I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with this amazing young couple and support them through the birth of their first born.
Mariam is a 23 year old woman from Iraq who moved to the U.S. in 2008. She met her husband, Stevan (also from Iraq) at a party when they were children, fell in love, and married in 2014. They are so wonderfully supportive of each other and the love between them fills the room! They hopped for a long time to get pregnant and were so excited when Mariam's test came back positive.
As a healthy young woman it was a shock to them both when medical issues during pregnancy showed up. Early on she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and preeclampsia and was classified as high risk by her doctors. All throughout her pregnancy she needed to have weekly check-ups, and near the end she was visiting the clinic twice a week for lab work. While it was tiring to go to the doctor so often, everyone was glad to have so many eyes on Mariam's health. When her labs indicated it was time for her to deliver her baby, and she reached 37 weeks, she went to the University of Utah for a medically necessary induction.
She checked in to Labor and Delivery at 5:30 PM Sunday 21 January and the doctors started her on Pitocin for her induction, and for her diabetes and preeclampsia they gave her IV magnesium, insulin, and antibiotics. While she was encouraged to sleep throughout the night, she was too excited for the whole process to start and hardly got any rest.
Monday 22 January at 9:00 AM I met Mariam and Stevan at the hospital. She was experiencing regular contractions that were quite strong due to the Pitocin she was on. To help Mariam with some of the discomfort we had her on the birth ball, walking around, leaning over the bed, and I applied counter pressure to her knees, hips, and lower back. Stevan was right by her side giving verbal encouragement and applying counter pressure and massage.
It was a slow progression into active labor, and with no sleep and hardly any rest it's no surprise that Mariam was one tired mom! Late in the afternoon she consulted with anesthesia and decided that it was time for an epidural. Thankfully it provided relief from the painful sensations for a few hours and helped her take a much needed nap.
By 1030 PM Mariam was fully dialited and Dr Garrison (so much praise goes to him, what a wonderful Doctor!) was paged for delivery. Shortly after 1100 PM Mariam started pushing with Stevan right by her side. She was so ready to meet her little boy and channeled that excitement into her pushing. Four good pushes in and we could see her baby's hair which provided more motivation for Mariam to continue the good work.
We are thankful for her competent birth team at the U that night because her baby boy's shoulders got stuck behind the pelvic bone and was preventing the rest of delivery (this is called "Shoulder Dystocia" and is dangerous for mother and baby). Once we knew what was happening, a nurse got on the bed and pushed on Mariam's stomach to help the baby out.
He was born at 1147 PM to a very grateful mother and father! It was a scary few minutes because the cord was around his neck and he broke his right shoulder during delivery, but he will heal and should have no lasting effects from the complications.
His name is Marianus which means "blessed" and he weighs 8 lbs 10 oz and is 20 inches long. And my goodness the hair on his head is so thick he is ready for his first haircut tomorrow!
Mariam had so many sweet things to say to her little one and showered him with "I love yous" and "Thank you for coming! I've been waiting for you!" Stevan felt a sense of relief knowing his wife and son were both going to be okay.
It has been an honor to work with this beautiful and strong family and I feel blessed to have been there on this journey with them. They are amazing and will be the best parents for baby Marianus.