Thursday, June 16, 2011

the birth story

jacob kazen was born on may 18th @ 7:35pm. 8lbs 13ozs. 22" long. :)

(jacob is named after his great grandpa jacob koop and kazen is my mom's maiden name)

TMI ALERT!!!!! be prepared that there may be things written that could offend or be too much information for some people. i won't go into what i consider to be way too much info but some of you may want to use discretion before reading. ;)

on tuesday the 17th i had a burst of energy. i did a bunch of laundry, purchased flowers and planted 4 planters for our patio and scrubbed our patio railings. that evening i had an "induction massage" (basically a pressure point massage that COULD get labour going). i left my appointment and had my first contraction 30 minutes later. i only had a few contractions between 830pm and 1am so i wasn't getting too excited yet (nor did i tell steve that i was having contractions....just in case it was a false alarm). then 1am came and there was no more sleeping. my contractions were coming about every 6-10 minutes. i woke steve at 4am then went to the bathroom and that's when my water broke. (thank goodness i was on the toilet. what luck!!) called the hospital and was told to come in and get checked. got to the hospital around 6am. they hooked me up to the monitor and confirmed that my water had broken. i was only 2-ish cms but jake's baseline heart rate was low so they had me on the monitor for over an hour so that they could get a good read on it. they decided to admit me then and not send me home. the doctor came and said that i was 3cm and she said that she wasn't worried about the heart rate because there weren't any big dips.

our doula came to the hospital and we went for an hour walk. my contractions were coming every 3 mins by this time (around 9am). it was a GORGEOUS day, so warm and sunny. it was great to be outside. when we got back inside i was starting to feel significantly more uncomfortable. by 12pm i was 5cm and asked for my epidural. by this point the pain was BAD. i feel pathetic complaining because i know that women do this all the time and claim that it's not "that bad" but it was rough for me. i was having horrible back pain. no amount of pressure on my low back was enough. i was sucking back the gas while i waited for someone to come and get my IV going. the gas didn't take away any pain for me it just made me feel like i had no energy to talk. i actually wish now that i hadn't used the gas.

the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural but i still didn't have an IV in so he left. i was not very happy that he was leaving but i couldn't talk so there was nothing i could say about it. i started to notice that someone was sticking a needle in my hand and then saying something about not being able to get a vein. next i felt a needle in my other hand. still couldn't get a vein. my contractions were lasting about 90 seconds with 30 second breaks in between. not enough for me to recover between contractions. 45 minutes later they finally were able to get a vein. phew! then i was told that i couldn't get the epidural for another 30 minutes because the anesthesiologist wasn't available. NOOOOO!!!!! i was freaking out but again couldn't really talk so it was just internal panic. i managed to get out a few teary "no, no, no"s. doctor checked me again and i was 8cms. at least i was making progress. by this time it's just after 1pm.

i noticed that the nurse kept fiddling with the monitor that they had around my belly. i heard someone say something about the baby's heart rate being 60 (110 is low). then the chaos started. a lot of people showed up in the room. the doctor started commanding me to turn onto my other side, then back on my other side, onto my hands and knees, back on my back. they took the gas away and said that the baby needed oxygen. there was a lot of "lael! the baby needs you to move!!" being said in a stern/intense voice. the gas quickly wore off and i was fully aware that something was seriously wrong. steve counted 9 hospital staff in the room at one point. the anesthesiologist arrived again during this chaos and quickly left, seeing that now was not the time for an epidural. i was really freaked out. steve was holding my hand off and on and he was shaking. i could tell by looking at him that he was scared. i saw carts being wheeled in and trays of tools being set up. i was confused because i knew i wasn't 10cms yet and i thought that they did c-sections in the OR. (i found out later that they had brought in everything they needed to do a c-section right then and there...a zipper cut is apparently the term they use, meaning they would cut vertically, rather then horizontally. they had also brought in a crash cart for jacob because they thought his heart had stopped.) the doctor tried one last thing...screwing a little coil into jacob's scalp that had 2 cords attached to it. that gave them a true reading on jacob's heart rate and everything was fine. PHEW!!!! that was a big scare and highly stressful!! steve told me later that he thought we were going to be leaving the hospital without our son. :(

finally the epidural arrived. lots of questions and logistics that the doc had to go through with us before hooking me up to the magic potion. i could barely talk. the contractions were taking all of my focus and energy. i was actually falling asleep between contractions because i was so exhausted. the pain was unbearable! i could never have imagined that someone could go through that kind of pain and still be conscious. at this point i wanted to push SO badly! i feared that if i said that to the nurse or the doctor they would say that it was too late for the epidural. i kept my mouth shut and panted my way through the contractions. i didn't feel the needles/epidural. i only felt the contractions and nothing else. once the epidural was done and it had kicked in i started to feel WAY better. i can't even explain the difference. my doctor came in and checked me again and told me that i was 10cms and it was time to have the baby. i think my response was "seriously? but i just got my epidural. can we wait a while?" (you have to understand that up until this point i had barely spoken in 3 hours. the pain was so bad that all i could do was breathe. it had been 3+ hours since i had asked for an epidural...i was DONE.) i said that half jokingly, fully expecting her to say "ummm, no, it's time now" but she said that if the urge to push goes away with the epidural then i could wait. i think we waited somewhere between 1-2 hours. i hopped on facebook on my phone, brushed my hair, did my make-up...i was feeling good!

i started to be able to feel the pressure of the contractions so it was time to push. my doctor actually sat in for most of the 2 hours that i pushed for. she was very loud, yelling "push, push, push, push, push" very quickly. one of the nurses actually came in and told her that they could hear her at the nurse's station. the pushing wasn't painful just tiring and i got very warm after i had been pushing for an hour. eventually she decided to check and see if she could feel his ear and see if he was turned face up. she checked and he was. so she flipped him....not fun, very uncomfortable, lots of pressure. after that the pain in my back/hips got a lot better and things progressed much more quickly (turns out that my contractions were so painful because i was having back it's true when people tell you that back labour is brutal). the worst part of the pushing was when she told me to stop after his head was out (she had to unwind the cord that was loosely around his neck). then she told me to look and watch him be born....i think my exact words were "NO, i do NOT want to watch!!!! that's nasty!!!"....yah, i wasn't very into that idea. he was born and they laid him on my chest so i could see him. he wasn't crying yet but the nurse rubbed his little back until he started crying. what a great sound hearing him cry for the first time!! steve cried, i cried and laughed (because i was insanely happy, both that he was here and that the labour was O-V-E-R!!). it was crazy to actually experience that "high" that everyone talks about once you see your baby for the first time. i had only slept for 2 hours in the 36 hours prior to jacob being born and had just done the most physically exhausting thing i have ever done and yet i felt like i had SO much energy! i don't think i came down from that high until about 1am (jacob was born at 7:35pm)....and i probably was only knocked off my high because i passed out when i got out of bed at 1am for the first time. :P

when asked how my labour/delivery went i say "horrible" or i say "it was a little rough"....depending on who asks. i honestly don't know if i will ever have the guts to do it again but i am holding on tightly to the prospect of the second time being quicker and easier....and free of back labour. i think that if i hadn't had back labour i could have handled it much better than i did. thankfully i don't think i did any yelling or screaming. i didn't freak out at steve (in fact he got annoyed with me because i told him a few times to take a break, sit down and eat something) and i don't think i was rude to anyone. phew!

jacob is amazing and worth it all. could i do it again tomorrow? nope. but i survived. it was one day of BAD pain (actually less than one day. really it was only a few hours of bad pain). steve was the best support i could have had and it was really great to have our doula, michelle, there as well. the hospital staff were all phenomenal as was the doctor who did the delivery (not my doctor but one of the docs from the same clinic). i was WELL taken care of and i am so happy for the great care i had!


  1. great story! i was so confused in your facebook post the day of labour when you said you waited til you were 10cm to get an epidural! i thought: you're home free, why wouldnt you just go ahead with the pushing? haha, i understand now more. i've never heard of someone not wanting to push, or that you could actually wait a few more hours to push!
    i've had 2 back labours, not knowing until they came out sunnyside up, and yes, you're right, it totally sucks!!! my son was anterior, and wow! i literally said "wow! i could totally do that again!" immediately following delivery.
    anyway, happy you've got your baby in your arms now (and knowing that they could turn him before pushing him out, i might ask for that this time if needed!)

  2. this blog post makes me wish i had written out my story because it will be so interesting to be able to go back and re-read over and over when you have forgotten most of the details. i love that you took an hour or so break and went on facebook - i remember reading that status and being confused. and i felt the same way about "watching the baby being born"! haha. thanks for sharing your story!