Thursday, February 9, 2012

Birth Story

Today is Marcellus's 3 month Angel Birthday. We have been trying hard not to relive the moments of the day he died and instead talking about our good memories. With that I would like to share Marcellus's birth story. I should note for those of you that don't know. I have a daughter, Angela, that I placed for adoption in high school (semi-open. I get letters and pictures, but no visits). She turned 9 the day Marcellus was born. Someday I plan to incorporate her into my blog, for now I need to focus on Marcellus though. 

Dear Marcellus, 
Friday, Oct 28th, 2011 (written Nov 6th, 2011)
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary and actually I had felt really good the day before. A little earlier in the week I didn’t feel the best, but that was mostly a sore throat type of thing. Nothing I would think would be related to pregnancy. After taking a nap on Wednesday and getting a really good night’s sleep I felt so much better on Thursday and had a pretty normal day and went to bed fine that night. I woke up a time or two to use the bathroom. This wasn’t uncommon as I was getting bigger and further along into pregnancy. Sometimes when I would wake up I would be having a Braxton Hicks (BH) contraction. This was also normal as a full bladder can trigger them. After using the bathroom I laid back down. I was restless and couldn’t get back to sleep. When I realized I was hungry I just decided to get out of bed and get something to eat around 4:40am. I left Daddy sleeping and went downstairs. I got a big glass of water and a bowl of cereal. I still thought I was just having a few BH contractions. After I finished my cereal I tried drinking lots of water and lying on my left side. This is something they recommend to see if contractions will go away. Well they didn’t go away and actually only got worse. At around 5:30am I realized these might be more than BH. Throughout the pregnancy I had been kind of paranoid and didn’t want to call Audrey (our midwife) and wake her for no reason. I thought about sending an email, but then decided I’d wait it out until 6am to see what happens. The contractions got more crampy-like and I could feel them a little bit in my lower back. They started to become quite regular and from 5:36 to 6:06 I had a contraction exactly every 10 min. I also had some spotting with the contraction at 6:06 which really freaked me out. I went upstairs and woke up Daddy. He had no idea any of this was really going on. I asked him if he was awake and told him “You need to be REALLY awake for this.” I told him about the contractions and the spotting and I called Audrey. When I called I woke her up too and it took her a little bit to figure out what was going on. At first she didn’t seem too concerned. I don’t know if this is because I was talking normal or because I had kind of over reacted to other things throughout the pregnancy and she was trying to keep me calm. Her thoughts changed quickly when I had two back to back contractions while on the phone with her. They went from 10 min apart to 5 min apart in the blink of an eye. She said she was on her way. Daddy was planning on making me a nice breakfast that morning for Angela's birthday. I told him to start making it because if this turned out to be nothing (which I was convinced it would be) we should at least offer Audrey breakfast for coming to our house. She probably got to our house a little before 7am. She came upstairs to our bedroom. I lay on the bed and she checked me. I will never forget her reaction, “Well that’s weird. That’s really weird. You’re dilated to 10 with a bulging bag!” I was not prepared for that. At most I was thinking maybe I had started to dilate and we would go to the hospital to get medicine to slow it down, some steroid shots for your lungs and maybe I’d have to go on bed rest until you were born. At that moment to know you could be coming any second was so terrifying, yet exciting at the same time! Audrey told me to stay flat on my back so my water would have less of a chance of breaking. Daddy called 911 to get an ambulance to take me to the hospital. We were planning for a homebirth, but not at 28 weeks 5 days gestation! I started to freak out for a second and Audrey told me not to panic that everything would work out. I then thought if I panic, you might be born quicker. I kind of got inside my head and just thought about keeping you in until we got to the hospital. Through each contraction I would say to myself “Stay in. Stay in. Please stay in.” The ambulance came and the paramedics came upstairs. They seemed so relaxed and not in a hurry to get me anywhere. That really bothered me. I was so scared you’d be born before we got to the hospital where they had the help you would need. The paramedics couldn’t figure out how to get me down the stairs without making me get up. Audrey looked at Daddy and said, “You have to carry her, she can’t stand up.” So Daddy carried me down the stairs. He was very brave. They put me on a stretcher in the ambulance and Daddy came with. Audrey followed in her car. That ambulance ride took forever. They didn’t even use the lights! My contractions started getting more intense and closer together, about 2-3 min apart. Daddy held my hand through each one and was so reassuring. 

(1/6/12 – I remember I had starting writing this when I was up pumping that night. I started falling asleep while typing so figured I would come back to it. We had no idea 3 days later you would be dead. Now exactly 2 months from when I started writing your birth story I want to finish it. You’ve now been gone for almost 2 months and we miss you so very much every single day)

Daddy had the tendency to ask me questions during contractions, “Does it hurt? Is it a bad one? Are you doing ok?” He hadn’t gotten the chance to read the books and things that say do NOT ask questions during a contraction. At one point I looked at him and said “You HAVE to stop asking me questions.” Other than that Daddy was perfect at being there for me. 

I don’t know what time we got to the hospital (we requested the records so we will know when they come), but the ambulance ride seemed to take forever. Once we got there they put me in triage with Daddy. They didn’t let Audrey come in.  There wasn’t a big rush or urgency with anyone when we got there.  We think they didn’t fully believe Audrey that I was so far into labor. There were a couple of nurses doing my intake. Asking basic questions and taking my vitals and yours. Your heart sounded so good! I can’t remember when, but finally a nurse practitioner came in and checked me.  That’s when she checked me and found out that yes, I really was dilated to 10cm and could have you at any second! They got out the ultra sound machine and found out you were breech. You stinker! We know you were head down at the last ultra sound at 19 weeks 4 days, but at our appointment with Audrey a couple weeks prior we found out you were breech. We weren’t worried about it then because there was supposed to be plenty of time for you to flip. All of a sudden there were tons of people in the room, the OB, the anesthesiologist, the neonatologist, nurses. I was told I was going to have to have a c-section because you were breech. Daddy and I got upset and asked for Audrey. We really wanted to have a natural delivery for you. We were so close to that with me getting all the way to 10cm. We needed Audrey there to support us in that decision. The OB even started to mention that because at 28 weeks the uterus is so small that I’d have to have a vertical incision. That would mean no VBAC in the future. Daddy and I freaked out after hearing that. Natural labor and delivery is so important to us. We then asked the OB what would happen if we tried a vaginal delivery. Do you want to know what she said…she was so rude. She said “Your baby will die!” Oh that made Mommy so mad. I looked right at her and said “Don’t pull the dead baby card on me.” Bullying like that is part of the reason we went with a midwife. Even if it is hospital policy and they are not allowed to delivery vaginally for a breech baby, she should not have said that to us. It needed to be our decision.

I signed the consent forms and we were off to the OR. Daddy had to wait until after I got my spinal to come in.  I didn’t like going there without Daddy. I had to sit up to the get the spinal and I remember being so worried my water was going to break. When I sat up I felt something wet. I kept saying, “I think my water broke, did my water break?” It was just some bleeding. Then they put the spinal it. I was a little scared at that point. After I lay down and it started to work they had to test to make sure it didn’t go up too high. They did that by rubbing something wet and cold on me. I really did NOT like the feeling of not feeling my legs. It was really creepy.  I kept asking when Daddy could come in. They said they had sent someone to get him.
The doctor started cutting before Daddy even got there. I didn’t like that. But you weren’t born until after he was there. 

When he got there he sat up by my head and held my hand.  It wasn’t very long before 10:01am when you were born. “It’s a boy!” the doctor said and you let out a cry. I remember looking at Daddy, we were both so excited. We just kept saying “a boy, a boy, we have a boy!” I remember the look in his eyes, they were gleaming. Daddy and I had agreed earlier that he would go with you when you had to be whisked off. Even though I didn’t get to see you, I felt like that cry you let out was you letting me know that you were ok. You were saying, “I’m ok Mommy.”

Daddy came back from being with you while I was being put back together. I remember I kept asking him, “Is he ok? Is he ok?” Daddy told me that you looked so good. He told me you weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces, a big boy for your gestation! He even thought to get out the cell phones and snap pictures of you. He showed me. You did look so good, you were absolutely beautiful! Daddy told me about how you held his finger. I was soooooo happy to listen to Daddy tell me all about you. He told me you kicked a lot and how the doctor said it was such a good sign you were crying and kicking. We were both so proud and happy. Daddy said he wanted to name you Christopher, but I said we couldn’t name you until I saw you. Then Daddy pinched me. That’s right, he pinched me. He said he wanted to make sure it wasn’t all just a dream. That you were really here in this world with us. The OB did manage to do the “good” kind of c-section. We are thankful for that. We will be able to try for a natural delivery when we (hopefully) have your little brother or sister someday. 

 Here you are holding Daddy's finger just minutes after being born. The doctor told Daddy he could touch you and when he put his finger out you reached up and grabbed it! You must have just known that was your daddy there.
Here you are being worked on. They had to put you on the bubble cpap to transport you to the NICU before putting you on the ventilator (which you were only on for a day). You weren't too happy about getting all dressed up. I say that you are already showing your fiestiness in this picture.

No one knew you were coming. We don't have family in the area and everything happened so fast we never called anyone. While I was in recovery at about 11am I tried to call Grandma. She didn't answer so I called Auntie Katie. I can still remember her reaction. She said "Are you serious? Morgan, you're serious! I have to come." After I told her all about you, how things happened, and how well you were doing she told me Grandma was at work. I called Grandma at work then to tell her. She was so very surprised too! I can't remember all of that conversation (I was a little drugged up from the c-section), but I do remember she wanted to leave right then and there to come see you. She was worried about you too, but I also told her you were doing really well and I sent both her and Auntie Katie pictures Daddy had taken.
I couldn't see you right away. Because you had to be on the ventilator they had to take you to the NICU. I had to wait until I got feeling back in my legs before seeing you. That was hard, but it was so worth the wait. I'll write more about that later. 

I still can't believe you came so early. We don't know why. We all marveled (and still do) at the fact that you and Angela share a birthday. What are the chances you'd be born early like that and then on the same day as her? A lot of people, including me, thought it was supposed to be healing that you were born that day. I still think it means something, I just really can't make sense of it all right now. Probably never will. 

Marcellus, Mommy and Daddy are really missing you today. We don't know how we've gone on for 3 months without you. You really surprised us when you came on October 28th. As scary as that day was, it was also the most amazing day of my life. The day you came into this world. The day Daddy and I found out you were a boy, heard you cry for the first time, saw your beautiful little self and got to touch you. The day we learned what true love means and what it's like to be a family. Thank you Marcellus, thank you for everything you taught us that day. I love you, I love you more than I thought I ever could! xoxox


  1. I'm glad you got the "good" csection. I'm so sorry you experienced this kind of care. Sounds like you "knew" but no one else showed the urgency you needed them to. Marcellus definitely was a fighter. He is going to be your strength from now on. As you walk this journey, he will help you more than you will ever imagine. He's with you all the time. I wish he was in your arms but such is the journey we are on. Hang in there Morgan. Sending you lots of hugs and wishing for peace in your heart.

  2. What a beautiful event! The whole thing is just perfect! The day Marcellus was born, grabbing his Daddy's finger, the breakfast your husband was going to make you, and most of all the LOVE you all have for Baby Marcellus! Just beautiful!