Molly’s Birth Story
Few things in life are as exciting and eagerly anticipated as the birth of a child. Whether it be the first or the last, you never forget how special the day is that you meet your baby. I know I will never forget this day. But I want, no I need, to remember every detail. It was an amazing and emotional experience that I will hold on to for forever. One of the absolute best days of my life.
Disclaimer: This post will be LONG. I am writing it for me. I want to hold on to every detail, no matter how small. Also, there will be pictures. All pictures are tasteful but reflect a natural birth. Childbirth is one of God’s miracles. It’s not gross. Apologies if any of these pictures offend anyone but let this be your “heads up.” If looking at a freshly birthed baby is not for you, you should probably stop here. 🙂
This is the story of the birth of our littlest miracle, Molly Claire Edge.
It all started a week ago, last Tuesday November 18th, while at the Thanksgiving Feast at Cameron’s school. I told Molly she needed to stay put until after the feast so that Cameron would not be the only kid at school without a parent at the feast. Our doctor agreed. Her daughter attends school with Cameron and she did not want to miss the feast either. We had initially reserved 2 extra seats, for Brian and myself, to sit with Cameron but something came up at Brian’s office and only I could attend. I felt sad with the empty seat next to us, especially when Cameron asked why daddy couldn’t make it. So I asked if she wanted me to get Charlotte out of her class so that she could enjoy the feast with us. Being the loving and almost always selfless child that she is, Cameron happily agreed that Charlotte would probably love to attend the feast with the big kids. Let’s fast forward now to the end of the feast. Imagine about thirty 4 & 5 year olds excitedly running around the gymnasium, after eating cookies, pie, cupcakes and brownies, while their teachers chased behind them asking them to stop running and get ready to go back to class. Charlotte eagerly pulled away from me and joined in on the fun. When the big kids settled down, Charlotte wanted to keep going. Imagine a 39 week pregnant woman, with a belly the size of a basketball, chasing after a 3 year old and in an annoyed whisper asking, no actually I was begging, her to stop and listen. Being the headstrong child that she is, she resisted and when I finally caught her and picked her up the tantrum began. Kicking, screaming, crying. I tried to kneel down with her and explain to her quietly that we were going to go get her things from her classroom and then go get Cameron. She resisted again. I tried to hold her and but she kicked her feet to get free, getting me in the tummy and nearly kicking a little girl that walked by. She was completely out of control. I set her down so that I could hold her hand to walk and she dropped to the floor as if she expected me to drag her. Really annoyed at this point, I insisted one more time that she get up and walk so we could go. She resisted again and yanked herself away from my grip, throwing herself to the floor and consequently bumping her head on the hard surface. Then things got really loud. I was mortified. I felt like everyone in the place was watching me, probably feeling sorry for me, and maybe even wondering why in the world I would have another child if I couldn’t handle what I already have. A while later, after she had calmed down a bit, we ran into our doctor while walking out. She saw the big tears in Charlotte’s eyes and asked if she was okay; she had seen that she hit her head. I felt even more embarrassed now and apologized for the way Charlotte acted. She laughed and said, “She knows, Becca. You’re getting close. See you tomorrow.”
Now as negative as that story sounds, I tell it because I do believe Charlotte had some kind of insight about what was to come. She is very in tune with me. And, yes she’s three, but that behavior is not typical for her. Nobody’s perfect and every child will have their moments, but all in all Charlotte is a wonderful child. In my heart, I believe she knew that life was about to change.
Fast forward to the next day, Wednesday November 19th. We had an appointment at 1:30 pm to see the doctor for our 39 week checkup. No complaints or any problems to discuss, we got right to business. Was I starting to dilate? The previous week’s exam revealed I was only 1-2 cm and the baby was still high. I wondered if that would also be the case this week…She checked and her face said it all. “Uhh, yeah this baby is LOW, Becca, and you’re 4-5 cm now.” I was shocked. How could Molly be low? I still felt like she was in my ribs! She asked if we wanted to have a baby tonight and my heart skipped a beat. I mean, I was ready, but was I that ready?? Tonight??? Brian and I agreed to let her strip my membranes which basically separates the cervix from the amniotic sac. It doesn’t break the water but can be known to help stimulate labor. And sometimes it doesn’t work either. She said she was confident we would have a baby tonight. Still not believing that this was actually happening, I said, “Yeah well we’ll see.” Then she looked at Brian and told him, “Ok so whatever you do, don’t let her wait too long to go to the hospital.” I think Brian’s heart stopped at this point. This sort of stuff terrifies him! He also knows how stubborn I am. We left the office, got into the car, and pretty much sat in silence for a minute until we figured out what to do. And then I felt the first contraction. Mild, but not braxton hicks mild. It felt different. “Ok could this be really happening?” I thought to myself. I wouldn’t believe it until they were time-able. I knew as long as I could walk, talk and breathe through them I was in good shape. And I could easily do that so on we went.
We picked up the girls from my friend Lisa’s house, headed home and called family to let them know it might be tonight. When we got home we started to get things in order for a possible delivery that night. We packed some bags, charged the phones and camera battery, washed clothes and sheets, etc. My mom arrived and helped with a few more things before it was time to go to Cameron’s soccer party. While folding some clothes before we left I decided to glance at the clock just to see how far apart these contractions were. I was suprised to see they were every 2-3 minutes at this point but reassured myself that since they weren’t painful I was still okay. I’m a labor and delivery nurse. I know what labor looks like. Right? We made it through the party and had to make another stop at Kroger for some last minute items. While walking through Kroger, I felt the first contraction that I would actually consider slightly painful. It still wasn’t bad but I was feeling a little more like maybe this was actually happening. Another part of me still felt like at any moment they could stop. It was past 7 pm at this point so I decided to call work and see how things were looking up there. It had been insanely busy the last few weeks. A friend of mine, who was in charge that night, told me there was just 1 room open at this point, room 6. This was the exact room that I delivered both Cameron & Charlotte in. My friend suggested that I come up to hospital, get checked in, see how things were progressing and if I’m in labor just stay. Brian begged me go along with this plan. I said I wasn’t sure and I wanted to see what the doctor thought first so I texted her when we got into the car. She, of course, left it up to me so I agreed to go home, get kids into bed, and then go to the hospital to get checked out. The contractions were still coming at this point but the intensity varied. Only a few felt strong and they were not feeling all that regular. I still wasn’t convinced I was really in labor.
I snapped a picture, one last one of the belly, before getting ready to go.
And after we got the girls all ready for bed and explained to them where we were going, we decided on one last family of 4 picture before we welcome our littlest into our brood.
After emotional goodbyes with the girls, we packed the car and off we went. It really was hard leaving them. Charlotte could not stop giving me kisses and kept saying, “Wait! One more! Mom, I love you!” And Cameron was fighting the tears knowing that we would probably not be home for a few days. We told them if Molly came that night, they could come eat breakfast at the hospital in the morning and meet their baby sister! Every part of me wanted to cry leaving them but I knew that would just make things worse and I resisted. My mom read their devotional and bedtime story and they said extra prayers for a safe arrival for Molly & Mommy. While walking into the hospital, I felt the strongest contraction yet. Brian sighed with relief that we were finally there and he would not be delivering Molly in our car (his biggest fear). We were welcomed onto the unit by many of my co-workers/friends who were all excited that Molly could be coming tonight. The nurse that I had hoped for, Susan, was available and ready to get us checked in. She is an amazing nurse and friend and was previously a midwife in England. It was about 9 pm at this point. I got my cup of ice to eat and we started our process of getting checked out and admitted. Lots of questions, consents for delivery, IV, cervical exam, monitoring the baby + contractions.
Susan started an IV and saline locked it. We both agreed fluids weren’t necessary at that time. I wasn’t planning on receiving pitocin (the drug that induces labor), pain medication or an epidural but most people get some IV fluids after delivery to keep bleeding to a minimum. Molly looked fabulous on the monitor. Her strip was Category 1, which is the best it can get. My contractions were every 4-6 minutes or so while I was in bed, and not very intense. They seemed stronger if I was standing & walking and less impressive while I was sitting. Susan checked my cervix and found I was 6 cm and the membranes were bulging, usually a sign of labor. She called the doctor , who said she would be coming to the hospital shortly.
When she arrived at about 10:15 pm she sat down to talk and see how I was feeling. I felt silly for really not hurting too badly and expressed concerns that maybe the contractions would stop. I asked if she would be willing to break my water to help the process. She knew I didn’t want pitocin and it was at this time that I dropped the bomb on Brian. I was planning on having a natural delivery. Ten years of marriage to Brian Edge has taught me not to get him worked up in advance over things like this. Since I conceded and went to the hospital early enough, and got him nice and cozy, I knew he would be more open to what I wanted for labor. He was afraid of seeing me hurt, and I get that. But I knew I would be okay and I knew I had enough support to get through whatever was coming. So we decided to proceed with breaking the water, knowing it could mean the baby would come quickly.
Before breaking the water, she checked me and I was 7 cm. I was surprised that these contractions were actually changing my cervix. I guess I was in labor after all. The fluid was clear (a good thing) and Molly tolerated it well. Things definitely got more intense after she broke the water but they were still manageable. Brian, our doctor, nurse, and a very good friend of mine, Lisa (who is also a co-worker and the fabulous photographer behind these pictures), stayed in the room talking, laughing and having a great time. I don’t know if it was distraction or what but over the entire hour and a half of us sitting there laughing, I really wasn’t hurting to bad. My cheeks and ears got bright red, so I know my body was hard at work trying to bring Molly out. My goal was to get to midnight because I liked the sound of 20th over the 19th for Molly’s birthday. 🙂 Once midnight hit, I decided to get up and walk. Contractions were every 2 minutes. Molly was still doing great so it was no problem for me to take a break from monitoring.
We walked for about 30-45 minutes until things started getting a little more intense. Even when the contractions were bad, the breaks between didn’t hurt at all which meant we really had a great time. All of my friends were on the unit laughing with us. It really was amazing. The support of so many people was motivation to continue on. I knew some progress was being made by my pain level so we stopped, she checked me, and said I was 9 cm. We decided to get up and walk again since that was helping so much. By now, Brian was getting nervous. It was getting harder to think and talk during contractions and I definitely had to stop walking and focus on breathing. Every time we got far from the room Brian wanted to rush me back. I think he was really scared she was going to come out in the hallway! I went through about 3 contractions that were really painful and then I started to feel an intense amount of pressure so I told Dr. Peterson that I was going to walk around the room because she was getting close. You can see in the picture below the difference that 15 minutes made. I stood over by the counters of the room so that I could lean on them to go through the final stages of labor. Susan was behind the curtain coaching me and Dr Peterson was sitting next to me, reminding me to breathe the baby down and not back away from the pain. I think that’s the best advice you can give a laboring mom. Don’t back away, let her come down.
We did this for about 10 minutes and then I felt the pressure get very intense, like I needed to push, so I got back in the bed. Molly was still tolerating everything perfectly; such a good girl! Dr Peterson checked me once I got to bed and told me that if I felt like I needed to push then go ahead and do it because the baby was right there. And with that next contraction it was like I couldn’t even control it, my body pushed for me.
It only took a few pushes. And then it was the most intense pressure I’ve ever felt. She asked if I wanted to grab Molly and deliver her myself but I couldn’t. I wish now that I would have. I felt a little relief when her head was out and then the shoulder and the rest of the body and then wow such relief. Instant relief. I looked down and there she was. My Molly. My sweet and perfect baby. The emotions were overwhelming. There’s just nothing like that moment when you see the baby you’ve been so close to for so long. And then I was just so thankful that everything was perfect. She was perfect. She was healthy. I was healthy. There were no complications. I just can’t even begin to express how blessed I am to have 3 healthy pregnancies and now 3 healthy girls. God is so good.
We knew immediately she was an Edge girl. She looked just like her sisters! Brian was instantly in love. Dr Peterson & Susan were commenting on how big she was! I knew she was going to be big! I had predicted 8 lbs 4 oz and Brian had predicted right at 8 lbs. My tummy was solid with her. In the final weeks of my pregnancy, I felt like I really had no more room and I knew she had to be bigger than the girls, who were each about 7.5 lbs. Brian said I looked deformed.
After a few minutes, Dr Peterson prepared to cut the cord and handed the scissors to Brian. This was not something our previous doctor ever let him do. He was excited and nervous but did wonderfully. I’m so glad Lisa got a picture of this.
I can’t even say enough how much we love our doctor. Not only is she an amazing physician that I have worked with for over 6 years now, she’s a wonderful person who truly loves her job. I feel so fortunate that she delivered Molly. I wish she would have delivered Cameron & Charlotte too.
Molly was a great feeder from the first attempt. She’s still doing very well. After about 90 minutes of bonding, feeding and just holding her skin to skin, it was time for her first bath. Another good friend of mine was her nurse and took wonderful care of her. Some people might think it’s weird to deliver where you work. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The care is top notch and what a relief it was to have confidence that those caring for you are very capable. I didn’t doubt for a minute I was in good hands.
Our first night together I was unable to sleep. Molly slept beautifully but I was just too wired from I guess the hormones and excitement from delivery. I couldn’t wait for Cameron & Charlotte to come. My mom & dad were going to bring them up first thing in the morning. Cameron asked my mom as soon as she woke up about Molly. When she found out she had arrived, she refused to eat breakfast and said she just wanted to get to the hospital to see her. Their faces when they saw her melted me. These two girls were genuinely so excited to meet Molly. They couldn’t believe she was actually in front of them. They have both been very in touch with the pregnancy. They’ve had lots of questions and I’m usually pretty open, though not overly so, about what was going on with my body. They got to see morning sickness, contractions, difficulty walking, exhaustion, difficulty sleeping, fetal heart rate monitoring, feeling movement and so on. I also prepared them for breastfeeding after and we even had a few talks about how Molly would come out. After all is said and done, Cameron says she wants to grow up and have twin girls named Claire and Clara. So clearly she’s not been traumatized by the experience. 🙂
Oh such a proud look. This is love.
By the way, I’m super impressed with Brian’s photography skills. He really picked up the slack for me when I was unable to. I can never have these moments back. I’m so glad he captured them.
Right before we were to be discharged home we were informed that Molly’s bilirubin levels were measuring high. The pediatrician was concerned that they were too high to be discharged home for the weekend knowing we wouldn’t see a doctor again for 3 days. So she decided to give Molly some phototherapy for 6 hours and see if it helped her levels. If not, we would do another 6 hours and then reassess and go from there. Thankfully, her levels dropped her to a low risk range with just the first 6 hours of therapy and we were able to go home at about 8:30 pm that night. Cameron was at the hospital with me the whole day while Molly was under the lights. When we heard we were delayed, Brian took Charlotte home. Cameron had the option of going but chose to stay with Molly & me. She was so good all day. She colored, ate, watched tv and snuggled with me. She jumped at any sound that Molly made to make sure she was okay. She was concerned while she was under the lights. She was afraid it meant she was sick. Her sweet voice asked, “Is Molly okay, mom?” I reassured her it’s just like putting her outside but it was raining and too cold so we are giving her sunlight inside.
Once we were home we had our first night as a family of 5. Three healthy girls. Two happy and thankful parents. God has really blessed us.