Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothering Sunday: Share Your Stories

Today we're celebrating Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, and to our favourite mother--Michelle Duggar, and the other Duggar mothers, Mary, Deanna, and Anna!

I had the good fortune to be in the UK to have my child, for many reasons. But one that sticks out, is that she happened to be born on what they call, "Mothering Sunday." It falls in March over there. My daughter was born 6 1/2 weeks early (I've told parts of this story here and there, so today, you're going to hear it all.) The only downside? I ruined the lunch we had planned with my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law--however, hubby did take them out after the baby was born and they did come visit me and see the new little one.

I happened to be in the hospital because the midwife found signs of pre-eclampsia on Thursday, and I'd been told day by day that I'd be going home soon after they did more "tests." I had a headache they couldn't get rid of (I'd had it since to previous Sunday) and my blood pressure wouldn't come under control. If would calm down for a bit then go wild again. I would have to sit still for 30 min a few times a day so they could hook me up to a fetal monitor, only because everytime they did, my little monkey would swim away--so as soon as they'd find her I'd have to sit perfectly still--apparently she hated that test! Throughout the entire process I was reassured again and again that my baby was perfectly fine, it was my health they were worried about. Finally on Saturday I was told they had me scheduled for an ultrasound (called a scan over there) on Monday morning and if that was ok, I could go home.

Now as these few days had progressed, the other two beds in the room had women coming and going--it was kind of a staging area--pre-labour--before they'd go to labour rooms. In the back of my mind I got to thinking that I just might be having this baby early. That and the fact that when they checked me in they gave me a special shot to speed up the development of my baby's lungs in case I had to deliver early. I started to rethink my baby name. When I went into the hospital she was "Saffron Rapunzel." The more I said it out loud, the more I didn't like it--it sounded great with a British accent, which I don't have--so hubby had to bring me the baby name book in one of the many trips with things I needed (always had a list!) I would walk around the circle of the ward to pass the time (you have to pay for TV over there) and I'd read. As I was walking around, I asked the doctor at the desk if just because I had pre-eclampsia it meant I had to have a c-section, or if I could still have a natural birth. She said they always try to do natural first. That lifted my spirits. Then I joked that if they couldn't find me I'd be down floating around in the birthing pool--they had a huge lovely birthing tub that I SO wanted to go for a swim in!

Then Sunday morning came. My headache was off the charts and all night we'd been doing shots of liquid morphine (literally like doing vodka shots.) Breakfast was brought in and the doctors told me that I could take it with me to the other room, they were moving me to a different room so they'd have more space (remember I was sharing with 2 other people.) So as I'm kind of loopy and being taken across the ward to another room, I had presence of mind to ask a nurse to call my husband. Next I remember I'm laying in a bed and 3 different people are putting tubes in 3 different places--both arms and my neck. Ten minutes later I asked again for someone to call my husband, because I was sure that in all this mess (there were about 12 people, no kidding, in my room) whomever I asked probably hadn't done it. But I was told he was in the lift! (the elevator) And the next time I saw him, a fe minutes later, he was standing at the foot of my bed in scrubs. Huh. Interesting.

Then it occcured to me to ask the question. Where we going to have a baby? You see, no one actually bothered to tell me that we were going to have this baby. The answer was yes, we were going to deliver this baby. My next question struck everyone as rather funny, "Am I having a c-section?" The doctor said yes. "Good," I said, "because I don't think I can push."

We got to the operating theatre and that's when the resident who put in my neck line realized that he hadn't taken off my t-shirt. He was very distressed about it. "Cut it off! I shouted. He was still unsure about it. "It's okay," I said. "I got it on sale." Everyone laughed so hard, it was hilarious! Then my husband had to explain to them what an outlet mall was. (It was from Eddie Bauer.) And Hubby still has the cut up t-shirt.

All through the procedure I kept whispering "Jaspin." Because I was sure that's what her name would be. When she was born they wheeled her quickly past my head and that's all I could see of her as they took her to the NICU. Hubby took pictures with our phone. When I got to the recovery room the first thing I said was "I don't want to name her Jaspin!" So for a few minutes she was Spencer. Later on in our room we spent about 2 hours trying to name her. She was Amistad for awhile, but we couldn't decide if it was a first name or second name. We went through friend's names, we had the baby book of 100,001 names. We went through the list. Finally we got to the boy list to see if there was anything there...and we got to Zephyr. We just looked at each other and it clicked. She was Zephyr. The nurse watching over me was trying not to laugh as we were spending all this time figuring out a name.

I was still paralyzed from the waist down with a clicker to stay that way and they'd bring liquid morphine every so often. I didn't get to see Zephyr in the NICU until Tuesday. I was not happy about that. They moved me to the regular ward on Tuesday evening after dinner. And I waited all day Tuesday to see her, and finally hubby showed up to take me as they were ringing the "no more visiting hours" bell--they didn't bother to tell him they were moving me and that hours were changed. And I burst into tears again. They promised! Well hubby raised all kinds of noise and the nurse came in and soothed me and promised that I'd have a wheelchair there in moments to take me down to see my baby--and I did. She was beautiful. I got to hold her--hubby had been to see her, but hadn't held her, he made sure that I was the first one to hold her. It was the most amazing thing ever, she looked into my eyes and I knew then that I was mommy.

I woke up in the middle of the night in a ward with 5 other mothers who all had their babies with them--and mine was in the NICU--I hobbled into the waiting area/lobby where the nurse's station was at about 3am and started bawling. I told them I couldn't go back in there. I couldn't sleep in there with those babies and those mothers, it wasn't fair. Wednesday morning the head nurse came and talked to me and moved me to a private room, she explained that this never would have happened, they were just full. So I spent the rest of my stay in a private room, getting to go down to the NICU any time during the day to visit her and hold her. And hubby would come after work and see her with me. Sometimes he'd bring take away. I stayed 5 days after the birth.

Two weeks in the NICU and she was ready to come home. We spent the night in a special family room there where the baby sleeps with us in the room and we "learn" how to be new parents. We get up with her, feed her, change her, and sleep there. If we have questions the nurses are right there. The next morning we get to take her home. And she's been our little muppet ever since.

So there's this mom's story--a baby born on Mothering Sunday. I felt it was appropriate, since today is Mother's Day, and Michelle Duggar has shared so many of her birthing stories with us! So please, feel free to share your birthing stories. Or if you aren't that comfortable, share your naming stories :)


  1. Mary Beth, that was a great story! Mine isn't nearly as interesting.

    With my second baby we went to a big church conference when I was about eight months or 31 weeks gestation. While we were there I noticed my feet were swelling worse every day to the point where I had to borrow some shoes from my MIL. Then we had to cut the legs of my slacks to get them off. No one else seemed concerned but I wasn't feeling so good so I finally insisted we needed to leave for home which was over 400 miles away.

    Because I was feeling sick my husband decided to have me travel back in the camper which was built into our pick-up. Turns out it made me even sicker as we went down the highway and I had no way to get his attention! We arrived home without anything worse than a good scare on my part.

    The next morning I called the clinic in our small town 20 miles away and explained the situation. By that time I was feeling some mild cramping. I got to the doctors office and was sent to the hospital next door where I delivered within 15 minutes. Babies that small, she was just over 4 pounds do not take a lot of pushing to get out.

    I too spent 5 days in the hospital and Beth spent 2 weeks until she reached 5 pounds. We took her home, woke her up every three hours to feed her and when we took her back in a week later she was up to six pounds. They told us we could go ahead and let her sleep at night now. She was the only one of my four children who learned very early to sleep through the night and had absolutely no problems from her early birth. Of course I had pre eclampsia and had it again with my fourth child who was also born after an induced labor 3 weeks early. I still have high blood pressure.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story :) It's a lovely trip down memory lane isn't it? Happy Mother's Day!!!!

  3. After being married for over 13 years - we were SURPRISED! to find out I was expecting a year ago in January. All was going along great - and during the ultrasound at 20 weeks, we discovered we were having a boy (dh is a bit on the impatient side ;)) and that he would have a cleft lip. Due to family histories - although with other indicators - even though we were never able to get a clear view of the palate - (he's been a finger sucker from "the inside") we were told to expect a cleft palate as well. During later ultrasounds (between my age (40 at the time) and the cleft issues - he was a very photographed baby before his arrival!)They also discovered some growth issues with his brain. We declined any more invasive testing on our son beyond the ultrasounds. During the last trimester - the brain issues seemed to self - correct - yet still all indications were pointing towards a unilateral complete cleft of the left lip and palate - so we were researching feeding, surgeons and clinics, and preparing for our long awaited son, and his projected stay in the hospital while he learned to eat since he would be unable to suck.
    Last September 16th, I finally woke my husband up sometime between 3-4 am as I was definitely in labor (yeah, all those things I "thought" were contractions? ha! Real labor, unmistakable once you are in it!) We were at the hospital within 2 hours. Labor went along fine - much quicker than the Doctor expected I believe. It's amazing how it is you, my dh, labor nurse and a nursing student in the birthing suite - and then all the sudden - there was about 13 people in there with the NICU staff, specialists, etc. Lucas was born a little after 1:30 p.m. I had a minute with him before they whisked him away to the warming table for the specialists and NICU staff to check over -- and hubby went over with them, I hear them talking and a "that's not bad at all" then Thomas says to me -- "his palate is fine" -- I respond "What do you mean his palate is fine?" Brilliant huh? But regardless of ultrasounds and other indicators - he was born with only a partial cleft lip and an intact palate. Just a couple days earlier we were speaking to a friend from our church and she told me he hadn't been born yet because he wasn't healed yet. =) The next few minutes were a blur and then someone handed me my son to nurse - Realize -- this was not even remotely on my radar... A baby with a cleft palate would not be able to nurse, I was going to be pumping! With this it hit me that I would be able to feed my son normally with breast and/or a regular bottle. Wow!
    As an update -- Luke had his cleft lip repair surgery in March - and is looking great! He will need 1 - 2 future surgeries as he gets older - but nothing like we thought he'd be facing. We are thankful and praising for our beautiful gift - and enjoying every day - and are working on enjoying all the nights ;)

  4. Thanks for reading Mary Beth; I really enjoy your blog and the comments from other posters. Millie

  5. My youngest daughter turns 7 tomorrow. She was born the day before Mother's Day in 2003. It was my first homebirth (i had one more homebirth, but I had some complications and all the rest have been/will be in the hospital). I spent the day with mild contractions, walking outside to speed things along and talking to my husband. Finally my water broke, and things got painful (big time!) and about an hour later I pushed her out. She was 8 lbs, 5 oz. She was so beautiful and I loved her immediately. My dad and stepmom brought m y 2 older daughters home to meet their new sister. My husband's grandmother brought dinner for all of us.

    I spent my Mother's Day that year resting on the couch and nursing my new baby. :)

    Mrs P

  6. i loved being pregnant and am trying to be again...i was one of those women whose pants stopped fitting the moment the stick turned blue and i wore my belly out and was before i was wearing skirts/dresses...but i did wear long-sleeve shirts under t-shirts...they were too small to wear normally, but pregnant i could get away with it...i still have them tucked away, waiting for the time i can wear them again--waiting for that stick to turn blue again!!!

  7. After a year of fertility treatment that didn't work, on 22nd December 2003 a consultant finally gave us the bad news... it would be imopossible for us to have a baby without IVF and there was no funding. We had a bad few weeks and the decided that we could not afford IVF, and that we needed to try to get on with our lives.
    That April/May I suddenly started to get very tired - and lo and behold I was pregnant. We worked out a due date (complicated by the fact I was not regular) and were amazed and slightly shocked by it all but a while later it sunk in - we were going to be parents.
    I had a very good but slightly prolonged pregnancy (42 wks) and 3 days and 1 year after we were told it wouldn't happen my miracle baby was born - not at home as we had hoped, I had to be transfered as I didn't progress very quickly, but it was a wonderful experience and seemed extra special as she was born at 1.30am on Christmas Day.
    Everyone seemed to say 'oh poor you' but I love Tamzin's birthday being on Christmas Day - it felt like the best present of all and to me what Christmas is all about.

  8. Awwww....I love "surprise" stories :) I was told for years that I would need fertility drugs...frankly I just think G-d wanted me in the right marriage! :) because 6 months in I got pregnant! :) And it sounds like you had the best gift of all and you'll always be reminded of your gift...

    And Clipper, I agree, "he wasn't born yet, because he wasn't healed yet" :) that's a great way of putting it!

    Such fabulous stories! Thank you for sharing them :)