I told myself I wanted to get Max’s birth story written ASAP because it all happened so fast and I didn’t want to forget one second of it but… then motherhood started, and you know how that goes!
Well, the day I had been waiting for – and secretly dreading – has come and gone. My little Max was born February 26th at 7:32 pm weighing 7.7 pounds and stretching to a long 21 inches (we still aren’t sure where that came from but mommy and daddy ain’t complaining). The day flew by and looking back I still can’t believe he’s finally here. As I lay here with my precious baby cuddled up to my chest I can’t help but say man… I am so blessed and damn was that painful!
Going into L&D I was not expecting to have a baby. I had had pretty bad back labor in the weeks prior but was still only dialated a tight 1 cm – talk about disappointing. And shocker! I was still only at 1cm when I was admitted the day he was born. I woke up around 3am with terrible back pain once again but tried to go back to sleep and see if it went away – like the back labor in the past. I skipped church but let my momma go since that is her job and all let’s be real, I texted her the WHOLE time! When 2 o’clock rolled around I was on my fifth bath and this pain just wasn’t going away so my mom said to call the doc and see what they said – I prepared myself for dissapointment right there after my last run in with a male on-call doc. To my surprise the on call doc, and one to later deliver Max – Dr. Scarborough, was the NICEST ,most gentle man and handled my anxiety so well. He said “yup, it sounds like you’re in early labor come on in”. That’s when I yelled #BLESSED, maybe we are making progress! By 2:30pm my mom was home and we were loading up the car -for the 4th time- to head to St. Joseph’s Candler, which, had become my home away from home. Before we left I received the most amazing, and incredibly delicious, surprise at my doorstep. Macaroons! Yes, you read that right! I had macaroons delivered to my doorstep and the amount of pain I was in didn’t even compare to how happy those gorgeous little French pastries made me.
PSA : Vanilla and The Bean is one of savannahs newest (and most delicious) boutique bakery and cake decorating shops and when they reached out about collaborating I obviously didn’t say no! Vanilla and the Bean not only has the most GORGEOUS packaging -we know I’m a sucker for packaging- but they also deliver these goodies right to your door. So whether you want to surprise an expecting momma, apologize to your gf after a fight, surprise your macaroon obsessed mom with a little treat, or hey, just treat yourself- contact Vanilla and the Bean… you and your stomach won’t regret it! While, I did share with my nurses and doctor I did snag one and damn was it good! Check out @vanillaandthebean on Instagram or check out there website http://www.vanillaandthebean.com to order your sweets today!
Alright, sidebar complete, back to Max! So when we arrived at the hospital I was still in a good bit of pain but just ready to be checked and figure out what was going on. Checked – 1 fricken centimeter! Like come on…. how could I be in that much pain and not have progressed in the past 2 weeks!? Frustration aside, the doctor ordered an hour of walking up and down the long narrow hallways of the labor and delivery wing. Talk about miserable. A very long -and painful- hour passed and I barely make it through three steps without crying. We waited for the doc to come and check me again and to my surprise, after and hour we were 4-5 cm! I was being admitted and given an epidural … PRAISE THE LORD! 45 minutes after being admitted and hooked up to my IV and epidural, Dr. Scarborough came and checked me again and another surprise… I was 9 centimeters!!!! Every time I was checked it was quite comical to see the doctors reaction to how quickly I had progressed – apparently I’m super woman when it comes to Labor and Delivery.
The next part of Max’s birth story is where things get tough for me to think about… and even tougher to talk about. By this time, I knew Cesar -Max’s daddy- wasn’t going to get here in time based on how fast I was already progressing and the fact that it was rush hour in Atlanta. Him not being there more than broke my heart, every time I would think about it I had tears in my eyes. While we weren’t together, this is our baby. Half of me and half of him and there was no one I wanted to share this experience with more than him. He had been my best friend for a long time and the thought of not having his love and support through the pain made me realize again how truly untraditional Max’s life would continue to be.
After checking me again they quickly realized Max wasn’t positioned the way we wanted him. He was transverse ,on his side facing my inner thigh, so we knew we had to get him turned and quickly. We first tried me laboring on my left side which was okay but Max wasn’t budging- only a slight bit of rotation. Next they tried my right side – this is the part of my story where all I can do is begin to pray – Max’s heart rate quickly dropped and my oxygen levels became extremly low so they immediately flipped me back over and put me on oxygen until the doc could evaluate. The doctor then got me on all fours -with an epidural, this felt impossible- for another 30 minutes and then it was game time.
Dr. Scarborough quickly realized Max was in distress and we couldn’t keep him in there any longer – it was time to push. In grand total I pushed for 6 minutes. Now, before you say “wow! You had the easiest labor!” let me correct you, no labor is easy and while my labor was quick… here is where things took a turn for what I thought was the worst. After my third, maybe fourth, push the doctor took help from his friend “the vacuum”. Now if you have never had a baby let me tell you – the vacuum you clean the house with is VERY different than a vacuum to assist in delivery. Max was vacuumed out from 0 station and if you aren’t a medical person, aka me and most of you, to tell you where that is… just imagine the doctors arm was elbow deep pulling Max out. Sorry, I know… tmi but hey, its all part of Max’s story. After several minutes of pushing with the assistance of the vaccum Maxs health started to become of major concern and Dr. Scarborough firmly told me he needed to prep for a C Section incase I couldn’t get Max out quickly. Those words were enough for me. With tears in my eyes and pain in my heart I pushed those last 3 pushes and Max was here.
I felt Max come out but didn’t hear him cry. It was like in every movie I had ever seen where a silent baby was born. I started hyperventilating and crying and could only see my incredibly purple baby being rushed away. I was helpless sitting there numb, and afraid. My whole body was numb my heart felt empty and I began to think the worst. After what felt like 30 minutes -it was about 5- they were finally able to recessetate him. I heard my baby cry and the world completely felt bright again. They continued to work on Max while I began my recovery process. 10 minutes later I was finally able to hold my baby, my crying, happy, healthy baby. After me and Max’s skin-to-skin time our friends and family were finally able to come see mommy and Max. First was my little sister Lily, who photographed my famous Starbucks pictures. Then our pastor, his wife, and their son who also happen to be very good friends of ours. After that Max, Mommy, Lily, our good friend and photographer Callie (read her take on this day on her blog here : ) and my mom all moved to my very large post partum room. Where the train of visitors continues. Two of my best friends, Addie and Caitlyn, were first with flowers and treats for momma and a Carters gift card… they are very good at fueling my shopping problem. After that the moment I had been waiting for happened. Max’s daddy was here and able to see him and hold him and love on him for the very first time and boy, did that make my heart happy and my ovaries hurt. The two most influential men in my life (besides my daddy) were finally meeting and it was everything I ever wanted. Seeing that Daddy/Son bond made me so happy and seeing so much of my little one is his daddy made me slightly jealous of Cesar’s strong genes.
Cesar’s parents were next to meet Max and I can’t even begin to tell you how spoiled this baby will be by his two grandmas. They might have held him more than I did during our hospital stay! Lastly, was my daddy (also an Atlanta commuter) and Max’s Opa and the reason Max is an Engelmaier. Because Cesar and I are not together and Max will be living with me Max will carry on the Engelmaier name in honor of my dads dad, my Opa and one of my favorite men. Without Max there would be no more Engelmaier’s left in the United States.
It’s crazy how those 4 hours were the scariest but happiest memories all at the same time. Life is truly beautiful and my babies life is truly a miracle that I can’t even thank God enough for. Day by day I learn more about Max and I can’t wait for the days to come. Now if only time would slow down and he would stop growing. I can’t wait to one day share all of the love and messages we received one day with Max. We are truly blessed with all of the amazing people we have in our lives and love you and can’t thank you enough! Thank you for getting this far in my post, I know it’s a long one, but I don’t want to forget one minute of that special day.
“You’re not a mess. You’re brave for trying.”