Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lots to Report - Maggie's Birth Story

Lots has happened since my last post - namely, a baby. Magnolia Anne Schmidt was born on December 17th, 2011 and was 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 20 inches long. She has brown hair and blue eyes. Her Daddy is holding her when she was a few hours old.
This little nugget surprised us quite a bit with her arrival - she was born 3 weeks early! We were expecting to have the Christmas holiday to recover and rejuvenate and get some things done before she was born. Instead, when I went to my 36 week doctor's appointment, it was determined that I had preeclampsia and was spilling protein into my urine (a sign that my kidneys were starting to shut down.) My doctor sent me straight to the hospital - I couldn't even go home to get my bags first. She called ahead and told me that she knew how long it took to get from her office to the hospital, so I better not try to go home first.

I called Matthew. He was still at work and started freaking out a little. I suppose any good husband would? I called my mom. She cried. I was still in a bit of a daze about the whole thing. I still had things to do! I hadn't finished her nursery totally! I was a little horrified that this baby was coming whether or not I was ready. Matthew met me at the hospital and I checked myself in. They put me in a triage room and made me put on one of those backless gowns (ridiculous!), and hooked me up to a blood pressure cuff that took my blood pressure every 15 minutes.

Once I was settled into the uncomfortable bed, I turned the TV on and watched the Republican Debate. My blood pressure continued to rise (probably shouldn't have been watching the debate??) and after I had been there for about 4 hours, the Dr. on call came in to see me. He was nice and told me his perspective of what was going on and asked me mine, as well as what my desire was for labor and delivery (very nice of him in a high-risk situation.) He told me that if my blood pressure got any higher, he would want to take me into a C-section that night and deliver the baby. I wanted to avoid a C-section, if at all possible, and told him that I wanted to wait until morning to make any decisions. He agreed and I got "comfortable" for the night. Comfortable in a hospital is a relative term, though!

In the morning, my OB/GYN came in and told me that she had spoken with the Maternal/Fetal Medicine Doctor (specializes in high-risk pregnancies). The "cure" for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby, so they decided that they would try to induce labor. I begged her to be able to take a shower and she agreed, but when the nurse came in and I was getting up to take a shower, she hurried me back to bed. Apparently one of the risks of preeclampsia is seizures and eclampsia (stroke). They told me I couldn't take a shower. Oh so annoying! The moved me to a quiet room down the hall and inserted something into my cervix to soften and ripen it. It was a 12 hour thing, so we had 12 hours to wait to see if it worked. All that day, I just stayed in bed, slept, watched Paula Deen on the Food Network, and talked to visitors. At the end of the 12 hours, they determined that the medicine had done nothing to soften or ripen my cervix (SUPER disappointing - those things are not comfortable!) That night, I had a great night nurse. They reinserted another cervical ripening agent an hour after they took the first one out and I settled in for the night. She brought me a sleeping pill at my request (and Matthew's insistence! - he knew I needed the rest.) I slept the best I had slept since I got pregnant. Heaven!

The next morning around 5, I woke up feeling nauseous. This wasn't unusual - I had morning sickness all throughout my entire pregnancy. I sat up and threw up in the bed. I sort of chuckled, and thought, "This kid just will not give up!" Making me sick on the morning that I was going to deliver her! Rude! The nurse came in and cleaned up the sheets, got new sheets, and I settled back down into bed. An hour later, I sat up and threw up again, but this time it woke Matthew up. He called the nurse and because of the shift change, a new nurse came in. She was WONDERFUL! That nurse was a blessing from the Lord, I'm convinced. She was with me the entire day, even for the delivery. She started some Zofran (anti-nausea) in my IV and I felt less nauseous after that. I started to feel really uncomfortable around 7. She checked me and I was dilated to a 4. I was excited because this meant I had gone into labor on my own, without Pitocin! I don't know if it was because of the Cervadil or just how my labor progressed, but even at this point in early labor, my contractions were around 6-7 minutes apart. The nurse asked me if I was wanting an epidural at some point in my labor and I told her I was. She told me she wouldn't ask me, but that I could let her know whenever I wanted one. I told her that right now would be fine :)

Because they couldn't keep my blood pressure under control, they started me on Magnesium Sulfate - this was probably the most annoying part of the whole thing. It made me feel extremely woozy. The anesthesiologist came in about 20 minutes after I requested an epidural, around 10. Per the hospital's policy, Matthew had to leave the room while the anesthesiologist did the epidural. He was fabulous! I had a seriously wonderful experience. I couldn't feel any pain, but I could feel pressure. Super when you are trying to deliver a baby! My parents had arrived the night before and were there to see me early in the morning. I told Matthew to have them wait until after I got my epidural. They came in and talked for a few minutes and then I went to sleep. I slept for the next 4ish hours.

When I woke up, I was feeling the urge to push (like I said, I had a SUPER epidural.) The nurse came in and checked me and I was dilated to 9 1/2 cm. My water still hadn't broken, so she broke it then (I think?). Once I dilated to 10, she told me to push when I felt like I wanted to. I did and she was a wonderful help to know what to do (Matthew and I were mostly clueless.) She told me that the baby was face up (they're supposed to be face down coming down the birth canal) and that's why the pushing was taking so long. I kept pushing, and pushing, and pushing, and pushing, and FINALLY at 5:37 pm, Magnolia Anne was born (2 1/2 hours of pushing, total!)

The perinatologist was there to check Maggie out immediately after she was born (because I was considered high-risk.) She checked out great - they were so surprised that everything was normal. She was born at 37 weeks, 1 day gestation. 2 days sooner and she would have been classified as premature. Matthew and I both felt blessed that she was so healthy.

I had to stay in the hospital a few more days. They wanted to monitor my blood pressure to make sure it went down. It didn't go down much the first few weeks! Having a new baby is stressful. Having a baby that won't nurse is REALLY stressful. Thankfully for me, she didn't take a bottle super well either, so it was motivation to stick with breastfeeding. My mom stayed with us for three weeks after Maggie was born. I was so glad to have her there. She helped me a TON.

I've learned a lot already from being a mama - learned how to get a sleepy baby to wake up and how to get them back to sleep again. Learned that I really CANNOT survive on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Learned that I need people in my life to help me (I'm proud - I like to do things myself :)) I'm sure there will still be lots to learn in my journey as a mama. For now, some pictures -


  1. Beautiful story, Mary Anne! And by beautiful, I also mean funny, well written, and sweet.

    Magnolia is precious!

  2. Thanks for sharing Maggie's birth story! I really enjoy reading about other people's birth experiences. :)