Welcoming the Unexpected: Mairéad’s Birth Story


So many people told me how lucky I was that I made it through the first trimester of my pregnancy with no morning sickness. I thought I was pretty lucky, too. As my pregnancy flew by and I was still feeling great and had no complications, I remember thinking to myself,

“Pregnancy can’t actually be this easy, can it?”

Apparently not, for me at least. Around 28 weeks I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, despite having no risk factors. Though initially devastated, I soon settled into the diet and felt confident that I would still be able to have a natural birth at the birth center. I had been measuring a couple of weeks small for my entire pregnancy, but nothing that seemed alarming. However, at my 36 week appointment, the midwife suggested that I have an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still growing well. The ultrasound determined that the baby weighed only 4.5 pounds, which was small enough that she was considered to have a growth restriction. I would be induced at 37 weeks. To add to that, my blood pressure was rising and Dr. Calvin was concerned that I might be developing pre-eclampsia (thankfully I never did).

After a long, emotional week, March 28 came and we went to the hospital in the late afternoon. Immediately after starting the induction, I started having contractions, and my baby’s heart rate plummeted. For twelve minutes, MBC midwife Amy and nurses from the hospital did everything they could to get her to start moving again, including giving me an oxygen mask and a shot to stop the contractions. Finally, they succeeded. I was shocked when I was told that they still wanted me to have the baby vaginally, but as the evening progressed and baby’s heart rate continued to drop a bit with each contraction, it was decided that I would have a C-section.

By 10PM that night, my daughter Mairéad Allegra was born, weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces. She stayed in special care for six days with no major problems. Though her birth ended up being nothing like I imagined or wanted, my husband Josh and I really have so much to be thankful for:

  • That our daughter is alive and healthy thanks to Amy and the nurses and their calm and skillful work to get her heart rate back up (and somehow keep me calm in the process!)
  • That I was able to have the C-section after only six hours in the hospital instead of after hours or days of labor.
  • That our doula Julia was still at the hospital with us when I started having contractions. In ten minutes more, she would have been gone for the night, assuming my labor wouldn’t start for several hours. We were grateful for her reassuring presence.

Three months later, our daughter is happy, thriving, and quite chubby! She has come a long way, and we are grateful to everyone from Abbott, Children’s, and MBC who helped to bring her safely into the world.

-Megan H.

We love birth stories! If you would like to share your story on the blog, please email karen@theminnesotabirthcenter.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *