Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mason's Birth Story {07.18.12}

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Hello Mama and Mou readers! My name is Elizabeth and I blog over at Chasin' Mason, a blog about the adventures in motherhood and daily life with a toddler. I am a true California girl. I was born and raised in Northern California, in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved down to Southern California after I graduated college in 2006. I met my husband in 2006 when we worked together at Barnes and Noble. He was a part time bookseller (he had a different full time job, this was just his job for extra money) and I was a Merchandise Manager. We began dating in 2008 secretly since we weren't technically supposed to be dating since I was his manager {oops!}. We got engaged in September 2009 at Angels Stadium (I thought we were celebrating my birthday! I had no idea!)...

 ...and got married in November 2010...

...and then had our amazing, sweet little boy in July 2012.

He is now two years old and is the light of our lives.
Now that you know a little bit about me... here's the story of how we met our sweet little man.


It all started on the night of Tuesday, July 17, 2012. I'd been on maternity leave for a week and a half and was starting to actually get bored. Who would have thought? I thought I would be so happy that I didn't have to work and got to hang out, watch tv, or do whatever I wanted everyday. Turns out, not as exciting as I thought (that had since changed since Mason was born as I had established my tv lineup everyday and of course, I had Mason to take care of). Plus I was starting to get big (or what I felt was big - everyone else said I was still so small) and uncomfortable. Pretty sure Mason had his foot up in my ribs, which made it really hard to sit with our discomfort. I was ready to meet my boy!

Anyway, the night of July 17th I really wanted In n Out for dinner. Seth (my husband) of course didn't object and picked it up on his way home from work. We ate dinner, everything was great, and we watched tv...but as we watched tv, I started to feel what felt like minor period cramps. I didn't really think anything of it and went to bed at 11pm. I woke up around 3am and it still hurt. I waited a few minutes and decided to wake Seth up. I told him what was happening and he told me to call my doctor. I was kinda hesitant because I felt bad because it was 3am...but hey, doctors are on call for a reason and I'm sure I'm not the first one to call and wake them up. Plus that's what they get paid the big bucks for, right? So I called the on call line, told the on call guy what my symptoms were, he paged the on call doctor (which actually happened to be my doctor - both good and bad for me), and my doctor called back. She asked me if I had taken any Tylenol. I said no. She told me to take some and see how I felt and call her back if I needed to. So by now it was like 3:15am. I took some Tylenol. Seth got up with me. We watched tv (which by the way, there is NOTHING on at 3am lol). And then... I started feeling contractions. I started timing them and Seth wrote down how long they were for and how far apart. They ended up being 5 min apart for an hour. By this time more time had gone by and it was 5am. I was getting uncomfortable. My doctor asked me if I wanted to go to the hospial. I love my doctor, but Do I want to go to the hospital? Aren't you the doctor? I called to ask YOU if YOU think I should go to the hospital. So, given the choice, I said yes. She said she would call and let the hospital know that we were on our way. So we put on some real clothes (well Seth did, I kept my sweatpants on lol), got our stuff together (our bags were packed but just the las minute stuff), and were on our way. By now it was 5:45am. I was secretly happy that all of this was happening in the early hours of the morning because the most direct way to the hospital is one specific freeway. A freeway which 1) happens to be the worst freeway for traffic (or at least one of the worst in my opinion), 2) happens to be the best way to get to the OC Fair that was also going on and 3) happens to be the best way to get to the beach. I was happy we were leaving so early and were going to beat the traffic....or so I thought. Turns out... there are already a lot of people on the freeway at 5:45am! But we didn't have a problem. We got to the hospital around 6:10-6:15am, checked in and they put us in what they call a "triage" room. When I think of triage, I think of someone who has extremely bad injuries (but maybe I just watch too much Grey's Anatomy!), which I didn't.
 when we got checked in to the triage room

the million dollar view

A nurse came in, talked to us, checked me (3cm) and then left us for a little while. She came back, asked about my contractions (on a scale of 1 to 10, I said I was having a 5-6 pain out of 10). She said they typically don't admit people until they are at 4cm and asked if I wanted to try walking. I definitely didn't but didn't want to be sent home so I said if I had to, I would. By now it was like 7am and the change in the shifts of the nurses were happening so the night nurse said she would update the day nurse and they would see what they wanted to do. The day nurse came back and said they would admit me (yay!). So we moved from triage to labor and delivery. (I later learned that since my doctor was on call the night before, she was off that day. I guess they have some sort of app on their phones that let's them check on their patients (cool but kinda creepy) and she was yelling at the phone wondering why they had me in triage for so long when she knew I was in labor). So by 9am we were finally "checked in" to the hospital and were on our way to having a baby!

contractions on the computer screen

Now I understand they need to ask you a lot (A LOT) of questions before they can admit you, but one stood out to me as kinda stupid....why are you here? Really? Why am I here? I'm having a baby! (I asked the nurse if anyone says anything different and she said just slight variations - I'm in labor...my water broke...etc). She asked what my pain level was and I said 7 (now that might have been a littttttle more than most people would say but hey, it was painful to me!). I asked when I could get my epidural and she said after I had an IV of fluids. By this time I had started to feel a little sick and she said that was normal. She gave me a bucket, just in case, which was teeny tiny! I'm like umm, that's not going to work if I throw up, so she got me a bigger bowl. Still not your ideal bowl size, but definitely bigger. The nurse left the room and Seth was distracted by something (the view or his phone or something) and then... BLAH! (TMI...sorry so graphic). Poor Seth definitely saw more than he wanted to. Not the most fun or proudest moment of my life, but hey, he did this to me, he can see the results, right? LOL. The nurse came back, I told her I got sick, and she cleaned up. Poor nurses get such a bad job. I felt so bad. A different nurse came in after that and gave me my IV. She had a hard time finding a good vein to use so she tried one on my left wrist and what happened? She blew my vein. I'm sorry, what? You did what? Now this has never happened to me before so I was thinking this is bad. Apparently it's not really that bad, but it hurt. And later (like a couple days after I got home from the hospital) turned a lovely shade of black and blue. It honestly looked like someone grabbed my arm and squeezed. So, she looked and looked on my other arm and she couldn't find anything, so luckily for me, a different doctor came to check on us and she asked for help. It hurt, but at least he knew what he was doing. It ended up having to be on the top of my right hand though. Not the ideal spot, but it worked. Some time in all of this, they also broke my water.

After what felt like FOREVER, the anesthesiologist came in and I was getting my epidural! YAY! I was pretty scared but the contractions were hurting A LOT (to me) so I was ready. They said it wouldn't hurt any more than my IV (great, that hurt....). I had to sit up and hug a pillow and not move while the doctor did his thing. He cleaned my back, and then... you get the idea, I will spare you the details. It hurt a little, but not NEARLY as much as I imagined. I was terrified of the thought of a needle in my spine.  So many things could go wrong and I was so happy when it was over.

They had me lay down and that's what the magic happened. I started to not feel anything! It was bliss.  HEAVEN. The nurse asked if I felt anything and I said no and she said that was good because I just had a big contraction. So by now it was 10am and I was at 4cm (they don't give you an epidural before that) and we just had to wait... so we took a nap. And woke up at noon. The nurse came back in to check me and I was at ... 9 cm!!!! What?! 9 cm? That was fast! If I take another nap, when I wake up, will Mason be here? (just kidding!) Now I just had to wait to get to 10 cm.

The next few hours are a bit of a blur so the timing is just an estimate.

At noon we informed the family that I was at 9 cm. Seth's dad was at the fair and left to come to the hospital. And Seth's mom left work. Little did we know, but my poor in-law's were way too early and had to wait in the waiting room for what I'm sure felt like forever. I left bad. I don't know how much time went by but I was finally at 10 cm. Probably around 1pm or 1:30pm? The nurse asked me how I was doing and I said I just felt a little pressure. She said that was good and they were just gonna let me sit. Let Mason do some work and let him move down as much as possible. So at 2pm or 2:30pm-ish they checked me again and she said she could feel his head. What?! Isn't that bad?? Where is the doctor?! The nurse called to have the doctor paged and told me we would try to push. Wait?! Where's the DOCTOR??? So we did. She asked if I wanted a mirror and I said NO WAY. Gross. Poor Seth held my one leg and the nurse held the other. I think he saw more than he wanted to. I will spare you the details. He didn't plan on looking (I told him not to also) but when the nurse yells "I can see the head!" you can't help but look. She asked if I wanted to know what color hair he had and I was shocked he had hair! The old wives tale is that if you have heart burn, the baby has lots of hair and if not, no hair. And I had no heart burn. But he had hair! Brown hair! Lots of brown hair! I pushed a little more (which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be since in the short span of one contraction (like 1 min) you have to hold your breath and push for 10 sec and hold your breath and push for 10 sec... AND hold your breath and push for 10 sec. 3 times!! So tiring. THANKFULLY I didn't have to push that much. I seriously feel for those people in labor for hours. I don't know how they do it.)

And the doctor was no where to be found. So the nurse called again. I guess the doctor (not my doctor since she was off, but a doctor in the same practice) had actually been at the hospital earlier in the day at noon doing a c-section but nobody told her my progress, so when she was done, she went back to the office. The office is just down the street but she said she needed 5 min to finish some stuff and then she would head back. So we waited. We waited because I had an epidral and couldn't feel anything. Then I pushed again (just for fun...so the nurse said. I didn't think it was so fun). Then we waited because if I pushed again, she thought she would be delivering the baby.

The doctor finally came... maybe at 3:15pm? and after a few pushes...

He was here!

Mason Noah Birenaum
July 18, 2012
7 lbs. 8 oz. 19 inches
3:36 pm

I feel like the doctor was there for like 10 min (clearly longer) and then was just GONE! I guess that's all that was necessary. In and out and get paid BIG BUCKS. Maybe I should have been an OB/GYN? Haha. So Mason got cleaned up, they finished up with me, and then I got to hold him! My baby! I can't believe he's HERE and he's MINE! So surreal. And so amazing.

So after the "golden hour" where it was just the 3 of us, we went up to the mother/baby unit and everyone else got to meet him! I can't believe that you can only know someone for one minute and already have SO MUCH LOVE. I was in awe of him, in awe of what me and my husband created. Our boy, our Mason.


If you'd like to submit a birth story or guest post, please email me at mamaandmou@gmail.com


Elizabeth {Chasin' Mason} said...

Thank you so much for sharing my story, Kristin!

~Dawn~ said...

Such a beautiful birth story!! I had to 'hold' Lilli in, too, while we waited for my doctor to get her kids on the bus. Thank goodness for epidurals! ;)

Katie @ yellowmangolife.blogspot.com said...

Great birth story...Mason is such a cutie boy!