When I think back to the day my son was born, it gives me chills down my spine. Not because I remember the pain that I endured… your body just somehow completely forgets about that once you see your baby, but because of all of the amazing things I experienced my mind and body fight through to bring him into this world. It was, simply put, the greatest day of my life.
My entire pregnancy, Doctors were telling me that he will come early. His due date was October 21st, and every day after I hit 38 weeks seemed like a whole eternity of “this child is never going to come,” “I am so done with being pregnant,” and “if one more day goes by I swear I will drop dead.” My family all could see that my Glow was long gone.
Although it’s been almost an entire month since this day, it feels like it was yesterday. Maybe that’s because when you’re living with a newborn, all of your days seem to completely blend together. It’s a great mix of sleep deprivation, exhaustion, learning curves and firsts. And frankly it’s both beautiful and messy.
October 21st arrived. I waited and waited and swore that every little “symptom” of labour I was having I could convince you why I had to go to the hospital. I was bouncing on balls, eating pineapple, using my breast pump to stimulate my nipples (this is a thing), drinking all of the red raspberry leaf tea, hanging upside down and all of the other ways YouTube told me I’d be able to get his head engaged… seriously, I was kind of going crazy. Ask my Husband. Long story short, his due date had quickly come and gone and I was still pregnant.
As long as I had waited to go into labour, I did know at some point, it’s going to happen, but I often wondered how it would happen for me. Would my water break? Would it be due to contractions? Would it be a super quick process or will it draw out over a couple of days? And then of course, all of the questions and worries that come with only being able to day dream how this experience would go for me. Would there be complications? Am I going to deliver vaginally or end up needing a C-Section? And even… “OMG what if he comes out a girl?”. October 22nd, 2:59AM. I was woken up with strong period-like cramping. I did have Braxton Hicks contractions throughout a large part of my pregnancy, but this was just a different type of cramping. I started to time them using my pregnancy app ‘Baby Center’. About 45 minutes went by and my “period cramps” quickly became the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through. I was going into full on labour and I had decided that contractions SUCKED. (Sorry, mama… it’s no joke.)
While all of this is happening, I’m crawling around my closet, leaning on the bed, rocking back and forth all while Brett is sleeping peacefully in the bed. I finally woke him up about an hour after I was woken up with the pain and told him that he could probably get the car packed up. We had all of our bags ready to roll for when this time had come, and here we were.
We took off to the hospital. I had called my parents and told them we were on our way, but weren’t positive we’d be admitted so we’d keep everyone posted. My contractions were now lasting about 45 seconds and were coming every 3 minutes. When we arrived at the hospital, they took me straight up to the Labour and delivery unit and started going through the process of checking me out to be admitted. They had me lay on a hospital bed in the triage area in my own room to check if I had dilated, etc. At this point, the “worst pain of my entire life” had hit, and lucky me, it was coming every 2-3 minutes lasting about an hour. They were sure I would be dilated & admitted, but when they checked me, I was only 2cm dilated. In order to be admitted into a room, you need to me 4cm dilated, I was told. So what did this mean? This meant that they were sending me home. While I endured the most pain I’ve ever felt. This did not go over well with me. I was told to come back when the contractions lasted longer. They told me to draw a bath at home and that would help with the pain… #!@#!@#!.
Brett and I went back home, and he went back to work until things escalated a bit. Don’t worry ladies… I told him to ;). My Mom, Sister and Grandma came over to help me out through my labouring. They drew me a warm bath and helped me in it. They also helped me clean up the puke all over myself and cleaned & re-filled the tub after I puked even more into the bath water. Although the bath did seem to help with the pain in between the contractions, it was not a pretty or “relaxing” scene. They brought me endless ice chips (I was obsessed with ice chips through labour). They held my hand as I curled into the pain. After an hour at home, shit was getting REAL. I was in even more pain than I was previously and each contraction was lasting about a minute and a bit. I was not getting a break, at all.
We headed back to the hospital. When we checked in again, they took me to a new room to get examined. I was now 4-5cm dilated and it was time to admit me. I called Brett, he left work immediately and came straight to the hospital. We had packed our bags in our car from the first time we made our way to the hospital, so everything was still in there. They wheeled me into the room where I would deliver my baby. The bed was so much more comfortable and this is where it was all about to go down. Once I got to my room, I met Carissa, our nurse who was going to be sticking by my side for the rest of my labour. This is something that I absolutely loved… with all of the nurses coming and going through their shift changes, there was always going to be one nurse who would stick by my side. She quickly fit into the family and seemed to become part of it.
During my labour and delivery, I had almost my entire family in the room with me including my Mother in Law. Also note, my entire family consists of women and 2 men, so, minus the men, of course. Every single nurse was amazing. Dr. Barghava was the Doctor on shift, and she was incredible, and sooo sweet.
Once I was all settled into my room, I was VERY ready to get my epidural. We waited for the anesthesiologist for what seemed like forever, although I’m sure it was only about 25-30 minutes and when he arrived, I remember clapping and cheering (out loud) because that meant this pain would (hopefully) soon be over. The epidural was pretty scary to get, because while he was injecting it into my spine (which really is no pain compared to your contractions), I wasn’t able to move at all. That, I remember being a super important thing. I sat on the edge of the bed, curved my back like a cat and grabbed onto Brett’s shoulders as tight as I could and made it through it.
It took about 25 minutes or so for it to kick in for me. But once it did… I was soooo happy I did it. Labour soon became one of the greatest experience in the world. The pain prior was unbearable and I just wasn’t able to catch a break at all from my contractions. I was not enjoying labour one bit and was seriously wondering if I could actually do this. Once the epidural had kicked in, they also put a catheter in me (which was also completely painless thanks to the epidural) and also hooked me up to some pitocin to help speed up my progress. From then on, I spent a few hours chatting with all of the family I had by my side, snacking on a few of my Grandma’s delicious cookies and having everyone help me get my camera all set up for the delivery. (YES – I have it all recorded & yes, I plan to share it. Don’t worry… it’s completely PG.) I remember getting really tired after a while. I decided I was going to have a nap, and at this point, it’s about 5PM. Some family members stayed in the room while I slept and some went down to the cafeteria for coffee and food. I remember having the most sound-sleep ever. My lower half of my body felt absolutely weightless and I wasn’t able to move my left leg much, so I laid there so content & still in my bed.
I woke up at around 3:30pm. When I opened my eyes, I instantly felt nauseous. The nurse was checking something on me and I said to her, twice, “I think I’m going to puke”. The first time, she hadn’t heard me and asked me to repeat myself. By the middle of the second time, I had puked all over my poor Grandma, on her purse and all over her chair after she had moved out of the way quicker than I ever thought possible. The nurse had felt SO bad, but we all know it wasn’t her fault. After I threw up, I was chilled to the bone and shaking uncontrollably. My nurse figured that my adrenaline had kicked in, among with all of the hormones rushing through my body and she told me she wanted to check my progress. What do you know, I went from 5cm – 10cm while I napped and baby was ready to come out. It was push time!
When I started to push, all I could really feel was the pressure of my contractions and that’s when I knew they wanted me to push. After only a few pushes, my Family told me they could all see his head which was full of hair. After about 10 minutes of pushing, baby’s heart rate started to escalate. The Doctor didn’t like how high it was getting and stopped me from pushing. She pulled her mask down and told me that she knows how tired I am getting, but my baby was getting even more tired and he was stuck where he was. At this point, I was expecting her to tell me I needed to get a C-Section. Instead, she asked me if I would get an episiotomy, which is where they need to make an incision to give baby more room to come out. Going into my delivery, I decided that whatever needs to be done for my boy to make his grand arrival into this world a safe and healthy one, would be done. Whatever that meant.
“Yep. Go for it. Is it going to hurt?” was what actually came out of my mouth. I got a few laughs when I asked if it would hurt… but quickly after that, the Doc grabbed the scissors and worked her magic. 5 minutes later, baby Boden was born and my world was rocked.
I remember looking at Brett right away, who was by my side the entire time reminding me to breathe and that everything was going to be alright. All of the sudden the Doctor was congratulating me and the nurses put my baby on my chest. I remember looking at Boden, completely amazed and in love. I wrapped my hands around his bloody body and held him as close as I could. He was absolutely perfect, and was so content. He let out a few quiet cries and just bundled into my chest. He looked up at me a few times almost as if he knew exactly where he was. While all of this is happening, my placenta came out quickly and easily and the Doctor was stitching me up from my episiotomy and second degree tear. The thing I didn’t expect at all was I was asked if I wanted to see my placenta, but I quickly declined as I couldn’t take my eyes off of my Son.
From then on, they weighed him and ran a quick exam on him to make sure everything was all in tact and looked good. My family gathered around just watching him and waiting patiently until they could hold him and to take pictures they could proudly show off. I will never forget that experience. After a while, my Family left and it was just Brett, Boden and I in the room we just brought him into the world. Brett held him just staring at him and crying – absolutely amazed at what we just experienced. I ate the rest of my ice chips and jello. We prayed together and thanked God for everything. We did it, and we did good.
Boden Craig Kozar
October 22, 2019
Our greatest adventure yet.
If you have questions about anything pregnancy related, or related to labour and delivery, leave them below! I am happy to share with you guys.