 7:30 and I went into her room to get her up. I got her out of bed, changed her diaper, gave her breakfast and then BAM! A contraction hit me like a freight train and said, "HA HA! YOU'RE HAVING A BABY TODAY, WOMAN!" I had to stop talking to Sylvia and get down on all fours, which is nothing new at our house because Sylvia watched me do it for the last 20 weeks while I was trying to get this baby up and out of my pelvis. She ate her butterfly waffle while I breathed and "cow-catted" on the floor like a lunatic.
I told Sylvain to pack the car and I started timing contractions. They were about six minutes apart and they hurt like hell, so I called Mom. She agreed to meet us on the way to the hospital to get Sylvia. Sylvain called the doctor and they wanted me to come into the office. I thought that was weird and I wanted to go right to the hospital, but whatever. I decided I could have a baby just as easily in a doctor's office and it would be their own fault, so we went there first. We met my Mom to drop off Sylvia, who still wasn't the least bit concerned or curious about all the commotion. She was just excited that I let her wear her pajama top with a skirt and that she was going to play with Abby and Tyler, so WHO CARES if Mama is moaning and groaning in the front seat? As we were driving to the doctor's office/hospital (they're the same place, really), I commented that it was so nice to be delivering a baby in the daylight. This drive to the hospital was every bit as painful, but not nearly as scary as the last one. Thank goodness.
I walked into the office at 9:45 and had to sit in the waiting room, which was hilarious because first of all, I couldn't sit, and second of all, there was a very pregnant woman there just waiting for her regular appointment, and I'm sure I scared her to death while I stood up, gripping the arms of the chair in front of me. Finally, they put me in a room, my favorite doctor arrived, gave me an exam and declared that I was, in fact, in labor. Duh. Thanks, buddy. I was 6 cm, fully effaced, zero station. "Go to the hospital, we'll tell them you're coming," he said.
The nurses showed us to our room and started asking all kinds of questions. I changed into my nightgown and started pacing, but they immediately wanted to hook me up to the fetal monitors, so I had to get into the $#@**$#@#ing bed! Here's where things get fuzzy for me, so I'll just list the parts I remember. Maybe in two years, Sylvain will write his side of the story and it'll make more sense.
Sylvain left to get stuff out of the car. Our doula, Anais, arrived. Mom arrived. I went through about four billion contractions before Sylvain came back and I thought I was going to die.
Sylvain rubbed my back, Anais talked to me and rubbed my arms, Mom watched and took pictures, but she kind of freaked out when I started screaming during contractions.
I screamed a lot.
They finally let me get up and move around, so we lifted the back of the bed upright and I knelt against it, which felt better. Sort of. They still hurt and I still screamed.
I cried during most contractions, and at one point I declared that this was a stupid idea and I changed my mind and GIVE ME AN EPIDURAL RIGHT NOW! No one listened to me, except my mom, who was the only person in the room who wanted the epidural as much as I did.
People kept telling me I was doing a great job and I wanted to punch all of them because what do they know?! Except Sylvain and my mom, because they were the only ones who weren't talking to me, so I didn't get mad at them. I thought it was strange that I didn't want anyone to talk to me, because last time that was all I wanted. I also kept screaming and I also kept declaring that I was done, I didn't want to do it anymore, and please can I have some drugs?
My water broke. People got excited.
At one point I looked at the clock. It was 11:00 am. I thought "I can do this until noon. Then I'm quitting."
During a contraction I decided it was time to push. Pusing seemed like a wonderful idea, but I didn't want to MOVE from my spot. There was a lot of rushing around, and we had been waiting for a doctor who still wasn't there, and I heard one of the nurses say to another nurse that they might have to deliver the baby together. I didn't care one bit, because I was pushing whether they wanted me to or not.
The doctor arrived. He made me get down and turn around, so I wanted to punch him. He examined me and gave me permission to push. Thanks. He stood back and watched me push from about ten feet away with his arms crossed against his chest as if to say, "You said you wanted to go natural? Here. I'll just stay completely out of it and we'll see how far you get." I wanted to yell "Is anyone going to catch my baby?!!" but I was too busy screaming at the top of my lungs and pulling on a big, long, blanket that our doula gave us.
I pushed twice. I screamed bloody murder but it felt very productive. Sylvain's face lit up after the second one and he said, "Her head's out!" I was very confused.
A lady got up in my face and said, "I'm Michelle. I'm a midwife and I'm taking over while the doctor goes to deliver another baby. You're doing a great job!" She then coached me through the next two contractions to get the rest of the baby out. Her voice was soothing and she was very authoritative without being pushy or mean. I trusted her. I immediately fell in love with her and decided to name my baby after her. She had a nice face.
Michelle The Greatest Lady Who Ever Lived told me to put my hand on the baby's head and push against my hand.
Margot (not Michelle, but almost) was born at 11:16 am and was put onto my chest. When she slipped out, I felt a rush of relief and when I laid eyes on her I felt completely at peace. She's here. She's perfect and she's here and I'm done. I don't have to do this anymore. Praise God! I looked at her in complete amazement. She was just on the inside and is now on the outside. A baby. A whole baby.
Here is where I gain back my sanity. I held Margot while the nurses rubbed her and the midwife attended to me. Sylvain and I stared at each other and Mom started chatting with the nurses and asked them why no one listened to me when I asked for an epidural. The nurse said, "Well, they all say that when they're getting really close." I assured Mom that it was okay, I didn't really want the epidural (I did) and there wasn't time to get one anyway.
After a while, the nurses took Margot and weighed her. 6 pounds, 15 ounces! Almost a whole pound smaller than Sylvia! I was shocked because I thought she'd be much bigger. Thank God she wasn't.
I suddenly remembered that I have another child who might want to meet her new sister. Mom left to pick up Sylvia from my aunt's house. The nurses left us alone for a couple of hours to settle down and get to know our baby girl. Anais stayed with us for a few minutes to help us get settled. Sylvain started making phone calls and sending texts and posting announcements. All in all, we just sort of sat around and marvelled at the fact that we just had a baby. Eventually, the nurses took us down to our recovery room, where we've had a few visitors and now Margot and I are resting peacefully. Phew!
So today, on the first day of summer, our sweet girl arrived and we couldn't have been more pleased. I'm so glad I got a good night's rest last night. I'm so glad Sylvain knew how to rub my back. I'm so glad I didn't get that epidural. I'm so glad she has all ten fingers and toes. I've really never felt this blessed and lucky before. Stay tuned for more posts on Sylvia's sweet introduction to her sister and Margot's insane talent for breastfeeding! I love my sweet girls. I'm one lucky Mama!
I'm Rachael. My occupations include, in this order: daughter, sister, friend, teacher, wife, and mother. I may seem like a grown up, but don't be fooled - I have no idea what I'm doing. We have lots of family around the world, so this blog is our way of saying, "Here's what's going on in our little corner."