Introducing our pearl, our gift of God, our Margaret Love!
On Sunday morning, I got up with the tinies to let Brian sleep in a bit before church. It was International Women’s Day and I decided that instead of laying around feeling sorry for myself because I was nine – NINE! – days overdue, I would make my tea and my toast, get the tinies started on the day with joy, and even take the time to do a bit of writing or social media work around the day’s significance. I had just posted a jokey tweet saying that I was hoping that this wee girl had been waiting for IWD all along when I had my first contraction. I hardly dared to hope this was it. I waited an hour to start the labouring process. I cleaned up the kitchen, woke up Brian, puttered around. My contractions quickly went to 4 minutes apart and Brian called the midwife, my parents, and my sister.
By the time the tinies were on their way to Granny’s house, my contractions were three minutes apart and growing in intensity. I got into the birthing tub and we laboured well there. Then our midwife offered to break my water. I wasn’t progressing as fast as usual which ended up being a blessing. When she broke my water, it was filled with meconium. This wasn’t a huge surprise since I was so far overdue but it meant that we needed to go to the hospital instead of having another home birth. Instead of risking a car ride, we called an ambulance but it wasn’t panic time or anything, simply a safety precaution.
I took a bit of laughing gas at the hospital which seemed to make me a bit loopy. I wouldn’t do that again. It seemed to take away my ability to focus which is so key to this process. I’ll be honest and say that some parts of this story I’m keeping to myself and my people right now, not out of shame or anything but because they are still so tender and precious, complicated and hard. I just don’t know how or even if I’ll talk about those parts of the delivery until I finish sorting it out.
But labour moved quickly and less than an hour after arriving at the hospital, she was safely delivered by our midwife at 2:16 p.m. after 5 hours of labour. She had some minor complications due to the meconium so I was very thankful that we had moved to the hospital when we did. After ten very long minutes, she was safe and sound and restored to me. And again, I know the truth: our most human, most raw, moments are our most sacred moments, too.
She was 10 lbs 7 oz, 22 inches long, 22 inches long, her head was 38 cms. Then they brought her to me at last. She is beautiful and strong.
When they placed her in my arms, I began to cry from the centre of myself. I always laugh when I have babies but now was my time for tears. She is the desire of my heart baby, my miracle baby, and it was such a battle in every way to bring her life. And now here she was in my arms. I sobbed and held her to my body, covering her bloodied hair with my tears. I clutched her and howled like we had survived a war together. Brian cried over me and I just kept saying, we made it we made it we made it.
After that, it was beautiful. We were cleaned up and left in peace. Physically, I feel okay but I am still reeling a bit from a few parts of the day, struggling with what it means or if it means anything, yet feeling like a warrior at the same time.
I feel profoundly grateful and relieved. It’s never not a miracle, I know that. It’s never not the worst and the best at the same time. It might have been different or more difficult or a few wrong turns, but I did what needed to be done and we got her here safe and sound. I feel proud of that even in the midst of the gap between expectations/past experiences and this experience but here she is, beautiful and strong.
We named her Margaret Love. Margaret means ‘pearl’ or bringer of light and gift of God. She was a gift from God right from the start and now I know that she is my pearl of great price, too. Pearls are for tears, too, some people find them a sad reference but my tears when I finally had her safely in my arms tell me something so different and deep about our tears and the way we are baptized in them, too, even in the grief and the pain blending with the most powerful love and strength.
And of course we named her Love because she was created in love, by love, for love, and we believe love wins, always and forever. Love is our calling card, our permanent residence, our home.
We call her Maggie Love.
All of the tinies are over the moon. They have all shuffled to make room for her. They have decided that Joe is now the “middlest” child – a combo of “middle oldest” and Evelynn Joan gets to be “middle” child. Anne is convinced that the oldest and the youngest girls always have a very special bond because her Granny has that kind of bond with her big sister.
Nursing is going beautifully. Some of the most precious moments of my life have been spent nursing all of my babies and yet somehow I have next to no pictures of that time. It makes me sad and so with Maggie Love, we’ve decided to take more pictures of those moments, too. There is nothing like a milk-drunk blissed out baby, is there?
I couldn’t have asked for a better family. My mother and father looked after the older tinies for most of the week to give me space to heal and establish nursing well. My mum and sister are here every day, helping and listening. Brian has cared for me so tenderly. My church has brought over such good meals to us. Our friends and family have celebrated with us so beautifully. I feel heart-full at the community and life and family that is now Maggie Love’s inheritance, too.
Brian and I have been in awe of our girl. She’s had a very peaceful start to her life. We have just quieted everything down and spent our time loving her, nursing her, holding her. She is sleeping well at this point and is nursing like a champ – well, or like a gigantic 10 lbs 7 oz baby! Big babies are hard to carry there at the end and hard to deliver but man, am I ever glad for how they are such good eaters and sleepers. She is so content and bright-eyed.
We are drinking her in. Brian’s favourite thing is to lay with her on his chest, right on his heart, and just let her sleep. Her head is so delicate and fragile, he is so strong and yet so tender with her. And of course, she looks so tiny in his arms. I love having babies with this man but this wee girl in particular and her delivery was a milestone day for us and our love story. I feel like I could live for the rest of my life on what we experienced that day – that, or write a whole “Love looks like” book about it!
And so our new normal is beginning. Thank you so much for your prayers and support, your congratulations and joy on our behalf. We are so grateful for each message and prayer.
Thank you for welcoming our new Maggie Love to the world with such joy.