Maeve’s Birth Story

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Our big girl Maeve Elizabeth McNeil born on March 6th at 1:39pm weighing 8lbs 1oz!
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Love this moment captured by my  mom! Anna meeting her little sister. I really didn’t anticipate how great Anna was going to be with Maeve, but it pretty much rocks my world to watch the two of them together!
So my most recent post prior to this one, was actually written a few weeks ago. I was a full 40 weeks pregnant on March 5th and desperately wanting to meet our baby. Just like my first pregnancy my due date came and went, and still no signs of labor. By this point I had actually relaxed a little bit about when this little one would arrive. Of course there was still anxious anticipation, but once you hit your due date, you can usually count on the baby being totally ready developmentally, which is a great blessing.

So I was scheduled for an OB appointment on March 11th with an ultrasound to check on baby McNeil and see how much longer we could push it before having to schedule an induction. I was hopeful that we wouldn’t make that appointment and this baby would come before then. Thankfully that is exactly what happened. Maeve (we had a girl!)  didn’t make us wait too long after her due date either! She arrived the next day.

Early on Sunday morning, around 4am I woke up with some cramping and contractions. I was excited, but really trying to relax and even go back to sleep because I wasn’t positive it was real labor yet. However, after about an hour of mild, but regular contractions I got up. I told my sleeping husband that I was having contractions, but they weren’t super bad and that I wasn’t sure yet if it was the real deal. So James snoozed a little more. I decided to shower just in case there wouldn’t be time later, and it was a good time killer honestly. So I basically got up and started my day, and even got in some Netflix time in the early morning before everyone else in the house got up. All the while I was still having contractions. So by the time Anna and James were up I was pretty positive the birthday of our newest family member had arrived. However, I wasn’t sure how long we had since my first labor was over 24 hrs. I knew this time had to go a little faster! I didn’t want to time my contractions just yet though, because mentally I wanted to just go with the flow until I knew they were really getting super strong. So we texted the grandparents to be on call, but went on with our morning routine. We had our usual family breakfast and Anna played in the living room while we cranked Pandora up. I mostly walked around watching my amazing husband play with our daughter trying to soak up what I knew was the last morning of being a family of three. It was kind of surreal, and I felt like a fly on the wall in my own home. I know God allowed me to have those moments to keep forever in my memory and I am oh so grateful.

We decided around 9:30am to have the grandparents come to pick Anna up. Once they got here I kept second guessing how intense my contractions were and if it was really time for Anna to go or not! I got really choked up thinking about her leaving and how everything was going to change so much by the next time we would see her. I am actually tearing up thinking about it now. So my in-laws played with Anna at our house for an hour or so before I finally told James, I thought it was time for her to leave, that I was getting serious about labor… which by emotional markers meant I was definitely progressing! Once we said our goodbyes, James leisurely got some things around the house done, while I ran a bath, and labored in the tub for about an hour. He brought me some snacks and water and I told him I would let him know when I needed him by my side for support. It wasn’t even an hour and I was yelling for him! I noticed my contractions were definitely very intense and getting pretty close together. I told him, we needed to start timing because I was pretty sure they were getting close together very quickly. As soon as we started timing we realized they were about a minute long and three minutes apart! The plan was to let that happen for about an hour and then head out to the hospital. We were about thirty minutes into the hour and I told James we NEEDED to leave. James rushed around making sure we had everything and helped me put some pants on and get somewhat put together. It was about noon when we got in the car and were off to the hospital.

At this point I was totally unsure of how far along I actually was, but I knew if we didn’t head out my water might break at home (which happened with my first labor), and that it may progress fast after that (faster than the first time) and we may not have time to make it to the hospital. It is a good thing, I had this intuition and knew my body this well. We got to triage and they established that I was 6cm.

Triage is a funny place. They see all sorts of things and women who are not far along at all who they have to send home. So at first they didn’t take me too seriously because I am a pretty silent laborer, I was also pretty calm so they probably thought, I wasn’t too far along. I digress. Not even 10 minutes after getting to triage, my water broke. And bam, things started going super fast from this point on. I hadn’t called my doctor in the midst of all of this getting to the hospital business and so she wasn’t there yet! The triage nurses scrambled to get me into a labor and delivery room. The nurse was with another patient so the triage nurses stayed with me for my delivery.  The doctor made it in right as I started feeling the urge to push. I pushed a couple of times while the nurses and doctor ran around getting everything ready and then two nurses got my legs in stirrups and I really pushed about 4 times or so and screamed, big time! I screamed/grunted and pushed so freaking hard and it hurt so freaking bad, but I felt the baby’s head come out and knew one more good push was all I needed. I pushed and prayed really hard for strength and to “please, please bring this baby into this world, I am so ready to meet this baby!” And then bam SHE was out. They told us it was a girl and I was overcome with emotion. I just looked at James and the baby and I don’t think I stopped smiling. Some tears flowed and a whole lot of love was exchanged and boy did our hearts explode when Maeve came into the world. It is truly and indescribable, humbling, completely vulnerable experience bringing a new life into the world. So much is completely out of your control. Birth is the most beautiful and unreal, yet very real thing I have ever experienced.

I had really been praying for a smooth delivery, meaning shorter than 24 hours and with less than two hours of pushing… God is good, because I was blown away afterward with how incredible this delivery was. I don’t mean to diminish the intensity in respect to pain, but overall it was smoother than I could have ever hoped for. I also definitely channeled all those prayers that I know so many people were sending out for us. During the most intense part of contractions when I hit the self-doubt phase I just prayed a little prayer for endurance and thanking God for all the prayers that I knew were going out for me and that they would really carry me through because I didn’t have the mental focus to pray like I wanted to in those moments.

My recovery has been unbelievable. I was up right away and felt amazing. One of the benefits of going natural if you are considering it!

Anna meeting Maeve was pretty awesome! I am not sure if  she was more excited about the baby or her visitor’s sticker, but she sure was happy to be there with her new sister. She has been all about baby sister. Since being home Anna has been so nurturing and wants to help with everything. We are happy to be home and are loving this current season of life. I am becoming a milk machine and feel like nursing is my job right now because it pretty much is. I can’t thank everyone enough who helped us out by sending prayers or family who has been physically present helping us with the transition. We are overflowing with love and thanks! Hoping to keep this blog updated as much as possible with new happenings. Also have a video of Anna meeting Maeve that I hope to post in the near future/ whenever I get around to it. For now our family is just enjoying all being home together and adjusting to life with two little ones. Everyone told me love only multiplies, and I have now been able to experience this with our family life, and all I can say is it is a very, very beautiful thing!

One thought on “Maeve’s Birth Story

  1. […] Once we got to our own room and had visitors my mom asked if I would go natural again? Since my labor was so long and all, I instantly said yes. While the memory of the pain did scare me when I was pregnant for the second time and thinking about laboring again, I just knew the elation that followed was so amazing and beautiful that I wanted to try again. You can check out the story of the second time around here. […]

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