For about a week before Marion’s arrival, I had been feeling occasional small contractions. This isn’t something I experienced with my other children, so it made me a little concerned that I would miss the signs of transitioning to more serious labor, especially because it had been four years since I gave birth and I couldn’t remember exactly what my other contractions had felt like.
I shouldn’t have worried. I woke up at 4:00am on Thursday, June 30th, due to a strong contraction and thought, “okay, I’m pretty sure this is it.” I wanted to really be sure, since I would be calling my sister and waking her up to come watch the kids, so I laid back down for about ten minutes until I had another strong contraction. At this point, I told Randy (who was actually already awake at this point - he had had a hard time sleeping that night) that it was go time and we both started getting ready to go to the hospital. I waited for one more contraction because I really didn’t want to wake up Beth if it was a false alarm, but I also knew that I couldn’t wait too long if this was the real deal. By the third contraction, I knew it was definitely time to call Beth. Thankfully, she answered right away and headed over to our house (she was about 10 minutes away at her in-laws’ house). I called the midwife on call, told her that I was headed to the hospital, and reminded her that my labors are quick.
Randy and I were waiting right by the car so that we could leave as soon as Beth arrived. She was at our house by 4:45am and we got to the hospital by 4:55am. At this point my contractions were two minutes apart and very strong and I was glad that I had called Beth when I did. Randy dropped me off at the entrance to the maternity ward and went to park the car while I got checked in. He walked in just as they finished getting me checked in and the midwife (Jennifer Mohr) arrived, so we all headed back to triage together.
In triage, I got changed quickly and then Jennifer checked me to see how I was progressing. I was at 8cm and 90% effaced, so we quickly gathered up our stuff and headed to an actual delivery room. By now, my contractions were quite painful and it was obvious that there wasn’t going to be time for an epidural. I had already prepared myself for a natural birth, so this wasn’t a surprise, but it was still a disappointment, especially given how I was feeling in the moment.
With all of my other pregnancies, I have been Group B Strep positive, so I have been hooked up to an IV for antibiotics during labor. I wasn’t GBS positive this time around, though, so I didn’t have to be stuck in bed and thought I would try walking around and standing for a while. Ha! I stood by the bed for three contractions before I had had it and crawled into the hospital bed. I was miserable at this point and just wanted the whole ordeal to be over. Thankfully, I felt like pushing and knew that I had about 5-10 more minutes before she would be out, although, I do seem to recall that right about at this point I said, “I don’t want to do this anymore!” I’m pretty sure I’ve said this during at least one of my other labors, maybe more.
On my second push, my water broke and two more pushes later, she was out. Time of birth: 5:39am. She beat Jonathan for the fastest labor by five minutes. At the end of my labors, I always think about what an appropriate term “delivery” is for the birthing process. It is amazing how quickly the relief comes from all of the pain and even the other physical effects of pregnancy, such as being able to take deep breaths all of a sudden when my lungs have been cramped for so long, or lying comfortably on my back.
Marion came out as a big, chunky baby, with beautiful fat rolls on her arms and legs. She weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz., our heaviest baby by far (Jonathan came in next at 8 lbs. 7 oz.), and was 21 inches long. She has a head full of thick, dark, hair, which is what people almost always comment on first when they see her. Who can blame them, it’s amazing.
The timing of Marion’s birth was pretty perfect and an answer to many prayers from many people. Long before I became pregnant with Marion, my family planned a family reunion at Lake Cavanaugh for the first week of July this year and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go up there until Marion was born because the lake house is too far from the hospital, given the speed of my deliveries. She wasn’t due until July 5th, but we were all hoping that she would come earlier than that so that I would be able to attend the reunion. At the same time, I was also kind of hoping that she would wait and come until some of my family had arrived in town so that I wouldn’t have to worry about finding someone to watch my kids while we were at the hospital. Sure enough, almost exactly 12 hours after my sister, Beth, drove into town, I went into labor. Also, Randy didn’t have any lessons to teach that day, so we didn’t have to worry about his work at all, either. All in all, she had pretty impeccable timing.
Marion Margaret Peck is named for two of her great-grandmothers, Marion Moll and Margaret Orris (although she went by Ann, her middle name). Both were remarkable women that Marion can look up to as strong examples. We have known that she would be Marion for a while, but didn’t decide on her middle name until we were about to leave the hospital and wanted to fill out her official paperwork before leaving. It seems to fit her just right.
We couldn’t be happier to have her as part of our family.
I didn't know Randy was taking this, but this is the feeling of relief I was talking about above.
Beth brought the kids to visit a few hours after she was born and they were all anxious to hold her. I think that Jonathan's reaction was my favorite - he was absolutely beaming the whole time - and such a relief.
Beth made the whole process so much easier. I wasn't worried about my other kids at all and they had a great time with her family while we were in the hospital.
And our whole family of six!
These are some other pictures I snapped while we were at the hospital.
A bad picture, but look at those fat rolls!
All that new baby hair still on her arms and shoulders: