Journey to Marz- My Birth Story
Its 4:32pm on Tuesday afternoon. Marz is sleeping soundly and Nova is finally down for a nap. Silence feels amazing and for the first time in a long time, I feel inspired to write, to plan and to WORK.
If you follow me on social media, you are probably aware that my baby boy Marz made his grand appearance in the world several weeks ago. Born on February 5th, Marz Santana Sage Duncan is coming on being 1 month old and its crazy to think how quickly time has flown by since bringing him home. While I try to share tiny bits of his development on social (gotta love his snuggles and little newborn cries) I have really found myself taking a backseat to Instagram and just socialization in general. In the last month, I have prioritized just being PRESENT in my home and in my body. Through the last month, I have been reminded that EVERY pregnancy and recovery period is different and that has inspired me to really take time to listen to my body in every way possible, mentally and psychically. I will probably do a separate postpartum update in a week or so, but for now- lets get into the good stuff!
My pregnancy with Marz was TOUGH. Like crying almost everyday, couldn't get up without assistance tough. I was NOT one of those pregnant ladies who was glowing and filled with energy. Instead, I suffered from crazy back and pelvic pain that made even the easiest tasks miserable. My energy level was nonexistent and I required at least 15 hours of sleep a day. All of my pregnancy symptoms mixed with trying to run a business, take care of a 2 year old and still keep my house together- I was a hot mess while pregnant.
I started going into early labor around 35 weeks with Marz with strong contractions that would eventually fizzle out just when I thought I was in active labor. If you have never experienced "false" labor before, consider yourself lucky- it sucks. My contractions would literally go on for hours even though I was not in actual labor. Every week, I was visiting my OBGYN and crying about how I felt like I was in labor and I just wanted to get everything over with. Thank God my doctor is amazing and would always listen with compassion and the occasional joke here and there which helped to take my mind off things.
On February 4th, I started having painful contractions around 6pm that were about 3-4 minutes apart. Being that Rich was at work, I called him around 9 to let him know I was heading up to Labor and Delivery to see if everything was all right. By this time, I was almost 39 weeks pregnant and I knew it was likely that Marz was ready to make his debut. By 10pm I was told I was being admitted to deliver the baby and I just felt a major sense of relief. Rich met me at the hospital around 11 and stayed the night with me while the hospital continued to monitor my labor progress. After checking in that night my labor moved really slow and by 9am the next morning, I started pitocin to speed things up.
When I was pregnant with Nova, I had a medically necessary induction around 37 weeks due to a reoccurring kidney infection that was affecting the baby. Because my induction with Nova was a breeze and so I was not worried when I found out that I needed to be induced with Marz as well. This time around, I was adamant that I wanted little to no medication during the birthing process so managing contractions started to get rough when I was about 6cm dilated. By the time my doctor came in around 5pm to break my water, I was in excruciating pain. Literally, I was screaming so damn loud I am sure everybody down the street could hear me. Between the constant heavy contractions, the annoying nurses adjusting my monitors every 2 minutes and my hand IV falling out- I was uncomfortable, mean and probably violent lol. By 8cm's dilated, I asked for IV medication to take the edge off of my pain. I wish I could tell you that the IV meds worked, but they didn't. All the IV medication did was make me feel incredibly sleepy while still in pain.
By 9:30pm, I was 10cm's dilated and ready to push. Honestly, when I started pushing I was in so much pain, I just wanted the baby to be out as soon as possible. Delivering a baby without medication is one of the most painful and yet beautiful experiences you can ever go through. It literaly feels like your vagina is being torched and sliced open while a bowling ball is coming out (I hope you enjoy that visual lol). With Rich on my side encouraging me- I was able to deliver Marz in about 6 pushes! I felt so strong and invincible. Reaching down to pull him up on my chest was so emotional, it was as if all of the pain I endured during pregnancy was isolated to 1 moment. Seeing Marz face for the first time was beautiful. All I could think about was how cute he was and how he looked totally different than I ever could of imagined.
Immediately after birth, Marz took to breast feeding right away and Rich and I were able to spend some time doing skin to skin with him before heading up to the recovery room. By the time we all reached the Mother/baby wing of the hospital, it was after 10pm and I just needed a shower and sleep. During delivery, I had a moderate vaginal tear so I was pretty sore for several hours after birth and needed motrin and ice packs to keep things comfortable while I settled into breast feeding and resting.
The following day, it was discovered that Marz had a pretty bad case of jaundice due to him and I being incompatible blood types. Because of this, we were not able to be discharged from the hospital for 3 days after birth. Being stuck in the hospital for 3 days was really tough on me. My emotions were literally all over the place and I just wanted to be home with my husband and kids. To make matters worse, my son Jeremiah had broken his hand while I was delivering the baby and needed to get a cast on (talk about bad timing). When we finally got the green light to go home, I was so relieved.
Having Marz has really made me see the importance of taking care of yourself mentally and physically at all times. Unlike Nova's birth, I did not feel like 100% myself right away. During the first week or so, I was sore, exhausted, overwhelmed and really emotional. I also dealt with a really bad case of migraine headaches that made me feel like my head was going to explode. When you have multiple children, it is so easy to compare your birthing and postpartum experiences instead of just accepting that each baby, each birth is different. Once I was able to stop comparing my experiences with Nova and Marz, things really improved for me emotionally.
So far, Marz definitely moves to the beat of his own drum. We still breast feed and I pump at least 4x a day to help keep my milk supply up. Marz eats ALOT, as in a 4oz bottle every 1.5-2 hours a lot so I have not been able to build up any type of milk stash because he drinks everything I am able to pump immediately. As far as sleep, things are getting easier than they were 2 weeks ago. As of now, he wakes up about 3x a night and still tries to sleep most of the day. For awhile, he was only able to sleep while being held and that was super challenging although he seems to be getting better at sleeping on his own now. During this early phase, he is sleeping in the bed with Rich and I, but I am hoping to transition him to his own space within the next month.
As far as ME- I am slowly transitioning back into work projects and reclaiming my role in managing the shop day to day. It has been truly a blessing that my mom was able to come down from California for the last 2 weeks to help with this transition and having her company and support has truly allowed me to start to find my footing again. Trying to manage daily tasks is tough with both Nova and Marz and just getting out of the house is a major accomplishment, but I am hoping it will get easier as time goes on. For now, my main goal is to continue to rest and heal as much as possible while slowly transitioning back into work/projects 1 day at a time. By writing realistic task lists every 2 days, I feel less overwhelmed and truly excited when I am able to accomplish a few things on my list everyday.
On the 5th, Marz will be a month old and I am just looking forward to seeing him continue to grow and develop in the coming weeks. As the newborn high starts to go away and I feel stronger by the day, I am looking forward to establishing a more cohesive routine for both the baby and I. Starting off the new year by giving birth has been a major experience and I am hopeful to continue 2020 by working on both my personal, health and business goals. Because I own my own business, I really need to be intentional about not putting too much pressure on myself to "bounce back." Formal maternity leave or not, I plan to take things slow for most of the month of March. Once April rolls around, I am sure I will be fully back into the swing of things.
As far as the blog, I am excited to get active again in sharing and building this platform to connect with more of you. In the future, you can look forward to more household, organization, family life and business content.
Thank you all for your well wishes and support on social media and for being patient with me during this time! I am looking forward to growing in a major way this year and I am so blessed to have all of you supporting me along the way.