Mirabel’s Birth Story


It started Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 530 in the morning with Abigail pacing up and down my side of the bed. I’m a light sleeper and when the dogs move around the bedroom, I wake up.  It’s no big deal other than its 530 in the morning and 38 weeks pregnant and all I want is a few more minutes of sleep. I tell her to go lay on her mat, which she does. Fifteen minutes later she is back at it and again I told her to go lay on her mat. Then at 618 I wake up to Abby nosing my hand. “Oh my God, Abby!”  is all that is going through my mind.  Again,  I tell her to go lay down, but she is stubborn and stays put then at 621 my water breaks.  I guess she knew way before I did that M was coming.

At first, I was not 100% sure what had happened. My first thought was, “Did I seriously did I just wet the bed?” Then it dawns on me that my water broke. Still in shock, I headed to the bathroom with Abby following right behind me.  I come back into the bedroom, James is up, asking if everything is okay. I tell him it looks like my water broke, but I am not sure. The puzzling look on his face was priceless.

I started to get a little nervous. I decide to call my parents, who are in NYC staying with my cousin. I try to reach my mom on her cell phone, since she been through childbirth twice it was the most obvious thing to do. Plus, the whole RN career was extremely helpful — but –no luck.

I try my father’s cell and with success I reach him. Thank goodness. I fill him in on what’s going on and how I thought I wet the bed.  The greatest thing came out of his mouth, “Well, Meg, do you normally wet the bed?” My response, “No, Dad. I don’t. I would say the last time that happened I was, I don’t even know when”

With out missing a beat he says, “Good, then that’s ruled out. So, it looks like your water broke and you need to call your doctor and follow his instructions, which will mostly likely be get things together and down to hospital”  And that is exactly what the doctor told me to do. Several hours later, while in labor, I found myself laughing at the conversation. Even to this day, my dad and I get a kick out of the conversation.

After taking care of the dogs and taking a shower, James and I were off to the hospital. I’m very glad I had pre-packed my hospital bag, no worries there. This simple thing was such a relief not to have to think about.

We arrive at the Women’s Center at Obici Sentara hospital and I could not  have been any happier. I did not have to fill out one single piece of paper.  I just had to sign my name on the line that I was at the hospital to delivery my child.  I’m so grateful for my OBGYN group, they took care of all the paperwork for me.

I was put into a room and met my morning labor nurse, Ebony. She checked out a few things and asked me some questions. By 823 in the morning, I was admitted into the hospital.  I was 2 cm dilated only 8 more to go.

I loved my morning nurse. She was funny, helpful, kept me amused, and allowed me to work through the contractions in my own way, which started shortly after being admitted. I spent the morning walking laps around the ward. In tow, was my darling husband, who kept me in check with his comedic side, helped keep me steady during a contraction and carried my water for me.  The range of conservations we had while walking in circles were great. He knows how to shoot the sh*t perfectly.  I won’t want to walk the hospital with anyone else. It’s the small things that really mattered during this whole process.

I continued to get checked, but process of dilation was not occurring at the rate the hospital team wanted. Around noon, I was only about 3 cm dilated. Ebony and I did some other exercises to help move things along. Atlas, this did not help after a couple of hours, I was given Pitocin. This where things get fun.

After being given Pitocin, I was confined to my room, confined to bed, not fun. My contractions became more intense and at a regular rate. Everything was manageable. Painful, yes, but not unbearable.

Ebony and the mid-wife came into the room numerous amounts of times to see how we were doing and check things out. They were starting to get a little considered, because my blood pressure was starting to rise. When my blood pressure started to climb near the area of concern, they started talking to James and I about the epidural — more myself than James. I did not want it.

About 3 hours later, I was about 2cm more dilated and needless to say James was concerned, the nurse was concern and the mid-wife were concerned. As for myself, it was the last thing on my mind. I was just focused on enjoying the times with no contraction and dealing with the contractions when they came.

By 4pm, I was only dilated to 4 cm. 10cm seemed like a number I would never get to, but I stayed focused.  The continued discussions of taking the epidural kind of got annoying. The main reason was in hopes to lower my blood pressure. I was still not on-board with the idea.

At 5pm I was at 4 cm dilated. The shift change came.  This is where the awesome labor nurse left and the horrid labor nurse came into the act. Right from the get go, it was a disaster.

First thing, out of her mouth, “We need to get this baby out”. Geez, lady ya think?!? I missed what was going on here! When she left the room, I give one of those looks at James and with skipping a beat he says with a smile, “Even, I know not to say that.”

The next 5 hours and 19 minutes were not my favorite.  I was turned over like a pancake or better yet rotated like a rotisserie. Nothing was helping me progress faster in the labor.

Again, talks of the epidural came up. After, a discussion with James over how I felt and things they had discussed with him. I decided to go against my birth plan and was given the epidural.

Being given an epidural is one heck of an experience. Sitting on the side of the bed, leaning forward, dealing with contractions and being told not to move while someone stick a needle in your spine. Yup, pure circus act.

Shortly after 6 pm,  I was 4.5 cm dilated, on pitocin and epidural. Drugged is what I was.

Around 7 pm is when things started to cross into a danger zone with each contraction Mirabel’s oxygen level was dropping. At the beginning it was nothing too alarming, but as the minutes turned into hours things got tense.  The nurse never left my room and the mid-wife was in and out.  Each contraction caused Mirabel’s oxygen level to drop, but she would recover.

At 10:07pm, I was 8cm. I had been at 8 cm for the last two hours. I had a contraction and Mirabel’s oxygen level dropped below the safety area and deep into the negative and took time to return to normal. At that time, my mid-wife said “That’s it, we gotta get her out now.” What did that mean… my worst nightmare — a c-section.

As, you can see she never recovered from one of my contractions. We were dealing with this for close to 3.5 hours of labor.

Now, I know people jump at the idea of getting a c-section. I am just not one of them.  Surgery goes against the human body, we are just not meant to be cut open. The idea of two doctors pulling my skin to the sides, clamping it down with “clips” and having my insides (intestines, liver, etc) resting on a side table. Not my idea of way to have a child.

I rather push my child out and be with him or her at that time rather than being knocked out trusting my doctor to put everything back together in working order.  NOt to mention, the pain after the surgery.

At this point — I got nervous — extremely nervous. I almost wish the knocked me out before I saw the OR, but I would have missed all the other exciting stuff.

First, was the exercise of moving me from my bed to the operating table after being given the epidural. The anesthesiologist placed in another drug that made sure I did not feel anything.

Shortly after that,  the doctor was there giving instructions, then James came in and held my hand. I know I had the look of terror on my face. It was extremely calming to have him there. I was taking deep calming breathes when all of a sudden I couldn’t breathe deep and I felt like a ton of pressure was on my lungs. This was when it hit me the doctor was getting to Mirabel. James was in awe of the process.

At 10:19PM, I heard Mira’s cry, I saw the huge ear to ear smile across my husband’s face and heard him say “She is here and she is beautiful.” That was all I remember until I woke up in recovering a few hours later.

I made it to my room where the doctor came in and told us what the issues were with my labor and delivery. Mirabel was facing up, low in the birth canal, umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, the placenta was detached, toxic and not providing oxygen to Mirabel, my contractions were suffocating her and I was stuck too long at 8 cm. We were lucky to get her when we did. He wasn’t sure she would have made it much longer.

Shortly after the doctor left, there was a knocked at the door and the nurse comes in with Mirabel. She takes Mirabel out of her crib and places her in my arms. My world changes instantly and forever…

People have asked…

People have asked me how we came up with the name Mirabel. So, I thought I would write it down in case you are wondering, too.

First off, James and I went through about 2,000 names. Okay, maybe that is a little exaggerated, but you get the idea we went through TONS of names. Nothing seemed to fit.

Every time we choose a name for those in our family animals or not, we choose a with meaning to us.

When we found Mirabel, it fit everything. The name was different,  the name would not blend in with others. (We wonder if the name will ever become popular)

Mirabel means “wonder”. It is exactly how I felt about the whole process of being pregnant and being a mother. I was in awe and wonder and I still am. The name Mira is one of the James’ favorite names for a girl. In case, you are wondering, Mira means wonder, too.

Mirabel Jean made the list. Jean is a family name. Mirabel Jean….very fitting.

Out of the long list we cut it down to two names. And no, we are not disclosing the other name, because maybe in time we will use it.

It’s a… It’s a…

Last Friday, my husband and I went to the doctors for the ‘big’ ultrasound. We both were nervous, yet excited about what we would see. We found out that we have a healthy baby — all organs are functioning and its moving around quite well. In fact, it’s very active, yet loves to curl up and cuddle.

With that said, let me tell you this…There are two moments in my life I will never forget. The first is the look in my husband’s eyes when we were officially married. The second moment was when the ultrasound technician looked over and she said “It’s a girl”. The look my husband gave me was incredible — one of pure happiness and excitement with the sweetest smile across his face. That look is a moment that I will cherish.

He always wanted a little girl and now he finally has his wish. I could not be happier to be having a healthy baby girl, but to have a husband who is over the moon about her before she has given taken her first breath of air — I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Our not so little secret anymore

Well, in terms of size its little somewhat small. So, whats our secret, we are excepting our first child in December… December 18th to be exact. We had a rough few early weeks, where we lost one baby during week 7. There is nothing anyone could do, miscarriages are just part of pregnancy. It did leave me worried and nervous about what would happen next. When we finally could to see our baby and hear the heartbeat many worries seemed to wither away. I was cleared to return to ‘normal’ activities a week later.

I have been running, but not at my normal pace. I’m running about 2 to 3 minutes slower and downing more water than a camel. And you know, I think I’m storing it like a camel, too!! I have been running for time and not for distance, but with entering the second trimester and my energy levels returning to normal I will begin to try to reach 25 – 30 plus a week. It is down from my 35 or more miles per week, but I don’t mind. I have been doing light lifting. Its kind of funny, I have been finding that lifting is not so much of chore as it has been in the past.

The pups are doing well. I think Abigail had known what was going on before anyone else did. She rarely leaves my side. Gabriel is the same way, but at least he gives me some room unlike Miss Abby. She has to be in touching me, which drives me nuts. I do find it somewhat cute and annoying that the both of them will work together to herd me into a room or  a certain direction. Usually it is to the couch or bed, a place where I am not up and walking around. I think its just because they are lazy and do not want to follow me into different rooms or up the stairs. 🙂

I have taken most of my races for this summer off the to do list. Mainly, because the distance in the summer heat is a little risky. Running them at a normal pace would have me completing them before the heat is really turned on. Finishing even 30 minutes later will raise the risk of heat stroke and/or dehydration.  I do have a few shorter races I will try to complete during the August and September. I am still planning on training and running the Philadelphia Half Marathon, but I think I may need to have a fellow runner run with me, since its about a month out from my due date. My doctor is very supportive with keeping my activity level up, but we are both under the same understanding that it’s a day-to-day and month to month type of evaluation.

Anyhow, that’s all for now….Enjoy your weekend.