Saturday, June 20, 2009

Many people have expressed interest in hearing the birth story of our little Miriam. I will post it here:

First, some background... When my son was born, my water broke in the middle of the night, we went to the hospital and then my contractions starting coming. They gradually built up until I couldn't help but start pushing. They must have judged pretty quickly that my son's head was quite large because after a few moments of pushing, they cut me and out he came. This all took place in a Chinese hospital with a foreign and Chinese doctor partnering together.

That was my experience with giving birth. Fairly straightforward, text-book style. So, at about 10:00 AM, June 17th, when I got really sharp cramps, I didn't assume right away that I was having contractions. In fact, it was all rather strange to me... I would cramp up very painfully anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or so apart. I honestly wondered if I was experiencing bad constipation due to the iron pills I had been taking. I didn't want to cry "wolf" and I also had a sick little boy on my hands, so we spent most of the day in bed - where I felt better. When my husband came home from work around 2:00 PM, I told him what was going on and after a particularly bad cramp, he encouraged me to touch base with the midwife.

I called the midwife, and she suggested I take a laxative just to rule out the constipation possibility. Poor husband got sent out in the rain to the pharmacy. At 6:00, I was still in denial but starting to hurt pretty badly and the pains were coming more frequently. After going to the bathroom and discovering my mucus plug (if you don't know what that is, you can research), I knew for sure where this was headed. My husband took a moment to pray with me. Then we called the midwife again and I prepared the bed and waited for her. Meanwhile, my dear husband was feeding my son and getting him ready for bed. It was quite a relief to have the midwife show up, but even more of a relief to have my son asleep and my husband's hands to squeeze. My prayers for this pregnancy were that if it happened before my mother arrived (on the 19th), then could it please happen while my son was sleeping and oblivious.

Shortly after the midwife arrived, my contractions were still fairly spaced out, but long and painful. At one point I told her I was starting to feel the need to push. She then checked my dilation for the first time and we were all rather surprised to discover that it was at about 9 cm. She quickly went to the car for her gear and called the back-up midwife to come. The second midwife showed up and shortly after it was time to start pushing. These midwives were such lovely ladies. Unfortunately, my midwife was off this day, and she was equally disappointed to not be there, but these two women were so encouraging. We were all surprised at how fast it was progressing, and they kept making me feel like it would be just a matter of moments. In reality, it really was quick. The first midwife showed up at about 6:30ish and little Miriam was born at 8:46. It took a bit more work for her to come out than it did with my son because they just let her come naturally. My legs were cramping up, so I moved to my hands and knees. It was amazing because I actually able to watch the baby come and bring her up to me as soon as she was born.

The placenta took another half an hour to show up and then they saw I would need a couple small stitches, but the baby was healthy and well and OUT! We tried nursing pretty quickly and she took to it right away. The midwives then took another couple of hours to do paperwork, clean up, and check both of us a couple of times.

Miriam weighed a decent 7 lbs 12 oz or 3.53 kilos

If there are any men reading this, I just want to say - don't underestimate your role in being next to your wife as she delivers. I find so much comfort and support in having my husband's hands to squeeze. (I should check to see if he has bruises!) I can't imagine going through it without him and I thank God that he was available just as it started to get really hard.

With all the commotion and being unwell, my son had woken up again and so we brought him in to check out his little sister. We had been talking for the past couple of weeks that when the baby came out of mommy's tummy, we would say "Hi, baby!" and we would be so happy. Now whenever he hears the baby cry he will say, "Say 'Hi, baby'!" I praise God for the timing and smoothness of this birth. One of my biggest concerns was how my son would handle this big change, but he was asleep for the majority of it and has taken to his sister very lovingly.

Originally, we chose the name "Miriam Johanna" (pronounced: Yo-ha-na), but each time the midwife checked her heartbeat while I was in labor, she would say, "This is a happy baby. This baby is happy." After she was born, my husband suggested she be called "Miriam Joy" and I loved it. We chose "Miriam" because we liked the name, not because of the meaning: bitterness. But I find it rather fitting that her name has opposite meanings. Life is both - sorrow and joy, ups and downs. What we hope and pray for Miriam is that despite the mountains and valleys of life, she would look to the Heavenly Father as her source of strength and joy. As the song goes, no matter where she walks or what she faces, may she be able to say, "Blessed be Your Name."

Certainly, He has blessed us with this precious gift.

Comments (3)

On June 20, 2009 at 9:12 PM , Anna said...

Congratulations Staci! She is adorable and I'm so glad that everything went so well!

On June 21, 2009 at 1:50 AM , Alison Palmer said...

What a beautiful birth story! I got tears in my eyes while reading it! Praise the Lord! So exciting! I can't wait to see more pictures of beautiful Miriam! Thanks for sharing!

On June 23, 2009 at 8:26 PM , Kari said...

yay~!! what a cool story!! It will be fun for you to read it to her when she is older :) Love you!