Maverick Vincent Kolesha - A Birth Story (Part 2)
Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to read part 2 of Maverick's birth story. If you haven't yet, head over to part 1 and catch up before you read on!
I got all situated in my room, was hooked to the monitors, and waited for Nia to come meet me. When she arrived, she told me that baby boy’s heart rate was higher than they would like to see, so they wanted to give me some IV fluids before starting Pitocin. I was also checked, and my numbers hadn’t changed since that morning. I was instructed to snack (you can’t eat once Pitocin has started), relax, and try to sleep. Christian, Emilie, and I lounged, joked, and chatted to pass the time. I was finally able to start Pitocin around 9:30 pm… and nothing happened.
When you’re induced with Pitocin, you’re started at a low dose and it gets gradually raised in accordance with how your body is responding. It starts at 2 and can go up to 40. I’m told no one makes it to 40, few make it to 20, and some ladies only need that small dosage of 2 to get things going. I asked how long it should take to start feeling it, and I was told about a half hour. That time passed, and then more time, and I was bumped up a few times on my dosage. The nurses asked me “do you feel your contractions?” My response was “is that what those are?” I was up to 6 on the Pitocin, and the only thing I felt by 3 in the morning was itchy. Late in my pregnancy, I developed a condition called PUPPP, a horribly itchy rash on my belly and all of my extremities. The itching was unbearable, so Nia agreed to give me some Benadryl through my IV. This would turn out to be one of the best decisions made throughout my labor. The Benadryl did wonders for my itching, but it also allowed us all to get some sleep. Christian made a bed on the couch, Emilie went out to lay down in the waiting area with the family, and I reclined my bed back to get a glorious hour and a half of sleep.
Around 5:30 am, Nia came to check me and told me that if I was 4 or 5 centimeters, she could break my water to help things pick up. I agreed, and when I was checked, I was at a 4. Baby boy’s head was right up against the sac, so it was hard for Nia to break, and she told me she thought she got it. Once I stood up and made giant puddles on the floor, it was clear that she did! By that point, my Pitocin was at an 8, and it was due to be raised, but Nia said to hold off to see what my water breaking would do. I was grateful for that, as contractions picked up almost instantly. I started off bouncing on the yoga ball, but eventually had to stand and lean over the bed to feel any relief. Christian called Emilie back into the room (we could tell it was about to be go time), and the two of them helped me breathe and applied counter pressure on my back – I was having horrible back labor because baby boy was “sunny side up.” I quickly got to the point where I was very tired from standing but uncomfortable every other way I tried. Nia had promised to come back around 6:30, and I was eager for her to get back, hoping she’d have ideas to help me cope and stick to my unmedicated birth plan. She put in an order for nitrous oxide just in case I would decide to use it (it never ended up coming!) and helped me to get on hands and knees over the back of the bed. She rubbed my back, talked me through some of my breathing, and showed Christian and Emilie how to apply pressure to my hips. When I told her how I was feeling so much of the pain in my back, she offered to try to turn the baby using the “Rebozo” method. This involved her taking a sheet, putting it around my belly, standing on the bed behind me, and shaking in between contractions – ask Emilie and she will tell you it was a funny sight to see. It was definitely not comfortable, but I was hopeful that it would do the trick. We later found out after baby was born that it worked! This would ultimately cut my pushing time down by about two-thirds, so I am grateful that Nia was able to make it happen for me!
Contractions started coming hard and fast. Everything I was told about the transition stage of labor proved to be 100% true. At some point in the process, I was checked and found to be 6 centimeters dilated which felt like forever away from meeting my baby. I felt that I could not get a break to breathe as contractions came one right after the other. I tried so hard to breathe and focus and work through them, but I was really struggling. Emilie and Christian stayed right by my side to talk me through, but I told them repeatedly I didn’t know if I could do it anymore. They continually reminded me that I was safe, baby was safe, and that I would meet him so soon. Emilie told me my body was made to do this and was doing all of the right things. She breathed with me and the three of us worked together through my toughest time.
Just as I started thinking I couldn’t make it any longer, I was told to lie on my side and given oxygen because baby’s heartbeat was dropping. This position was agony, but I knew that it was important for my baby boy’s health and safety. I was simply trying to survive through my contractions when shift change happened. A whole new group of nurses came in and politely tried to introduce themselves. They followed protocol and each nurse filled in her replacement to let them know what was happening, but I honestly didn’t notice too much or care at that point. My new midwife, Britt, also came in and relieved Nia. Britt checked me, and I was 9 ¾ centimeters! She told me I could push through the last ¼. I was honestly terrified! I was so ready to meet my baby, but I was in so much pain and so tired. I didn’t know if I could do it! Nia wished me luck and was on her way, and then it was go time! I kept saying I was scared, and Britt assured me that I can do it and that she would help me. She said it would feel good to push, which I totally did not believe until I was in the moment. At first I was told to push for three counts of ten with every contraction, but I quickly tired out and did three counts of eight. My pushes weren’t efficient until Britt had the idea for me to pull on one end of a sheet while a nurse pulled on the other. This was working great for about two pushes, but then the nurse said I was pulling too hard for her, so we needed to figure out something different! They put the push bar up on the bed and wrapped the sheet around it so I could put my feet on the bar and pull back on the sheet. This was just the setup I needed, and I made fairly quick progress! I had to stop a few times to breathe through contractions as baby boy’s heart rate dropped, but with some rest and oxygen, things were still going okay. I was shocked at how much I could feel what was happening and how my body knew what to do. As baby boy started crowning, Britt coached me to push for just the right amount to avoid tearing. I could feel when baby’s head was out, which was so crazy! With my next contraction, Britt told me “push as hard and long as you can, and let’s have a baby!”
Maverick Vincent Kolesha entered the world on August 10, 2019 at 8:10 am. He came out waving hello with his right hand on his cheek. Maverick weighed in at 8 lbs. 10 oz. and measured 21 ¼ inches long. When he was laid on my chest, I yelled out “oh my God!” and I cried and cried. Christian teared up as he looked on. Our family of two had officially become three, and we were overjoyed.
I am so grateful for the amazing staff at the hospital and for my midwives. My birth experience was very different from what I had planned, but in the end, a healthy baby and momma is all you hope for! I'm glad that Christian was there to help me through and be the supportive, hands-on birth partner that I was looking for. Going into my birth experience, I had told Emilie I may have her in and out of the delivery room. Looking back, I don't know if I could have done it without her! The team of people that I had by my side turned out to be exactly who I needed, and I am so blessed.
Maverick, you are the light of our lives. I hope you read this one day to learn all about what brought us wonderful you. Mommy and Daddy love you forever!