birth story: the final chapter

Fair warning: this is the part where it gets real. And by real I mean fairly graphic, so if you’d rather live in blissful ignorance, know that the stork came and brought me a perfect, beautiful baby boy and stop reading. Right now.

To be honest, *I* didn’t even want to write it.

If this wasn’t enough and you want *more* gory details, email me.

Also, if there are any typos or misspellings, let me know because my iPhone sucks at notifying me of both and I’ve been writing this over the course of however many days through naps and feedings and OMG cut me some slack

So, where were we? Yes…Tim left to get breakfast.

He ended up walking to Einstein’s Bagels, which was probably close to half a mile or so each way.

I decided to try and rest.

And then about five minutes later, it happened.

All of a sudden, three nurses rushed in, none of which were Laura, got on either side of the bed, rolled me over, shoved an oxygen mask on my face and kept staring at the monitors to the left of the bed.

No one told me anything, other than to breathe.

Then Laura came in, thanking the nurses for helping her out.

I start freaking out, taking the mask off all, “What happened?! Is he ok?!”

Apparently, Kellan’s heart rate dropped super low and that was no bueno.

It came back up, though I had to lay there with the mask on my face, which was the worst form of torture. I cannot stand the hot breath feeling on my face where you can feel the moistness start to settle on your face….ugh! It is a major pet peeve…a thing that makes me want to crawl out of my skin…and that’s what the mask did to me. Dislike.

All of the nurses left once they decided Kellan and I were in the clear, telling me to try and get some sleep (wasn’t that what I was trying to do??).

Then, just as I think I’m nodding off, I start to hear this dinging coming from outside the room. It went on and on for a good ten minutes, just long enough for me to start to get annoyed, wondering why no one would turn it off.

Well, joke’s on me, because some dude in super casual there-is-no-way-you’d-know-he-worked-in-the-hospital from the anesthesiology department came in, clipboard in hand.
I’m like, “What now?”

He started checking the monitors (I sense a theme, here), telling me they’d need to adjust the flow of meds if my blood pressure didn’t come up.

(I had already warned everyone that my blood pressure does funny things, ie plummet, with anesthesia medicine. I guess they weren’t listening.)

He also told me to press the button that would give me a shot of meds every ten minutes.

I was like, “Actually, I think you can turn it down, some because I can’t feel or lift my legs.”

He thought I was crazy. And left, saying he’d be back to check on me later.

Laura came back in a few minutes after the other guy left and told me I could take the mask off and to make sure my arm with the blood pressure cuff was straight when it tightened or else it wouldn’t read correctly.

Would’ve been nice to know that in the first place…just sayin, Laura. Just sayin.

I had a few minutes of zero interruptions before Tim came back from breakfast.

I was all, “You missed all the drama.” and proceeded to fill him in.

Then, we spent hours upon hours just…waiting. Tim would watch the contraction monitor that showed all of the rooms with women in them and hooked up to the monitors. The monitor didn’t show names, just room numbers.

We tried to see if I could feel contractions. I couldn’t.

I also legit could not lift my legs, which bothered me. I could still wiggle my toes but my legs were like dead weight. They felt all buzzy inside when I touched them, like a body part feels when it falls asleep.

Around 1pm, Laura checked me and
I was still 7-8 cm. I’m pretty sure it’s because of the epidural. They tend to slow things down…

Anyhow, Laura told me she was going to talk to my OB to see if she wanted to break my water to speed things up.

Off she went…and soon came back with a resident to break my water.

In my brain, I imagined I’d feel something when this happened…but the resident was all, “I’m going to use something that looks like a knitting needle…” and then it was done and they were both all, “It’s clear! Yay!”

(basically, Kellan hadn’t pooped in the womb)

The resident left, her job done.

I asked Laura if the epidural could be turner down since i could barely move my legs to assist in the whole breaking of the water process.

The anesthesiologist came in and turned down the speed at which the medicine dropped into the tube that was attached to my back.

Things were much better, then…kind of. At least I could move my legs without assistance and they didn’t feel like two giant tree trunks that didn’t belong to my body.

Then….Tim and I waited some more.

We did a lot of waiting.


To pass the time, Tim started telling me about the graphs of the other women on the monitor, some of which were having crazy contractions and some who were on and then their little long rectangular graph would disappear from the monitor.

We found out later that the ones who disappeared from the monitor were women who *thought* they were in labor, weren’t, and got sent home.

Sucks to be them.

Laura had told us she’d check me again at 3pm and let us be.

However, I guess she failed to mention that to my OB, because she came in at 2:48pm (Tim had texted family at this time, which is why I can be so exact) to check me and Kellan’s position.

She was my least favorite of the four at the practice and wasn’t much for chit chat or telling us anything at all, really. I managed to get her to tell us that I was 9 cm and that he was head down.

This is good, right? Yay?

I don’t really have an answer to that because the OB left without so much as a goodbye.

Fortunately, Laura came in at 3pm and asked us if our OB told me he was transverse.


Apparently, he was head down but sideways, kind of turned at an angle, NOT in the right position for pushing.

As in: hope he turned before time to push or else c-section.

Tim and I were left alone again….to wait and hope Kellan turned.

Laura came back at 4pm to check me. I had made it to 10cm…but I guess Kellan still wasn’t in the right position because she said nothing about pushing.

At some point in between all of that, the casual clothes dude came back in to ask if I had been pressing my button every ten minutes.

I think I had pushed it twice, maybe?

I wasn’t looking to be so numb I couldn’t feel anything but apparently that was their goal: zero feeling = zero pain.

Laura came in again around 5 and out of nowhere was all, “I think we should start pushing.”


I wasn’t expecting that to come out of her mouth at all.

Her theory was to see if I could get Kellan to move down, which would hopefully kick start the “desire” to push, which I didn’t have. Kellan had decided to stay at a -2 station, which is above my pelvic bones, and he needed to be at like, +4 or 5, which is OUT.

Laura gave Tim directions as to how to help me – aka hold my leg – and told me we were going to do pushes in three counts of ten and that I wasn’t allowed to breathe during each count.

This was the part I dreaded all throughout pregnancy. The holding of the legs, hooha exposed and all kinds of unladylike noises coming out of all orifices.

At that moment, though, I honestly didn’t care. I also didn’t care that I had to hold myself up by grabbing my calves and putting my chin to my chest whist pushing or that Laura put her hand up my vaj while I was pushing to feel to see of I was pushing correctly, since I had never done it before and couldn’t feel any kind of need to push anything.

At first, Laura would do the three counts of ten. Then, she put “dad” in charge.

Either way, holding your breath like that is beyond difficult. Laura never told me I could breathe between counts, so I ended up feeling like I was suffocating and was sputtering and spitting around “7” during the second and third sets, my cheeks all puffed out like a chipmunk from trying to hold in the air that wanted to come out.

Finally, Laura was all, “You can take a few breaths between pushes…”

Woulda been nice to know from the start, Laura. Just sayin…

I ended up finding a little routine that worked of one deep breath followed by a quicker, shallower one, between each push.

According to Laura, I still had a tiny lip of cervix left that I needed to “push” out of the way before Kellan could start moving down.

Let’s just say I got that bad boy out of the way after one set of pushes. I wasn’t playing around. I wanted this child OUT.

After I had been pushing for a few minutes, Laura still helping me figure out if I was pushing correctly, the OB came in to check on me. Laura told her we had started pushing and the OB was convinced it would take me 3 hrs to get him out due to his position – which was still a bit sideways but not as bad as before – and station.

I decided right then and there was no way I was pushing that long. No. Way.

On we soldiered. Tim and Laura would watch the monitor and tell me when I hit the peak of contraction. That is when you push. At the peak.

Tim was really loud and methodical with the counts of ten and Laura kept cheering me on, telling me I was doing great and pushing perfectly, moving him down. At one point, she pulled her hand (yes…hand) out of my vaj all, “bloody show…” and had to throw her gloves, which were covered in blood and clotty looking stuff, and put on new ones.

Another nurse came in for a minute and she and Laura told me that room 10 was at the same point as me. They joked and said they’d see who could get baby out first.

Tim was all, “You don’t know her…bad idea to do start a competition because she likes to win at everything.”

And I do.

Game on.

I started pushing as hard as I could, giving a little extra oomph right at the end of each ten count. Much to everyone’s surprise, I moved that baby down from a -2 to +1 station in 45 minutes, which was way faster than anyone expected.

Onward with the pushing.

Eventually, Kellan was low enough that I could feel the “urge” to push and OMG there is no denying it.

Once Laura realized I could decide when it was time for me to push, she told me I was in charge and to let her and Tim know when I was ready.

Typically, I’m not one to be super demonstrative in front of strangers, but in this particular instance, I had no qualms in letting them know all, “I need to push, now.”

I’d grab my calves, they’d hold my legs and off we went.

Soon, he was starting to crown.

In the pre-labor talk, I told Tim not to look South of my knees.

By the time we had reached the crowning point, I honestly didn’t care who was looking where.

Tim said he only saw Kellan beginning to crown through my reflection in a picture on the other side of the room (I didn’t know this until post delivery).

Anyhow, Laura asked me if I wanted a mirror to see crowning – I said no. I felt enough of what was going on down there to know I didn’t need to watch.

After another few rounds of pushing, I asked for more meds because the pain was unreal and the need to push was beyond necessary. It was primal, like my body completely took over.

Tim would still watch the contraction monitor and was amazed when I’d say I needed to push right when the peak of the contraction started to peak.

I didn’t need a monitor to help me anymore, that I knew for sure.

The Anesthesiologist came in fairly quickly after my request – and because I was literally minutes from birth – gave me a straight shot of meds into my IV. Good thing, too, because I’d need the extra numbing post birth more than I did during the actual act. The nurses even commented to themselves afterward all, “Good thing she asked for that…”

(You’ll see why soon enough)

Laura then paged OB and the pediatric nurses to come in and get ready.

And then she did the most awful thing in the entire world: she put my feet on these paddle-type things (like stirrups, only flat) and told me not to push.

NOT pushing when everything in your entire body is screaming otherwise is absolute torture. I was breathing like a haggard dog, trying desperately not to give in to the urge, Tim trying to help me not push, while everyone else worked at a frenzied pace to prep the room.

I was mostly oblivious to what they were doing, save the part where they removed the bottom half of the bed so my ass was basically hanging off the edge, my vaj completely open for business.

The OB came in wondering why she had been paged, Tim said the look on her face was like, “It’s only been an hour and twenty minutes. WHY are you paging me??”

Then saw me crowning and was like OH.

Finally, after going through non-pushing hell for two ridiculously strong contractions, I asked if I could push.

Laura said yes, so during the next contraction I pushed like hell.

And I totally felt him crowning, the pressure was intense and I could feel a faint “ring of fire” as his giant head started coming out.

The epidural had definitely been turned down enough. I could feel everything.

The whole time I was pushing, all of the nurses were openly cheering me on, saying I was almost there and doing a great job.

It was like I had my own rah-rah section.

During the next push, he literally shot out like a rocket.

I kept waiting to feel rest of him come out but didn’t happen right away, which confused me. I figured the force of which his head shot out would have meant his body would come immediately after.

WELL. Turns out the rest of him *did* come out but the OB wasn’t ready and had to hold him in so she could be sure she caught him.

OMG. Seriously.

Tim watched him come out and once he did, everyone was telling me how well I did and told me to sit up and look down to see my baby.

I did…though I only vaguely remember seeing his squirmy little body…then laid back down and started crying as they put a towel on me and then laid him on my chest.

The feeling of A: no more baby/pressure inside of me and B: a warm, wet, heavy mass of a baby on my chest was indescribable. It was like I was finally finished and here was my prize…that I loved unconditionally already.

Kellan was coughing a lot and nurses kept suctioning his nose and mouth to clear his airway, telling me what he was doing was normal.

Tim looked at me almost in shock. No tears or smiles. He was totally freaked out because Kellan’s head was severely misshapen and swollen.

Apparently, all the pushing to try and turn him and get him past my pelvic bone had done a number on his poor head.

I laid there and held Kellan, my attention solely on him, in utter disbelief that this little person had come out of me….and then to make light of the situation, he pooped right on me.

The nurses started asking us what his name was, since we had refused to tell them beforehand.

I was too choked up and exhausted to talk, so I told Tim to tell them, and he announced to the room, “Kellan Reece Bold.”

Then, for whatever reason after Kellan came out, everything started to happen really fast…so fast that Tim didn’t even get to cut the cord (which I’m still bummed about). We still aren’t sure why it was clamped and cut so quickly. The only thing we could figure was because I tore so badly. Tim told me later that there was blood everywhere.

The nurses asked me if I really liked my socks at one point. I was like, “Yes?…” I had bought them special for the hospital. They had grippy bottoms and were super soft…

Then they were all, “I hope you don’t like them too much…they’re covered in blood.”

My answer turned to no pretty quickly after that.

They left Kellan on me for awhile, which was nice. I was peripherally aware of the OB seated at the helm of my vaj, doing something…probably pulling lightly on the umbilical cord because shortly after, my placenta came out in a warm gush of tissue. I looked down to see what was going on and OMG. It was HUGE. Like, the size of Kellan and then some. It was also bloody and slimy and bulbous.

Another nurse, one who would take care of me post-birth, grabbed my camera and took a first family photo without us asking.

I am SO grateful for that because we wouldn’t have had one without her.

Once Kellan stopped coughing, they pulled down my gown, put him to my boob and helped me try to feed him.

During all of this, the OB was still sitting at my vaj. Though I wasn’t paying total attention to what she was doing, I could feel lots of pulling and tugging.

(This next part is where the extra shot of pain meds came in handy)

As in: she was sewing up the third degree tear that went all the way to my pooper hole and was so deep it went through every layer except the muscle, which was the last line of defense.

While the OB was still stitching me up, the nurses took Kellan to be weighed, measured, etc.

A nurse came to ask if I wanted to forego any of the routine things they do, like the Vitamin K shot and eye ointment, etc. I vaguely debated on not doing the Hepatitis shot…but eventually relented when she came over with a form to sign and was all, “Just go ahead and do it.”

I was too tired to think or make any decisions at that point.

The nurses brought Kellan back to me while the OB continued her stitching. She was down there for forever, barely paying attention when a nurse would ask her a question.

She may not be one for words, but at least she was thorough with my vajayjay.

After 30 minutes or so, she finally finished and finally after an hour and a half of pushing plus however long with the placenta+stitching, I got to put my legs in a non-spread-eagle position.

Before everyone left to give Tim, Kellan and I some bonding time, I asked the nurses if I had won…if I had beaten room 10 in the baby race.

I had.

Go me.

to be continued


8 Responses to “birth story: the final chapter”

  1. 1 shmooples March 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story!

  2. 2 March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    thanks for part three of your story! i don’t understand why your socks were bloody but maybe that particular part is TMI anyways.

    way to go beating room 10! where there’s a competition there’s a bold 😉

    • 3 Jessica March 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Franzi: I’m not really sure why they were bloody, either….or how they got that way. Did I shoot blood out of my vaj?! Still a mystery….

      • 4 March 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        even if it gushed out, did it shoot out sideways?
        maybe the nurses/doctors/whoever had their hands on you also touched your feet? it’s a mystery…

  3. 5 jobo March 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, reading this was equally riveting and I really almost cried because I can imagine the emotion was just UNREAL as you saw him for the first time. The pain? Um wow, but damn girl, good for you for doing it all the way and beating room 10 😉 XOXO!

  4. 6 JessSutera March 22, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Oh man, you totally made me cry. AGAIN. Such a beautiful story, even with the graphic details. Seriously. You are amazing to share all of this with us!

  5. 7 Casey March 22, 2012 at 8:18 am

    This brings back some serious memories… like not being able to move my legs and that intense desire to push (and them not letting you after crowning because they needed to prep… I kept asking, “Can I push now?”) and the stitching up of the tear. Yay.

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