I finally got around to finishing Mason’s birth story and only appropriate that I share it two months after his birth. FYI: I do have moments of over share, so read with caution.
Any woman who’s been pregnant knows that the last few weeks can be some of the most painful. After NINE long months of carrying a child, you’re more than ready to meet that little one and to begin to have your body back.
At my 39 week appointment, I was hoping my doctor would tell me I’m dilated enough that I should go home, grab my bags [& husband] and head to the hospital. That didn’t happen. Instead, he asked to schedule an induction.
At first, I objected.
All I wanted was for my water to break on it’s own and to go from there. We had taken Hypnobabies, a natural birthing class which is all about creating a peaceful, relaxing and a more comfortable birthing experience. I know that might sound crazy, but it truly was the best thing we could have done. I’ll get more into that in a separate post. Overall, we wanted as little intervention as possible.
However, I went ahead and set a tentative date, November 8th, exactly one week passed my due date. Meanwhile, I was holding on that I would go into labor on my own.
At my 40 week appointment, I was 1 1/2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was disappointed and almost wish I didn’t know. I did and I didn’t.
I started walking, a lot. More than I had my entire pregnancy. I sprinkled red pepper flakes on everything that went in my mouth. I sat and bounced on the birth ball every. single. night. And let’s just say, sex at 40 weeks is not as pleasant as it was at 20 weeks, but… it had to be done & Ben did not object.
My mom came into town on my due date for another matter and just decided to pack a big enough bag to stay for as long as she needed. In the end, that was smart thinking.
A week later, no baby, but a fridge and freezer full of food. We got pedicures, stayed up late watching movies, even had a family trip to the gym.
As my induction date got closer, family started planning their travels and I started feeling pressure to go forward with the induction.
Every moment, I kept imagining my water breaking.
My husband and I talked a lot. Do we go through with the induction? Do we wait? I thought about canceling the induction, but with family coming into town and the doctor hesitant about waiting any longer, I just decided to just go with it and know that we’d create a positive experience no matter what the experience was.
The night before, my mom, husband and I all went out to dinner. Figured it would be a while before doing that again. I took a shower and got everything organized for the next morning. I have to say, it was nice to have my hair blown out versus a wet bun on top of my head. Between the excitement and the discomfort, I maybe got a total of 3 hours of sleep. Sleeping near the end of pregnancy is a joke.
We had to be at the hospital at 7:30am that Thursday, November 8th. I could barely get a bite of breakfast down. The nerves and adrenaline were out of control.
When we walked in, we were greeted by our labor and delivery nurse, Gayla. It was basically love at first sight. In addition to labor and delivery, she was also a doula and since I wanted to have a natural/no drug birth, we bonded immediately.
We went over our birth preference. At first, I thought it was a joke to write one, but then found it was very helpful for both the nurse and doctor. Maybe I’ll share that in a separate post.
I typically don’t like photos taken of myself, especially when I’m gigantic… When my mom found out I didn’t have any photos of my belly or with Ben, she pulled out my camera and began snapping away. If that was going to make her happy, great, I won’t fight it.
Around 9 am, they started the pitocin and at that time I was dilated to 1 1/2 cm. I was feeling really good. I was walking the halls. Greeted my in-laws. Then eventually my dad and sister arrived. I started thinking this was no big deal, I totally had this.
At noon, the doctor came in to break my water. HOLY GUSH OF WATER! I had no idea that much water would literally gush out and continue for a while after. Lets just say, I quieted down after that. The *pressure waves picked up and I needed to get into my hypno zone. Ben put on one of the hypno cd’s, which helped me get through each pressure wave. At this point it was just my mom and my husband in the room.
*note: the learning from our hypno classes, I refer to contractions as pressure waves and labor as birthing time.
I always thought when the water broke it would be one big gush. Nope. For hours after, if I changed a position, laughed [which I did] or sat up, I felt like I peed my pants. It was weird.
I tried to find the best position. I sat on the ball, stood against my husband, tried laying on one side and then the other on the bed. Nothing seemed to help. The pressure waves were back to back leaving me without a break. And then the back labor/pressure waves began…
I never screamed or yelled. I did everything I could to stay calm, even through the strongest pressure waves. Thank you, hypnobabies.
My legs begun to twitch, but not just a little twitch. It was so intense, my entire body would jerk.
I had sipped on apple juice and sucked on ice chips throughout the day and into the evening. Oh let me tell you, those two things tasted AMAZING.
I decided to try the bath. Being in the water was comforting and numbed me from the intense pressure waves for a bit. My husband took a short break at this time and my mom stepped in. After 15 minutes, I needed out. I just wanted to get all cozy, crawl into my bed and go to sleep. Ha, yeah right.
note: if you’re thinking about packing a swimsuit, don’t bother. That was the LAST thing I thought about.
Then the vomiting began…
I became weak, my body was shaking and eventually couldn’t hold myself up. I couldn’t look my husband in the eye as they would slowly start to roll back in my head. I cried. I was so physically exhausted, I didn’t want to do it anymore.
At 10 pm [13 hours after I was given the Pitocin] the nurse checked me. Ready for this…
I WAS A WHOLE *3 CM DILATED.
*note: 10 cm is when you’re complete and ready to push.
I held onto my husband, and asked if I could get an epidural. I just wanted him or my mom to tell me that it was time for an epidural. They both said “it’s up to you and we support you either way.”
Then I needed reassurance from the nurse. I made the nurse give me all the facts, really hoping she’d be the one to tell me it was a good idea. I then cried at the thought that I had wasted all our money on our hypnobabies classes and that I was “giving up”. Really, in hindsight the hypnobabies classes got me through all the hard work.
Finally, I said yes, but after I asked the nurse if I’d feel the catheter. For some reason, that sounded painful. Pretty sure everyone in the room laughed. I know, after all that, I was worried about a catheter.
By 11 pm I was bent over the side of the bed, holding sooooooooo still while I received the epidural.
I wanted to hug the guy, whatever his title was who gave me the epidural. It was AMAZING and had absolutely NO regrets.
All the family who’d been waiting out in the lobby since noon, came back in to say “goodnight” before heading to the hotel for a little sleep. My mom and husband shared the pullout sofa bed. One under the sheet, the other on top. It was cute. They were so exhausted, pretty sure their eyes closed before mine did.
Within 20 minutes, I was OUT.
Around 1 am on Friday, I woke my husband up and made him look at the monitor. I could have sworn this child’s head was minutes away from making an appearance. Not sure what the monitor was going to tell my sleepy husband anyways. Maybe I just wanted someone up with me. Yeah no, he went back to bed.
At 1:30am when the nurse came into check on me, I was 7 cm dilated. Oh P R O G R E S S, thank goodness!
I dozed off a bit, but would wake back up when the pressure would get stronger.
At 4:15 am I was 10 cm dilated = COMPLETE!
The nurse asked me if I wanted to push. I said no.
I was exhausted, I just wanted to sleep. She said I could have 45 minutes and then at 5am, I needed to start pushing. Five minutes later she returned, “So, the Dr. is on his way and wants you to start pushing now.” Dammit.
note: because I had the epidural, the pushing sensation wasn’t as strong as it would have been if I had gone without drugs.
Then of course, I started throwing up… again. Good news, I knew I was close after that.
The room was dark with just a dim light over the sink area. Ben put in another hypno cd to help me stay calm and also let go from being a little tense.
The first 20 minutes of pushing was mainly the nurse walking me through how to push. I know it sounds crazy, but naturally, you [or just me] tense up at the thought of pushing like you’re going to poop in public.
At that point, the epidural was light enough that I could move my legs a bit, they were just heavy. I could also feel the pressure of when to push. Honestly, this part wasn’t extremely painful, just A LOT of pressure. I mean, you’ve got a child exiting between your legs. Of course there’s going to be a lot of pressure.
Before the nurse could finished asking “do you want a mir….”, I quickly cut her off with “absolutely not, but thank you.” I do much better with as little information and NO visuals when blood is involved.
Meanwhile, Ben’s holding one leg, the nurse holding the other as I continued to push.
Everyone was so wonderful and CALM. I honestly think the hypno cd helped create that peaceful environment.
Once the head was out, I basically just had breathe through the rest. The doctor had asked if I wanted to feel the head. Again, I quickly responded, “noooooo, thank you”.
At this point my body was so exhausted and my eyes were burning so badly that they kept asking me to open my eyes, the baby is coming. The moment I opened my eyes, all I see was this GIGANTIC eyes wide open, screaming, and peeing baby coming towards me. The nurse threw off my gown and the doctor placed him right on my chest. I think I was in a bit of shock. I kept thinking, “oh my goodness THIS just came out of me. oh my goodness he’s HUGE!!”
All I could do was just hold onto him, and almost unintentionally started to rub the vernix into his skin. We did have to ask one of the nurses to not wipe it off. I thought I would cry but there was so much going on it was so hard to process it all.
As I laid there, holding on tight, I let my eyes close for a few moments, just taking it all in.
I didn’t even notice the exit of the placenta, but I DID notice him stitching me up. I tore just a little internally, but didn’t require more than just a few stitches. Speaking of placenta… No no, I didn’t eat it, but I did have someone come pick it up to encapsulate it. Maybe it’s more mental, but whatever, I had an excellent recovery and I’m more than happy to credit the “supplements”. Here, this woman wrote a great article about placenta encapsulation.
I tore just a little internally, but didn’t require more than just a few stitches.
What was fascinating is that all babies eventually gravitate towards the breasts and Mason did just that. Breastfeeding isn’t automatic, especially for me. I had a breast reduction when I was 21 and was told at the surgery that I wouldn’t know if I’d be able to breastfeed until I tried.
I was talking with the nurse about my concerns and she walked over, squeezed my nipple and right then and there, milk came out. I almost cried, I was so happy. It was important to me to be able to breastfeed my baby. Obviously if it didn’t happen, we’d be okay. Later, with the help of a lactation consultant, he was able to latch right on. Woohoo!! However, breastfeeding has not been a piece of cake, but I’ll save that for another time [on the baby blog].
Mason Jeffry Thiele was born at 5:57am Friday morning, November 9th 2012. Weighing 8 lbs 7 ounces and 21″ long.
We chose the name Mason because it’s strong, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and neither of us had ever met a Mason. Yep, that was our criteria. Then Jeffry is my dad’s name, spelled without an “e”. After meeting our little guy, the name fits him perfectly.
More photos of Mason’s first 24 hours, can be found HERE.
Holding on to daddy’s finger with a nice strong grip. I swear he came out with a good set of muscles.
After a few hours the nurses came in and checked him out. We already knew he was perfect, but it was nice that they confirmed. Later, they back came in to give him a bath and get him all cozy. We had so many different nurses and each one was equally amazing. I also got teary saying goodbye. Then again, the emotions were running a bit rapid.
After going back and forth several times, we did end up getting him circumcised, but waiting about 3 weeks after he was born. He [& the doctor] of course did great. Otherwise, I think most people do it in the hospital.
We only stayed one night after that. We were ready to go home, especially since all our family was in town and had offered to make us dinner Saturday night. We weren’t about to miss out on that. Since Mason and I were doing good, it got the okay.
For the most part, I was doing really well. I mean, wearing a granny diaper [really just a huge pad], a smaller pad, an ice pack, and witch hazel pads ALL between my legs wasn’t super comfy, but whatever. I must have missed the memo about bleeding buckets post delivery. I wish I was exaggerating too.
If you are pregnant for the first time, please don’t read this as anything negative or let this bring up fear for you. Although this wasn’t “ideal”, it was my experience and it was perfect. And I’d do it all over again in a second. Although next time, if I’m induced, I won’t wait as long for the epidural.
The best piece of advice I can give to anyone who’s pregnant is to listen to your body. Do what you need to create a peaceful environment. Trust yourself. Whatever your experience is, it’s yours.
I’ve never been more in love. Being a mom to this little guy is the biggest blessing I could have asked for and I’m so thankful I get to start this journey with the love of my life and my #1, always. After meeting him, I never wanted to let go. So much love, it’s indescribable.
Big thank you to my husband and my mom for offering such incredible support during those 18 hours of hard labor. That’s an experience we’ll never forget. Thank you to all our family and friend for being there and loving us.
Lastly, thank you mom for being an awesome photographer!
*same story is share on both blogs