birth story: beatrix margaret

Why another birth story? People are always sharing birth stories. How much variation can there be? A woman goes into labor, there is some agony and travail, and then, there's a new baby. That's the story more or less, so why should I share this one?

All great life events change us. I am a different person than the one I was in high school, and the one I was in college. Meeting Alex and becoming his wife has changed me, becoming a mother and all the stuff we went through during Johnny's first year of life has changed me.  Life is not stagnant, it is constant flux and motion. And the never-ending circus ride of it all has me changing, growing, maybe even transforming, over and over and over. 

When our daughter entered the world she changed me again, and she changed our family forever. We will never be the same because of her. That's what I want to share with you - yet another transformation.

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pre-birth story: due dates are the worst

Due dates are the worst. They shouldn't give due dates. They should give due-weeks. A whole 7 day window during which your baby might come. And they should make it week 41, so that the likelihood of your baby coming after your due-week is very small. But no, the very first thing they do when you go in for a pregnancy confirmation is pull out that little wheel and figure out your due date. 40 weeks after your last period. Then for the next 9 months people are asking you, "when are you due?" And you keep saying "October 7". Because that's the due date. Then October 7 comes and goes without anything happening and all of a sudden you go from being a pregnant lady to being a crazy pregnant lady who thinks there is something majorly wrong with her and fears she will remain pregnant forever!

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Johnny's Birth Story Pt. 4: The Longest Week

Our brave little guy before surgery

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After 4 hours of restless sleep I was on my way back to the NICU.  Spending the night away from my baby and husband had been agony and I was anxious to be with them again, but I walked very slowly through the hospital, my left knee was very weak and I didn't want to fall again.

I got to our room shortly before the doctors and surgeons did morning rounds.  We were hoping to hear that Johnny would go into surgery that day.  But because his condition, while serious, was not life threatening they were going to wait until the next day to operate.  This was frustrating to hear.  We didn't want our baby to be in pain any longer than he needed to be, and we also wanted to get surgery behind us as quickly as possible so that we could get home and be a family….

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Johnny's Birth Story Pt. 3: Something's Not Right

Our room was so quiet and calm.  It didn't even seem like the same room I had delivered in.  We spent most of that first day just resting and trying to get nursing established.  Johnny was not latching on; a lactation specialist visited us several times to work on it, but his little jaw was just clenched shut.  Because he hadn't eaten much his blood sugar was low and they wanted to give him some formula.  I was reluctant to give him a bottle until breastfeeding was well established, but I did want him to get some calories, so we finger-fed him some formula. He took a little, but mostly was just sleepy. Family and some friends came to see us and we proudly showed off our calm little baby who would let anyone hold him….

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Johnny's Birth Story Pt. 2: Pushing

3:00 am on Thursday May 30.

When I heard it was time to push I had a great desire to brush my teeth and wash my face. Alex helped me with this as I was bed-bound. I think I wanted to look nice for any pictures that may be taken when the baby was born.  Little did I know that I would not be very photogenic after what I was about to go through. But at least after brushing my teeth I felt awake, refreshed, and ready to work again….

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Johnny's Birth Story Pt I: Three Sleepless Nights

I was planning on sharing Johnny's birth story at some point, but I figure now is a good time. That experience is so central to who I am now, you won't know me unless you know the story.

I will preface this story by saying that everything about Johnny has been incredibly difficult, and so all the more triumphant. He has been a long time coming and a major answer to prayer. We tried for two and a half years to get pregnant, losing one baby on the way, and two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Johnny was told I may need surgery to make pregnancy possible.  But we did get pregnant, and I did carry to term.

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