Marlie Lynn was born on December 28th at 8:50pm. She weighed 8lbs 9oz and was 20 inches long. I had been dilated to 5cm and 100% effaced for over a week. When I went in on Thursday for my appointment with Roberta, she laughed and told me that Greta had been really worried about me. She said she wasn’t sure why Greta was so worried about me…but after Roberta checked my cervix she said, “Now I know why Greta was so worried! Now I’m worried too!” I was dilated to 6 and the baby was at +1 station. Because my labors with Bryce and Blake were so fast, Roberta was concerned about me going into labor, and not making it to the birthing center in time. We often joked about me having the baby on the side of the freeway (even though we only live 15 minutes away!) But today it seemed like that could be a real possibility. Roberta talked to us about inducing me that afternoon. She really didn’t even want me to go home, but it was 10am and the birth center was bustling with clients. So we agreed to come back that night to break my water.
By the afternoon I was a wreck. I didn’t want to be induced. I was so afraid of having a repeat birth like Blake’s, with nothing happening for sooooo long. I tried to hold it together, but burst into tears at my mom’s house. My mom and JP convinced me to call Roberta and talk to her. So I called and told her how I was feeling about being induced, and she was so sweet and supportive. She gave me a pep talk and said that we didn’t have to induce at all, but she felt like it would be safer for me if we did. Ultimately she left the decision up to me. She suggested waiting until tomorrow (Friday). I felt so much better about waiting the extra day. I was still nervous, and disappointed about being induced, but felt at peace about doing it Friday instead. So we all went home to our house and I got as much done as I could before the next day!
Friday morning we dropped Bryce and Blake with a friend and went to the birth center. It was strange driving down the freeway knowing that in a few hours I would be holding our new baby. Roberta met us at Best Start at 11:00. She did an IV drip of antibiotics (for the GBS) and broke my water bag at 12:15pm. She thought that since I was so far dialated that things would happen right away, but I just knew that it would be a while before things were going to get moving. So we were prepared with things to do to help pass the time. JP, my mom, my mother in law and I all played games for a while. We also read magazines, told funny stories, and just generally goofed off for several hours.
The moms decided to take pictures of my pregnant belly while we were waiting. They untied curtains, and arranged plants in the peach room. We found some white sheets in the linen closet and tied them around my belly. They took a ton of pictures and had a grand time. I however felt like a beached whale, but at least it kept us busy.
JP and I had a tough time with baby names during my pregnancy. He really wanted another “B” name, and I didn’t. I loved the name Carly, but decided it was too popular. Mom and I were talking about it one day and I could see the wheels turning in her brain. A few seconds later she shouted, “I’ve got it, how about Marlie?” So Marlie it was going to be. But we weren’t in agreement about how to spell it. So, while we were waiting for my labor to start, we voted on spellings. I liked “Marley”, JP liked “Marli”. But “Marlie” got the most votes, so that’s how we would spell the new baby’s’ name.
We decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood around 4:30pm. It had been 4 hours since my water had been broken, but I didn’t feel anxious about the lull in my labor, like I did with Blake’s birth. Maybe it was because I knew that when things finally started, it would be fast and furious! It was so strange walking around the neighborhood waiting to go into labor. I was afraid to walk too far in case my contractions got going. We stopped at the 7-11 around the corner and bought some candy while we walked. When we got back to the birth center, I took a nap for several hours.
Around 7:30pm I still wasn’t having any contractions Roberta encouraged me to use a breast pump to see if we could get some contractions going. She had been so great the whole day. So noninvasive and patient while waiting for things to get moving, so I didn’t mind trying it. Using the breast pump seemed to help a little. At about 8:15pm I started having some mild irregular contractions, but they were nothing to speak of, so I ignored them but stopped using the breast pump.
I walked into the waiting room of the birth center where my parents, mother in law and JP were. They were all talking and laughing about some funny movie they saw. I started squatting on the floor and it felt really good! My dad made a joke and I started laughing. I’m not sure if it was the squatting or the laughing or neither that started that first contraction. I knew immediately this was it. My demeanor changed immediately. I jumped up and said “Ok, no more talking!” I walked back into the peach room and sort of wandered around for a few minutes. I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. My contractions were coming hard and fast. I sat down on the bed, then layed down on my hands and knees. Thankfully it helped relieve the pressure a little.
Roberta, who had been with me the whole morning, was getting ready to leave, (the new midwife had come in at 8:00pm.) She squeezed my hand and whispered good luck as she started to leave. But before she left she asked the new midwife, Jessica, to check me before she left, just in case. It’s a good thing she did, because I was already dilated to 7! Roberta decided to stay to wait for the nurse to arrive.
The contractions were moving really fast, and JP reminded me that I wanted to labor in the birth tub, so he went and started the water. But I didn’t want to get in yet! I was afraid if I got in too soon my labor would stop (silly me, it won’t stop at 7cm). Luckily as soon as the tub was full I was ready to get in it! I got in the tub at 8:40pm. I immediately felt all of my pregnancy weight disappear into the water. My contractions still hurt, but it was so much easier to relax in the warm water. Jessica poured some lavender oil in the water. The smell permeated the entire bathroom and made it even easier to let go and let my body do its job. I found that the most comfortable position I could find was leaning my arms on the side of the tub and sitting on my feet in a semi squatting position. It also made it easy for JP to rub my aching back with a wood back rubber.
I hadn’t been in labor long enough for that fuzzy labor land feeling to set in. Soon I was completely aware that I was in transition, yet I still felt like I couldn’t “do it anymore”. It didn’t take long to get that pushy feeling with each contraction, so I started pushing. It hurt so much more to push! In the back of my mind I was thinking, “why does this hurt so much?? None of the other kids births felt like this!!” My back was killing me and hurt almost as much as her head crowing did! Fortunately it didn’t last for more than a minute or two.
Her head came out really fast and JP reminded me to reach down and feel it. I opened my eyes and looked down at her head under the water. All I could see was a black ball of hair. I reached down to feel her head and was surprised that it felt so soft and little. That was all I needed to encourage me to get the rest of her out. I had stopped having contractions, but tried with all I could to push the rest of her out. Her shoulders were a bit stuck, it turned out it was because she was born posterior (face up) and her shoulders weren’t rotating. Roberta did some quick maneuvering while I pushed and I felt a pop and out she came! I thought for sure that pop I felt meant a tear, but was pleasantly surprised to find later that I hadn’t tore at all! My midwife handed me our new baby and I thought I was I heaven! She was absolutely beautiful.
The first thing I did was peek to be sure she was still a girl. Whew! No extra parts. I really wanted someone else to check her for a cleft palate and tried whispering to JP to check it, but the words wouldn’t come out. I took a deep breath and stuck my finger in her mouth. I don’t think I was the only person in that bathroom that cried when I said that it was fine, no cleft. Jp and I stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. She had a serious cone head, and her face was pretty bruised up from such a quick birth and sunny side up positioning. We laughed when we noticed that she had a little bent toe like our other kids had.
The placenta started detaching almost immediately after the birth so Roberta let the water out of the tub. It was really cool to see the cloud of blood forming in the water. I started shaking so Jessica and Roberta helped me out of the tub and I delivered the placenta on the toilet. Then JP and I climbed into bed and snuggled up with our new baby girl.
It was the most wonderful feeling to be able to nurse newborn Marlie and snuggle with her that first night. Both of my older boys were taken from me soon after their birth, Bryce because of breathing trouble, Blake because of a cleft palate. I actually got to spend Marlie’s first few hours of life with her. She was awake most of the night, but I didn’t really mind. JP slept in the bed in the prenatal room, my mother in law slept on the couch in the waiting room. They were tired, but I was on the biggest emotional high ever.
Early the next morning I took a shower and dressed Marlie in the pink clothes I had brought for her. It felt really strange putting a pink outfit on her, she looked just like Bryce and Blake did when they were born! My mom brought our older boys to meet Marlie. I was nervous about how they would respond to her. Both of them were more interested in playing with the toys in the waiting room and watching a movie upstairs than holding the baby! Eventually they did hold her and were extremely sweet and loving.
We left Best Start around 9am with our new little addition. Driving away from the birth center I was still amazed that I had delivered another baby. It all happened so fast, about 25 minutes from that first contraction. I was so pleased with the birth, it was just how I had wanted it to be, calm and quiet. Roberta, Jessica and their sweet nurse Christine were supportive and gentle as always. They had taken excellent care of all of us. As we pulled up in front of our house, I made a mental note to have JP go buy an “It’s a girl sign” for the front door. I had finally gotten my girl, and everything was perfect.