Thursday, October 18, 2012

Irene Edelweiss: A birth Story

Warning:  It's going to go something like this....a super emotional mama spews her heart out as she tries to put into words the gravity of bringing a child into the world....

Spring 2011:  We got pregnant.  Then we lost the pregnancy.  I was only 6 weeks in, but it was devastating and I truly was doubtful I would ever be able to carry a child to term again.  I don't think it matters if a woman (or couple) wants just one child, or just one more-it's a thirst that can't be quenched until you hold that tiny life in your arms.

Fast Forward 8 months

Late January 2012:  Every night by 6pm I am shot.  I can't get off the couch.  I can't think straight and I have no motivation.  3 pregnancy test's later and a phone call from my doctor it was confirmed:  Baby DeMars was cooking away!

My pregnancy was picture perfect.  Tired & nauseous in the beginning, but so blessed to be growing that little life.  Knowing that this was probably my last pregnancy, I wanted it documented well.  I know I will love to look back and remember every detail along the way.

October 8th, 2012:  I could feel that it would be soon.  Which is silly sounding because I was due on the 9th, but I had an imminent feeling that little Miss Irene's arrival was just around the corner.  
October 9th, 2012:  I went to my 40 week doctor appointment-everyone was shocked I was still "there"-but I felt great and was still enjoying my pregnancy.  The doctor performed a membrane sweep and said that he would see me soon.  That night we went to the Pizza Ranch for our monthly CSA dinner.  I had felt crampy all day long and had some inconsistent contractions.  Walking into the restaurant I had a pretty strong and painful contraction that stopped me in my tracks.  They were still irregular and short, but lasted the rest of the night.  I went to sleep around 10pm after having contractions that were 10-15 minutes apart.  My doctor had told me to come in as soon as they were 10 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute long because I would "go really fast".  

{I couldn't help but laugh that off a bit, because if you know anything about Ingrid's birth story-my labor was anything but fast and easy.  22 hours of mind bending pain, all done without any medical intervention or pain medication.  I was nervous going into this labor and delivery, to say the least.} 

I woke up at 11pm that night after 1 hour of sleep in some real pain.  I kept passing it off as digestive pain-after all, these "pains" were very short-only lasting about 15-30 seconds.  They certainly couldn't be contractions.  2 or 3 minutes would pass and I would have another one......I was confused.  If this was labor then it couldn't be more different than what I experienced the first time around.  Finally around midnight I woke Michael up and told him every few minutes my tummy hurt really bad.  He said we should probably go to the hospital.  I called the maternity ward and told them what was going on and the nurse told me she would get a room ready, but to stay home a bit and take a hot bath.   I called my mom and she came over around 1am to stay with Ingrid.  In that amount of time things had really picked up.  Every minute or two I would drop to my hands and knee's and rock back and forth-instinctively.  We packed up the car and left for the hospital.  I was hoping and praying I was dilated to at least a 4, since I was at a 3 at my doctor appointment earlier that day.  (With Ingrid I labored at home for 9 hours and was only at a 4 when I got to the hospital)  We arrived in the ER and the nurse asked if I wanted a wheel chair.  I decided to walk up to labor and delivery, stopping a few times through contractions.  We walked into our delivery room, I changed into my gown-all the meanwhile chanting in my head "What is going on?  Why are they so close?!"  It's only been an hour since they started, should they be 5-6 minutes apart still?"  The nurse checked me and I was shocked-I was at a 6!  We started a bag of penicillin right away, since I tested positive for Group B Strep.  We were praying that my labor didn't go too quickly, because we needed to get 2 bags of antibiotics in, and they had to be given 4 hours apart.  30 minutes had passed, and as I worked through my contractions I decided to try out an epidural this time.  I was excited about the possibility of an easier experience.  The anesthesiologist administered his first "poke" and I felt a pop in my foot.  He wasn't too happy about what that could have been, so he removed his needle and went up a level.  5 minutes later the epidural was in and I was feeling great!  They checked me again and I was at a 7.  This was going so fast!  It was around 2:30am now, and we decided to get some sleep.  Since my body was progressing so quickly I had a major surge of adrenaline and couldn't stop shaking.  My head started to hurt from all the convulsing.  I laid in bed wide awake for the next couple of hours, soaking in the street lights outside all while harboring terror and fear that very soon I would have to push.  A baby.  Out of my body.  That hurts.  My doctor showed up around 5am and said that he was very confident that this baby was coming out the way it was supposed to.  YAY!  We started our 2nd bag of antibiotics and waited.  An hour later Dr. Beyer came in and said I was fully dilated and ready to push.  He assured me that I wouldn't be pushing more than 20 or 30 minutes.  So then it started.  I pushed, and pushed- all while listening to the doctor and nurses say "Oh boy she has a ton of hair!"  At one point they had me feel her head-I was shocked by the amount of hair she had!  

And then it happened.  I heard "Okay Laura, this is the push"

...and out her perfect little body came.  I couldn't believe the amount of hair!  I couldn't believe she was finally here, safe and sound.   Pregnancy is a terrifying time (as well joyful and exciting).  To finally see that she was real, and here......was overwhelming.

6 hours of labor and 30 minutes of pushing and it was all over.

We are infinitely blessed.  Words can not describe the level love I feel for Irene.  She is everything I imagined, and more.  

Welcome to our family Irene Edelweiss-you are so loved.


Remember that "pop" I felt in my foot after my first poke from the epidural?  Well it punctured my spinal cord.  The morning after Irene was born I woke up with a terrible headache.  I don't mean "pop a Tylenol and move on" type of headache.  It was mind splitting.  And it didn't go away.  The phrase "Spinal headache" was thrown around a lot.  We got home from the hospital on a Friday, and Saturday I landed in the ER, all day long.  After hours of trying to decide the best coarse of action, we decided to to a blood patch to repair the puncture wound that was leaking spinal cord fluid.  They injected my own blood into my back, the same way they would do an epidural.  The procedure was unbelievably painful, and left me with a back ache that I would compare to being repeatedly hit in the back with a metal baseball bat.  Thankfully the blood patch worked.  I spent the next several day on my back at home as I waited for the blood to form a clot to seal the "leak".  I am feeling much better now, and can finally move around a bit without being in so much pain.  

On a side note, if you happen to think of us-please pray for my continued health over the next 6 weeks.  I have a blood clotting disorder that requires nightly shots of blood thinner.  

Thank you for all your love and support.


  1. What a beautiful story & baby. Congraulations!

  2. This story is absolutely beautiful, and these pictures are so emotional. Thank you for sharing, she is gorgeous!
    xo TJ