Monday, July 2, 2012

Margot Geraldine Hall

 Just for fun--me at 40 weeks with Margot...

 And 40 weeks with Theo.  (That pose was first struck to minimize my double chin, that was the only thing I was thinking about at that moment)

Margot Geraldine Hall has arrived! She was born June 7, 2012 at 5:20 am, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 19 inches long. Now she is three weeks old and we can't imagine life without her.

Margot was due on June first and for some reason the combination of Jon's board exams a week earlier and the fact that everyone who was pregnant around me seemed to have their babies already made me feel anxious for her to come. I started acupuncture treatments the day after my due date, and I felt so good and normal I feared she may stay in there forever. Acupuncture was interesting--something I had never done before. Whatever it did or didn't do, it was the most relaxing hour or two of my day where I could just unwind and sleep, especially two days before I went into labor when Theo split his chin open playing in our jogging stroller.
On the sixth I had a doctor's appointment (was 4 cm dilated at this point), and after an instance of lowered heart rate during monitoring my doctor said she felt that Margot needed to come soon and set an appointment for me to come in to have my water broken a week after my due date (two days later). I didn't want to induce in any way but I also wanted to make sure she was healthy, so we agreed. That afternoon I told the acupuncturist to really go crazy. I had some really zingy needles that session--in the bottom of my feet, multiple needles in my head and face, and really painful ones in my hands. It made all of my joints feel creaky. Later that evening, I started feeling some more consistent, painless contractions. I had them a few days before and didn't want to assume anything, but Jon and I went on a walk for about an hour (8:00 pm). During the walk the contractions were every five minutes and had a lot more pressure. After we got home they slowed down to every 20 minutes, so I thought they were likely false labor and they would go away. When I went to bed at 11:00, suddenly I realized that they were painful enough not to sleep through, and about 10 minutes apart. (I also decided before I went to bed that now would be a good time to pack my hospital bag). I started keeping track on my phone and dozing in and out of sleep. I figured I was in labor, but it didn't seem too urgent for some reason. At 1:00 they were more painful, and I kept track for an hour before calling the doctor. They were about 5-8 minutes apart, and while I was concerned about my timing to go to the hospital because I was strep B positive and needed antibiotics four hours before the birth, the doctor still told me I should come in when they were closer together. I knew with Theo my contractions were never very consistent, so after another hour of them becoming more intense we decided to go to the hospital at 3:00 am. Suddenly right as we were leaving they became much more intense (I did standing push ups on furniture and yoga breaths to cope) and three minutes apart. I became anxious to get to the hospital. We got there and they started setting up the tub for a water birth and starting an IV with antibiotics. I arrived at the hospital 8 cm dilated (3:45 am) and my contractions were two minutes apart. I was really worried I wouldn't get into the tub at this point before I had the baby. The contractions were at their worst and I was so impatient to get in the water because it makes me feel some relief.

Finally I got into the tub, partially filled. I wasn't quite fully dilated but started feeling urges to push. My doctor told me to not push yet, and about two contractions later I called her back in because the urges were getting really strong. They checked me and I was fully dilated, and was given the go ahead to push. I had one really strong push and her head was right there. The doctor told me that I could push her out in one more push, and that she had a lot of dark hair. Both statements left me a little confused. Push her out after just one push? This was happening quickly. I wasn't quite ready to push her out yet because that first push gave me a reminder of the pain to come, so I just rode through the next contraction without bearing down. I decided the next contraction was "the one" and she was born. As I swam over to meet her (I know that sounds ridiculous, but she seemed so far away!) I first wondered why she wasn't crying, and why her face looked a little strange. A second later the nurse removed what looked like a thin clear film over her face and head and she suddenly started crying loudly with her little lower lip sticking out. When my babies are born, I realize my first statement uttered is complete and total nonsense. With Theo, it was, "Look at all his hair!" He really didn't have much hair to speak of. With Margot, it was, "She looks pretty chubby!" She was not chubby. Not at all. The film that they pulled off of her head at birth was the amniotic sac. My water never broke during labor, but broke during the actual birth. This is called being born "en caul," and happens once in fewer than 80,000 births (according to wikipedia) and gives the child good luck and an inclination for psychic powers!  My OB was upset she didn't get to see it, and I guess Margot was a little famous for while in the hospital.

Overall, it was so crazy how fast it all happened--giving birth less than an hour and a half after getting to the hospital. Labor was about 9 hours total, with the worst of it about 2 hours (not 25 hours like Theo!). We couldn't believe that all of a sudden we had this beautiful girl, and that after everything we still had a wonderful birth we had hoped for. She was born too soon for the antibiotics to take effect, but she was great and healthy and a wonderful eater. We love her so much, and Theo is even coming around to her too. He has been a very gentle and loving big brother, he just pretended she didn't exist for a few weeks.  Jon's graduation was a week later and having him around to help with Theo has kept me sane, rested, and has been such a blessing. I love our family of four!


Danielle said...

I love the pictures and I loved reading about the birth! I am still amazed at how fast it happened! I died laughing about your chubby comment. I hope things are going well for you guys! We miss you! Margot is a beauty!

Wynn said...

yea! we've been waiting for some more pictures! she's so cute . a four person family! woo wee. good luck with the upcoming move.

Lesley said...

Those first two pictures are just amazing. There's nothing sweeter than a new baby. And you look so beautiful, Mal! I loved reading your writing, and when I read "she looks pretty chubby" I could hear you saying it like you were sitting right next to me and it made me laugh out loud.

I've never heard of babies being born "en caul" but that's pretty amazing! I hope she can tell me my future when I meet her someday.


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naomi said...

What a great story, and seriously, I was so excited when you said she was born in the sac!! Totally unusual!