Birth Story: Mason Blake Warren

Monday, October 6, my due date, came and I had a doctor appointment first thing that morning. Mark had offered to come with me, which I was so grateful for, because I was a little nervous and anxious to see if I had made any progress and if our baby was going to be born that day. The doctor told me that there hadn’t been much progress, I was only barely dilated to a 2 and about 70% effaced, so my doctor striped my membranes to see if that would put me into labor and then she asked if we wanted to set an induction date. I immediately said yes because I was so tired of being pregnant and was feeling discouraged that I wasn’t making progress. My dr said she was going out of town for the weekend so I could be induced either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening. I looked at Mark and said “how about Monday?”, thinking the sooner the better. My dr responded “okay, so tonight?” Shocked, Mark and I looked at each other, both assuming she was talking about next week. After what felt like a lifetime, I asked Mark if that was ok, he said of course and I gave my dr the okay to call the hospital to tell them we were checking in that evening. As we left the dr office and were talking about it on the way home, Mark and I both felt at peace with the decision. I obviously hadn’t planned on being induced, I honestly thought the baby would come early, but I guess that’s the thing with pregnancy, it never really goes according to plan. I was full term and it was my due date and it just felt like the right decision.

So we went home and I gathered our hospital bags and pillows and a blanket for Mark while he went to the gym. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and finishing last minute prep and saying things like “this is the last day of us being just a couple!” Then we went to get a lite dinner before heading to the hospital at 6:00pm. When we got there the nurses took me into our room, which was huge and on the other side of the birthing center from the main door and nurses station so it was nice and quiet (we really lucked out!). The nurse got my IV placed and started while I signed a couple of forms. It was so calm and nothing like I was expecting over the past 9 months! Then in walk my mom and sister Courtney to surprise me! It was nice to see them and have them visit. Within the hour I got a new nurse, my favorite nurse during my stay, Katie. She was just a few years older than us and so friendly and talkative (which Mark didn’t like during the night because he wanted me to sleep) and actually listened to me and my body. She got me started on cervidil, which thins and ripens your cervix (isn’t it funny that they refer to it as ripening, as if my cervix is a piece of fruit or something). Sometime that night, they hooked me up to an antibiotic because I tested positive for Group B Strep. I’m super sensitive to antibiotics and of course this one was in thePenicillin  family, which I’m allergic to but they thought I could handle it. Within 15 minutes my arm with the IV started to turn red and burn and my scalp and face got really itchy. So they immediately stopped the antibiotic and flushed me with saline and benedril. A couple hours later they gave me a different antibiotic which was fine until the end when it made me throw up (I had to do another dose of it the next day when I was actually in labor and I threw up then too, which is really difficult and painful when you can’t move well because of the epidural and the contractions, let me tell you).  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night with all this going on and on top of it I was getting contractions every 1-7 minutes.

At 8:00am my dr came in to check on me and they started me on pitocin to induce labor. Within the next couple of hours the contractions started getting much stronger and Mark was helping me breath through them. I asked my nurse when we could start talking about getting an epidural and she responded in her heavy middle-eastern accent “whenever you want my dear, you are the boss.” That was great to hear but it didn’t really answer my question as to when I should get it or how much progress needed to be made before I got it so it wouldn’t slow down labor. At 11:15 I decided the pain was pretty good and it didn’t need to try to tough it out so I told my nurse that I was ready for the epidural. She went to go get the anesthesiologist and I started to get nervous. Mark was standing by my right side watching the contractions and baby’s heart rate on the monitor and I told him I was scared to get the epidural. The anesthesiologist, a little Asian man, practically came bouncing in the room and started talking our heads off. Most of the time I had no idea what he was talking about but I think he was just trying to distract me. The epidural took somewhere around 15-30 minutes from start to finish and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, although I could feel it curve to the right when he placed it. I immediately hated the feeling. I don’t know if it was the tingling in my legs or the fact that I could barely move them, but I didn’t like it. Right off the bat my right side was much more numb than my left. The whole day feels like a blur, I think we just tried to rest and get some sleep and we watched tv. The Giants were playing in the playoffs and Mark was watching that on his iPad. At about 8:00pm the epidural began to wear off and I could feel the contractions pretty strong on my left side. I told my nurse, an older stern woman, and she not very nicely told me it was the round ligaments and the epidural wouldn’t do anything for it and walked out of the room. I think I started crying after she left, from a combination of the pain, exhaustion, and her lack of empathy.  Mark could see that I was drained and secretly texted my parents and asked them to come visit and raise my spirits. I was totally shocked and confused when they walked in my room and I started crying. They hung out for about an hour chatting, which was a nice distraction. During that time Mark went to find my nurse to tell her that I was in a lot of pain and needed the anesthesiologist to come. After waiting what felt like forever, the nurse finally called him to my room and he topped me off by injecting something into my epidural line and then turned up the epidural. About an hour and a half later it wore off again, this time it was super painful. My nurse said it was the baby’s shoulder hitting a nerve down low on my left side. So the anesthesiologist came and topped me off a final time. About 20 minutes later my nurse came back in and checked me to see how things were progressing. She got everything set up for delivery and had Mark stand on my right side and told me it was time to start pushing. Throughout my entire pregnancy I told myself that when this moment came I was going to push as hard as I could every time, from the first push, so I hopefully wouldn’t be pushing for hours and hours.

She taught Mark hour to count for me while I pushed. It was nice to have his voice and the counting to focus on while I pushed. About an hour into pushing (if felt a lot shorter than an hour to me) my doctor came in and I knew we were close to meeting our baby! The nurse sent Mark to my left side so he would be by the little incubator where they would do the Apgar tests and everything when the baby was born. At this point I was completely exhausted and maybe a little delirious from the pain on my left side, I was yelling things in between pushes like “just pull him out!” And Mark said I was making jokes, but I don’t remember what I said or trying to be funny…

Finally, after an hour and a half of pushing, my doctor said to push really hard one more time, so I gave it all I had and out came his head. My doctor told me to stop pushing (that was super painful to not push) but apparently the cord was wrapped around his neck once. The doctor unwrapped it (neither Mark or I knew this was going on, she told us after) and on the next contraction she told me to push once more and out he came, a bright pink, long baby with big hands. When she pulled him out, he pooped all over her! She laid him on my chest and he immediately found my face and stared into my eyes for what felt like an eternity. Time seemed to stop. I will never be able to describe that moment, but it changed my life forever and makes me cry every time I think about it. It was as if he knew who I was and was finally getting to see what I looked like after listening to my heart and voice for the past 9 months. I know it sounds crazy, but for at least a month before he was born I prayed that he would know me and would love me, and that moment was an answer to my prayers. I started crying and looked up at Mark, who was also crying, and then realized that Mason wasn’t crying. I kept asking, “why isn’t he crying, is he alright?” The pediatrician just smiled at me and said “he’s fine, don’t worry he will start crying in a minute when we have to give him shots.” Mark cut the umbilical cord and they took him a few feet over to the incubator to give him shots and clean him up. I didn’t notice any of that going on because I delivered the placenta and my doctor gave my three stitches. A few minutes later they gave him back to me for skin to skin contact and everyone left the room. It was just our new little family of three.

Mason Blake Warren was born on October 7, 2014 at 11:44pm. He weighed 8pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long (much bigger than what my dr estimated, she said he would be a high 6pounder.)

I wish I would have written down the experience while I was in the hospital because some of the little details are blurry to me now, but one thing I will never forget is how loved and respected I felt by Mark. He was an amazing support and partner and rose far above any expectation I had. He was my rock. And there is no better feeling than watching him love our baby.

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Bumpdate: Week 37

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We’ve been busy around here with wonderful baby showers, decorating the baby’s room and clearing out junk. I also spent a day doing laundry full of sweet baby clothes and tiny socks. We installed the car seat in my car, which is weird to see every time I get in the car. I’ve got my hospital bag packed and ready to go! Now I just need to finish reading “Baby Wise”.

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I had my now weekly dr appointment yesterday and my dr predicted this baby will be a high 6 pounder, which made me happy to hear but I know it’s just a prediction and she could be wayyy off, but at least it eases some of my anxiety.

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How Far Along: 37 weeks (20 days to go, but who’s counting?!)

Weight Gain: a whopping 27 pounds! How is that possible with all the throwing up that’s gone on this whole time? Oh well, hopefully that means this baby will have some yummy rolls on him! And to make myself feel better, I’m grateful I haven’t gotten any stretch marks! Let’s keep that up these last few weeks!

Maternity Clothes: I pretty much have 4 outfits that fit me now, and they are all skirts or dresses because it’s too hot to wear pants! Seriously, it was 100degrees for three days straight last week.where are you fall?!

Sleep: ha! All I can say is sleep use to be my favorite hobby, now I dread it every night. This past weekend I took a three hour nap Saturday and Sunday.

Best Moment This Week: We went on a spontaneous date on a Tuesday night! It was so fun. We went to dinner and then went to Target at got some treats and Icees and snuck them into the movie theater and saw Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought it was going to be stupid but it was pretty funny.

Movement: This poor baby is so compact in there, it seems like he has no room. It’s amazing how strong tiny little baby’s are though, he kicks and squirms so hard it makes my entire upper body move. He’s a stinker though and every time someone puts their hand on my stomach to feel him move, he stops!

What I’m Looking Forward To: Not being pregnant and so hot all the time! But mostly holding this little boy and seeing what he looks like!

Bumpdate: Week 27

We are getting big over here. Can you believe we are already to week 27?! On Monday I will officially be in the third trimester!! Ahh! It’s scary and exciting.
Well, here’s a little update on the past month. We went to Rexburg, ID for our friend Chris’ wedding. It was fun to go back to our stomping grounds and reminisce on college, dating, getting engaged, our first apartment together and all our great friends who have touched our lives.
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After that we went down to Utah for the Hawkins family reunion (Marks side). We stayed in a gorgeous lodge, I’m sad i didnt take any pictures of it. It was a lot of fun and nice to see all of Marks family and even meet a few wonderful people that I had met yet! After the reunion we got to spend a couple of extra days with Mark’s brother Scott, his wife Dani and their three cute kiddos Paige, Emma & Colton.

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On to the Bumpdate!

Weight Gain: 15 pounds

Sleep: What’s that?! It’s getting really uncomfortable and hard to sleep. I wake up every time I roll over because it hurts, it seems like my body rolls over and then my belly decides if it wants to follow. 

Weird Pregnancy Moment: I had to do the dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test and it was everything everyone said it would be…terrible!! Actually the drink itself wasn’t bad. It basically tasted like super sugary, non-carbonated orange soda. I downed it in a couple minutes and thought, “oh this is nothing, I can totally handle this.” So after you drink it you have to sit there in the waiting room for an hour and then right at the hour mark they take your blood. About 30 minutes in my stomach started killing. It was so upset and I knew it was not going to be pretty. The waiting room was packed, almost every chair was taken. I kept looking at the clock trying to speed it up. But at 50 minutes I got up and ran to the bathroom. I didn’t quite make it and I literally spewed orange drink (and scrambled eggs) all over the bathroom floor. I tried to clean it up and sneak back into the waiting room, hoping they didn’t notice, but they were already on the phone with my dr 😦 Needless to say they wouldn’t draw my blood and I had to come back and try again. I was so mad/depressed/scared that that meant I had gestational diabetes.

Well, I went back yesterday to retake it. I took a Zofran before to help keep me from throwing up. This time I decided to stand up while I drank it because it felt better than it just sitting in my stomach. They don’t want you walking around because it burns off the drink so I was a little sneaky and walked over to the magazine rack as often as possible. Thankfully I made it through this time and I was so excited when they called me back to draw my blood!

and the results are in….no gestational diabetes here! Yay! Bring on the sugar!

Movement: All the time! He definitely has cycles when he’s really active, especially when I wake up in the morning and when I lay down to go to bed. Mark has felt him kick many times now, it’s really fun and makes it more real for Mark. 

Food Cravings: French fries

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Bumpdate: Week 23


How Far Along: 
23 weeks

Weight Gain: 8 lbs as of my dr appointment last week. I guess that is the only upside to having been so sick, it held off the weight gain for the first trimester and a half.

Maternity Clothes: I bought one maternity shirt, it makes being pregnant feel more fun and less boxy. I also got a pair of white linen pants from Old Navy that I love and are going to be a staple for me this summer. They aren’t maternity but they have a stretchy, fold-over waist.

Sleep: My current favorite thing to do in the morning is lay on the side of my stomach and feel the baby kick me like crazy. He’s probably saying “get off me mom, you’re too heavy!” Don’t worry, I’m not squishing him or putting much pressure on him!

Best Moment This Week: This past weekend our friends, the Blatter’s, invited us up to their family cabin at Lake Tahoe. It was my first time at Lake Tahoe and absolutely loved it! It was so beautiful and relaxing.

I also got a new phone last week! I was due for an upgrade and got the gold iPhone 5s! It takes AH-MAH-ZING pictures! Getting a new phone is the best feeling.

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Weird Pregnancy Moment: While on said trip, I got sick driving in Tahoe to a little lake called lake Angora. I made the caravan pull over so I could throw up at Emerald Bay, luckily they had a gorgeous view to look at while I left my mark on nature….and Mark’s leg, who was in the vomit splash zone. I had to repeat the whole process on the way back to the cabin.

Movement: Lots and lots of movement now days. He’s always rolling around in there. I can’t wait for Mark to feel him. Every time the baby’s kicking and I put Mark’s hand there, the baby stops. He’s such a stinker already!

Food Cravings: Junior Mints and Mexican food

What I’m Looking Forward To: Decorating/setting up the baby’s room. We probably need to get started on that.

Bumpdate: Week 20

How Far Along: 20 weeks 4 days

Weight Gain: I’ve started to gain some weight, I think it’s been about 6-7 pounds, we’ll find out at my next appointment in a week and a half.

Maternity Clothes: I finally bought a belly band from Target and it is amazing! I have so many clothes I can wear now because of it. I think it’s something I’ll wear for the rest of my life, especially thanksgiving! I mean come on, I can leave my pants unbuttoned and no one knows!

Sleep: One night this week I was screaming at the top of my lungs in my sleep and freaked Mark out. I think it was a combination for being exhausted after spending a whole day in the city with my college roommate Glenna and her husband Ioua, and I’ve been having nightmares…sorry Mark!

Best Moment This Week: Easily it was finding out our baby is a BOY! I’ve felt like it was a boy the whole time, maybe because I’ve been craving savory salty foods when I usually like sweets or maybe it was my first mothers intuition! Whatever it was, we are so excited! I think Mark was in shock. It was so incredible and amazing seeing our baby on the ultrasound. He was such a wiggle worm and did not stop moving the entire time, perhaps the reason I’m so sick all the time? The tech was having a hard time getting good clear pictures. I think we are going to have a very active boy on our hands!

Weird Pregnancy Moment: The bump literally grew over night. One morning I woke up and Mark looked at my stomach and said “woah! You really look pregnant!”

Movement: I have been feeling the baby move for about a week and a half now. It is the weirdest thing. It’s still pretty subtle and feels like ripples in my stomach. But it is starting to feel much more real now that I can feel him moving around. I’m not going to lie though, it kind of weirds me out and I feel like its an alien sometimes.

Food Cravings: Mexican food

What I’m Looking Forward To: To start decorating baby boys’ room and really start thinking of names now that we only have one gender to think of.

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I know these pictures are a little creepy but…it’s my baby so obviously I think it’s cute. It looks like he’s smiling!

Bumpdate: Week 18

How Far Along: 18 weeks

Weight Gain: No weight gain yet probably because I’ve been really sick this past week with a bad cold so I’ve had no appetite and its been a struggle to eat. But Mark makes sure I eat something for the baby 🙂 Already a good dad.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet but I do need to get a belly band, my pants are uncomfortable and it’s embarrassing to unbutton them in public, but not too embarrassing that I don’t do it!

Sleep: I’m uncomfortable and still trying to get use to not sleeping on my stomach and squishing the baby. In between coughing and blowing my nose all night I’ve managed to get some sleep.

Best Moment This Week: Mark and I went to the store on Saturday to get me some medicine and when we parked I swung open my door and threw up in the Walmart parking lot (classy). It was the first time I’ve thrown up in public and I was so embarrassed but so sick that I also didn’t really care. The best moment was some guy came up to us and said he was a medic and asked if I needed help. While it was embarrassing, it was nice to have a complete stranger be so sincere and be a Good Samaritan (even if it is his duty since he’s a medic.) Its nice to see there are still nice people out there.

Weird Pregnancy Moment: I’m not sure I can blame it all on pregnancy, but I sneezed so hard it made me pee my pants a little, just a couple of drops. I thought it was so funny and was dying laughing and Mark was totally grossed out. Luckily we were at home.

Movement: Nothing yet but dr said probably this week!

Food Cravings: Since I was sick this week I didn’t really have any cravings except fried rice one night. I have been craving Taco Bell nacho supreme for the past 4 months though! I can’t get enough of the salty chips and nacho cheese!

What I’m Looking Forward To: I’m really looking forward to feeling the baby move and finding out the gender in two weeks! I feel like it will feel more real then.

A case of the 24 hour morning sickness

Right now I’m only 7 weeks along and feel sort of lame writing this because obviously I’m not going to post it right now but I want to write it down so I I remember. Actually I’m hoping to forget because I’ve been sooo sick! I have a weak stomach so I was assuming that I would have some morning sickness but I wasn’t prepared for morning sickness ALL. DAY. LONG! The best way to describe it is that it feels like im coming down with the flu, weak and stomach pains from the nausea. I had to quit my job this week because I can barely get out of bed. I was so disappointed and had so many mixed emotions. I was disappointed in myself and feared that Mark would be disappointed in me. I just got this job with Safeway corporate that I really wanted. I tried my best to tough it out but when all you can focus on the entire day is “don’t throw up,” I clearly new it wasn’t going to work out. I also knew it wouldn’t work out because I was supposed to train for three months and then i would have to find a department with an opening and apply for that spot, and by that time I would only have realistically 3 months to actually work…it felt like a waste of my time and theirs. I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed that I am able to not work right now and take care of myself. They were so great though and said that if I start feeling better to give them a call and they can help me find something until this baby comes. Anyways it looks like it was the right decision because each day seems to get worse. I’ve been throwing up at least once a day now and rarely feel any relief from the severe nausea all day. It seems to come in waves about every two hours until I go to sleep at night. I’m so ready to be done with this stage, even though I know that’s the worst outlook but this is not fun (read in a whiny voice, of course). Marks been soo great to me, trying to find foods that don’t sound completely repulsive to me and bringing more crackers and Gatorade. He cleans the house and does all the dishes not ever once acknowledging how pathetic I am. I’ve been living on the couch the past three days, feeling very accomplished for getting up and opening the sliding glass door so Leo can go bask in the sun on our patio, at least one of us is getting out of the house! And today my big accomplishment was getting in the shower after I threw up, I washed my hair and even shaved my armpits!

I’m anxious for my first Dr appointment next week. All I can hope for is a healthy kidney bean sized baby…and that the doc can give me something to help me feel less nauseous, or at the very least knock me out! (Just kidding…sort of…)

Finding out I’m pregnant

On Friday february 8 our lives were flipped upside down.

I was a few days late on my period and for some reason new I was pregnant. I didn’t want to take a pregnancy test though because I started my new job with Safeway corporate the coming Monday. I figured ignorance was bliss. I didn’t want to go into my first day knowing my time was very limited.

that day at work I felt like what I thought were hunger pains all day. That night we met up with my cousin Natasha and her husband Wes in San francisco for dinner. On the way to dinner Wes asked me something like “no baby in there yet?” Which caught me off guard because in the back of my mind I knew there was a chance but no one ever really asks me if I’m pregnant or what my plans are. (I’ve felt so lucky that people aren’t always asking me when we are going to start trying, I guess everyone just knew we weren’t ready the past three years.) when we got home from dinner mark told me I should take a pregnancy test, which I did against my better judgement. Within literally seconds two bright lines appeared, I was in shock that it showed up so fast, so much for waiting 5 minutes! I didnt believe it because it showed so fast so I took another one. Again, within seconds two pink lines appeared showing positive. I was happy, excited, shocked and devistated all at the same time. What timing! After two years of applying I finally get a job with a company I really wanted to work for and get to use my degree. I was a little terrified to go tell mark, who was in the living room watching the olympics, because I didn’t want to disappoint him. I knew he was really excited for my new job. I was frozen. All I could do was sit on the lid of the toilet with a shocked look on my face. mark walked in a few minutes later with a very confused look on his face. Then he saw the pregnancy tests on the counter and a big smile covered his face. I was even more shocked! He did a little nervous giggle and asked if I was pregnant because he didn’t understand the tests. I told him yes and started to cry. He was so sweet and I could tell he was excited. He hugged me and told me it would all work out. I saw him turn his head and wipe a tear, although he doesn’t know I saw 🙂 I knew that everything was going to be ok and that he wasn’t upset or disappointed. I think at that moment he was more excited than I was. Now don’t get me wrong, I was so excited, I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom but it just seemed like horrible timing. I wanted one or the other, not a new job and a baby at the same time…
That weekend I was wiped out! I don’t know if it was my mind playing tricks on me but after taking that pregnancy test I started to notice I was pregnant. My boobs were ginormous and I was exhausted and felt weak. Nothing sounded appetizing but thinking about food didn’t make me nauseous. I pretty much slept all weekend and when I woke up I felt like I could have kept sleeping.
Monday morning rolled around and my alarm went off at 6:30. I showered and started getting ready and also started to feel sick. Mornings are rough but luckily I haven’t thrown up yet but it’s still early…so knock on wood. But the weird thing is that I’ve been feeling sick all day long…I feel sick at work and all evening after work. Hopefully this exhausted feeling wears off soon and morning sickness continues to be nice to me.
It’s still hard to grasp that I’m pregnant but it’s so exciting. It’s so hard for both me and Mark to not tell anyone, but it’s a fun secret to share together right now!