Ok, this story had me on the edge of my seat like 4 times!!! I love it!
This story actually starts off with the birth of my nephew. I was in Labor & Delivery at Hayward Kaiser on 6/9 (my due date) with my brother & Felicia who had been there for at least 40 hours and she was not progressing at all on her own, I think the most she dilated was 2-3 cm after hours upon hours of Pitocin. The dr’s were going back & forth on just doing a c-section when I decided that I was tired and went home at midnight. I got the call at 3 am that my nephew, Matthew Jacob was born.
I was still awake lying in bed, wondering when it would be my turn, and then I felt my first contraction at 3:30 am. I wasn’t sure if it was a little cramp from the baby laying the wrong way or what. 15 minutes later I had another one that was clear as day. Within a half hour I was having them every 7 minutes and decided to go downstairs and sit on my ball and start really timing them. By 5:30 am I woke Joe up and told him to get up too because I was in pain. He asked to sleep for another half hour, not realizing what I just told him. It took him a minute and then he jumped up and was getting everything ready to go. At this time they were 5 minutes apart and sometimes 3 minutes. If I got up to walk, I would have another one immediately. They were tolerable and I wasn’t sure if it would be considered ACTIVE labor since I was handling them so well. I was using my TENS unit and I must say that if you are planning on delivering naturally, you should get one of these. It really helped me with the pain throughout the entire labor. Anyways….we were trying to wait until 7:15 to go to the hospital because the earliest that we could drop Jonathan off at daycare is 7:30 and we really didn’t know what to do with him at that point. We were planning on calling my dad, but he just got home from the hospital after being there for 2 nights with my brother and on no sleep!
At 7:15 we left the house, dropped Jonathan off at daycare and headed to the hospital. They admitted me right away and started me on the Penicillin for the GBS. They wanted to do a regular IV, but I insisted on a hep-lock so that I was not tethered to the IV pole for the whole time. When they checked me I was at 3 MAYBE 4 cm. I was hoping for a little more since I knew is was at 2 cm from my dr’s visit the day before. Oh well though, it was still better than what I was at before and all you can really ask for is progress.
My regular midwife that I was seeing was working at that time which was pretty nice because she and I discussed all of my plans for a natural birth and knew my history. She brought the anesthesiologist in so that he could get a background on my back surgeries in case of the unlikely event of an emergency c-section. I’m not able to get the epidural without a huge risk because of the bone fusion and scar tissue. He said that he would do a spinal if needed in an emergency, which has a smaller risk than the epidural. Now that we were done with the formalities, it was time to get down to business. I was expecting everything to go pretty quickly and was ready to roll.
Around 10:30 or 11:00 I wanted to get in the bath, but my midwife wanted to wait until I was a solid 5 cm so the bath didn’t slow down my progress. So I sat on my ball and changed positions as much as possible. I went for a walk down the hall and saw my nephew for the first time. He is so cute!! Any movement, especially walking, made me get contractions immediately so it was hard to move around. I wanted to keep things moving so it was kind of a struggle because I knew that by walking it was going to bring on the pain. By noon I had another cervical check and she said I was at a 5 maybe 6 and the bath would be a good idea. Contractions were really intense at this point so walking down the hall to the bath was pretty pain inducing. Once I got there though the bath felt great. They were only going to let me be in the bath for an hour though because I was due for my next round of Penicillin at 1:30. I think I would have stayed in there the whole time if I could have.
So here I am hooked up to the IV again and on the fetal monitor going through the motions and taking it one contraction at a time. I believe she checked me again and I was still the same, but it was ok at this point. There was a little issue with the baby’s heart rate not accelerating as much as they’d like during contractions, but it didn’t seem pressing. As far as I was concerned this labor was going perfect (minus the IV) and we were going to have natural birth as planned. I was able to stay clam during the contractions with my TENS unit, breathing and resting in between by closing my eyes and taking nice relaxing breaths.
By 3:30 it was time to be checked again and I was still at 5 cm. She didn’t even say maybe 6 this time so I think this is when I lost the peacefulness that I thought I had. I was having some really intense contractions that I would have rated a 10 on the pain scale so I thought I was so close, but I was only halfway there. They wanted my contractions to be lasting at least a minute and they were only at 45-50 seconds at this point. I had lost it. I couldn’t do it anymore. They were discussing Pitocin, which I knew I didn’t want, but I couldn’t go on like this forever.
I asked for Fentanyl and wanted to speak to anesthesiologist to see if there was ANY way an epidural or spinal was possible. I was willing to take on some of the risk in order to get relief. I was practically begging him. He consulted with the other anesthesiologists in the hospital and they all advised against it. I was devastated. I thought, “how am I going to do this?” The Fentanyl gave me a moment’s relief at the first 2 contractions, but really did nothing. They were starting to come pretty quickly at this point. I saw no end in sight and only felt pain.
Joe was great and gave me a little pep talk and I was able to kind of talk myself back into it. Really though, what other choice did I have?
It was just about 5:00 and it was Pitocin time. I swore I’d kill the person who gave me Pitocin, but I was only halfway dilated and needed to move this along. I had no more energy left. Not a second after they hooked it up I got a strange urge to push. The nurse in the room checked me quickly and said I was at a 7. I guess I was progressing on my own. This urge to push became overwhelming with the next contraction and I knew I shouldn’t be pushing at a 7, but I was screaming trying to control my body when it was doing it’s own thing and pushing this baby out. The nurse said to push and I said, “REALLY??” I thought it was dangerous to push before 10, so I was hesitant but she was ready so I pushed on the next contraction. It was hurting so bad and my body sort of took over and I was not in control anymore. She told me to stop because she probably didn’t think that he was going to come so quickly but his head started coming out.
I’m not sure these people understand what it’s like to stop pushing (or to not push when you have the urge). I thought something was wrong, but she just needed to call the dr in and get everything ready. SERIOUSLY??? You need me to wait for YOU to get ready. This really annoyed me. Luckily it was a long break between this and my next contraction. With this one, I gave it all I had and it hurt like hell so I closed my legs and they were prying me open because he was coming out. I only had to push one more time and again they told me to stop because his head was out, but the chord was around his neck and they needed to cut it quickly before I could get his body out. Again my reaction was to want to close my legs. I had that “ring of fire” burning sensation this whole time and intense pain. I didn’t have this pain when pushing Jonathan out. They were able to cut the chord and I’m able to push out his body. This is 5:14 pm.
They put him on top of me, but he was not moving. They start rubbing him pretty vigorously on me trying to get him to cry, but nothing came out. They took him away and gave him oxygen, frantically rubbing him and trying to stimulate him. I asked them if he was ok and they said he had a good pulse, but were just waiting for him to cry. I look over at Joe and he is looking concerned, so I get a little concerned too. It felt like an eternity of silence, but I’m sure it was only seconds. Then we heard the cry. We were SO overjoyed. I’m not sure I can explain the feeling to hear his cry at this point.
They were working on me getting the placenta out when I asked about it being ok to push at 7cm. The dr checked me again and said I was still at a 7. I must have stretched to a 10 to push him out, but I’m sure that was why it was so much more painful than what I remembered. I still don’t think you are supposed to push at a 7, but Max had other plans and needed to get out. Only a couple minor stitches later and I was good to go. I now had my baby and both Joe and I were in heaven. I think you always wonder what you’re family is going to be like or consist of and now we know: it’s us 4. Holding Max at this point, I looked at Joe and told him that I was never doing that again. He grabbed the camera quickly and made me say it on tape. So, not only did I get a beautiful son on this day, but I also got a little nephew. What an amazing thing to be sharing with my brother.
Maxton Joseph Kozocas was born on 6/10/09 at 5:14 pm. He weighed 7lbs, 15oz and was 20.5" long.
Up until this moment (typing this story), the birth seemed like a pretty traumatic experience for me. I had actually even had some nightmares about it. I think writing this down and getting it out made me see the beauty in it. I know that without Joe and the great staff that we had, I would have fell apart. I’m truly amazed at us women, and what our bodies are capable of.