Giving birth was the single most amazing thing I have ever done. I read all the books and went to the classes but there was nothing that could have prepared me for my labor. I guess when they say everyone’s different, they aren’t kidding. Thinking back, I should’ve just skipped the classes altogether! – Jiska
So here is how it went…
I’m not sure if I went into labor because I had gotten upset with someone earlier that night, or if it was the bok choy salad with all the vinegarette (vinegar is said to be a natural remedy that induces labor) or that it was just time to have my baby. Dave and I went to bed pretty late, but I was a bit restless, so I was browsing Facebook and had just put the phone down and gone to sleep when I awoke again 20 min later at 1:05am not feeling well. I felt 2 contractions back to back and thought it was just braxton hicks so I went to the living room so I wouldn’t wake Dave.
Right away I started getting horrible pains in my back every few minutes, and then they would subside and I felt fine. I had about 5-7 of them after the initial 2 before I decided to time them. I started timing at 1:39am on Dec 6. In class I had learned that contractions start at the top of your uterus and then roll down like a wave and the uterus would get real hard but that wasn’t the case. These started in my back and would roll forward. It was painful like a bad upset stomach, and my uterus would tighten but not completely. Honestly, I thought the baby was sitting on my sciatic and was causing the pain. I didn’t really think that I was actually in labor.
I timed them for about an hour and a half before I woke Dave up. Each contraction lasted about 20-30 seconds and started in a semi pattern of a few minutes apart. I’d have one at 1:39,then 1:41,1:44,1:49,1:52,1:55,1:58,2:01,2:04,2:08,2:12… so really I never had early labor I just jumped right in with the few minutes apart. I tried texting Dave from the front room with “I’m having contractions”, but he didn’t hear it. I knew I only had about 2-3 min before the next contraction so I quickly went to the bedroom and woke him up. I still wasn’t sure if this was the real thing or not and felt a little guilty for waking him up! He got up and helped me time my contractions. He kept trying to get me to try laying down and relaxing and get me comfortable but more and more it became apparent that would not be happening! All the techniques and positions that they taught us in class went out the window. I’d had my birthing ball ready and everything. Things quickly got worse and more intense and I was having nothing but horrible back pain so we decided to head to my mom’s. We got there around 4am.
From the beginning we had planned to stay at home for as long as possible before heading to the hospital, and I wanted to go to my mom’s house to labor in the tub since we didn’t have one (they say that you can take up to a few hours off your labor by laboring in the water due to the buoyancy). We had registered, taken the classes, and took the birth center tours at both the Walnut Creek and Vallejo Kaiser because our plan was to give birth at Vallejo but have Walnut Creek as our back up in case we couldn’t make it that far. My doctor was in Vallejo and we wanted her to deliver our baby if she was on call, and they had better visiting rules, and more people could be present.
Once we got to my mom’s I got in her tub. I had pictured laboring in the tub and relaxing so many times and it sounded so great but when it actually came to it, it was a horrible idea!! I lasted for about 10 min and about 4 contractions before I gave that up. The water wasn’t hot enough, I wasn’t able to lay down because of the intense pain in my back during contractions so I was sitting up and wasn’t really submerged so it was cold and uncomfortable. Again, sounded great but a bad idea!
I decided right then that I wanted to go to the hospital. I was nervous because this wasn’t how I’d pictured labor and I still wasn’t having much pain in the front where the baby was so I wanted to go and see what was going on.
My mom, Dave and I got in the car and drove to Vallejo. By this time I could no longer relax in between contractions, they were too intense. I started getting hot and cold and sitting in the car was the hardest thing ever. I kept opening and closing the window for air and felt like I was going to puke. I was in so much pain, it felt like someone was taking a knife to my back. The drive seemed to take forever and I kept thinking maybe we should just go to Walnut Creek but I toughed it out and just tried to go with the pain instead of fighting it. Dave was taking his time, driving slow because he thought we had plenty of time, and we didn’t want to get to the hospital too early and be told to go back home. At one point I wanted to yell at him to pull over and let me out because I couldn’t take sitting anymore!
When we got to the hospital the pain was unbearable and every minute to 2 minutes apart. He pulled up out front and got me into a wheelchair. The car had all the doors open and the ignition running and he asked what he should do with the car. I told him to leave it there in the middle of Vallejo! I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly! A nurse was walking by and offered to start pushing me up while Dave parked the car.
When we got to the labor and delivery ward they asked us a few questions before taking me to the room with all the beds to do an exam to see if you will be admitted or not. My mom was sent to the waiting room in the meantime.When I got checked I was 4cm so they admitted me at a little before 6am. I was so out of it that I wasn’t sure what that meant. It was hard for me to believe I was dilated and that it was happening. I was positive they were going to say “sorry, false labor, not dilated, go home!
The nurse started asking me all kinds of dumb questions that seemed so irrelevant to me. She would also ask me questions during my contractions rather than waiting until it had passed. Eventually I stopped listening to her and stopped giving answers. She kept asking me if I wanted something for the pain and I had told her a few times I didn’t and that I had a birth plan she should look at. Dave tried telling her as well but she went on to tell him that I had to be told that there were options available (my birth plan said not to offer meds but to have them available if I asked for them). She asked again and when I said no she rolled her eyes. It was the one nurse that I wasn’t very fond of. I had so many emotions running through my head and everything was happening so fast. The pain was excruciating and I got really scared. I think that was what was hardest for Dave throughout the entire labor, was seeing me scared.
When they said they were admitting me and going to transfer me to the delivery room I said I needed to go to the bathroom. They said to wait until I got transferred and I knew I couldn’t so I got up and went anyway. I think my entire butt was hanging out at this point but I couldn’t have cared less. I got to the bathroom,sat down and puked EVERYWHERE!! It was that moment that I completely regretted eating bok choy salad for dinner. I puked all over my legs, my feet, the ground, the wall, probably even the ceiling. I just sat there looking and didn’t care, all I was worried about was the next contraction that would soon hit. In the meantime Dave was on his hands and knees sopping up my puke and cleaning me off. He was the best, most supportive husband anyone could’ve asked for. I mean, who else would get down and clean up my puke from the hospital floor?! It was then when we realized I had the “bloody show”. He cleaned me up, wrapped a blanket around me, got me to the wheelchair, and we went to the delivery room.
When we got to the delivery room they asked if my water had broken and I said I didn’t know because of the bloody show and they tested and determined it had just broken a few minutes prior, around 6:30am. Right away the contractions became even more intense, I no longer had time in between contractions, they were one right after another and unbearable. I kept telling Dave I couldn’t do it anymore and that I wanted the back pain to stop. I really wanted something like a local anesthetic to take the edge off the back pain. I think I could’ve gone hours more if the back labor would subside. Dave knew what I wanted though, and I would have regretted it since I wanted so badly to give birth naturally so he just stayed by my side and helped me through it. He kept trying to force me to drink fluids because they said I was getting dehydrated and I had said I didn’t want any IV’s. By this point I felt sick and couldn’t make myself drink. My mom was brought back in and she was so surprised at how fast things were going, we all were. We tried calling my sister but couldn’t get a hold of her. The plan was to have my sister and Dave’s mom, along with Dave and my mom present for the birth. I also wanted to have the mirror set up so I could see what happened, I wanted to video tape the birth, have pics taken during, and none of that happened!
They started an IV of antibiotics because I had tested positive for Strep B which is a intestinal bacteria present in about 30% of women but can be very harmful to the baby. They asked me if I was feeling the urge to push and I said I was although I felt unsure saying it since they had just checked me at 4cm. The nurse checked me and said I was 10cm, and fully dilated, and effaced, and ready to push. I was in shock!! I went from 4 to 10 cm in about 20 minutes! By this point I was beside myself with pain and had my eyes closed for the most part, I have no idea how many people were in the room, although I’m told there were quite a few.
The doctor came and at my next contraction told me to bear down and push. I thought I was going to die. After that first one I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore and tried to close my legs and fight the next contraction. That was the worst idea I’d ever had. The contractions get so much more intense when you fight them rather than going with them and relaxing your muscles. I pushed for about 2o minutes when the doctor said that she could see the head. She asked if I wanted to feel and I reached down and instantly pulled back. It surprised me at how gooey it was and freaked me out a bit. When she said she could see the head I immediately asked her if she could just “please just pull him out!” Obviously she couldn’t and with the next push I learned what people are always calling “the ring of fire”. Oh my god, that was the craziest, most painful feeling … EVER. It felt like my vagina was on fire. The doctor told me to stop pushing and wait for the next contraction. I thought she was insane, and it was the longest minute in the world to wait for the next one to hit. I laid there with his head and shoulders out and waited. With the next push he slipped out.
It was surreal and such an amazing and accomplishing feeling. I can’t even really put it into words. Jaylen Robert Loza was born at 6:43 am on Dec 6,2011 a little under 6 hours from when my labor began. Three days before my Dec 9 due date and on the day of my scheduled office visit with my doctor. He weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 20.8 inches long. In that moment I became a mom, best moment of my life to hear that first cry, and boy was it a cry!
I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t actually see Dave cut the cord which I really wanted to, but when they asked if I wanted to hold him before they cleaned him I thought it was a pretty silly question, of course!!! Right away he was quiet and I was really scared to hold him, he was so little and new. Looking into his tiny face and realizing that I had just given birth to my own child was completely surreal. I loved him from the instant I saw him and I would do anything for that little boy.
I was shaking uncontrollably after delivery, I guess from the plummet of hormones and the adrenaline. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t stop. I thought I was convulsing, but I guess it’s normal. I felt a little cold as well.
A few minutes after I gave birth they gave me Pitocin which I never knew they gave you to speed up the delivery of the placenta. I delivered my placenta soon after which really just felt weird, not necessarily too painful. After that, a nurse started massaging my stomach which was really tender and sore, to shrink the uterus back down and prevent you from bleeding out. My stomach looked very strange, like a deflated balloon, and it felt funny to the touch as well! The doctor came and said I had second degree tears and gave me an injection to numb me so she could stitch me up. First stitches I’ve ever had and they were in a place so sensitive!! I was still shaking so bad and I thought I was going to crush her head while she was stitching me back up!
As I was holding Jaylen he decided to break me in as a new mom and I got sticky meconium (1st poop) down my side and pee down the other. How sweet!! That stuff is so disgusting by the way… it’s like tar. Once things got settled I tried to breastfeed. He took to it right away, and knew exactly what he was doing, very instinctual. It was incredible. I must admit breast feeding is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I figured you stick the nipple in his mouth and you’re good to go but it hurts when you don’t latch right. It definitely takes practice and is a learning experience!
Seeing Dave hold his son for the first time was AMAZING!!! It’s the kind of moment that makes your heart melt. I would not have been able to get through this experience without him. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive, and attentive husband. He kept my head straight, kept me focused and told me what I needed to hear when I didn’t think I could take anymore. He had faith in me. I’m a very lucky girl to have a man like him.
I’m also so glad that I had my mom there throughout this whole process because if there’s ever a time in my life that I needed my mom, this was definitely it!! Seeing her hold Jaylen for the first time was something I’ll never forget. She is the best Oma EVER!!
After about an hour the nurse came back and had Dave give him his first bath and diaper. He did it like a pro! He watched how the nurse handled him and next thing you know he was doing it himself. He is a natural when it comes to being a dad. To tell you the truth he did all the diapers for the first few days because I was scared to!
Surprisingly, I had so much energy that day. I was exhausted, but there was no way I could sleep, not to mention I’d had my first cup of real coffee in over a year! I stayed up all day. That night was tough. I was exhausted and Jaylen cried much of the night, and when he was asleep I was constantly checking on him. Every noise scared me. Dave and I curled up together on the hospital bed which wasn’t the most comfortable thing ever, but the nurses and the whole hospital stay was great. I was actually surprised at how helpful everyone was and they gave us all the privacy we wanted. We were scheduled to stay for 2 full days but my doctor came and checked me the next morning so she asked if we wanted to go home and discharged me. Before we left they even brought us a “celebration dinner” with glasses and sparkling cider. It was perfect.
I was pretty upset that my sister, Chantal, and Dave’s mom, Sue weren’t able to make it as planned. Everything just happened so fast that there just wasn’t time for anything. It wasn’t a “typical” birth that’s for sure. I also wish that we’d had a chance to grab the camera and take those first shots, and pics of him being born, but I’ll just have to settle for all the pics we took later on and all the ones I’ll be taking for the years to come!
So this was my birth experience. I can’t wait to do it all again one day! All my dreams have come true. I have the baby I’ve always wanted and we now have our very own family.