Yesterday marked two weeks since our Mari girl surprised yet again and made her grand entrance into the world, 17 days before her due date. Looking back, her surprise arrival should’ve been expected since she was surprising us from the beginning. But at the time, it was definitely not expected.
I wrote out a whole novel that goes into the details of her birth story and the events leading up to her arrival, so I can look back and remember them, but I want to keep those little details and intimate moments that happened that night between Derek and I. So even though I plan on sharing all of the little details of her birth with her in the future and to friends and family that ask, I have decided not to post it to the world wide web.
However, since I have this blog to document the big and small moments of my life and share them to the internet, I feel like I have to document and share at least some of such a big day of my life. So without going into too much detail, here’s a brief summary of events that occurred leading up to one of the best moments of my life.
That morning started out like any regular Wednesday morning for me. Coffee, Harvey snuggles, getting to the to do lists and chores that needed to be done before Mari’s arrival. Thankfully we had finished our big projects that weekend like our exterior paint, and most of her nursery …just in time! I still want to share both of these projects in separate blog posts, but I’ve been a little preoccupied these last two weeks. 😉
There were just a few more small things to get done before we were completely “ready” for her to come home. (Quotations because do we ever feel completely ready to become parents and bring home a new baby?) We needed to hang a few more shelves, get her car seat in the car, find a pediatrician…I thought of all of these things that morning, but felt as if I got hit by a train and had no energy to get anything done. I was so exhausted and could not get moving.
I told myself I still had a couple weeks to get to those to do’s and decided to just rest and snuggle Harvey until about 11AM. Looking back, I am so glad I took these extra hours to spend this time with him. We both didn’t know it would be our last morning of just us, but I am glad we were able to soak it in and enjoy our undivided attention to each other.
(Speaking of Harvey, as you can see in the photo above- he loves his new sissy and has been so good with her!)
The rest of the day was filled with a drive thru smoothie, visiting Shara and Nico, and an afternoon Doctor’s appointment. I picked Derek up on the way to the doctor and told him how “off” and exhausted I was feeling, we both assumed that I was just hitting the “I am so over this” part of pregnancy, and agreed to ask the doctor if this normal.
I saw the doctor at 4PM, and every hour after that felt more unreal, shocking, and surprising than the last. Derek and I left the doctor’s with the information that the baby might be joining us that night, or next week, but to go to the hospital if I felt ANY pain at all, even if it was minor. After updating our family with the news and the details, taking Derek back to work, and getting back home- I couldn’t help but start to feel anxious. Home alone and having consistent cramping, I thought..What should I do? This needs to still be done…Should I pack our hospital bags? Was last night our last night without a baby?…
I decided to take a shower and wait for Derek to get home and as I let the hot water run down me, I couldn’t help but get emotional thinking this might be the last shower with my big belly, and this might be the last few hours at home with just Harvey, or the last time Derek would come home from work and not have the title “dad”. I tried to take deep breaths and take it all in. I was emotional, but I was also so excited to finally meet the little soul that I loved so much already.
When Derek got home, my pain got more consistent. After waiting it out for a hour and half, we decided to go into the hospital. I was still walking around just fine and didn’t want to get too excited or get my hopes up in case we got sent back home.
After walking into the hospital, everything happened so fast. Within two hours, we received the good news that I was progressing fast, we weren’t going back home, and that I apparently have a very high pain tolerance. We also learned that baby would be there before midnight and that within the next few hours, we would become parents and finally meet our Mari girl.
Things were moving right along and seemed almost too good to be true at this point, but right as we said that out loud, we received some not so good news. And the next events all happened within the next hour. We learned that Mari was breeched, head up bum down, which meant that we would have to do a C section. Trying not to feel too disappointed I watched all 12 nurses and doctors come into the room to prep me for surgery and as the drugs hit my blood stream and started to numb me more I had a lot of thoughts go through my head
Derek and I don’t get that extra time that I thought we’d have to soak in the final moments before it was “time to push” and become parents … I won’t be able to do skin to skin right away, I won’t be able to see my daughter take her first breath, Derek won’t be able to cut the cord…. In the next half hour, I will be cut open and I will be awake during the surgery, I will have a scar, I will have a long road to recovery….
I was emotional and a little overwhelmed at this point, but the thought that was keeping me calm and getting me through all of it was that in less than a hour, I’d get to meet my Mari. That thought alone made everything else I was feeling go away. She was really coming into the world, and I don’t think it really hit me that I was going to be a mama until that little thought was the only thing that I could hold onto to feel somewhat relaxed. Because I knew the second I saw her, all of the craziness I went through in the last 9 months to get her here would all be worth it.
The next 27 minutes were the longest of my life.
Updating family, getting wheeled down the hall, a temporary kiss goodbye to Derek, a cold bright and chaotic operating room, a blue curtain, nausea, shaking uncontrollably, and the most vulnerable I have ever felt… being reunited with Derek, squeezing his hand, listening to the doctors, my body jolting left and right, a lot of pressure, but no pain, anxiously waiting for a cry.Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I felt a huge relief and I could breathe better than I had in 6 months. “baby is out” we heard through the curtain, and Derek and I both anxiously waited for her cry. “Do you want to take a look Dad?” Derek stood up and peeked over, and then they lifted her higher to give me a glance.
There she was. My Mari girl. My heart swelled up in a way I’ve never felt and my eyes instantly filled with tears as I laid my head back on the table. And then we heard it…her cry, her breath, her life. That Derek and I created together. It was all so surreal.
I felt more love in that moment than I ever have in my life. It’s like time stood still. Everything that was ever missing was complete, everything that was ever complicated was simple, and everything that was ever bad in the world was suddenly perfect. I always knew a love like existed, but couldn’t ever fathom how it would feel and that moment changed it all. Life has felt a little brighter since, and everyday seems better than the last.
Between all of the visits, support, and love from loved ones, adjusting back to our routines, watching Harvey become a “big brother” & Derek become a dad, and soaking in every moment with our Mari girl, I feel like the last two weeks have been a dream and I have to pinch myself to remind me that this is all indeed real life.
Mari has experienced her first family walk, rain storm, photoshoot, car ride, doctors appointment, restaurant, first three baths, and many visits from family and friends. She wasn’t even supposed to be here for another 2-3 days, but we already can’t imagine life without her.
THANK YOU for all of your kind comments, messages, support, and love at this time in our life. I’ve loved Derek through a lot of different chapters, but I think watching him become a dad has been my absolute favorite. And being this girl’s mama is my most favorite thing I’ve ever been.Cheers to surprises, adventures, new chapters, change, parenthood, and the greatest love we’ve ever known.
Mari Michelle Dursteler
6 lbs even, 18.5 inches
Onto the next adventure, Wren