Monday, August 17, 2020

Agnes's Birth Story

It been a long time since I've blogged, but what better way to jump back in (even if maybe just for a day) with this one...

At my 37 week appointment, due to the polyhydramnios and two-vessel cord, we decided to induce the following Wednesday when I was 38 weeks.

So, that next Tuesday (Jeremy's birthday), we got half of the kids settled with my parents and drove the other half to his, staying the night there in order to be at the hospital the next morning at 5am.

Jeremy dropped me off at the hospital to get through all of the intake questions, get my IVs and all else started, etc, and ran a couple of last minute errands.  

I had to have a few rounds of penicillin before giving birth, so they started that in the IV and placed another IV in my right wrist in the event that I hemorrhaged.  They also started the pitocin.

My doctor arrived at 8:30 to break my water, and at that point, I wasn't uncomfortable with contractions at all.  He said he was free all day, just had a 1:30 pm meeting of sorts.

Throughout the morning they upped pitocin as I changed positions periodically to try to move things along.  Meanwhile, for some reason the penicillin going into my left wrist was killing me.  I don't know why but it finally subsided.  

I don't remember the timing of it all, but my contractions started picking up.  I had to focus and breath to get through them, but they were manageable.  I came in that morning at 3cm and 50% effaced, and slowly I made progress.  I'm guessing at noon I was maybe a 6 and 70% effaced.

Then things changed.  The contractions got much more intense.  I just closed my eyes, imagined walking to Jesus on the water like Peter (I think it was fresh in my mind because of the Mass readings the week before), and prayed for those intentions from others that had been shared with me.

Then I felt more pressure.  And there was no time between contractions.  From other births, I knew the time was near, yet I got kind of panic-y asking just how near.  I laid on my back, gripped both sides of the bed and prayed the doctor would be there soon.  

I looked up and it was 1:10.  Wide-eyed I asked my nurses if he would come, because he either had to show up soon (I was worried he would miss his meeting) or I needed an epidural to try to slow things down.  They assured me he was on his way.

My entire body started shaking as I tried NOT to push.  There was no rest between contractions so I'm not sure if it was more difficult getting through the pain or getting through not pushing right then.  Poor Jeremy said later that he was sure everyone thought he was a dead-beat because he just sat calmly in his chair praying.  But, he knows me better than anyone, and the contractions were just something I had to get through myself.

He arrived, got suited up, and with one push, she was out!  And I had some relief!  Born at 1:49 pm, weighing 7 lbs, 1 oz and measuring 18 inches, our Agnes Mary Madeleine had arrived!!  Smaller than any of my others by a pound and a couple of inches!


It took awhile to deliver the placenta, but finally that happened, too.  

Everything was wrapping up, and my doctor was about to leave when I sat up and felt blood gushing out.  I asked him to wait.  And, he suited back up, and spent an hour or so stopping the bleeding, with injections and packing and making my uterus contract.  It wasn't comfortable in the least bit, but I'm so very thankful I was right where I was and that it happened when it did.

After that was under control, a deep breath of relief and cuddles with Agnes made for the perfect day.

We had a difficult time at first deciding on her name (months ago).  But, one evening years ago, we watched The Letters (about Mother Teresa).  After the movie, Jeremy said, I want an Agnes someday.  We had Genevieve and Lucy since then.  Early in the pregnancy, he mentioned Agnes, and all the kiddos shouted in unison that that was to be her name!  So, I started doing research.  Of course, we love Saint Agnes, but I was wondering if Mother Teresa maybe had a middle name we might use instead.  As I researched it, I came to her bio.  I don't even remember what her middle name was, but what jumped out at me was that she was born August 26th...the due date of our little Agnes.  I immediately texted my sister, and she said, "Well, it looks like Agnes chose you!"  So, from that point on, Agnes it was.    

Mary Madeleine is the French spelling of Mary Magdalene.  This spring we watched The Chosen, and her character impacted me greatly.  We've always loved the name Madeleine, too.  When my sister visited France last year, she sent a photo of the Church of Mary Magdalene, spelled Mary Madeleine.  I was sold.

The final trimester of Agnes' pregnancy was one of my best, and I'm recovering well - all blessings from God.

Our days in the hospital with our sweet girl were full of tests, revealing some issues that we will have to further investigate...two of which are a large vascular malformation and a tethered spinal cord.

There is nothing quite like the love we have for our children, and the vulnerability that comes when our hearts are opened so wide.  Yet, as we meet with specialists in the near future and develop a plan for her future, I'm so quickly and strongly reminded that we are in the hands of God, and He is with us every step of the way...through friends, family, and the moments in the past that have been made very clear to be preparing us for this very time.

And, how blessed we are!  Agnes Mary Madeleine, you are a light in our lives, and we love you beyond compare!

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