Happy Birthday Marley!

Last year on New Years...

Marley was due January 15, 2007.

On January 1st Jared got himself and his friends excited about doing the "Polar Plunge".

For those who are not aware, every year on New Year's a bunch of crazy and mostly drunk people run and jump into Lake Michigan. Jared and his friends were not drunk, but I guarantee that they are crazy!

The Polar Bears

Catherine Lever and I --- the 2 pregnant gals and picture takers.

9 months pregnant!

That evening I also visited 2 friends who had just had babies. I heard their stories (which SCARED me) and borrowed their maternity clothes but...

The next day...

I don't know if it was the excitement of New Years, the cold, or if this girl just wanted to come, but about 4am on January 2nd I started having contractions. Of course, I didn't know that at the time. I got out of bed, watched a movie, took a shower and finally at 8 am I called my boss to tell her I wasn't feeling well and would be in that afternoon.

FINALLY got out of bed (at least that is how I was feeling) and asked me if I was in labor. I told him I wasn't. He thought otherwise and started timing my facial expressions (contractions). He finally talked me into going to the doctor to have them check me. Sure enough, I was dilated to a 3-4 and had a "bulging bag".

I was in NO hurry to go to the hospital. I came home and started cleaning up a bit, ate some breakfast, packed a few things. Jared was running around like crazy. On our way to the hospital he kept asking if he could run the
stop lights. I told him that I didn't need to get into a car accident while I was in labor.

Soon after I got to the hospital my water broke and then the contractions started coming HARD. The nurses wanted to keep asking me all sorts of dumb questions and I told them I just needed drugs. At one point I told Jared that if the Anesthesiologist didn't get here soon, he was going to go and find her! For anyone who wants an opinion---epidurals are
AWESOME! Jared was also a lifesaver and so good to me through the whole thing. I can't imagine going through that without him there.

My labor and delivery nurses were excellent. Jared knew one of them from doing a rotation through St. Joseph's Obstetrics and Gynecology. Finally it was time to go. I pushed and pushed for what seemed like forever. They kept saying "almost there". After an hour I told them that almost there meant one more push and that they better tell me the truth. She finally came out and at 5:58 pm Marley Makai was born.  5 pounds 13 ounces and 18 inches long.

The next few hours were filled with many emotions.

I never heard a cry.

I looked over at the nurse who had told me that she would be taking care of Marley as soon as she came. She was on the phone asking for a Neonatologist to come right away. "We have a stunned baby" My nurse left my side and started doing chest compressions on Marley.

 Everything was tense and I was sobbing. Her first APGAR score was a 1. Which basically means that she had a pulse, but it was below 100 bpm, she was not breathing, she was blue/grey in color, and she was not moving.  Everything started to improve;  she started to wimper, turned pink, etc. They held her next to me to snap the picture below and took her to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

She was NOT a happy camper and neither was I.

My doctor, Dr. Lee.  You can see how "life-less" Marley looks right there.  We all joked later (once we knew she was just fine) that she just didn't like the birthing process.  Can you blame her?  I didn't either!

This was the first time we saw Marley. 

She was hooked up to monitors and had an I.V. She screamed and screamed. Funny thing was that it didn't bother Jared and I a bit. Screaming meant alive and we were relieved. It was a long 5 days at the hospital. 

We refer to the box she was in as "baby prison"- appropriately named by my sister. My mom and sister flew in as soon as they heard we were in labor, but the nurses were adamant that I was the only one who could hold Marley.

New mom, new grandma, new aunt, new daddy

One very Happy (and tired) Mom

Proud daddy

Beautiful baby

This year has gone by SO quickly and Marley has grown and changed so fast I have wanted to drag out the days. Some days I want to hurry it up, but mostly I have loved watching her discover her world and see what she is capable of.

We love you Marley-girl! 
Happy Birthday.


  1. I have never heard the story of her birth - thanks for sharing, it was so fun to read about! The birth of a baby is truly a miracle! She is such a beauty! Happy Birthday Marley!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARLEY!! I got a little tear in my eye at the picture of you holding her before they took her away, mostly because you look so exhausted!! But that last little picture of her is so beautiful. What a little love!!!

  3. Oh my gosh! I have never heard that story before...I had tears in my eyes! That must have been such a scary moment for you guys. She is so cute! Happy Birthday Marley!

  4. Happy Happy Birthday Marley doll. I hope everyone's over the sickies and you can have a fun day today! Don't you just feel like you blink and they grow up! Aren't you kind of glad you're not replaying everything that was going on last year at this time? It's kind of good thing to get a little time behind you, don't you think?

  5. This is the most AMAZING post. Bravo, Heidi! It was incredible to read about Marley's first moments and the swarm of emotions you felt. Can you believe you went through all that? I am woman, hear me ROAR!!! Happy Birthday, Marley-Girl!

  6. Happy Birthday Marley! I love your birthing story...gotta let Marley know how important she was.

  7. I love when my babies turn one! It gets better and better every year! They I do at moments want to push pause on them ever now and then! Hope you had a wonderful b-day Marley!

  8. What an amazing story Heidi. Thanks for sharing. It will be something Marley will treasure when she's old enough to appreciate it!

  9. What a neat story. Plus I got to know you a bit better! :) Marley was such a pretty newborn! Happy birthday!

  10. Heidi, I'm glad to retold the story. i think having babies is the funnest thing in the world (delivery and all) I would have one every year if i thought i could take care of them after they got here. I never get tired of hearing baby birthing stories!!

  11. Happy Birthday Marley! Heidi, I just so happened to click on your blog from mine, for some reason your new post did not come up on my google reader. Sorry that I am responding so late. I just can't believe how quickly the time has sped by! I remember you taking a pile of maternity clothes and my mom saying, "just wait, she won't even use any. She's going to have her baby soon." It seems like it was yesterday!

  12. Tell Marley Happy Birthday and we are very happy she is such a strong and healthy girl.

  13. I don't think I've ever heard that story. Tell her congratulations. She really is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen.


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