The Birth Story of Margot Garcia

6.06.2018

I woke up early the morning of my 39 week appointment. My ankles were freshly swollen (and I marveled at how far I'd made it without swelling, as I had a lot earlier in my previous pregnancies). Bryan and I were in a frenzy to get the kids dressed and fed and out the door to meet my mother-in-law so I could drive up to my OB appointment. I looked especially puffy, but I didn't think much of it since looking like an uncomfortable stuffed sausage is par for the pregnant course for me. Some women glow, and I just usually look like a tired gorilla by the end!

When I made it up to the office, I went about the usual routine -- pee in the cup (and all over my hand -- WHY IS IT SO HARD), and then come out to the scale to see how much weight I'd gained (six pounds in a week?) and then check my blood pressure (so high that the nurse got wide eyes and decided not to tell me the number). Just a week prior, none of these things had been an issue. The weight gain and the blood pressure and the swollen ankles were the perfect storm, though - and I knew what it meant. They weren't calling it pre-eclampsia, but it could definitely head in that direction. They hooked me up for a non-stress test (where they monitor the baby's movement and heart rate to make sure all is well) and I waited for my midwife to come in and tell me I would be induced that day. I was induced with Elsa and had a really positive experience, and it sounded like a way more delightful option at that point than having a stroke. So, PLEASE INDUCE ME.

Also, my first two babies were eleven and nine days past my due date, so a week prior to my due date seemed like some sort of magical realm I'd yet to visit. I felt good about the whole thing. The baby was fine, and the best way to address blood pressure issues at the end of pregnancy is for the baby to just go ahead and get out.

The induction was scheduled for later that afternoon, so I left the office quickly and went to my favorite place to get my hair done (PRIORITIES) and then ate Jimmy Johns because you know how much I love sandwiches and I knew they would starve me when I was in labor.

I WAS SO EXCITED. I texted pretty much everyone I knew and told them this was it. I was so excited to get the party started and finally meet my new girl. There is an actual shift in time and space at the end of pregnancy where every day feels like ten years and it's really hard to believe there will ever be an end in sight, and I couldn't believe it was already happening (DO YOU FEEL WHERE THIS IS GOING)...



This darling fool was induced with pitocin for THIRTEEN HOURS and there was nary a contraction in sight. The starting dose of pitocin is at a 2, and the highest is 20. I was at 20 for I don't even know how long and my baby was happy as a clam, completely undisturbed and unwilling to be bothered to exit. My blood pressure was totally fine when I was laying down. I was a hormonal, swollen and exhausted mess when my midwife suggested I go home on blood pressure medication and modified bedrest. Morale was at an all time low - SO MANY TEARS, and impossible to reason with me (see: exhaustion and hormones). I texted everyone with my tail between my legs to let them know I was going home, still pregnant and waiting.

As you'd imagine, bedrest with a one and a three year old is very easy! (No, no it is not). PRAISE THE LORD FOR MOTHERS. Both of ours took care of our babies while I laid like a sad whale in our bed and googled all of the natural ways to induce (none of them work).


TWELVE VERY LONG DAYS LATER, it was Mother's Day, and it was a good day. My sister was in town from Colorado, we celebrated together, and in the evening I started to wonder if I was having some light contractions. COULD THIS BABY MAYBE ACTUALLY COME OUT THIS TIME?

__________________________

My contractions didn't stop, and since I was already 4cm and we were about an hour from the hospital, we headed up once my mother-in-law could come stay at the house with the kids.

I was slightly crazed and incredibly determined TO NOT LEAVE THAT HOSPITAL PREGNANT A SECOND TIME.

Once in triage, the nurse declared me only 3cm (very rude, please get different fingers) and nonchalantly said I wasn't in active labor. But, as you guessed - my blood pressure was still high, so they were going to induce with a low dose of pitocin. Again. Jesus take the wheel, this is where it really gets fun.

Bryan, my mom, and my sister Camille were all there with me when I was admitted and got settled in my room for what I assumed would be another long night. (Side note: I cannot describe how happy and thankful I was to have my sister there with me this time! Especially since she and Margot share a name. The whole thing felt really special).

Here we will move forward with a timeline of the evening, with thorough notes.

12:45a - Started on lowest dose of pitocin (2!) and the contractions felt really strong. On the monitor, they weren't registering as such, though. But it seemed odd to me, having labored with my first two kids before. Didn't think anything of it besides feeling very annoyed that my IV was in my hand and was making me uncomfortable.

1:15a - My water broke, all over the floor. So much water. Immediately the contractions started getting stronger and I referenced my birth plan to the nurse and said "THE ONLY THING ON MY BIRTH PLAN IS AN EPIDURAL. PLEASE BRING IT." The contractions still weren't showing up on the monitor as being very strong. They called the anesthesiologist and told me it would be a few minutes for her to get there while I got the fluids I needed first.

1:30a - My widwife checks me and informs me that I am still only 4cm and the baby is still pretty high up. I consider crying at the thought of another long night of pitocin with no progress.

1:45a - Anesthesiologist sent from heaven comes in and starts getting set up. Bryan all but sprints out of the room, and my mom and sister stay in with me. The contractions feel insane and I begged the nurse to turn off the pitocin so I could try and be still while I got the epidural, and she thankfully obliged. The anesthesiologist started putting the needle in my back while the nurse stood in front of me and held my hands. I was trying to sit still on the side of the bed, with my legs dangling over the side. I had one huge contraction that scared me and made me cuss and cry.

While the anesthesiologist asked me again to be still, while she was still trying to put in the needle, I had what felt like what I can only describe as a ROCKET SURGE OF WATER rush out of me as I sat there and started screaming and crying,

"SOMETHING IS WRONG. SOMETHING BAD IS HAPPENING. SOMETHING REALLY BAD IS HAPPENING."

The anesthesiologist whispered, "When was the last time she was checked?" and the nurse said "She was only four about ten minutes ago"

I was convinced that I was being paralyzed by my epidural. Bryan heard me yelling in the hallway and started tearing up and decided to come back in. My mom and sister and the nurse slow blinked at me like pigeons on the ledge of a tall building while I was certain I was about to meet my death.

Bryan walked in just as I then screamed,

"SHE IS COMING OUT MY BUTT"

And then, dear reader, I looked at my mom and sister and said,

"SHE'S COMING"

AND THEN,  I FELL OVER ON MY SIDE AND LIFTED MY LEG IN THE AIR AND MY DAUGHTER SHOT OUT OF ME LIKE A CANNON BALL AND I DID NOT EVEN PUSH HER.

The nurse caught my baby, the anesthesiologist caught me with my head at the end of the bed and kept me from falling off. My IV ripped out and there was blood everywhere. The nurse called for help and the room was now full of other nurses and my midwife.

I said all of these things:

"WHAT JUST HAPPENED" ("You just had your baby!" they exclaimed)

"I FEEL LIKE A DOG THAT JUST LAID DOWN" (because I felt like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant when she shot out of me)

and

"I'M SHOOK"

I was in complete shock and it took me a while to really even understand what just happened. Bryan texted his mom around 1:50 something to tell her I was getting the epidural, and then texted her again at 2:08 to let her know that the baby was here.

I went from 4cm to the baby out of me in under a half an hour, and without my beloved epidural. My labor was all of a whopping two hours from start to finish. No one was more surprised than me, guys. Babies do what they want.


Margot Garcia was our smallest baby yet (another mercy of the Lord, since her predecessors were 8 and 9lbs with 100th percentile heads) at 7lbs, 14oz and 21 inches long. Her head is so perfect and small and round (that's what happens when they shoot out of you), and she is sweet and very chill and the opposite of her very dramatic and precipitous entrance into this world. We are so overwhelmed with joy to have her in our family with us. I really can't believe you can keep having babies and your heart gets bigger and wider and fuller for each of them, but it does, and it's nothing short of magical. She's from heaven.




Having now experienced both medicated and unmedicated births, I can now confirm that I would still get the epidural ;)