Birth Story

This time last year…

May 2, 2016


Sigh.  My bikini modeling career was over before it even began.

Maisie’s birthday week is upon us.  Joe keeps asking me “what were we doing this time last year?”…

This time last year I was almost 39 weeks pregnant.  I was crawling towards the finish.  I was folding and refolding tiny onesies.  I was opening the cap of the baby laundry detergent and sneaking a whiff.  I was googling stories of labor induction, watching videos of women giving birth and trying to summon up the courage.  I was spending all of my waking hours daydreaming about the little girl kicking me from the inside.  I was listening to this song at least 5 times a day.  I was happy.  I was nervous.  I loved her already.

Or at least I thought I did.

Methinks there is no way for the human mind to comprehend how much love you will feel for your child until you are holding your child in your arms.  Until you are marveling at their tiny features.  Until it dawns on you that the responsibility of keeping this beautiful and innocent creature alive is resting firmly and indefinitely on your shoulders.

New parenthood has been the most thrilling, terrifying and rewarding experience of my life.  When Maisie turns 1 on Thursday, I guess I should stop calling myself a “new Mom.”  I guess I’m graduating.  I guess my baby will be a toddler.  I guess we survived.  I guess I can’t really remember what life was like before she was here.  I guess I don’t want to.

I don’t know what the future holds for this blog.  Tidbits of life with a toddler, I suppose.  I’m excited to see what the next few months have in store for our little family.  But a nostalgic and weepy part of me would give anything for 15 minutes of snuggling with this girl.  And that part of me is asking – “Did I even enjoy it?”  “Did I smell her head enough?”  “Did I really appreciate how tiny and sweet she was?”

It was all such a chaotic blur.

To answer your question, Joe Dugan, this time last year I was prepared.  But I wasn’t ready.  Not by a mile.

Who Would You Have in the Delivery Room?

January 19, 2016


Back when not even the Dads were in the delivery room (!?)

I was randomly thinking about the night Maisie was born recently and I started chuckling to myself because I sometimes forget that my Mom was there!

In the last few weeks of my pregnancy I knew that my Mom would definitely be at the hospital while I was giving birth.  Then a few days before my induction she said something along the lines of “Well I dunno…do you want me to stay in the room?…it’s up to you.”  And I was all…”Okay sure.”

Then I started thinking about it more and I amended my “Okay” to “You can stay but if for any reason I want you to leave – no hard feelings?”  Marmy was completely on board and away we went.

It’s really funny because leading up to giving birth for the first time I imagined that I might feel exposed or embarrassed.  And it kind of started that way.  I remember my Mom shyly slipping out of the room when the doctor came in to check my progress earlier in the day….cut to her yelling “HAIR!” while the baby was crowning.  And trust me, in that moment I wouldn’t have cared if my Dad and three brothers walked through the door.  You are just so focused on the pain and getting the baby the hell out of your body, nothing else even matters.

Although I never really thought much about who I wanted or didn’t want in the delivery room – it just kind of happened that my Mom was there – I think it was really special for her to see one of her Grandchildren being born, so I have no regrets.

Who did you have in the room with you?  Is this a weird topic?

Maisie’s Birth Story | 39 Week Induction

September 29, 2015

1Our last picture as non-parents.  I look fully capable of operating heavy machinery!

I’m aware that this is a bit out of order.  The truth is I have had this post written for over 3 months and have been too nervous and shy to share it.  After all, is there ever a time a woman is more vulnerable/exposed than she is while giving birth?  I highhhlyyyyy doubt it.  Anyway – before I change my mind – here it is.

It was decided by my ObGyn that I would be induced at 39 weeks. The major risk factors of Gestational Diabetes are 10lb+ babies (whose shoulders can be broken/dislocated during delivery) and premature degradation of the placenta – which can lead to the “s” word.  If you don’t know what the “s” word is, you’ve never been pregnant.  Once a doctor even says this word out loud to you, you just kind of agree to whatever they recommend…but I was still nervous about forcing the baby to come out before she was really ready.

To make myself feel better, I spent the days before my induction googling for hours and reading as many positive induction stories as I could get my hands on.  I am trying to pay it forward now by sharing my experience.  We checked into the hospital at 7 p.m. on a Monday night and Maisie was born almost exactly 24 hours later.  Overall my experience was positive – although I have never gone into labor naturally so I have nothing to compare it to.

I am writing this the only way I know how – the way I actually remember it – fragmented and drug-laced.

Joe and I putter around the house getting a few final things ready and occasionally saying to each other “This is so weird.”  Because it is.  The weirdest. day. ever.  My Mom comes over.  I am very nervous.  I eat pizza for the first time in 4 months.  I get a massive nosebleed.  I google “nosebleeds 3rd trimester.”  I diagnose myself with preeclampsia.  I shower.  Suddenly it’s time to leave.

We get to the hospital and check in.  I act like a 4 year old child while they try to put in the I.V.  I don’t have preeclampsia.  The doctor inserts Cervadil and tells me to try and get some sleep.

Around 3 a.m. I wake up to very painful back labor.  The mean nurse says I’m not having real contractions.  Things will get much worse she says.  I do not handle this news well.  The mean nurse calls the doctor.  He approves a Demerol drip.  Drugs are amazing.  I fall back asleep.

I wake up early the next morning.  I want more Demerol.  The mean nurse says no.  My doctor comes back.  He checks me and says I am 4 cm dilated (not real contractions my ass!).  Do I want an epidural before we start Pitocin?  Um, YES.  Joe leaves.  Epidural goes in.  Epidural is AMAZING.  The pain is gone.  They start the Pitocin drip and I fall back asleep.  Joe comes back.  I start crushing ice chips.  The mean nurse says I’m eating too many ice chips.  My Mom comes.  The three of us sit and wait.  They watch the monitor.  I make Joe read all the texts he is receiving from friends and family members out loud.  They watch the monitor more.  They ask me with a weird look on their faces if I can feel anything.  I say no.  The Doctor is back.  8 cm now.  He tells me they will turn down the epidural because it’s almost time to push.  I am excited.  The mean nurse says that since this is my first baby I could be pushing for hours.  As soon as she leaves the room I cry and demand a new nurse.  I am Madonna.

I am starting to feel a lot of pressure.  The mean nurse tells me to start pushing.  I push.  Nothing.  Is.  Happening.  The nurse, Joe and my Mom are cheering me on but they are just patronizing me because nothing. is. happening.  This pattern of pushing and cheering goes on for what seems like forever.  Suddenly Joe’s voice changes.  Something IS happening.  They hold up a mirror so I can see.  Seeing makes me scared.  The nurses keep talking about the baby’s hair.  The doctor is back.  More people are in the room now.  The pain is all-consuming.  I push more.  I throw up.  I push more.  I give up.  I tell Joe I want to go home.  I cry.  Creedance Clearwater Revival is playing in the background.  The doctor asks if I want a C-Section.  I say yes.  He is kidding.  I push and I hear it in Joe’s voice again…her head is out.  Stop pushing they say.  I’m crying too hard to even care.

All of a sudden there is something warm and heavy on my stomach.  Joe is crying.  There is a bright light in my face.  I can’t really see.  I cry with relief because the pain is gone.  They take the baby away and ask me what her name is.  I am crying too hard to talk. “Maisie Janice” says Joe.  My Mom grabs my face and kisses me.  I can hear the baby crying.  I ask over and over and over again if she is okay.  I tell Joe to go make sure she is okay.  He leaves and comes back with a pink piece of paper in his hands.  He shows it to me.  His hands are shaking the paper.  It has her footprints on it. They are the tiniest footprints I’ve ever seen. They bring the baby back over and she is wrapped up like a little burrito.  Her eyes are wide open and she is looking right at me.  She looks so familiar.  I think “there she is…that’s her….of COURSE that’s her.  Maisie.”

2Meeting my daughter.  

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