Margot's Story.

Her due date came...and then it went. And the days kept on going. Every few hours I would Google “natural ways to induce labor”  and then I’d be walking up stairs, eating fresh pineapple until I no longer had taste buds, scrubbing floors...If there was a tip online that one day it had maybe helped someone go into labor, I tried it. Two days late. Acupressure. Three days. More pineapple. Lots of walking up and down hills. Squatting. Four days. Five days. Six days. Let’s just say, we tried everything.

And then finally! I had some “bloody show” and the contractions started. I waited a few hours to begin timing them so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if they were just Braxton Hicks. They were mild, but consistent. About 10 minutes apart and they just kept coming. They came all night long and began to get closer together. I was a bit disheartened at the fact that I was still in a great mood, talking, breathing normally. More pineapple. More walking. They were still mild but I was unable to sleep through them. Around 4am they had been consistently about 5-6 minutes apart and lasting over a minute in length. I began to think that I might actually be in labor. I told Steve (who was awake just long enough to move from our bed to the couch because I was in and out of bed every 5 minutes and had been keeping him awake) that I thought it might be time to call the midwife. He asked if I wanted to start timing the contractions first and I showed him on our “Baby Bump” app that I had been for hours. I called the midwife and was excited to find that one of my favorites from the birthing center was on call that night. She said that it sounded like I was in active labor and that I should come in. The birthing center is about 45 minutes from our home and on the way there the contractions were coming every 4 minutes. I was having to consciously breathe through them.

We arrived at the birthing center and I got admitted for a “non-stress test” to monitor the baby’s heart rate and the contractions. As soon as I was hooked up to the monitor the contractions stopped completely. The baby was not in any distress, which was a great sign, but it also looked like she wasn’t going to come anytime soon, which was disheartening. To top it off, the nurse told me, “you’re not in labor, you’ve just been having some irritations”. To call my contractions “irritations” was well, irritating to say the least. By this point I had not slept for 2 nights in a row. I was physically exhausted and had no words for the nurse. Steve later told me that I gave her a pretty mean glare when she acted like my contractions/irritations were no big deal. After a minute long sob-sesh in the hospital bathroom we were on our way back home where I was able to sleep for about 3 hours.


I was officially 1 week late and had a routinely scheduled “non-stress test” and amniotic fluid check at 1:45 that afternoon. Even though I had an NST earlier that morning, we were advised to keep the appointment. So, we headed back to Waimea. On the drive to Waimea, I started having contractions again but decided not to time them since I was convinced it was false labor anyway after the events of the morning. We arrived back at the birthing center and once again I got hooked up for the NST. The midwife informed me that she would be back to check on me in 20-30 minutes. As I lay on the exam table for the NST I could not stop telling Steve how badly I had to pee. I was hooked up to the monitor so I couldn’t get up. My biggest concern was that I was actually going to pee my pants on the table. And then....it happened. I had a really strong contraction and I peed my pants. At least that’s what I thought. And I was mortified. I told Steve and we laughed about it and then panic set in- and just as I was asking myself a million questions in my head, “how am I going to walk out of here?”, “why did I wear leggings???” (note: if you are going to pee your pants in public, leggings are probably the worst garment that you can do it in). “what am I going to tell the midwife?” the midwife came back in. She asked how I was doing and I responded sheepishly, “well, I am so sorry, but I peed on your table.” and then to lighten the awkward mood, I added, “or maybe my water broke!” She checked me out, informed me that my water did in fact break and that my contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart. Contractions? I had been so focused on walking through the waiting room with pee pants that I hadn’t even noticed the contractions. The midwife told me I could go on over to labor and delivery and asked if I wanted a wheel chair. “Nope, I’ll walk” I responded, because suddenly I did not care about my wet pants (Steve assured me that you couldn’t see that they were wet anyway, phew!)

After a quick-ish trip to admitting (where they had lost our pre-registration information), I was given a room and a gown in Labor and Delivery and told to “go for it”. By this time it was 4pm and since the contractions were still not extreme, I assumed and mentally prepared myself to be in labor for a really, really long time. When the hospital dinner came and it was a plate of heartburn (onions and peppers) I sent Steve out to get  avocado cucumber sushi rolls (my favorite food during pregnancy) and told him to take his time. I was, after all, going to be in labor for DAYS. By the time he returned, I was pacing the room and having intense contractions about every 2 minutes. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to smell food. I just wanted to pace. When a contraction would come, I would go into the dark bathroom until it was over and then come back out and pace again. I remember thinking, “I should moan through these” to take the advice of the doula who taught the natural childbirth class that we had taken months before. I consciously moaned through the next few and something about it just felt better than trying to stay quiet. From that point on I was in my own world. Labor land. When I would have a contraction, I would ask for Steve to come over and rub my lower back. When he would rub it, without the energy to ask him politely to stop, I would just signal for him to stop. Between each contraction I would think, “oh I should get some rest, I have a long night ahead of me” and so Steve would get the bed all ready for me to rest comfortably. As soon as I would sit down on the bed, another contraction would come and I would be out of the bed. pacing, asking Steve to raise it up as high as it would go so that I could lean forward on it. This pattern repeated about every 2 minutes for the next few hours. The contractions continued to intensify, but they were never to the point where I considered asking for pain medication.

Around 8pm the night shift nurse, Akiko, came in and introduced herself. She told me that if I felt the need to “bear down” like I was going to the bathroom to notify her. A little while later when I felt like pushing, I thought something was wrong. I asked Steve to get the nurse immediately and when she came in she checked my dilation (until this point, because my water broke, I hadn’t been checked at all). I was 8cm dilated and she told me that I could begin pushing. I was thinking, “pushing?! it can’t be time to push, I haven’t even had painful enough contractions for that yet!” and so, yet again, I prepared myself to be pushing for hours. DAYS, even. With this mindset, I sat down on the bed. My body seemingly went into autopilot and I just had to push.  Apparently L&D nurses and midwives can judge by a women’s moaning and groaning when she is ready to give birth because they all came into the room and before I knew it, the midwife, Patricia, and Steve were saying things that led me to believe that there was ACTUALLY a baby being born. Still a bit in denial, when the midwife told me to reach down and feel the baby’s head, I did so and then exclaimed, “Oh.My.God.” in disbelief. I remember the midwife saying, “wow, we hardly ever see haole babies with hair!” (Oh, Hawaii).  In between pushes, I asked Steve to put a cold washcloth on my head. He didn't hear me at first and I just remember thinking about how Michael Jackon named his son "Blanket" and pondered what life would be like if we named our baby "Washcloth". Back to reality. The midwife had been telling me things to help focus my pushing, like for me to imagine that I was pushing the baby up toward the ceiling. So, when she told me to put my hands out and catch my baby, I thought that she was meaning for me to imagine that as well. With my eyes closed, I leaned forward with my arms out and MUCH to my surprise, I suddenly had a baby in my arms. MY baby. I brought her to my chest, looked at Steve and exclaimed, “That was IT?!?!” in shock. The baby lifted her head and stared at Steve and just like that, we were three.



We said hello to our little Margot and told her that we loved her. The placenta was out a few minutes later with one push. The midwife congratulated me on “doing it just the way that I wanted to-with no drugs, no tearing and no episiotomy”. After the cord stopped pulsating, Steve cut it and then the baby breastfed for 45 minutes. She latched on and nursed like a champ. Still in shock, I felt like I needed to tell someone about what had just happened. Maybe then it would seem real. I called my parents and told them that she had arrived! I held up the phone to the baby so that they could hear her cry. After our phone call, Akiko and Steve weighed the baby and bathed her in the room. She was born at 11:15pm and weighed 8lbs 12oz, 20 inches. She was absolutely perfect.

Proud Daddy with Margot. (cell phone photo)

I was feeling great for a few hours after I delivered, but then started to feel really weak. Akiko informed me that I was losing an abnormal amount of blood and that she could not figure out why. She didn't want me to go far from the bed, so when I had to pee she brought over a bedside commode. As soon as I had shifted from bed to the commode I told her that I felt really dizzy. A few minutes later, I woke up surrounded by nurses and Patricia. "I think I passed out", I told them. I had indeed passed out and was still losing a concerning amount of blood for no apparent reason. I was a bit delirious at this point and there was talk of the possibility that my cervix had torn, which would require immediate surgery under anesthesia. An OB/GYN was called in to check me. As I lay in bed, delirious, I called to Steve who was across the room holding Margot and told him that "if I die, it's OK to give the baby a pacifier". Just as they were prepping me for surgery, the OB found the culprit of the bleeding- two tiny blood vessels had broken. They required one stitch each and the bleeding stopped immediately. By this point I had lost more than 3 pints of blood- more than a C-Section patient and was told that I would probably need a transfusion. Amazingly, my blood count results came back just above the level where I would need a blood transfusion. I was weak, but so relieved that I did not have to have surgery.

Steve was super-dad the whole time. For the few hours that I was passed out/delirious he held and rocked and sang to our baby girl. They needed each other during those few long and scary hours.

Despite the complications postpartum (which I don't remember clearly, anyway), my labor and delivery experience was an amazing one. God was so obviously in that delivery room with us and I am so thankful.

Margot- "precious pearl"
Day- For Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement

Margot Day- 1 Week Old

Kimi  – (September 22, 2011 at 7:34 PM)  

*tear!!!!!!* Wow, so proud of you Diane and I felt like I was right there. "Washcloth" does rival "Blanket" but I am glad you picked Margot. She is so precious and unbelievable. So much love to your family of three :)

layne  – (September 26, 2011 at 7:26 AM)  

love, love this. you are Incredible, Amazing, (and good with words to boot!)

love you all. can't wait to meet margot one day.

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